McNair Scholars

U.S. Department of Education Definitions of Low-Income and First-Generation Students


The term “low-income individual” means an individual whose family’s taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount. Link to the U.S. Department of Education’s current year qualifying taxable income levels: Income Table

Important Note: The TRIO qualifying income level table uses Taxable income. Taxable income is the amount of income that the US Federal Government collects taxes on. This is not the same as Total Income or Adjusted Gross Income.


An individual, neither of whose parents completed a baccalaureate degree;


An individual who, prior to the age of 18, regularly resided with and received support from only one parent and whose supporting parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree.


An individual who, prior to the age of 18, did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or adoptive parent.

If your parent(s) and/or guardian(s) attended college but do not have a bachelor’s degree (i.e., did not graduate), you are considered to be first-generation.

If you have any eligibility questions E-mail or call 206-543-6460.