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Bonner Scholars Program

In 1991,The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, based in Princeton, NJ, recognized Concord University's commitment to community outreach and endowed the university with funds to support the Bonner Scholarship Program. The program provides up to 80 students each year with financial scholarships to support academic endeavors at the university. The students then provide support to their communities through service work, in addition to participating in leadership and personal development activities. It is the goal of the program to develop experienced, knowledgeable and committed individuals who recognize the needs of our society and each person's responsibility to serve throughout his or her lifetime.
Program Information

The Bonner Scholar Program was created with the belief that college students engaged in service have unique gifts and talents that bring energy, creativity, and hope to individuals and communities. It is also based on the belief that colleges and universities can and must be a "telling presence" in their local communities. In launching and supporting the Bonner Scholars Program, the Bonner Foundation has entered into a partnership with participating institutions that have made a commitment to  envision new possibilities for campus-community partnerships. 

Once a student enrolls in the Bonner Program, he or she commits to a series of expectations including the following: 

  • Arriving on campus before the regular freshmen orientation to participate in an orientations program designed specifically for new Bonner Scholars;
  • Serving an average of ten hours a week at a community service site during the school year; 
  • Completing at least two full-time summer service internships; 
  • Engaging in a comprehensive placement process for required service work, including establishing service and learning goals and defining methods for achieving these goals; 
  • Attending regular group reflection, enrichment and training activities through which the student will be challenged and supported in developing his or her skills, knowledge, commitments and responsibilities; and
  • Considering ways to integrate his or her academic studies with community service activities. 

Common Commitments

What is at the heart of the Bonner Program? Certainly the goals of the Bonner Program transcend the number of hours served and the amount of financial assistance received. The Bonner Program is committed to engaging and supporting individuals to be involved in thoughtful, meaningful and transformative service activities that benefit all involved. How do we articulate what it means to serve thoughtfully and effectively? 

The Bonner Foundation has engaged in an intensive process of information gathering from students, faculty, administrators, and community members from within and outside the Bonner Community. Through this work, six common commitments have been identified that embody the work of those involved in the Bonner Program. It is clear that these issues are important and active in the daily life of the Bonner community. These commitments are meant to guide and support the direct service and reflection work that we engage in as members of that community. 

  • Social Justice: Advocate for fairness, impartiality and equality while addressing systemic social and environmental issues. 
  • Civic Engagement: Participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in public policy and direct service. 
  • Community-Building: Establish and sustain a vibrant community of place, personal relationships and common interests. 
  • Spiritual Exploration: Explore personal beliefs while respecting the spiritual practices of others. 
  • International Perspective: Develop international understanding that enables individuals to participate successfully and sensitively in a global society.
  • Diversity: Respect and engage the many different dimensions of diversity in our public lives. 

The terms we have used to identify these common commitments are meant to convey a concept and an ideal without providing a final definition to a word. We will move together individually and as a community to explore, develop and engage the notion of common commitments throughout the Bonner Program. 

Financial Benefits

Each Bonner Scholar receives $1250 per semester. These funds are paid directly to the student according to the following schedule: 

Amount of Payment Date of Payment Requirements for Payment
$450 Beginning of semester Student must submit an approved agency agreement in order to receive funds
$400 Mid-semester Student must be up-to-date with all Bonner requirements, have all appropriate paperwork submitted and must attend a scheduled appointment with Bonner Coordinator.
$400 Last day of semester Student must have submitted all documentation and requirements for the semester. There may be deductions if all service requirements or Bonner expectations have not been completed.

Bonner Scholars are expected to complete two summer service internships of at least 280 hours each. For completing each of these summer internships, the student will receive $1500 at the end of each summer of service. 

There are also expense funds available to help students pay for any direct expenses related to their summer internships (food, lodging, travel, etc.) The amount of expense money available for the first summer is $1,000 and any funds not used during this summer will be carried forward to the second summer. During the second summer, the student will have access to another $1,000, plus any funds not used during the first summer. 

There are also additional funding sources established byt the Bonner Foundation that may be available to the student upon application. 

Upon completion of the Bonner Scholars Program as a student in good standing and completing his or her degree requirements, a Bonner Scholar can apply for up to $2000 from the Bonner Foundation. If a student has outstanding school loans these funds must be used for loan repayment. If the student does not have any outstanding loans, then the funds may be used for graduate school expenses. 

Bonner Application Information

To apply for the Bonner scholarship, candidates must complete the application form, submit an essay discussing the impacts of his/her community service, submit a list of all his/her community service/volunteer activities and provide three (3) letters of recommendation. Reference forms are provided; however, references can also be submitted in letter form. Individuals submitting reference material may use the Bonner Scholars Program Reference Form to upload documents. 

All applications are reviewed by our Admissions Committee. The committee members include program staff, current Bonner Scholars, Admissions staff and other campus/community representatives.

CU is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. We offer opportunities based on interests, individual merit, and availability without regard to race, color, age, religion, disability, gender, and national or ethnic origin.

For Incoming Freshman Students

Incoming freshman students must apply for the Bonner Scholarship in the fall prior to entering their freshman year. Applications, as well as all supporting documents and references, must be received by  November 1 for consideration in our first round of scholarship awards. Applications received after November 1 will be reviewed and awards made until all available scholarships have been disbursed.

To be eligible for admission to the Bonner Scholars Program, applicants must also: 

  • Have been approved for admission to the University (includes submission of high school transcripts and test scores such as ACT, SAT and TOEFL)


  • have a FAFSA Report on file with the CU Financial Aid Office

Applicants are encouraged to complete this process as early as possible. Any applicant whose file is incomplete will be ineligible to receive the Bonner scholarship.  


For Current CU Students

Current Students are eligible to apply for the Bonner scholarship as long as they: 

  • have an interest in community service, 
  • have 10 hours a week that can be devoted to service and scholarship activities, 
  • have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA,
  • have at least 2 years of school remaining before completion of degree requirements, and
  • submit a completed Bonner Scholarship Application and provide all supporting materials (personal essay, list of service activities, and three references).

There is no application deadline for current students. We will accept applications at anytime. However, awards are only made at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters as we have openings in our program. Applications will remain on file in the Bonner Office until the student's eligibility has expired.

Contact Information


Kathy S. Ball - Bonner Program Director
Concord University Bonner Scholars Program
PO Box 1000, Campus Box D-131
Athens, WV 24712
Phone: 304.384.6009 or 1.800.344.6679, Ext. 6009
Fax: 304.384.6033

Mary C. Goebel  - Bonner Coordinator
Concord University Bonner Scholars Program
PO Box 1000, Campus Box D-131
Athens, WV 24712
Phone: 304.384.6080
Fax: 304.384.6033