Apply to be a Bonner Scholar

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

Selection begins with submission of the application, which includes essay questions and an endorsement letter. Successful candidates are chosen based upon their:

  • commitment to service,
  • demonstrated leadership,
  • scholastic ability, and
  • maturity reflected in the application process.

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, and
  • community partners.

From the initial pool of applicants, approximately 25-30 become semi-finalists who are then invited to campus to learn more about the program. Here, they will interact with current Bonner staff and students.

Finalists are then selected based on their successful participation in Bonner Preview Weekend. This includes a series of planned group activities and a face-to-face interview. In addition to selection criteria already mentioned, applicants must have secured admission to Berea College and have demonstrated willingness to engage and explore the Bonner Common Commitments.

The deadline to apply for the Berea College Bonner Scholars Class of 2022 is Friday, March 9, 2018. Begin your Berea College Bonner Scholars application here!

(Please note: If you submitted an application to the Berea College Bonner Scholars Program prior to January 2018 for the Bonner Scholars Program class of 2022, please check with us to make sure we received your application by emailing us at