Centre College Bonner Program
The Bonner Program at Centre College is a network of 60 students on campus and thousands nationwide dedicated to alleviating poverty and improving education through active community service and civic engagement. The good work of the Bonner Leaders and Scholars at Centre impacts the community through direct service and advocacy for policy change. The campus as a whole benefits from a culture of service and issue awareness that permeates different social groups and academic interests. Lastly, the students in the program are uniquely transformed through personal and professional growth within the Bonner community.
In 1990, The Bonner Foundation located in Princeton, New Jersey created the first Bonner Scholars Program at Berea College with the mission of providing access to college for students with no means of paying for school and an opportunity for those students to become civically engaged in their communities. Today, Centre is one of eighty-seven American colleges and universities that make up the National Bonner Program. Schools spanning from the northeast to the south and west to California sponsor Bonner Scholar and Leader Programs with the guiding principle of “Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve.”
Students are invited to apply for admission to the Bonner Program as part of the regular admission process to the College. For more information on the application process,
The Centre Bonner Program invites both current and prospective students to apply.
Begin your application to the Bonner Program by completing the Common Application. As part of this regular application to the College, you will see a link to Special Scholarships. All students interested in the Bonner Program should complete the Bonner Scholarship Application and submit their FAFSA to the Office of Admission. Based on information received through this process, students may be selected as either Leaders or Scholars. Notification of acceptance to the Bonner program is generally made in the first week of April.
The Bonner Scholarship is a need-based scholarship. Based on the information that you provide in the Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA), the federal government will assign you an Expected Family Contribution (EFC).The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year. Freshmen Bonner Scholars cannot typically have an EFC of greater than $7500. The Bonner Scholarship is also based on service. As we review applications, we look for students who have been actively engaged in meaningful service to their communities, faith groups, and/or families.
Those students who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to service, the potential for leadership, and the ability to serve as a catalyst for positive change on campus and in our community, will be considered for positions as Bonner Leaders, regardless of financial need. Bonner Leader applicants should still complete the Special Scholarship application and submit the FAFSA.
Bonner Leaders and Bonner Scholars are equally important elements of the Bonner Program at Centre and we welcome your application!
Current students are also encouraged to apply for acceptance into the Bonner Program. Applications for current first-year and sophomore students will be available in the spring of each year. Students should watch Notesworthy, the Weekend Announcements, and for Cowan signs that will invite students to complete the application.
Centre College places high value on student involvement - out-of-the-classroom experiences that provide an opportunity for students to enrich their academic education. The Bonner Scholars Program and varsity athletic sports at the College are both examples of student involvement that enrich the educational experience in this way. In recognition of the significant expectations and demands placed on a student by each of these commitments, students are encouraged to consider carefully their decision to participate in both a varsity athletic sport and the Bonner Scholars Program.