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Bucknell University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research the degree programs offered at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

About Bucknell University

Bucknell University is a private 4-year institution located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, which is about three hours from New York City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The history of Bucknell dates back to 1846, when the school was founded as the University at Lewisburg. The school's founders were Baptists, and their intent was to open separate male and female high schools, as well as a college and theological institution. The high school portion of the plan was originally located in a First Baptist Church basement. The school's name was changed to Bucknell in honor of William Bucknell, a board member who donated $50,000 to the school during a period of dire need, saving it from financial disaster.

Today's Bucknell University occupies a campus that spans 450 acres and contains over 100 buildings. The school has attracted students from 46 U.S. states and more than 60 countries around the world. Living Bucknell University alumni number nearly 50,000.


Bucknell University is made up of two colleges - the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering - and one school, the School of Management. The university offers students more than four-dozen different majors from which to choose. The social sciences, psychology, and business are all popular areas of undergraduate study among Bucknell students. The school has a graduation rate of over 85% in four years and over 90% overall. The school's first-year retention rate of students who attended as freshmen and returned as sophomores is close to 95%.

Close to 100% of Bucknell's more than 350 full-time faculty members hold terminal degrees in their fields, and the school keeps the student-to-teacher ratio low to ensure small class sizes. Bucknell has a study abroad program that allows more than 40% of students to spend time studying in another country. Students can choose from locations such as Grenada, Spain; Tour, France; and London, England.


Bucknell University's admissions process is very selective - of the nearly 8,000 applicants for the Fall 2011 semester, less than 30% were accepted. When considering applicants, Bucknell places great weight on factors like academic achievement and strong writing skills, as well as talent, character, and leadership ability. Test scores and recommendations are also important considerations.

To apply for admission to Bucknell University, students should fill out the common application and the Bucknell supplemental application, along with completing the common application personal essay. There is an application fee of $60. Applicants are required to submit a counselor evaluation and a teacher evaluation. Also, students should arrange to have their official high school transcripts and standardized test scores sent to the school. Students who wish to be considered for Early Decision should submit all application materials by November 15th. The regular application deadline is January 15th.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year was $45,132. Students living on campus spent an additional $6,330 on room and $4,482 on board. The total estimated yearly cost was $56,190, exclusive of books, supplies and additional living expenses. In 2011-2012, the cost for books and supplies was estimated at $900, and the cost for miscellaneous expenses averaged about $2,000.

Students can complete the FAFSA to see if they qualify for federal and state grants, scholarships, and/or loans. Bucknell also offers student aid in the form of scholarships and need-based grants. In addition, Bucknell offers the options of payment plans and tuition pre-payment plans. In the 2010-2011 school year, almost half of first-year Bucknell students received institutional scholarships or grants, and more than 55% of full-time, beginning undergraduates received some type of financial aid.

School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters***
School Setting Distant town**
Student Body 3,554 undergraduates and 81 graduate students in Fall 2011**
Student Housing 89% of undergraduates live on-campus*
Schools and Programs Two colleges and one school offering more than 50 majors and 60 minors*
Student-Faculty Ratio 10 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Economics (88)
Master's: School psychology (7)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 88% in four years
90% in six years
91% in eight years (students who started in Fall 2003)**
Admission Rate 28% in Fall 2011**
Entering Class Size 916 in Fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates From 2010-2011: 94% (full-time students)**
Average SAT and ACT Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% in 2011:
SAT composite: 1820-2100
ACT composite: 27-31**
Application Due Date January 15th*
Decision Notification Date April 1st*
Tuition $45,132 per year in 2012-2013 (excluding fees)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Full-Time Beginning Undergraduates Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (11%), state and local grants/scholarships (8%), institutional grants/scholarships (49%), federal student loans (41%), other student loans (2%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 56% of full-time, beginning undergraduates in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Bucknell University; **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics; ***IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Bucknell University, One Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837
  • Phone: (570) 577-3000
  • Website: www.bucknell.edu

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