Educational Planning & Counseling
All scholars will meet with the McNair Program staff to complete a Personal Educational Plan (PEP). This information helps us track your progress and provides valuable program information for annual report documentation (required by the Department of Education). Information about honors, awards, scholarships, and scores from graduate admission tests should be submitted to the McNair office as soon as you are aware of them.
It is important that you maintain an outstanding grade point average. If there is some danger of your GPA dropping below 3.0, you will be provided with a tutor in the subject area in which you need assistance. You should contact the McNair Program staff if you require tutorial services (the earlier in the semester, the better). Also, you may receive paid tutoring from another scholar in the program. If you have experience tutoring in a particular subject area and you would be willing to tutor another McNair scholar, inform the Program staff.
Laptop Loan, Technology Resources, & Program Library
The McNair Program loans out laptops to Scholars. Contact the McNair Program Office to checkout a laptop. Other equipment is available for McNair Scholars' use upon request. This includes a printer, camcorder, and video projector (these can only be used in-house, and not checked out). Also available for McNair Scholars are graduate school catalogs, financial aid books, resource material: educational journals, McNair newsletters and journals from around the country, and books on subjects such as getting into and getting the most out of graduate school, writing papers and personal statements, and internship opportunities.
Graduate School Preparation
The McNair Scholars Program assists scholars with graduate school preparation, including finding the right graduate school, completing application forms, and researching funding opportunities. Through the McNair Scholars Program, you'll learn how to negotiate the application process, write a statement of purpose, and construct a curriculum vita.
Graduate Application Fee Waiver
Hundreds of schools all over the country offer benefits to McNair scholars, including a Graduate School Application Fee Waiver. When you apply to one of these schools, include in your application materials a "CERTIFICATION OF MCNAIR PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND REQUEST FOR ADMISSION APPLICATION FEE WAIVER," signed by UNL's McNair Program Director (fee waiver form).
Find out which schools offer these (and other) benefits with the Council for Opportunity in Education list of fellowships and application fee waivers
Graduate Record Exam Fee Reduction Waiver
GRE fee reduction waivers are available for ten seniors and will be distributed based on need and eligibility. GRE Fee waivers also are available in the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office. This exam is required as part of the admissions process by many Masters and Ph.D. granting programs. Since many graduate programs require all application materials to be submitted by February, it would benefit all those applying to graduate schools to take the GRE as soon after the McNair Summer Research Experience as possible.
The GRE is primarily a multiple-choice test that graduate schools use for admission of students into their graduate programs. To help you prepare for the GRE, you will be given a practice GRE exam that will be scored, then used to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will meet individually with a McNair Program staff member to review the results of the pre-test. In a follow-up session, you will be given an overview of the GRE and strategies you can use to maximize your performance on the exam. Additionally, the McNair Program Resource Room has several laptops devoted to the GRE at which you can practice problem sets and have an opportunity to work with a McNair staff member to address weaknesses.
As with any testing situation, last minute cramming is unlikely to help. Instead, it's useful to begin preparing months ahead. Each Scholar will be provided a GRE preparation books with a CD containing full-length practice exams. This handbook offers information about the structure of the tests, answering procedures, explanations of correct answers for verbal and quantitative questions, sample writing responses with scores, scoring information, a math review, and test-taking strategies.
The McNair Scholars Program will also provide you a pre-test assessment of your strengths and areas for improvement.
The following information will help guide you if you decide to devote some time to prepare for the test:
- Familiarize yourself with the test format at least six months before the exam.
- Learn the directions in advance. If you already know what to do for each question type, you won't have to waste precious test time reading instructions. You'll be able to jump right in and start answering questions as soon as the test begins. The directions are always the same.
- Test yourself with a practice exam before studying to help you to identify your weaknesses.
- Use the following strategy: study, practice, study, practice, etc. — and during the practices, time yourself.
- Work with the McNair Program staff to develop a plan to take the GRE.