Up to $2,000 will be allocated to reduce each Bonner Scholar’s total educational loan indebtedness at the time of graduation.
To be eligible for the Loan Reduction Award, graduating Bonner Scholars must have met the following requirements:
- Attended first-year orientation;
- Attended sophomore service exchange;
- Completed the school-year hourly service requirement every year in the program;
- Participated in two full-time summer service opportunities (one full-time summer service for replacements who begin in their junior year);
- Participated in a recommitment exercise at the end of second year in the program;
- Completed first-year, midpoint, and graduating Student Impact Surveys;
- Participated in the Student Development Model;
- Made a senior capstone “presentation of learning and service impact”;
- Attended a senior exit interview with the director of the Bonner Program;
- Graduated from the college where he/she was a Bonner Scholar.
Individual schools have the option of adding additional requirements or waiving one or more of these requirements, with approval from the Bonner Foundation.
Students who graduate without educational loans will be allowed to use their loan reduction funds towards graduate school. This option must be used within seven years of graduation.
The Loan Reduction Fund should be disbursed through a college check to the lender or graduate school on behalf of the student.
For replacement Bonner Scholars, loan reduction will be calculated by subtracting $250 per missed semester from the maximum of $2,000.
Bonner Scholars who take an extra semester or more to graduate will still be eligible for the Loan Reduction Fund, but not until they receive their diploma. For these students, the loan reduction funds will be included with the semester allocation that follows their actual date of graduation.
In order to request your loan reduction, May graduates should submit the below materials to BSP program staff between April and July:
- Completed Bonner Reflection Questionnaire
- Includes uploading current resume
- Includes listing of all Bonner CLA service sites (list should include the site’s name, length of service, brief description of your experience).
- Completed Loan Reduction Request (unless you are using the funds toward graduate school—see below)
- There are often multiple addresses for loan companies. Please be sure that you have the address where payment is accepted. The P.O. box is really important if they have one.
- If there are multiple loans with the same account number, please indicate the disbursement date and, if applicable, the specific loan number. The loan servicer should be able to provide these details.
- Completed Tuition Payment Request (if you want all or part of your loan reduction applied to graduate school tuition)
- You must be enrolled before funds are released.
The loan reduction will then be processed by August following graduation.
Things to keep in mind:
- If you have a Perkins loan, the college likes students to pay off this loan first, but it is your choice.
- You can split the loan and pay two or three loans if you want. Just send the contact information for each loan company and how much money you want to go to each loan. If you’ll be paying off a loan, you’ll want to ask the loan servicer for the 30-day payoff amount.
- If you are unsure about who owns your Stafford loans, please visit: http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ (You will need your FAFSA pin number.)
- Graduating early does not impact the loan reduction award.
- The payment is sent directly to the loan company or graduate school.
- Students must graduate from Oberlin before the loan reduction can be processed. Thus, if you are a double-degree student or have a ninth semester at Oberlin, the loan reduction payment will not be sent until you graduate.