The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program (named after the African-American astronaut who died in the Challenger accident in 1986) is federally funded to assist "first generation" college students (neither parent or guardian has received a Bachelor's degree) and students from under-represented ethnic groups (African-American, Hispanic, Native American) get accepted and complete a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.).
The primary goal of the federal program is to increase the number of first generation students, and ethnically under-represented students at the Ph.D. level, thus increasing their numbers in the pool of faculty available to teach and conduct research in colleges and universities. The program is most beneficial for students who meet the criteria and also demonstrate potential for graduate study. Students who meet the above criteria and have completed at least 90 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above are eligible to apply.
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