August 09, 2022

Van Hollen, Cardin, Hoyer, Mfume Announce Nearly $630,000 to Help Underrepresented Students Pursuing Advanced Degrees

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) announced $629,718 in federal funding through the Department of Education’s highly competitive Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement (MSP) program for the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). This investment will help low-income, first-generation, and disadvantaged students prepare for doctoral and graduate studies through research and other academic activities. 

“We are pleased to announce this funding for UMD and UMBC to help close the racial gap in higher education achievement. This federal investment will support underrepresented students with mentoring programs, additional counseling services, collaborative educational opportunities with their peers, and other activities designed to help students earn their advanced degrees,” the lawmakers said. “Team Maryland is committed to educational equity and will continue to work to secure federal funding for this priority.” 

Award details include:

  • $329,737 for the University of Maryland to serve 32 MSP students
  • $299,981 for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to serve 30 MSP students

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019 more than 64% of graduate degrees were awarded to White individuals while only 13% and 11% were awarded to Black and Hispanic individuals, respectively. The McNair Program’s goal is to close this gap by preparing students from underrepresented groups for doctoral studies through involvement in research and mentorship, among other activities. 

Eligible students will have demonstrated outstanding academic potential and will be selected from all scholarly backgrounds. They will participate in multi-step programs to hone their skills in advanced academic research and analysis. For more information about this grant program please visit