Bonner Buddies: Episode 1 Transcript
Cooper: Hello and welcome to episode one of our podcast. We’re Bonner Buds.
Cooper: My name is Cooper. I’m Ethan, I’m Mary Catherine.
Cooper: And today our goal is to introduce the Bonner program and kind of life on the Emory & Henry campus.
I will be discussing the Bonner program. Basically the Bonner Foundation, believes, the colleges and congregations play a vital role in society and nurturing and mobilizing thoughtful, caring, and diverse leadership dedicated to community service. So they use college students, like ourselves to serve the community, as they serve us, giving us a way to attend a private institution and higher education. They recognize that often the best way to help someone is to give them the opportunity to help themselves and that the people best able to address the problems are the people whom most, the problems most directly affect. Some of the, some of the key things the Bonner program believes in are civic innovation, community building, a diversity and international perspective, social justice, spiritual exploration and wellness.
Cooper: So through the Bonner Foundation, you have the opportunity to, explore those topics, grow in those topics and help the community, in a variety of different ways. Outside of that, we’re all students at Emory & Henry College and we have a different role at the college. We come from a similar background but also have different perspectives on a lot of things and today we’re going to talk about kind of our personal perspective as well as, what we get from the program in the college. So I’m going to lead into Ethan and he’s going to tell us a little bit about what the financial aid or a little bit about scholarship opportunities and other opportunities that are available to you as the listener, as a student looking to come to college.
Ethan: Yeah. So, you know, us coming to Emory & Henry College with it being a private university is a very hefty amount for like a family to pay. It’s a lot of money, but my focus is how you can get that money, especially through Bonner, through the service that we do, and the opportunity for higher education. So just like a simple breakdown of when you first get a financial aid statement from any college, you’ll have what we call here’s the blue and gold merit scholarship. So that’s based on your grades, your academics, how you’re doing, and then you have your EFC, which is your, family’s contribution, how much money they can pay and there are different scholarships that the school offers. And for instance, Bonner and we can talk about the different financial things of Bonner maybe in a another episode maybe in some different, more specific way.
Ethan: But for instance, I have a music scholarship that is, per semester, so I was able to audition for a certain amount of money, so I was able to do that. But there is a lot of things that can go into it, especially at a private university, you can find the money. That’s, that’s like the whole point of what I’m trying to say is whether it’s for, from like a scholarship website that I use called easy scholarships.com or whether it’s from, you know, like a Methodist scholarship since this is a religious affiliated university or college, you can find a lot of money in different places and you just gotta be willing to work through that. And I know Bonner has definitely helped me with the, the situation that I am in personally come in to Emory & Henry college with an open mind and ready to serve other people and ready to serve this college by getting an education and helping the community around it. And Mary Catherine is gonna start talking about all the other activities we can do on campus. Like I for instance, I said I do choir, Bonner, whatever, but Mary Katherine take it away.
Mary Katherine: Yeah. So, us Bonners are really big diverse group of people not only with, you know, the way we look, but also with what we’re involved in. So I’m a, I will be a theater major, so I’m really involved in the musicals, the productions here. Cooper is on the tennis team. David plays rugby, and as Ethan said, he’s in the choir. So basically what I’m trying to say is it’s possible to be in Bonner and also do several other things. And it’s, there’s so much at Emory, there’s, there’s something for everyone. Like we have the outdoor program, the adventure team, which is like really big outdoorsy stuff and it’s super cool, if you’re into that, and they also offer scholarship, the adventure team does. I know. And so really Emory has something for everyone. We even have a Quidditch team. It’s kind of wild, but yeah, there’s just, there’s something for everyone at Emory, even if you think it’s like the weirdest thing possible that you’re into. It’s here.
Cooper: So the goal of this or the goal of what we have is we’re trying to encourage everyone to see there is an opportunity for you. I don’t, regardless of what background you come from, regardless of your, your family’s economic situation. There is opportunity for you at Emory & Henry college, we encourage people to, to look into all the opportunities and specifically the Bonner program and how they supply the basic needs of educational opportunity. And…yeah.
Ethan: So, I’d kind of like to open up to like a discussion about,
Ethan: Like maybe we can go around and say, say our majors, what we’re doing here at Emory and Henry college and how Bonner has affected you personally. We can always edit this. That’s why I’m just doing this. Cooper edit that out please. Thank you. Sorry, I get you. David, can you please edit out these things? But yeah, let’s just go around. Say our name again. Majors.
Mary Katherine: Okay. So, hi, again. I’m Mary Katherine Jones. I’m gonna major in musical theater BFA. Really, Bonner is the reason I’m at Emory & Henry is because of Bonner. I have a single mother and she’s a school teacher. So, there was no way I would have been able to pay for Emory & Henry without Bonner. And, for that, I’m so thankful. And obviously, I’m a freshman, so I haven’t been involved in Bonner as long as like Cooper and David, but it’s already helped me in so many ways.
Mary Katherine: yeah.
Cooper: So, going off of that, I’m Cooper again. I am a senior here at the college. I’m a business management and economics major. I, also as a Bonner, I also come from a single parent household. I live with my mother. She’s also a school teacher, just like Mary Catherine. So, when I was searching for colleges, looking for a, I started my search at a community colleges, state, state ran institutions, where I thought that I might be able to find the financial means necessary to attend those institutions. I didn’t really have any, I didn’t believe I had the opportunity to attend a private institution, where tuition is normally a little bit more expensive. But the Bonner, the Bonner scholarship, and the Bonner foundation has given me the opportunity to, attend Emory & Henry College. I also, my older sister, Maddie, she was also a Bonner. So the Bonner foundation has given my family a great, has relieved a great financial burden and given us a great opportunity to get a higher education at a private institution.
