Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS)

Bonner Selection and Recruitment


The application process for the Bonner Scholars Program is competitive and highly selective. Each year, 15 students are chosen as 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. Successful candidates are chosen based upon their:

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

Once applications are received, they are screened by an advisory committee composed of:

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

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

Finalists are selected based on their successful participation in Bonner Preview Weekend. This includes a series of planned group activities, a face-to-face interview and final consideration of  the  following selection criteria:

  • Has secured admission to Berea College
  • Has demonstrated significant community service through school, faith community or in the home community
  • Has demonstrated a commitment to making connections between service initiatives, personal and academic life
  • Has demonstrated willingness to engage and explore the Bonner Common Commitments

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