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Parent FAQs

Q. Can more than one student in the family apply to and participate in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program?

A. Yes, we’ve had several siblings in the program.

Q. What is MARC U*STAR?

A. MARC is an acronym for Minority Access to Research Careers. U*STAR stands for Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research. It is a NIH grant-funded program for juniors and seniors who plan to pursue Ph.D.s in the biomedical sciences or mathematics.

Q. How are AP/IB courses addressed?

A. Meyerhoff Scholars are required to take all math, science, and engineering courses for their major, even if they received AP/IB credit for the course. Establishing a foundation for UMBC math/science courses is critical. Students may opt out of non-science courses and use their AP/IB credits for classes outside of math and science. In either case, the credits for AP/IB courses will show on the student’s UMBC transcript.

Q. Can students change their major once in the program?

A. Yes, as long as they remain in a math, science, engineering, or computer science major.

Q. Can a Meyerhoff Scholar be involved in other studies such as music and the humanities?

A. Yes, as long as their primary focus is math, science, engineering, or computer science.

Q. Is a fifth year, if needed, supported?

A. Students can request a fifth year of funding, but it is not guaranteed.

Q. Is the Meyerhoff scholarship a contract or a pure scholarship?

A. The Meyerhoff Scholars Program is not solely a financial arrangement. Meyerhoff Scholars are part of a program which provides academic advising, assistance with internship and graduate school applications, and any other assistance needed to ensure success at UMBC. There is a contractual agreement that is signed. Scholars are required to attend mandatory program meetings, maintain a 3.0gpa, remain in an approved major, apply for graduate school/interrnships, and meet other program requirements.

Q. What is the financial obligation of the parents?

A. Students/parents are responsible for payment of application, enrollment, orientation and matriculation fees, housing deposits, books, supplies, transportation, other educational expenses, and billed charges beyond their scholarship/financial aid awards.

Q. What happens if my child loses the scholarship? Is he or she still considered a Meyerhoff?

A. Once a Meyerhoff, always a Meyerhoff. If a student loses their funding, full support is still provided by Meyerhoff staff. They may also petition to be financially reinstated after their status returns to good standing and their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better for more than one semester.

Q. What is the significance of Summer Bridge? Why is it mandatory?

A. To allow students to become acclimated to UMBC and the rigors of university level courses before the semester begins. Summer Bridge includes math, science, and humanities coursework, training in analytical problem-solving, group study, and social and cultural events.

Q. Is community service mandatory?

A. Yes. All Meyerhoff Scholars participate in community service activities with their cohort.

Q. Why are students discouraged from going home every weekend?

A. The students’ academic support system is on campus and studying needs to occur seven days a week. More often than not, when students are at home, they either do not study or are not as focused as when they are on campus. Also, study groups are highly encouraged and this cannot occur when a student is at home.

Q. Is travel/study abroad available in this program?

A. Yes, students have traveled to England, Japan, Hungary, France, and Brazil, among other locations. Advance approval must be obtained.

Q. Is taking classes elsewhere (another college) for a semester permitted?

A. Students are allowed to take classes elsewhere during the summer or winter sessions. We have had students study at Brown University, Brandeis University, and abroad for a semester or year.

Q. How are summer and winter breaks addressed?

A. During the summer, students are required to participate in an internship or take classes. During winter break students may do as they please.

Q. What kind of social activities are allowed or recommended?

A. Any social activities that will not have a negative impact on grades or focus are permitted.

Q. What is the staff support for the students?

A. There are eight Meyerhoff staff members who provide full support for the students in everything from academics, mentor matching, internships and graduate school placement to personal growth and development.

Q. What is the support system for academic help?

A. Students discuss academics with Program advisors and receive assistance from other students, tutorial centers, professors, and Teaching Assistants (TA’s).

Q. What is our (parent) involvement with the program?

A. Parent support of and trust in the Meyerhoff Staff are important. The MPA exists to coordinate parent involvement with the staff; your participation is encouraged.

