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Federal Grant to Assist Low-Income Students at Penn State

by on September 14, 2017 5:00 AM

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, announced on Wednesday that a federal grant has been awarded to Penn State to assist low-income students in their pursuit of advanced degrees.

The $313,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will provide funding for Penn State's Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement program, a federal TRIO program for disadvantaged students. Participants in the McNair program are first-generation college students with financial need or come from a traditionally underrepresented group in graduate education and demonstrate strong potential.

The McNair program aims to increase the number of students from underrepresented segments who go on to earn doctoral degrees.

“Participation in the McNair Scholars Program is a life-changing experience for many students,” Thompson said in a release. “Affording greater opportunities to low-income and first-generation students who have shown great promise in the pursuit of advanced education will help serve our community and country. Whether participants continue in academia or the private sector, a relatively small investment in a McNair Scholar is a great investment in America’s future.”

Thompson is a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and a member of the Congressional TRIO Caucus.

"The McNair Scholars Program has become critically important to the Penn State Graduate School efforts to recruit talented, first-generation, low-income students, and underrepresented students to our graduate programs,” said Regina Vasilatos-Younken, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School at Penn State.

“In fact, this program has become an integral partner in the efforts of all major research universities to attract and train the future educators, academic and private sector researchers who are critical to U.S. discovery and innovation, and thought leaders of the United States. We are appreciative of Congressman Thompson's support for the McNair program."

According to the Department of Education, the program provides funding to help eligible students prepare for doctoral studies through participation in research and other scholarly activities. Participating institutions work closely with participants as they complete undergraduate studies and encourage them to enroll in graduate programs, then track their progress through completion of advanced degrees.

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