Richmond Home

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I be a Bonner Scholar?

Aside from working with an amazing group of students, getting paid for community service, and priority class registration, the Bonner Scholars Program (BSP) builds leaders. The skills students learn and experiences students have at their internship sites allow them to learn, develop and grow.

The BSP connects students with opportunities on-campus and in the community that they would be unable to find with any one organization. BSP staff act as a support network while students are at school, providing encouragement and guidance as students navigate their years at the University.

How do I balance 10 hours of community engagement per week with academics?

Academics come first. Time management is a crucial part of college and the Bonner Scholars Program helps you develop that competency. Classes, homework, exercise, meetings, social activities, and managing 10 hours of Bonner obligations each week become part of your daily routine. 

If I can't complete 10 hours a week, will I be asked to leave the program?

Bonner Scholars are required to serve 120-130 hours a semester, which is 10 hours a week during 12-13 weeks each semester. 

Since city organizations rely on Bonner Scholars for work and since students are paid for their service, Bonner Scholars Program staff expect students to meet all requirements.

We are also aware that there are pressing circumstances that arise that prevent students from completing all of their hours. Students with extenuating circumstances meet and talk with a BSP staff member to address their unique situations.

Will I still have time to participate in other on-campus activities?

Bonner Scholars are involved in all kinds of activities, from athletic teams, to academic clubs and organizations, to other service organizations and Greek life. Bonner Scholars are campus leaders. 

Bonner Scholars attend lectures, participate in social activities, and play sports. Bonner Scholars have a unique opportunity to learn about and participate in a number of great on-campus activities that count towards BSP training and enrichment hours.

Is it possible to have a summer job and do summer service?

Paid summer internships are 280-hours over the course of at least seven weeks. Summer service is required for two of the three summers and should be completed at an approved nonprofit organization.

Students are permitted to work at a nonprofit in the summer that pays in addition to the stipend they will receive from BSP, so long as they inform the organization that they are already being paid.

Lastly, since summer internships are paid - $5,500 spread out over two summers - most students do not seek additional employment. 

Will I be able to get another job on top of my BSP service?

Some Bonner Scholars qualify for Federal Work-Study (FWS) and their BSP service hours count for FWS hours. With that said, Bonner Scholars are able to get another job if necessary, but it is not encouraged by the BSP staff, so that students can devote sufficient time to the Program, academics, and other activities.

Can I quit if I don't like it?

We expect students will honor their commitment. Some Bonner Scholars go on leave for a semester if they have extenuating circumstances and remain in good standing with BSP. 

Will potential employers recognize the program when I'm applying for jobs after school?

The Bonner Scholars Program is a national program that has existed since 1993. Alumni work in all sectors around the globe and BSP has good name recognition. 

Is the program for need-based or merit-only applicants?

The Bonner Scholars Program admits both need-based and merit applicants. All applicants must complete the applications for need-based financial aid.