Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Augsburg undergraduate student enrolled full-time
- Sophomore or Junior (by credits)
- At least 3 semesters remaining before graduation (not including summer terms)
- Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA (3.0+ preferred)
- U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
- First-generation college student who is low-income AND/OR a member of a group underrepresented in graduate study (American Indian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Native Alaskan)
Frequently Asked Questions about Eligibility
How do I know if I’m a first-generation college student?
Neither parent or legal guardian graduated from a four-year college or university. If one or both of your parents/guardians has an international degree, please contact McNair staff before you submit your application.
How do I know if I’m considered low-income?
If you receive full Pell funding, you most likely qualify as low-income; HOWEVER, you will want to verify by following these instructions:
- On your parents’ most recent tax return, find the ‘taxable income’ amount (Line 15 on Form 1040);
- Using the Federal TRIO Programs Current-Year Low-Income Levels, identify the total number of persons in your household (including yourself) under the ‘Size of Family Unit’ column and if the amount listed for this number is greater than your parents’ taxable income, you qualify as low-income.
What if I file my own taxes?
You still need to refer to your parents’ tax information UNLESS the following exceptions apply: a) You’re 24 years of age or older; b) You’re married and/or you have dependents other than a spouse for which you provide more than half of their support; c) You are a veteran or active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces; d) You’re legally emancipated, parents are deceased, or you were granted a FAFSA dependency override (note: this must be approved by the Financial Aid office and you may be required to provide documentation with your application).
- Other exceptions may apply; please contact McNair staff if your circumstance does not fit into any of the above mentioned categories.
- More information on dependent vs. independent status: https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out/dependency
What if I can’t access my parents’ tax records?
A copy of your FAFSA submission might be sufficient documentation; however, we may ask that you permit us to verify low-income status with the Financial Aid office on your behalf.
What if I’m not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?
Due to McNair federal restrictions, we’re only able to admit students that are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. However, Augsburg is committed to providing resources to ALL students, regardless of citizenship status. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity (URGO) may have opportunities for research and other scholarly programs with fewer eligibility requirements.
Additionally, as a McNair Scholar you must:
- Have the desire and motivation to attend and be successful in graduate school (preference given to applicants that are considering Ph.D. or doctoral studies)
- Conduct intensive research at Augsburg or off-campus during the summer (cannot be employed or taking summer coursework during research).
- Attend a two-day McNair retreat.
- Attend McNair seminars covering the graduate school experience, application process, and GRE preparation
- Take a tuition-free 2 academic credit spring course, Research in the Disciplines.
- Apply for at least three graduate programs during the fall semester of your senior year.
- Be open-minded.
- Be positive.
- Be a team player.
- Seek and provide constructive feedback.
- Be supportive of your peers.
- Be willing to participate in and contribute your unique self to a rich learning community.
- “Never, never, never give up.” ~ Winston Churchill.
NOTE: The McNair Program generally does not admit students interested in pursuing professional degrees (JD, MBA, MD and other health-related fields). For assistance with applying to these types of degree programs, please visit the URGO website.