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WSU receives $1.34 million to continue McNair Scholars Program

Washington State University has been awarded a $1.34 million U.S. Department of Education grant for five years for the McNair Scholars Program, according to Raymond Herrera, who has been director of the program since 2009.

This is the sixth consecutive McNair grant awarded to WSU Pullman. As one of eight federal TRIO programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, the McNair Scholars Program prepares undergraduate first-generation/low-income and underrepresented students for doctoral studies. Since 1998, WSU McNair has prepared 408 students for graduate school. 

“Hundreds of colleges and universities compete for a McNair grant,” Herrera said. “And given that the competition is only held every five years, the stakes are high.” 

The McNair Scholars Program at WSU has been highly successful, supporting, on average, 30 students each year. Administered through the Graduate School, the program provides undergraduate McNair scholars opportunities to participate in academic year and summer research activities and to present their research at national conferences. Students also participate in courses, seminars, and workshops related to graduate school preparation.

“We are thankful and humbled to have the support of the WSU leadership, faculty mentors, university offices, and our sister support programs,” Herrera said. “These folks help us craft successful proposals and subsequently carry out the mission of the McNair program and do our best to honor the legacy of our namesake, Dr. Ronald E. McNair.”

As a result of the McNair grants, WSU has a long-standing and vibrant McNair community, including current McNair Scholars, McNair Faculty Mentors, and McNair Alumni from other universities who have chosen WSU for their graduate education. Currently, 47 McNair Alumni are pursuing their graduate education across the WSU system. 

More information about the WSU McNair Scholars program may be found at

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