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MentorNet FAQ

General Info: What is MentorNet?

MentorNet, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a virtual mentoring organization leveraging technology to match STEM students in higher education with professionals working in STEM fields. MentorNet seeks to provide ALL STEM students in the United States with access to effective mentorships in a vibrant community committed to student persistence and success. Our new scalable platform for mentoring combines the technology of social networks with the social science of mentoring.

General Info: What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

General Info: What is a mentor?

A mentor is partly a coach, leader, advisor, counselor, teacher, guide, and friend but none of these alone or completely. MentorNet is designed to help the mentor give the mentee a taste of the real world in the career they’ve chosen and help get on the path to it.  For more information please refer to our training. 

General Info: How does this program work?

See How it Works for a written description or check out this video!

General Info: How much time do I need to spend for this program?

Prior participants estimate they spent 15-20 minutes per week on average. However, it’s common for interactions to take more time at the beginning of the mentorship. Over the first few weeks, you will likely a little extra time getting to know each other. This time investment will allow you to be more efficient with time throughout the relationship.

General Info: As a mentee how can I benefit from this program?

You will likely gain knowledge, skills, and tips about challenges you face in your education or future career. Hopefully, your mentor’s advice and perspectives will increase your self-confidence and support your success. MentorNet will also provide you with the ability to develop a personal network of professional contacts, that will support you throughout your career and make job hunting easier when the time comes.

General Info: As a mentor how can I benefit from this program?

Most mentors in our program want to volunteer their time as a chance to “give back.” Sometimes they were mentored in their early career and would like the opportunity to mentor and have their own mentee.

General Info: How much does it cost for students to join?

Nothing! The program is FREE for all students working towards a STEM degree at accredited universities and colleges in the United States. The simplest way to join is with a verifiable .edu email address.

General Info: Do mentors get paid through this program?

No. This is a volunteer-based mentoring program that focuses on developing the skills of both mentees and mentors.

General Info: Is MentorNet restricted to certain kinds of people?

MentorNet provides mentoring opportunities for ALL Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students in the United States. We are not able to provide mentoring services for other majors, students studying outside the United States, or students in non-accredited programs.

General Info: I live outside of the United States, can I participate in your program?

Currently we are serving U.S. based students. Mentors must be located in the U.S. to participate.

General Info: Can I participate if I am a U.S. student who is studying abroad?

Yes. You will list your U.S. university or college on your profile, and use a verifiable .edu email address to create your MentorNet account.

General Info: Is MentorNet only for undergraduate students?

No. MentorNet mentees can also be graduate students, including both masters and Ph.D. students. Mentees must be at least 18 years old to participate.

General Info: Why are you collecting so much personal information?

We are collecting this information to generate the best match possible through our matching algorithm. In addition, we collect demographic information in order to be able to describe the characteristics of our participants to the public, funding agencies, and donors. We also may use your responses to customize discussion prompts for your match and to help us learn about how to improve our programs over time allowing us to better serve diverse populations.

General Info: Is my information private?

Yes, see our Privacy Policy for more information. 

General Info: Is my mentorship private?

Yes, see our Privacy Policy for more information.

General Info: My organization is interested in a closed community mentorship platform, do you offer this service?

Yes, for a fee your organization can have a customizable platform for your community.  For more info contact

General Info: I am a mentor and I was able to sign up with How come I haven’t received any emails from MentorNet?

Google email addresses with “+” tags are not supported on our platform. Please be sure to use an email address that does not contain tags to ensure all mail is delivered.

Profile/Pre-Match: As a mentee, why do I need to verify a .edu email address?

We are not able to provide mentoring services for students studying outside the U.S. Therefore, we must be able to verify your status as a U.S. STEM student through our process using .edu email verification.

Profile/Pre-Match: What if my school does not have a .edu email address?

If your school does not provide .edu email addresses, we need your help to verify your STEM student status. You will have a contact person from your school verify that you are a STEM student.  You will be prompted on how to do this through our Join MentorNet process.

Profile/Pre-Match: Why do my recommendations go away after I send an invitation to a mentor?

As a mentee, you will receive your top 9 recommendations before you send an invitation to a potential mentor. The list goes away purposefully after the invitation is sent. If you receive a decline email, you will be presented with 9 recommendations again.

Mentoring Cycle: How long will my mentorship last?

Each mentoring cycle is 4 months long. You can continue to work with one match partner for 3 full mentoring cycles. Doing so would result in a maximum match duration of 12 months. At the end of each 4 month cycle, the mentee decides whether to invite their current mentor to “re-match” or whether to invite a new mentor. Since the mentor can decline a “re-match” request, both parties must agree on working together longer for the match to be for a longer duration.

Mentoring Cycle: What happens after the 4 month mentorship period?

The mentee will go back to their community page and be presented with 9 recommendations. One of the nine recommendations will be the prior mentor. The mentee will select who to invite for a match or a re-match. The mentor will go back to their community page and wait for an invitation to start a new mentorship.

Mentoring Cycle: Do I have to follow the program?

Our discussion prompts are suggestions. They were designed based on information about roadblocks and challenges faced by STEM students, and are focused on supporting the mentees success at their educational level. However, you and your match partner are free to discuss any topic both individuals are comfortable and willing to discuss. We encourage you to set goals for your mentorship with your partner and to work together to achieve those goals.

Mentoring Cycle: May I have more than one match at a time?

No. It is MentorNet’s goal for each mentee-mentor pair to have a mutually fulfilling mentoring relationship and to provide such an opportunity to as many mentee as possible. Therefore, it is MentorNet’s policy that each mentee shall only be matched with one mentor at a time.

Mentoring Cycle: What if I am unhappy with my match?

It happens for all sorts of reasons. Don’t worry. Email us at and let us know the problem. We can unmatch you and then you can find another match if you wish.