• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Recruitment and Selection

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 12 years, 3 months ago

Bonner Program Operations

Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment Process | Recruitment Team Members & Roles | Recruitment Challenges | Application Material | Selection Process

The recruitment process outlined below will assist you in: (a) identifying a qualified pool of committed student leaders, and (b) beginning the public relations process that will create widespread awareness of the program on your campus and in your regional communities.
The success of the Bonner Program depends in large part on an effective, well-planned recruitment campaign. It has been our experience that the best qualified class of Bonner Scholars/Leaders is recruited through hard work and foresight on the part of the Admissions Office staff and the Bonner Program Director.
The college should seek students who show good citizenship, commitment to community service, and academic achievement, but who also demonstrate high financial need. Every effort must also be made to achieve gender balance and racial diversity in each new class of Bonners. Special recruitment efforts are needed to reach exemplary students who meet these qualifications.
Retention of Bonner Scholars/Leaders in the program and in school is an important goal of the program. Attrition, to a large extent, can be prevented if the students are chosen who are a good match for the program and for your institution; that is, students who have the desire and commitment to serve, learn, and grow in the program. Though it may be difficult to detect the qualities of a person that would make him or her a good candidate, careful evaluation in the beginning of the recruitment process will prevent a possible negative experience for both the student and the coordinator.

Recruitment Process

We suggest you develop a detailed strategy for recruiting Bonners during the year, beginning as early as September. The plan can have a detailed timeline that includes deadlines, recruitment fairs, public relations campaigns, contacts, recruitment tasks for staff outside the admissions office, and special recruitment strategies. 
The selection of Bonner Scholars/Leaders should be integrated as much as possible into the normal admission and recruiting process of your college or university. Qualified applicants for the Bonner Program should be identified at the same time that students are recruited and screened for admission to the institution.
Regular institutional recruitment brochures should contain a description of the Bonner Program. Many campuses have created recruitment material specific to the Bonner Program that is distributed to high school students, their counselors and parents, to alumni and trustees and friends of the college, at recruitment fairs, and to state and local service corps. In preparing this recruitment mateiral, careful attention should be paid to the description of the financial criteria since the requirements are often confusing.
Since the Bonner Program targets high financial need students (see Appendix A in the handbook), schools need to determine as early as possible whether candidates are eligible on financial grounds. To assist in this process, some schools have developed a preliminary financial evaluation so that enables them to identify qualified applicants before the standard FAF is available. Use of this preliminary evaluation forms allows Bonner Scholars/Leaders to be recruited and sent award letters along with your school’s general acceptance letters, enabling candidates to make their decision about attendance at your institution with the added incentive of being accepted into the Bonner Program.
Regardless of when a student is finally selected, the Bonner Foundation must review the list of students under consideration to ensure that, as a group, they meet our requirements in terms of gender balance, ethnic diversity, and financial need.

Recruitment Team Members & Roles

A recruitment team made up of college staff, students, and community partners should implement the Bonner Scholars/Leaders recruitment plan for the year. As the Program Rules suggest, the Bonner Advisory Committee members may also assume responsibility for selecting the incoming class of Bonners.
Overall, the recruitment team should:
  • Develop the recruitment plan and review with key administrators who may not be on the team itself (e.g., the Director of Admissions and the Director of Financial Aid);
  • Oversee creation of recruitment materials;
  • Direct and supervise Bonner Scholar/Leader recruitment;
  • Keep other admission recruiters alert to locating potential Bonners;
  • Maintain visibility of the Bonner Program in the admissions process.
  • Counsel potential Bonners on financial aid issues; and,
  • Work close with Admissions Office to determine the financial eligibility of candidates.
The Bonner Scholars Program Director and Coordinator should:
  • Assist the Admissions Office in designing and evaluating the recruitment plan;
  • Assist in developing recruitment materials;
  • Make contacts with youth organizations, high schools, and service corps to recruit candidates;
  • Meet with potential Bonner Scholars/Leaders who might visit campus; and,
  • Oversee Bonners who assist with recruitment.
Bonner Scholars/Leader students should be recruited to:
  • Assist the Admissions Office develop and evaluate the recruitment plan;
  • Make phone calls to potential Bonner Scholar/Leader candidates and their parents;
  • Return to high school, church, hometown youth organizations, and service corps during school vacation breaks to encourage students to apply to the Bonner Program; and,
  • Meet with candidates when they visit campus.
Bonner Scholars/Leaders themselves are often the most effective recruiters (and selecters) of new Bonners. Ask Bonners during their holiday break in December to spread the word about the Bonner Scholarships to their old high school, their church, hometown youth organizations, or a service corps. This opportunity will give students a feeling of pride in being Bonners.

