HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Funding for the University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) McNair Scholars Program has been renewed for another five years with $1.31 million in federal grants.

The federal program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose is to help participants prepare for doctoral studies through involvement in research and scholarly activities. Participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential. Institutions work closely with participants with the goal of having students from underrepresented parts of society earn Ph.D. degrees.

Students who qualify are required to be enrolled in an undergraduate degree-granting program. At least two-thirds of the participants must be low-income, potential first-generation college students. The remaining participants may be from groups that are underrepresented in graduate education.

“The program is coveted by universities across the country, and only those grant applications receiving near-perfect scores are selected for funding,” said Dr. Karen Coats, Dean of USM’s Graduate School.

USM has assisted more than 200 scholars since the program’s inception in 1999.

Learn more about the program here.