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The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at approximately 186 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. department of Education provides monies to selected institutions through competitive grants as part of its efforts to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups to prepare for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The program is one of eight federal TRIO Programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. 

TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach and support programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programs are targeted to serve and assist first-generation college students with financial need, underrepresented students  in graduate education (i.e. Black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Native American Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native), and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects and a dissemination partnership program to encourage the replication or adaptation of successful practices of TRIO projects at institutions and agencies that do not have TRIO grants. More about TRIO