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The College of St. Scholastica

TRIO McNair Scholars Program

The TRIO McNair Scholars program inspires and empowers first generation students with financial need and underrepresented students of color to succeed in doctoral study and advanced careers through an equitable and inclusive community engaged in research, scholarship and comprehensive personal development at the undergraduate level.


Am I eligible to join the TRIO McNair Scholars program?

The TRIO McNair Scholars program provides educational access and success for income-eligible first generation students and underrepresented students of color. Federally-funded by the U.S. Department of Education, McNair participants must meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident; and
  • Enrolled in an institution of higher education with the intention of completing a Bachelor’s degree; and
  • Be an income-eligible first-generation student*;
  • Be a member of a group underrepresented in graduate education (African American, Native American, Pacific Islander, Alaska Native, or of Hispanic heritage).

If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact Julian Vela at or Tower Hall, Room 2139.

STEM majors, sophomores, and TRIO alumni are especially encouraged to apply! The McNair program serves students from The College of St. Scholastica as well as students from Lake Superior College and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College who intend to transfer to CSS or another local institution.

*Income eligibility based on this taxable income chart. First-generation student means neither natural/adoptive parent has completed a Bachelor’s degree.

Application Components

How do I apply?

Please review McNair eligibility information prior to applying.

Then follow these steps:

  1. Complete your applicant information.
  2. Complete income documentation (McNair will provide the form).
  3. Complete your personal statement.
  4. Submit an unofficial transcript to or Tower Hall 2139.
  5. Complete an interview with McNair staff.

McNair applications are opened at the beginning of each academic year. Priority is given to complete applications submitted by October 15th although applications are accepted on a rolling basis. If you have any questions, concerns, or require accommodations, please email our office at

Activities as a Scholar

What will I learn?

The McNair program provides comprehensive learning and support designed to inspire and empower you to succeed in graduate study and an advanced career, including:

  • Research with a faculty mentor.
  • Scholarly activities such as presenting your research.
  • Seminars and other educational activities.
  • One-on-one advising.

In addition, participants have access to resources such as:

  • Summer research stipends.
  • Summer housing.
  • Travel funds.
  • GRE test prep materials.
  • Application fee waivers and reductions.
  • Tutoring.

Grant Information

Grant # ~ P217A170051

This TRIO McNair Scholars Program is federally funded at $283,397 annually through the U.S. Department of Education.

Student Support Services – TRIO

Student Support Services (SSS) is a 100% federally funded TRIO Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education ($338,973 annually). The College of St. Scholastica SSS program serves 175 SSS students each year and provides free services to eligible students. The federal TRIO programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes seven outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

Eligibility, Application and Services


You May be Eligible if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen, national or meet the residency requirements for federal student financial assistance
  • Neither of your parents graduated from a four-year college or
  • You have documented financial need or
  • You have a documented disability and
  • You have academic need

Please note that SSS services are designed to serve undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree who are attending classes on the Duluth campus. Extended Site and Online students should speak with a TRIO staff person if interested in services.



Apply Online

There are 2 steps when applying online. Both steps must be completed before your application will be considered for the program. Applications will be reviewed in June.

Step 1: Personal Information Form

Fill out the Personal Information Form to apply for the 21/22 school year.

Step 2: Income Verification Form

Complete the Income Verification Form. If you would prefer to use an alternative method for income verification, email

Once you complete both steps, SSS will reach out to you!

Other Ways to Apply

If you don’t want to apply online, you can either visit our office in Tower Hall, Room 2150 to pick up an application or we can send you a paper application (email


Email or call 218-723-6594.

Services and Objectives


SSS offers free services in the following four areas: academic support, career guidance, personal development, and financial literacy. The purpose of our services is to increase the number of SSS eligible students who graduate from college.


The SSS program at The College of St. Scholastica has set the following retention, graduation, and academic progress objectives in an effort to help meet this purpose.

  • Retention: 77% of SSS participants will be retained (or will have graduated) each year at The College of St. Scholastica.
  • Graduation: 50% of each SSS cohort will graduate within 6 years from The College of St. Scholastica.
  • Academic Progress: 86% of SSS participants will remain in good standing at The College of St. Scholastica.