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Bonner Scholars Program

Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve 

Each year, 25 students are selected to make a four-year commitment to being active citizens in the city of Richmond. Bonner Scholars are matched with nonprofits, schools, and government agencies that align with their interests in social issues and, for four years, intern 10 hours a week at one organization in exchange for financial assistance. In addition to the professional skills Bonner Scholars develop through their paid internships, they also participate in on-campus reflective exercises and educational programming to understand difference, power, and privilege; deepen their thinking about complex social issues; and prepare for active citizenship.

Financial Support

In exchange for their work at nonprofits, Bonner Scholars earn:

  • $2,500 annual stipend ($10,000 total)
  • $5,500 stipend for two 280-hour summer internships at nonprofits
  • $2,000 upon graduation to repay student loans or fund future education 
  • Financial aid package that commits to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need

Over the course of four years, Bonner Scholars earn $15,500, paid in installments, for their internship hours. Additionally, Bonner Scholars who are Federal-Work Study eligible can earn additional income. 

Internship Organizations

The Bonner Scholars Program is committed to sustained and meaningful engagement with nonprofits, schools, and government agencies. Capacity-building is a hallmark of these partnerships. Bonner Scholars embrace new learning opportunities while becoming advocates and allies of their organization and bring consistent and thoughtful assistance to our communities.

Visit the CCE's Community Relationships Map and select the Bonner Scholars Program to see organizations at which Bonner Scholars intern. 

Apply Now!

Bonner Scholars Application

Any prospective student can apply to be a Bonner Scholar regardless of merit or demonstrated financial need. However, the mission of the Bonner Scholars Program is to provide low-income, under-represented college students the opportunity to attend college while engaging their talents and learning in support of communities. All applicants must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible.

From their first day on campus, Bonner Scholars become part of a supportive community that is active in the Richmond region. As part of this community, Bonner Scholars:

  • Integrate with the Greater Richmond and global communities through paid internships.
  • Enroll in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies Justice and Civil Society course, which provides a strong academic foundation for their community experiences.
  • Gain financial stability in the form of monthly stipends, a strong financial aid package, and money to reduce loans upon graduation.
  • Develop a network of campus leaders who are active citizens.
faculty, drawn from all five schools, have taught First-Year Seminars
Bonner Scholars
(25 per Class Year)
faculty, drawn from all five schools, have taught First-Year Seminars
Pell-Grant-Eligible Students
faculty, drawn from all five schools, have taught First-Year Seminars
U.S. Students of Color
faculty, drawn from all five schools, have taught First-Year Seminars
International Citizens
faculty, drawn from all five schools, have taught First-Year Seminars
First-Generation Students

Student Stories