Bonner Service Scholars FAQs

Please contact the Center for Community Engagement at or 757-594-7233 to answer questions.

What is Bonner?

Christopher Newport is part of a national network of colleges and universities that support four-year, service scholarships. The Bonner Program is dedicated to an individual’s development as:

  • a student,
  • an advocate,
  • an engaged citizen
  • and a community leader.

The Bonner Program has three main components:

  • Service: Participate in everything from direct service to program development to policy research. Following a developmental path, Bonners will have the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and responsibility most students do not.
  • Training and Enrichment: Weekly Bonner meetings explore underlying societal issues they may face in the community and provide a space to learn skills necessary to be an effective community leader. Annual cornerstone experiences broaden their perspective and worldview.
  • Relationship Building: Bonners join a family of dedicated, service-minded students. They will develop relationships that offer support and friendship – and allow them to provide collective impact in Newport News and beyond.
How do I apply to be a Bonner Scholar?

To become a CNU Bonner Service Scholar, you must apply in the spring of your senior year of high school. An email is sent to all admitted students with a link to the application, which can also be found here. Each application is reviewed by Center for Community Engagement staff. After reviewing applications, select applicants are invited to interview either on campus or via online meeting platforms. After the interviews are completed, the next cohort of Bonner Service Scholars are selected. All applicants are contacted via email regarding the status of their acceptance by May 1.

When does the application open and close?

The application opens in early February and closes around mid-April.

How many Bonner Scholars are accepted per year?

Up to ten incoming first-years are accepted into the Bonner Service Scholars Program each year.

Is there a scholarship? If so, how much?

Bonner Scholarships differ from other standard scholarships that are awarded at the beginning of the semester. Bonner stipends are dependent on the fulfillment of Bonner requirements (i.e., completing service hours, attending Bonner meetings, and participating in annual cornerstone experiences). Bonner Scholars are paid bi-weekly through CNU’s payroll system by submitting a timesheet with the number of hours they have served during each pay period. All Bonner Scholars are required to log their hours in the Bonner Web-Based Reporting System (BWBRS), the online Bonner hour logging website. Bonner Scholars can receive up to $3,000 per year.

What is the time commitment per week asked of Bonner Service Scholars?

Bonner Service Scholars are required to serve 250 hours per year which equates to 125 hours per semester, or 8-10 hours per week. It is equivalent to a student working a part-time job.

Twenty percent of the hours (up to 50 hours) may be completed by participating in training and enrichment activities (T&Es) which include: weekly Bonner meetings, relevant trainings or workshops, community-based research, and relevant on- or off-campus events such as guest speakers, documentary screenings, going to see a relevant new film off campus, etc. CCE staff identifies and informs the program of upcoming T&E events.  Bonners also have the ability to ask CCE staff to approve events for “T&E” hours.

The remaining 200 hours must come from service, with the majority being served at their primary service site. Bonners can complete some service at other sites (e.g., if they are supporting another Bonner’s site event) or in support of other Center for Community Engagement initiatives or events. Other service hour opportunities must be approved by CCE staff. Payment of Bonner stipends is contingent upon completion of hours (see question regarding payment above for more detail).

How are Bonner Service Scholars placed at their service sites?

First-year Bonner Scholars explore each Bonner Partner site during the first six weeks of the Fall semester of their first year and then rank their choices from a list of Bonner Partners who are accepting new Bonners that year. Taking into consideration the needs of the site and the Bonner Scholar, Program Staff then determine site placements for each first-year Bonner Scholar. Once placed, Bonner Scholars commit to work with their site for the next 3.5 years.

Do Bonner Scholars get priority class selection and/or housing selection?

At the present, Bonner Scholars do not receive priority class registration or housing selection.