Each spring, the Bonner Program at Washington and Lee selects 10 incoming first-year students who have a passion for affecting positive change in society. (Rising sophomores are also invited to apply.) While all students with an interest in meaningful and significant service are invited to apply, most students must demonstrate financial need as evidence by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Scholarship Service (CSS). In order to recognize that need, applicants should submit a FAFSA report and a CSS form with W&L's Financial Aid Office (if one is not already on record).
Once a student is selected and enrolls in the Bonner Program, he or she commits to a series of expectations. Each Bonner is expected to:
- make community service and leadership development a priority;
- attend a Bonner orientation prior regular undergraduate pre-orientation trips and orientation. Bonners will have the opportunity to attend a pre-orientation trip, allowing them to meet with other incoming W&L students and learn about other aspects of W&L culture;
- complete at least 280 hours of community service and leadership training during the academic year;
- complete at least two, full-time summer service internships;
- attend regular meetings and skill and leadership development activities;
- participate in a student developmental model that challenges and supports each Bonner Scholar to develop her or his skills, knowledge, commitments, and responsibilities; and,
- commit to working with a group of diverse but similarly engaged students.