Eligibility for McNair Scholars

If you fit either of these categories below, consider applying for the University of Nevada, Reno McNair Scholars Program! Selected students will receive the support needed to enter graduate programs that lead to careers in teaching, research, or administration on college and university campuses.

Are you eligible?

Are you from a family where neither parent/guardian has a bachelor's degree and you qualify for financial aid?


Are you:

  • American Indian/Alaskan Native?
  • Black or African American?
  • Hispanic or Latino?
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander?

Applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed 30 credits by the end of the summer 2021 semester.
  • Have a 2.9 minimum cumulative GPA.
  • Have a strong interest in obtaining a graduate degree in a field that will lead to a career in teaching, research, or administration on a college or university campus. (Programs that lead to law degrees (JD), medical degrees (MD), veterinary degrees (DVM), or pharmacy degrees (Pharm D) are not eligible.)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. (If you have ever received a Federal Pell Grant through Financial Aid, then you are eligible.)
  • Have at least one year remaining before graduation from UNR. (Some exceptions may be made.) Priority consideration will be given to those who have at least one year remaining.
  • Be enrolled full time.
  • Be enrolled in a formal degree program.

Federal TRIO programs: Annual low-income levels

If you are qualifying based on parent/guardian education and income level, please use the chart below to see if you qualify financially. (If you received a Federal Pell Grant through Financial Aid, then you are eligible. If you have never received a Pell Grant, qualification can be determined by using the chart below. Family taxable income for the preceding year must not exceed 150% of the poverty level. )

(Effective January 13, 2021 until further notice)

Financial Qualifications for TRIO Programs by Size of Family Unit and State
Size of Family Unit 48 Contiguous States,  
D.C., and Outlying Jurisdictions
Alaska Hawaii
1 $19,320 $24,135 $22,230
2 $26,130 $32,655 $30,060
3 $32,940 $41,175 $37,890
4 $39,750 $49,695 $45,720
5 $46,560 $58,215 $53,550
6 $53,370 $66,735 $61,380
7 $60,180 $75,255 $69,210
8 $66,990 $83,775 $77,040

For family members with more than eight members, add the following amount for each additional family member: $6,810 for the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia and outlying jurisdictions; $8,520 for Alaska; and $7,830 for Hawaii. The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.

For more information, see the US Department of Education site on current low-income levels.

Selection will be made on a competitive basis from those applicants who best meet the purposes of the program as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. Specifically, 2/3 of the individuals participating in the McNair Program must be low-income and first-generation college students. The remaining 1/3 may be from one of the following underrepresented groups in doctoral study: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Applicants who best meet the federally mandated guidelines will be selected on the basis of their potential for pursuing doctoral studies and their ability to benefit from the program.