Sunday, June 12, 2011

What is an Underrepresented Minority ("URM") Academic Program?

Q. What is an Underrepresented Minority (URM) Academic Program?

A. An Underrepresented Minority (or "URM") academic program is a scholarship, fellowship, or other academic program for students who are underrepresented in higher education.

In other words, helping underrepresented minorities is a major goal for these programs, and they either give preference or limit access to applicants who are members of minority groups they recognize to be underrepresented.

URM academic programs play a critical role in the work people are doing to close the diploma gap in America. Why? Because they are actively working to help underrepresented minorities help themselves, though financial aid, access to training, and other services. As the underrepresented minority population grows (they accounted for most U.S. population growth in the past decade) closing the education gap isn't just about helping minorities -- it's about helping our nation as a whole.

Most scholarships, fellowships, and other academic programs ARE NOT underrepresented minority academic programs. In fact, URM academic programs make up just a small fraction of the total amount of financial aid available to college students. Still, they play an important role by working to fix a growing national problem.

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