OLLU receives $1.1 million federal grant to continue McNair Scholars Program

OLLU has been approved for more than $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its McNair Scholars Program for another five years. The grant, which is $237,544 annually, will allow the university to serve 25 students each year through the program, which assists first-generation, low-income, or underserved students in pursuing doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

The grant was awarded through the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement (McNair) Program, one of the eight Federal TRIO Programs, which provide postsecondary educational support for qualified individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has a heritage of serving first-generation college students and underserved populations. The McNair Scholars Program and this grant are perfectly aligned with our values of a higher education for a higher purpose,” said OLLU President Diane E. Melby, EdD. “We are thankful for the opportunity to build on our successful McNair Scholars Program and launch even more graduates into doctoral programs.”

OLLU has offered a McNair Scholars Program for more than 18 years and assisted hundreds of students on their path to graduate studies.

“The future leaders of our nation could come from any community,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, who announced the grant. “All students deserve the opportunity to access education at the highest levels, regardless of where they were born or what their backgrounds are.”

McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.

OLLU’s McNair Project will provide participants with academic advising, STEM career exploration and planning, financial aid information and application assistance, graduate school admission assistance, graduate fairs and campus visits, economic and financial literacy training, career aptitude testing and coaching, and individual tutorials, study groups, and workshops.