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Who can apply and why they should

The TRIO program requirements will lay out the guidelines for who can apply to become a McNair scholar.

In order to be considered for the McNair program, a student needs to meet both Federal TRIO and UW-Eau Claire criteria:

Federal TRIO criteria, scholars must be:

  • A U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Income eligible: 150% below federal government determined poverty line ("low-income") and from a family in which neither parent graduated from a four-year postsecondary educational institution


  • From groups that are traditionally underrepresented in graduate studies and among doctoral recipients. The federal government defines "underrepresented" to include:

             Black (non-Hispanic)
             American Indian/Alaskan Native
             Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders

UW-Eau Claire criteria, scholars must be:

  • A UW-Eau Claire student; all majors are elegibile. 
  • Have the potential and desire to apply for, enter, and pursue a graduate program. 
  • Be supported by a recommendation from a UW-Eau Claire faculty or staff member.
  • Have a minimum standing of rising sophomore with a GPA of 2.75 or greater.


Take this quiz to find out if you are eligible.

Why become a McNair Scholar? Immediate benefits include:

  • Receive intense mentoring in a nurturing and supportive environment
  • Undertake collaborative research with UW-Eau Claire faculty members
  • Participate in the program's personalized services including seminars, Summer Research Institute, workshops, presentation opportunities at professional venues, and networking opportunities
  • Receive personalized assistance with graduate school selection and application
  • Benefit from application fee waivers available from many graduate schools across the country
  • Learn about financial aid, fellowships, and grant opportunities

Long-term benefits: A McNair Scholar for life

The expected long-term benefits of the McNair program are derived from the program purpose of providing disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study. Research provides irrefutable evidence that a doctoral degree bestows monetary and non-monetary benefits that last over a lifetime. These include highest annual median income compared to lower levels of educational attainment, an unemployment rate of close to zero percent, a life-time earnings curve that is much higher than lower levels of educational attainment, and a wide array of research and academic employment possibilities.

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