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McNair Scholars Program-Feedback

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Hi everyone,

I am a senior psychology major (applying for I-O psychology Ph.D program for Fall 2013) and I just found out that I got accepted into the McNair Scholars Program! I am really excited about this opportunity and was wondering if there are fellow McNair students/alumni out there that would be willing to provide some feedback on their experiences. More specifically:

  • What were the most important things you gained from McNair going into graduate school?
  • How has being a McNair scholar benefitted you during graduate school?
  • Has anyone obtained the McNair fellowship during grad school?
  • How is McNair perceived by adcomms?
  • Anything else you feel like I would benefit by knowing/doing as I start the program?

Thanks in advance for any/all feedback!

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I participated in the McNair scholars program and enjoyed my experience. I think the most valuable part was being able to participate in the summer research institute and receiving a grant for my research through that program. I received lots of application fee waivers to graduate programs because of the McNair membership, and I have found a few grad programs I applied to have fellowships specifically for McNair students.

Overall, it was great experience, and I would highly recommend you get involved and apply to participate in the summer research program if one is offered by the McNair program at your school.

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That's great to hear! Yes, I will participate in the summer research program this summer and present at UC-Berkeley. Did you feel as if McNair gave you any kind of edge in the grad school application process?

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I really don't have any idea whether it gave me an edge in the admissions process. It is a subtly way to identify yourself as a minority, which may be favorable for programs looking for diversity. Also, sometimes your McNair coordinators may have contacts in your department at other programs so perhaps this networking could be useful. I also recommend going to the national McNair conference.

At my school, they also offered a free Kaplan GRE prep course to McNair students, which would be great if you havent already taken the exam.

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I am a McNair Scholar and there are lots of benefits depending on your school. In general, most of your applications will be free, and once you get in McNair will give you money if they have McNair at that school.

My School:

- Summer Research

- Several Conference Opportunities

- McNair paid for travel etc for conferences

- Turned me on to SROP

- Extensive research training

- Grad School support group (lol your cohort, we stuck together, and we go to each other with our anxiety from grad school app process)

- Outstanding letters of recommendation

- Notify you of all opportunities, scholarships, funding

- GRE bootcamp (all summer and free!)

- Personal Statement (work on it all summer, many many many revisions)

- Research Statement (work all summer on it)

- Make CVs and Resumes

- Meet ppl like you who are trying to get to grad school

- Possibility of awards if your research wins 1st, 2nd, or 3rd

- McNair Publication!

McNair definitely gave me an edge because it is meant for first time generation minority students and many schools love to brag on their diversity, but also RESEARCH period gives you an edge for PhD programs because everyone that applies does not have research experience or conference experience. I am a proud McNair scholar because there are so many things that I would not have known if I were not apart of the program and I truly believe that if it wasnt for the program I might not have been a competitive applicant for grad school regardless of my great gpa, community service, and participation in clubs/organizations/sorority.

Last thought: McNair was my gateway program to everything grad school, it lead me to do my second summer research at UIUC, funding, great gre scores, perfecting my statements, research and conference experience, identifying my research interests, and improved my confidence for grad school.

My advice: take full advantage of the program if you want to receive all the benefits. When they ask who wants to volunteer to present in Texas or Florida, volunteer! Get to know the program director (mine is well known nationally and she wrote one of my letters). Tell them your ambitions, so that they can tell you when they hear of things that might help you reach your goal. Congratulations, you'll love McNair!

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I am a McNair Scholar and there are lots of benefits depending on your school. In general, most of your applications will be free, and once you get in McNair will give you money if they have McNair at that school.

My School:

- Summer Research

- Several Conference Opportunities

- McNair paid for travel etc for conferences

- Turned me on to SROP

- Extensive research training

- Grad School support group (lol your cohort, we stuck together, and we go to each other with our anxiety from grad school app process)

- Outstanding letters of recommendation

- Notify you of all opportunities, scholarships, funding

- GRE bootcamp (all summer and free!)

- Personal Statement (work on it all summer, many many many revisions)

- Research Statement (work all summer on it)

- Make CVs and Resumes

- Meet ppl like you who are trying to get to grad school

- Possibility of awards if your research wins 1st, 2nd, or 3rd

- McNair Publication!

McNair definitely gave me an edge because it is meant for first time generation minority students and many schools love to brag on their diversity, but also RESEARCH period gives you an edge for PhD programs because everyone that applies does not have research experience or conference experience. I am a proud McNair scholar because there are so many things that I would not have known if I were not apart of the program and I truly believe that if it wasnt for the program I might not have been a competitive applicant for grad school regardless of my great gpa, community service, and participation in clubs/organizations/sorority.

Last thought: McNair was my gateway program to everything grad school, it lead me to do my second summer research at UIUC, funding, great gre scores, perfecting my statements, research and conference experience, identifying my research interests, and improved my confidence for grad school.

My advice: take full advantage of the program if you want to receive all the benefits. When they ask who wants to volunteer to present in Texas or Florida, volunteer! Get to know the program director (mine is well known nationally and she wrote one of my letters). Tell them your ambitions, so that they can tell you when they hear of things that might help you reach your goal. Congratulations, you'll love McNair!

Wow, that sounds so exciting! Thank you for the feedback. I will definitely make the most of it :)

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