Recruitment Challenges

Extra efforts must be made to locate students who are often less represented in the applicant pool, particularly males and students of color. A grass roots recruitment effort can be made through those community organizations where young people are involved: YMCA, YWCA, community centers, churches/synagogues, Boys and Girls Clubs, service corps, and youth councils. Make contact with community leaders, principals, teachers, and religious leaders who know and work with students who might be good Bonner Scholar/Leaders candidates.
(a) Recruiting Students with High Financial Need
Some of the admissions officers and program coordinators find that the current general pool of admissible applicants to their college does not contain as many clearly eligible students for the Bonner Scholars Program as it contained in previous years. Several factors may contribute to this:
  • High-need students may assume that they cannot afford to attend a Bonner Program college;
  • Potential students may not be sufficiently aware of the existence of the Bonner Program and its benefits; and,
  • Your campus may be need a more innovative, active recruitment process to identify and attract these students to apply for admission.
(b) Recruiting Male Students
Difficulty in recruiting male students may stem from the way the program is presented to them. Careful attention in the packaging of the program and its benefits may be required to recruit students of different backgrounds and interests. Important aspects of the Bonner Program — such as its leadership training and character development — are not always evident to perspective students. In addition, students who are part of athletic teams might not realize that they can combine their interest in service with their interest to being on a varsity sport while in college. Many Bonner Scholars/Leaders have succeded in both, though no one should pretend that doing so doesn’t require real commitment on the students part and understanding on the part of their coaches.
(c) Recruiting Minority Students
For some of the Bonner Program schools, effectively recruiting racial and ethnic minority students represents an on-going challenge. Many schools actively seek a greater degree of racially diverse enrollment. The Bonner Program and the Foundation itself can assist school’s in achieving this goal.
The typical pattern of institutional recruitment may need to be enhanced through the development of additional avenues for recruiting Bonners, including:
  • be sure that your recruiting materials represent service activities by and for minority persons;
  • make genuine connections with minority churches, racial minorities in high schools, and community programs and centers in your recruiting area;
  • seek to recruit minority students from outside your traditional recruiting area;
  • if your school is reasonably close to a predominantly minority school with a Bonner Program, seek to develop a relationship with that school and work out opportunities for mutual service in both communities; and,
  • provide opportunities for non-minority and minority Bonners to discuss the critical issues of racism and related issues as they emerge in the process of service activities.
(d) Recruiting Athletes
Several unique realities impinge on the issue of athletes as Bonner Scholars/Leaders:
  • Athletes accepted as Bonner Scholars/Leaders should give evidence of strong academic ability and motivation for service, and clearly be made aware of the multilple commitments they are embracing in regard to being a student, a Bonner Scholar/Leader, and an athlete.
  • Careful understanding and open communication between the athlete, their coach and instructors, and the Bonner Program Coordinator.
  • The Bonner Program Coordinator may need to adjust Bonner Program athletes’ service schedules to fit with training and playing commitments: week-end sized blocks of time during the week, or other variation of the weekly service time expectations.
  • Athletic coaches should be challenged to bring community service into the realm of athletics, engaging athletes in community service projects, particularly when the sport is relatively inactive. Bonner Scholar/Leader athletes could be challenged to infuse a spirit of service among their teammates, particularly as they become adjusted to the demands of their personal commitments.
If a Bonner Program contains at least 10% athletes, then the Athletic Director or an appropriate coach should be considered for membership on the Bonner Program Selection/Advisory Committee(s).

Application Material

The Bonner Program Application should include a series of short answer or essay questions.

Selection Process

The Selection Committee should be responsible for selecting all new Bonners, including students who are replacing Bonner Scholars/Leaders who withdraw or are dismissed from the program. Students should be selected based on an application and references form (see attachments section), interviews, or additional material as your program deems appropriate.
The coordinator should assemble a diverse selection committee (see Advisory Committee Section below) that includes involved community partners, campus staff, and faculty guidelines. Following the initial year of the program, this committee should also include students. 

Previous Page: Roles & Responsibilities | Next Page: Orientation

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.