Q. What is the MPA? How can we become involved?

A. The MPA is the Meyerhoff Parent Association. The Board meets on the third Saturday of each month (except July and August) to develop plans for supporting the Meyerhoff Staff and working in conjunction with the Meyerhoff Student Council. Parent involvement is highly encouraged; regular communication takes place via email and the online UMBC Parent Connection.

Q. Will I be notified if my child is in academic or other difficulty?

A. By law, the Program Staff cannot discuss grades with parents unless the student has given their consent (written or verbal). Parents are strongly encouraged to develop and maintain strong lines of communication with their students regarding their academic progress and success.

Q. May I receive my child’s grades?

A. Students receive their grades through my.umbc.edu. By law, the Program Staff cannot share grades with parents.

Q. To what extent do Meyerhoff Scholars interact with the general population of UMBC?

A. They live, take classes, eat, and socialize with the general UMBC population. Our students are UMBC students who happen to be Meyerhoff Scholars as well.

Q. Are there specific classes that Meyerhoffs must take?

A. No, they are UMBC students who must take the classes required for their major and general UMBC requirements.

Q. Are Meyerhoff Scholars housed together? Are there specific restrictions or curfews for Meyerhoff students?

A. All Meyerhoff Scholars are required to live in campus housing during matriculation at UMBC. Freshman year, all Meyerhoff Scholars live in Susquehanna Hall. After that, they are free to live anywhere on campus they choose. Only during Summer Bridge are there restrictions or curfews for Meyerhoffs.

Q. What are the significant accomplishments of previous Meyerhoff Scholars?

A. Meyerhoff Scholars have published in major scientific journals, presented their research at conferences nationwide, have had impressive research-based internships at laboratories throughout the U.S. and abroad (NASA, NIH, NSA, Cornell, University of Michigan, UCSF, CalTech, IBM, Stanford, University of Toronto), and are in graduate schools across the country (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke, NYU, MIT, UC Berkeley). Our students also receive local and national recognition.

Q. Who should be contacted for more information?

A. Feel free to contact the Meyerhoff Office at 410-455-3139.

Q. What is the history of the program? Who is Meyerhoff?

A. The Meyerhoff Scholars Program was created at UMBC in 1988 with a substantial grant from the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Foundation to address the shortage of African Americans, especially black males, who successfully pursue careers in science and engineering. The program is open now to all high-achieving high school seniors who have an interest in pursuing doctoral study in science, mathematics, engineering, or computer science. We invite you to learn more about the program, its history, and its founders.

Q. How many apply for the program; how many are invited; how many are selected?

A. On average, 500-600 applications are received for a class of 50-60 students. Approximately 200 are invited for Selection Weekends.

Q. What is the mission of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program?

A. The program is for students majoring in math, science, engineering, or computer science and who plan to get their Ph.D.s or combined M.D./Ph.D.s to become research scientists; therefore, research is strongly encouraged and will prepare them for graduate studies.

Q. Is working towards a Ph.D. mandatory?

A. Students must work toward a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in mathematics, natural science, physics, engineering, or computer science.

Q. Is this a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program?

A. This is a B.S. program that prepares students to enter Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. programs. The Meyerhoff Scholars Program is not for students whose sole interest is to attend medical school and earn an M.D. degree.

Q. Is the Meyerhoff Scholars Program a minority program? If so, does it include Asians?

A. The program is not race-based and includes students from all ethnic backgrounds.

Q. Do Meyerhoff Scholars have to be in the UMBC Honors College?

A. No, the program only accepts graduating high school seniors/freshmen. Although not on scholarship, many students within the general population live, study, and associate with Meyerhoff Scholars.

Q. If a student is not selected to the program upon first application, can he or she apply again?

A. Students interested in the program can apply to become a “Friend of the Program”. Though these students do not receive a financial award, they receive advising and other forms of program support.”