About Us

The Bonner Scholars Program provides students who have demonstrated outstanding community service with the financial support needed to attend college and continue to be involved in the community. The Bonner Scholarship is available to support needed to attend college and continue to be involved in the community. The Bonner Scholarship is available to students who commit to community service while they attend college. In addition to significant service, most students must demonstrate financial need as evidenced by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


The Bonner Scholars Program was created and implemented by the Bonner Foundation and its partnering campus programs in 2000. The model rests on a four-year intensive commitment by participating students, who also receive a service-based scholarship. Programs have always sought to achieve the same goals: supporting student development, especially through service and community engagement. They have focused on maximizing community impact, and building infrastructure for campus civic engagement. These goals have been encapsulated within the six Common Commitments:

1. Community Building:

The program seeks to establish and sustain a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, shared interests and appreciation of differences. To encompass work on this commitment, phrases like Bonner Love or team building are often used. In addition, participants seek to build relationships through a sense of community in intentional ways, for instance through icebreakers and other activities, social events, and bonding experiences.

2. Civic Engagement:

This commitment begins with the decision to participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, and includes direct service, voting, and affecting the ways in which public policy is shaped.

3. Diversity

Through an intentional focus on diversity, the Foundation explores, respects, and embraces the many dimensions of differences in identity and experiences within our private and public lives. Building and implementing service and leadership activities that are inclusive and provide opportunity to individuals from a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, lifestyles, religious beliefs, ethnicities, and other dimensions is a key part of the program.

4. International Perspective:

Exploring and developing an international and intercultural understanding enables program participants and stakeholders to interact successfully in a global society. Since the founding of the Bonner Scholars Progra in 1990, the program has included an openness to students’ service in international settings, as well as the inclusion of international students as Bonner Scholars. Additionally, Bonners are increasingly participating in study abroad opportunities during the academic year as well as pursuing full-time internships in international organizations and settings.

5. Social Justice:

The Foundation advocates for fairness, impartiality, and equality while address systemic social and environmental issues.

6. Spiritual Exploration:

The Bonner Foundation is committed to exploring personal beliefs while respecting the practices of others. This commitment seeks to foster a spirit of cooperation and understanding that can help us better serve our communities.