Prospective Students

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 one full-time and one part-time summers of service;
  • 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.

Apply to be a Bonner

The application process is competitive and highly selective. Bonners are chosen based on their demonstrated leadership potential, interest in service, and financial need. Ten Bonners will be selected each year from incoming students and rising sophomores.

All students with an interest in meaningful and significant service are encouraged to apply. Most students selected must demonstrate financial need as evidenced by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Scholarship Service (CSS). So that this need will be considered in the selection process, applicants who expect they have need are encouraged to file a FAFSA form and/or CSS profile with W&L's Financial Aid Office prior to the February 15 need-based financial aid deadline. Please do NOT submit any financial records (e.g., tax forms, FAFSA, etc.) to the Bonner Scholars Office.

While prospective students who have applied to W&L may apply to the Bonner Program, only those students who have been accepted by the University will be considered for the Bonner Program.

Materials may be mailed to:
Washington and Lee University
Bonner Program
Mattingly House 307
204 W. Washington St.
Lexington, VA, 24450-2116

Applications may also be e-mailed to charleym@wlu.edu. E-mail submissions should be sent as attachments in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.

Applications must be received by April 28th, 2017.