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U.S. Department of Education Announces $51.7 Million in 189 McNair Grants to Improve Disadvantaged Students’ Preparation for Doctoral Study

Author: US Department of Education   |   Posted on: August 21, 2022

Grants awarded to universities and colleges in 45 states and Puerto Rico

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today announced $51.7 million in 189 new grant awards to institutions of higher education across the United States as part of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair). The program provides grants to universities and colleges for projects designed to provide disadvantaged college students effective preparation for doctoral studies.

“When we look at U.S. students studying to become our future physicians, professors, scientists and other crucial professionals requiring graduate degrees, many demographic groups are underrepresented, including first-generation college students and those from low-income families,” said Nasser Paydar, assistant secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education. “McNair grants fund projects at universities and colleges that help underrepresented students to access doctoral programs.”

Today’s announcement delivers on Secretary Cardona’s priorities to expand equitable access to education and make higher education more inclusive and affordable. Through McNair grant funding, projects at institutions of higher education provide students opportunities for research or other scholarly activities, such as summer internships and seminars. McNair-funded initiatives also prepare students for doctoral study through tutoring, academic counseling, and assistance with securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs. McNair projects may also provide services designed to improve financial and economic literacy of students, mentoring programs, and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.

A full list of the new grantees is below and includes 14 Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs), and 55 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) (including Hispanic Serving, Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions). Several additional McNair awards will be announced on a second slate, expected in September.

The McNair program is one of seven federal TRIO programs, targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. Research from the National Center for Education Statistics shows demographic trends for enrollment in postbaccalaureate programs, from 2009-2020.