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How Do I Become a Bonner Scholar?

Application Information/Deadlines
About the Scholarship
Evaluation/Dismissal

Application Information/Deadlines 
To be considered for a Bonner Scholarship, complete and submit ALL FOUR application components by 11:59pm on Sunday, March 1, 2015. 

1.  Apply for admission to Wofford.

2.  Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to Wofford's Financial Aid Office.

3.  Have one or more non-related adults familiar with your maturity, service work, obstacles in life or anything else pertinent complete the recommendation form and letter on your behalf.

4.  Complete the Bonner application (click here) 

You are invited to apply for a Bonner Scholarship at Wofford College. This program offers a small group of students substantial scholarship help, additional financial support, and enrichment activities while attending college. The purpose of the Bonner Scholars Program is to provide scholarships to students for community service while they are in school. The preliminary screening is based on financial need and academic record. A secondary screening is based on past service experience. 

The Bonner Scholars Program will offer as many as 15 students an opportunity to be actively involved in community service projects throughout each school year and during the summers in their hometowns or elsewhere. Bonner Scholars receive substantial grant and scholarship assistance to meet their financial need in full. This makes the dollar value of the awards comparable to some of Wofford's top awards and removes the financial barriers for many students to attend Wofford College.

Each scholar is selected from the incoming freshmen class and is expected to stay involved in the program throughout their four years of college.

Expectations of Bonner Scholars include the following: 

  • Involvement in community service programs for an average of ten hours a week during the school year. Scholars will be allowed to choose from any number of service opportunities in the local community.
  • Completing 280 hours of volunteer work during the summer. (This may be in the scholar's hometown or elsewhere.) There is flexibility in this expectation; scholars will work with the director of Wofford's Bonner Scholars Program to make sure that this is an opportunity and not a restriction.
  • Participation in enrichment activities planned by the college and the Bonner Scholars.
  • Arriving at school before freshman orientation to attend a special Bonner Scholars orientation.
  • Regular meetings with other Bonner Scholars and Bonner Foundation liaison staff officers located on the campus to facilitate the program's success.

Click here to access an application to the program. 

About the Scholarship 
 
volunteer serviceWhat are Bonner Scholarships?
Bonner Scholars are "changing the world through service" at Wofford and 25 other participating institutions. Student volunteers at Wofford receive recognition, support and personal rewards for their efforts. Established by the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation of Princeton, NJ, the Bonner Scholars program allows a student to help others through volunteer service, while offsetting college expenses. Wofford selects 15 students each year to participate in the program. For the students involved, the program combines both "learning to serve and serving to learn" to provide an enriched college experience.

The preliminary screening is based on financial need and academic record. A secondary screening is based on past service experience.

What are the Responsibilities of a Bonner Scholar?Wofford Bonner Scholars will attend an orientation program with other Bonner Scholars just prior to beginning their freshman year. They then participate individually and with groups in on-going service projects throughout the Spartanburg community in such programs as Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, tutoring in elementary schools, or the Rape Crisis Center. Bonners must attend large group meetings once a month. All first year Bonner Scholars will engage in a semester long orientation program in the form of weekly class meetings with the Bonner Coordinator. While in the Bonner Program, each student volunteers for an average of ten hours a week during the school year, in addition to 280 hours during the summer months. The summer portion can be done in the students' home town.

What are the Rewards? Wofford Bonner Scholars receive, first and foremost, the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. They participate in community partnerships, trainings, reflections, social events and a community that all support them in making that positive difference.  They also receive significant scholarships that cover their established need, as well as some summer and travel stipends. 

What are the Requirements?  

  • Apply and become accepted for admission to Wofford College.
  • Demonstrate your financial need through the Financial Aid Office by completing the Federal Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA).
  • Submit a Bonner Scholars application.
  • Provide a letter of support which reflects a commitment to service in the home, school, community or religious organization.

Evaluation/Dismissal 
Much like other scholarships that students receive to attend college (academic, athletic, leadership, etc.), there are guidelines and stipulations that must be met in order to retain a Bonner Scholarship. The process for determining eligibility will be two-fold: a year-end evaluation and site supervisor evaluations.

There will be two Semester-end Evaluations of each Wofford student participating in the Bonner Scholars Program. This will consist of an initial review of the Bonner Scholars' performance by the review committee. Areas to be considered are:

  • Completion of the service requirements set forth by the Bonner Foundation and agreed upon by the Bonner Scholar
     
  • Participation in program events such as meetings and group activities
     
  • The student's academic standing
     
  • Successful completion of written assignments, contracts, and forms 

Any Wofford Bonner who is declared to be in jeopardy of losing his/her place in the Program will then go before the Selection and Appeals Committee. This committee will make the final decision on the student's eligibility for the next year.

There will be two reviews during the year. Evaluations of each Bonner Scholar completed by the service site supervisor, one each for the end of the fall and the spring semesters. In addition, there will be a Summer Evaluation. The Bonner Office will mail these directly to the sites.  These evaluations will be used to enhance the strengths of each Bonner Scholar and to recognize his or her weaknesses. These evaluations will be included in the student's file and will also enter into the year-end evaluation. The primary purpose of the evaluations will not be to determine program eligibility. However, if there is a problem with the performance of a Bonner Scholar, which appears to be uncorrectable, that Bonner Scholar will be sent before the Selection and Appeals committee. The Wofford Bonner Scholars Program reserves the right to terminate a Bonner Scholarship at any time if it is apparent that the guidelines set forth by the Bonner Foundation, and by Wofford College, are not being honored.