Apply to be a Bonner Scholar

The application process for the Bonner Scholars Program is competitive and highly selective. Bonner Scholars are chosen from the incoming class of First Year students, and each year only 15 students are selected to join the program. Sophomore-level students can apply to the program if openings become available.

Successful candidates are chosen based upon their commitment to service, demonstrated leadership, interest in exploring the six common commitments of the Bonner Scholars Program (Diversity, International Perspective, Social Justice, Community Building, Civic Engagement, and Spiritual Exploration), demonstrated capacity for effectively working on a team, scholastic ability, and maturity. In addition, the successful candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated significant community service through school or faith group, or in the home community.
  • Demonstrated a commitment to making connections between service initiatives and personal, as well as academic life.
  • Demonstrated the ability to interact well with others in varied situations.

An advisory committee screens applications once they are all received. The committee is composed of:

  • program staff
  • current Bonner Scholars
  • selected Berea College staff and faculty members
  • community partners

In addition to the selection criteria already mentioned, applicants must have secured admission to Berea College and have demonstrated willingness to engage and explore the Bonner Common Commitments:

  • Diversity
  • International Perspective
  • Social Justice
  • Community Building
  • Civic Engagement
  • Spiritual Exploration

You are welcome to send questions to