Ethan: Well, once again, I am Ethan. I’m from Blacksburg, Virginia, which if you know where Virginia tech is go Hokies, but I am also from a single parent household. My mom is currently unemployed, but I had the blessing of my godparents who led me through the whole college journey. Just like personally for me, I didn’t know the SAT existed until my junior year in high school, so I had some work to do. But I’m just thankful for Bonner, especially me being a first generation, first generation college student that Bonner is letting me, you know, do these things in the community and letting me get a higher education at a very prestigious college in Southwest Virginia.
David: Hi, this is David Pratt. The fourth member of the Bonner Buddies podcast group. And today I’m going to be sitting down with the assistant vice president of enrollment here at Emory & Henry, Anthony Graham. We’re going to be having a conversation about enrollment and admissions here at Emory and Henry and the various financial opportunities available to students. So, what do you do as a member of the enrollment division here at Emory and Henry.
AnthonyGraham: David, I think my main role is to work with both the admissions and financial aid office to be able to help students through their enrollment period for choosing the college. Okay. I also do a lot of work with, Jennifer Pierce, our VP of external affairs on marketing and branding of the institution because we’ve got to have the right message going out to the students about all the different opportunities they would have here at Emory and Henry.
David:That makes sense. That makes sense. So you, do you do a lot of interaction with incoming students, that you’re potentially recruiting or are you not on the direct like admissions in?
AnthonyGraham: Yeah, I mean, I, being over the admissions office, I get the opportunity to work with some students. Now, our admissions counselors, we’ve got many of those who work with students directly on their recruitment for Emory & Henry college. But I also get to work with families and have conversations with them. I mainly work, I’m assigned to work with international students and students who are a part of who are US citizens that are maybe overseas because their family’s in the military or something along those lines. But for me, it’s always great for me to get to meet and talk with as many incoming families as I can.
David: Of course. Yeah.
David: So in your opinion, what makes Emory & Henry, an attractive option for students? And that can be local students, international students, just generally.
AnthonyGraham: I think, I think the biggest thing would be the connections that students get to make while they’re here on campus. Whether it be the faculty members, the staff, the small class sizes, they have people within the regional community here in Southwest Virginia and the Appalachian mountains. You know, it’s just a great engagement opportunity for students, not to mention a world class education that they’re going to receive. And then there’s many opportunities outside of that, through the networking with our alumni and different folks that they could go on and do pretty much anything they want to do.
David: A lot of opportunities.
Anthony Graham: A lot of opportunities.
David: So speaking of opportunities, , what in from the admission side of it and looking at financial aid for students coming here, what would you say are some of the best financial aid opportunities for students?
AnthonyGraham: Yeah, so financial aid is this mass conglomeration of all these different things and that can, you know, Emory and Henry offers academic merit scholarships, we offer some specific interest and performance scholarships along with affinity scholarships for specific programs we have on campus. But I think when people hear the word financial aid, they’re more so talking about what they’re going to get from the federal government and the state governments and all of that. And they kind of forget about those initial things I mentioned. But all of it kind of entails like full financial aid package to help students understand what they’re going to have to invest to attend Emory and Henry or another institution. So in my opinion, we’ve got some great programs and great offerings that are outside of the federal and the state money that’s available for students and most of that is based on need.
AnthonyGraham: And I don’t want to get too involved with it here, but if you want me to, I’ll be happy to go in more detail. But for us, the Bonner scholar program is a great opportunity and that also has a civic service component to it to where students get really engaged with the community here. We’ve got great opportunities as far as academic merits, those range all the way up to $20,000 per year. So, make sure that you’re doing really good, you know, in your classes in high school and we also worked with transfer students coming from community colleges, so we base a lot of that on how they’ve performed at their community college or other four year tuition when they’re transferring in.
David: Yeah, that sounds, sounds like there’s lots of opportunities.
Anthony Graham: Many opportunities.
David: And I know, I personally am involved in, I mean I’m a great example of that cause I do Bonner, I also get a rugby scholarship, which is one of the affinity programs, as well as merit scholarships. And I think some families might not understand that there’s opportunity to combine many of the different scholarship opportunities. And I didn’t even mention like outside scholarships, so like local or civic or regional or even if you win, like the national merit scholarship or something like that. All of those can be brought to Emory and Henry and we continue to help lower your costs along with those things.
David: So what would you say to a prospective student who is worried about the cost of getting an education, whether that be future costs from having some student debt or, you know, current costs and, like, the present where since they’re attending college and they’re not able to work as much per se. But, what would you say to the students in that situation?
AnthonyGraham: I think, for me, the number one piece of advice that I would give a student is you have to understand the investment that you’re making. So for many students, college is an investment. So if you feel like you’re going to get out of it what you’re going to put in as far as financial money that you’re going to pay for it, then yeah, it’s, it’s a good investment. But if you’re kind of on that fence and we talk with families throughout all recruitment cycles that, it’s a struggle sometimes.
AnthonyGraham: And for me, the piece of advice that I would give to those families is maybe start planning a little bit ahead, but if you’re not at a stage where you can plan ahead, then we’re here to help support you in all that process of talking through. We have a great financial aid staff, who is, who’s willing to have in depth conversations with you to kind of help maximize all of the opportunities that we offer. Even if you’re late to the game, or if you’re in the very early stages of planning, you know, we, we can offer some financial counsel there, from the admissions and from the financial aid office.
Cooper: Alrighty guys. Thank you guys for listening. We really appreciate you guys listening to the Bonner buds podcast and, yeah, we’re really thankful for you listening.
MaryKatherine: For more information, you can contact the admissions office at Emory and Henry college, or you can visit ehc.edu.