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Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Questions Commonly Asked by McNair Scholar Candidates

1. What is the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (RMPAP)?

The McNair Program is named in honor of the late Dr. Ronald Erwin McNair. It is designed to empower low-income, first generation college students and ethnic and racial groups (African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native) who are currently underrepresented in graduate education to pursue Postbaccalaureate opportunities. The purpose of Elizabeth City State University's RMPAP is to motivate and prepare students for doctoral programs in the fields of computer science, industrial technology, mathematics, sciences, or behavioral sciences.

2. What must I do to earn up to $2,000 stipend?

To be eligible for the stipend, you must have completed your sophomore year. You must also participate in a summer internship, which consists of engaging in research or other scholarly activities (for 20 or more hours per week) under the guidance and direction of faculty researchers. You must prepare and present a research paper based on your summer research project. Your paper and presentation must be completed no later than the last week of the internship project.

Stipends will be disseminated as follows:

Date Stipend Amount Requirements
  $400.00 Progress report, abstract and take home quiz
  $600.00 Progress report and draft of research paper
  $1000.00 Progress report and research presentation, complete and final draft of paper submitted

3. Will this stipend affect my financial aid?

No. You are receiving a stipend. The $2,000 stipend is not considered as a form of direct student aid. An earned stipend can be used to cover your personal expenses, books, tuition, GRE fee and graduate application fees.

4. Who is eligible to apply to the McNair program?

A student is eligible to participate in a McNair project if the student meets all the following requirements:

    1. Is a citizen of the United States, or
    2. Is a permanent resident of the United States, or
    3. Is in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and provides evidences from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of his/her intent to become a permanent resident, or
    4. Is a permanent resident of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or
    5. Is a resident of one of the Freely Associated States
  1. Is currently enrolled in a degree program at an institution of higher learning that participates in the student financial assistance programs authorized under the Title IV of the Higher Education Act.
  2. Is a low-income individual who is a first generation college student and/or a member of a group that is underrepresented at the doctoral degree level: African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native.
  3. Must be enrolled at Elizabeth City State University.
  4. Must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  5. Must have a strong desire to attain a doctorate degree.

5. Define the terms first generation college student and low-income.

A first generation college student means a student who's supporting or adoptive parent(s) did not receive a baccalaureate (4 year) degree.

Low-income means an individual whose family's taxable income does not exceed 150% of the poverty level in the calendar year preceding the year in which the individual participates in the project. For example, an individual residing in a household of 4 members with a taxable income of $30,975 or less.

6. How many students are enrolled in this program each year?

Twenty eight students each cohort (year). Of this student population, 2/3 (19) must be low-income and first generation and 1/3 (9) are from underrepresented groups. Most students are in the McNair Scholars Program for a 2-year period and as vacancies occur, new Scholars are recruited. Recruitment of new participants is conducted annually.

7. Can freshmen apply to this program?

Yes. However, due to federal guidelines, the McNair Program is not allowed to pay students a stipend until the student has completed his/her sophomore year. All other program services and opportunities are available to them.

8. If I participate in the summer internship project, can I work?

We prefer that you do not work while participating in the summer internship project. The $2,000 stipend is provided to you so that you would not have to work during the summer. This affords you the opportunity to direct your energy on the research project and scholarly activities.

9. Can I take other courses during the summer and will the program pay for my tuition?

McNair will not pay your tuition. They will pay all fees related to scholarly activities, training and development, room and board. You may take a course during the summer if it is related to your field of study and/or will enhance your research project. It is advisable that you take no more than three (3) credit hours. No McNair scholar will be allowed to take more than seven (7) credit hours during the summer.

10. What must I do to secure housing and meals during the summer?

Your housing accommodations, meals and travel to and from scholarly activities will be handled by the McNair Scholars Office.

11. What additional free activities or services are available to me (other than the summer research internship)?

  • Academic and career counseling, financial aid and graduate school assistance (including on-line college admission and scholarship databases)
  • Access to the Internet and World Wide Web
  • Field trips to graduate schools, professional conferences, and other sites of academic and cultural enrichment
  • GRE Preparation Institute
  • McNair Scholars Resource Library
  • Mentoring
  • Research training colloquiums, visiting lecturer series and other scholarly activities
  • Tutoring (if warranted)

12. What am I required to do if I am admitted into this program?

You must first and foremost read and complete the Student Responsibilities Form (see sample). Second, abide by the conditions of the program. Third, complete a Needs Assessment (see sample) so the McNair Scholars Program can develop an individualized Career/Educational Work Plan for you. Note that all Scholarly Activities, assignments, and projects are mandatory during the summer component.

13. Am I restricted to do my research internship on ECSU's campus and will I still be eligible for a stipend?

As a McNair Scholar, you have the option of participating in the McNair Scholars Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (MS-SURI) which is sponsored on campus and/or a research based internship off campus. Generally speaking, new admits participate in the MS-SURI on campus. We do encourage our second year (returning) participants to pursue and extramural research (off campus) project.

Please check with the McNair Office regarding eligibility for the stipend ($2,000). If eligible for the stipend, you will still be required to contact the McNair office (based on a predetermined schedule). During this time frame, progress reports will be required. Also, you must complete and submit a written report (in electronic and printed version) to the McNair office upon completion of your extramural research project.

14. Can I participate in the McNair Summer component more than once and must I complete a new application each year to be eligible?

If you are in good academic standing and have fulfilled the requirements of the program, you may request to participate in the program for more than one summer.

A one page renewal application is required on/before January 31st of each year.

For additional information contact:

Dr. Cheryl J. Lewis (252) 335-3898
Mrs. Gwendolyn H. Cooper(252) 335-3012
Elizabeth City State University
McNair Scholars Office
Fax: (252) 335-3758