Frequently Asked Questions
for Prospective Students
for the Class of 2018
What is the cost of attendance at Bucknell?
The costs for 2013-2014 are:
$256 Student Activity Fee
$6,622 Room (This charge is for a standard double room, but your actual charge may be more expensive depending upon the type of room you choose.)
$4,636 Board (This charge is for an anytime access meal plan, but your actual charge may be more expensive depending upon the type of meal plan you choose.)
$58,160 Total Comprehensive Fee
In addition to these direct costs, students should be prepared to meet expenses for books, supplies, personal, travel, etc. A typical amount for these costs ranges from $1,500 to $2,000. In recent years, our costs have increased by approximately 3.5% per year. Please be aware that if you choose more expensive room and/or board options, you will be responsible for the additional costs.
Is my financial aid file complete?
This answer depends on the time of year; “complete” can mean different things at different times. If you decide to enroll, by May 10, you will need to submit tax and verification forms to the Office of Financial Aid. Also, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by May 1 at the latest. (Please be sure to utilize the "IRS Data Retrieval" option on the FAFSA.) If large income discrepancies exist between the tax returns and the information you reported on your CSS PROFILE, please be aware that your award eligibility may change. If you did not complete the CSS PROFILE by our deadline, you will be considered late and we cannot guarantee aid availability. Please follow the Financial Aid Checklist to make sure you have completed everything on time.
What is the verification process and why do I have to submit tax return documentation for it?
In our May/June verification process, we review the figures on your tax returns, W-2 forms and verification forms to make sure that you are still eligible for the original aid package that we awarded to you. Aid changes will result when the actual income from the tax return is substantially higher than what was reported on the CSS PROFILE, or if there is a decrease in the number of children enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate degree-seeking programs. In these cases, we will inform you as soon as possible and ask for any additional information that you may have.
What happens to my aid if I receive an outside scholarship?
Bucknell's policy is that your total grants and scholarships from all sources may not exceed our estimated billed costs of $59,900 for 2014-15. Please be aware that this includes any funding toward your educational costs - awards, RA stipends, tuition benefits, etc. If this amount is reached, we will begin to reduce Bucknell aid dollar for dollar. Please be sure to send our office copies of any outside award letters that you receive. If outside organizations remit their funds to Bucknell after your fall bill is due, please be advised that you may incur late fees as a result.
We recommend the following sites for outside scholarship information:
What happens if my package includes work-study but I feel that I will not have time to work?
Some first-year students feel that they need time to adjust to college life and their studies. If this is the case, then you are not obligated to work. We can assist you by suggesting additional loan programs; however, additional need-based scholarship funds will not be awarded to replace any work-study funds that you may decline.
Do I have to apply for aid every year?
Because your eligibility can change from year to year, you will need to reapply for aid each year during your time at Bucknell. Returning students must submit all documents by April 15. (However, you will only need to complete the CSS PROFILE in the first year you are applying for financial aid.)
You can expect a similar need-based aid package each of your four years at Bucknell if:
Your family's financial situation stays relatively the same (income, assets, number in the
household, number of children in the household enrolled at least half-time in first undergraduate
degree-seeking programs). Be sure to be aware that one of the factors that affects need-based
aid eligibility the most is this number in college. If this number decreases, your need-based aid
will decrease as well, and we do not want for this to be a surprise to you in a future year. A
decrease from two in college to one in college will result in your need-based aid decreasing
significantly, but please understand that this amount can vary due to the many variables involved.
You continue to demonstrate financial need as determined by Bucknell's Office of Financial Aid.
You adhere to our application deadlines.
You maintain satisfactory academic and social standing.
How do I accept/decline any aid that was awarded to me?
If you are accepted to Bucknell, we assume that you will accept any grants or scholarships. If you would like to decline loans or work-study, please do so on the Bucknell University Verification Form.
Is financial aid guaranteed in future years?
We cannot guarantee need-based aid for future years because your eligibility can change. Our policy is to try to maintain your Bucknell need-based aid at the same level for each of your four years here, while adhering to institutional and federal financial aid policies and regulations regarding financial need. It is important to be aware that if your parents' income increases, or if the number of children in the household enrolled at least half-time in first undergraduate degree-seeking programs decreases, then your need-based grant will decrease. We will review your application materials and try to address your need as best we can. Please know that we are unable to award additional funds to cover tuition increases from year to year. Four-year no-need and merit awards will automatically be renewed each year, as long as students meet the specific requirements for each program.
Does my parents’ income have to be at a certain level for me to be eligible for aid?
Since so many variables (parent and student income, parent and student assets, number of family members in the household, number of children enrolled at least half time in undergraduate degree-seeking programs) are included in the calculation of financial need, there is no specific income cutoff in the determination of financial aid eligibility.
What does my enrollment need to be in order to receive aid?
You must be enrolled full-time to be eligible for Bucknell Grants and Scholarships. For federal or state aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time.
How will I be informed if my financial aid package is revised?
If we have revised your original financial aid package due to additional aid, outside scholarships, etc., please be aware that we will e-mail you at your Bucknell student e-mail account with instructions to check myBucknell for the changes. Please be sure to share this information with your parents.
How do named or endowed funds work?
If you are selected to receive a named scholarship, please be aware that these awards will fund a portion of the Bucknell Need-Based Grant that you have already been awarded. Endowed funds are not in addition to previously awarded funds. Scholarships that are listed in the Bucknell catalog are predominantly need-based awards that were established by donors for special philanthropic purposes. Your completion of the online Named Scholarship Form will help us to award these named funds appropriately. Complete this form at myBucknell, under "Banner Web Tools for Students", click on "Student Disclosure/Named Scholarship Form". Recipients have an opportunity to meet representatives of named scholarship funds at Bucknell's annual Scholarship Day celebration during the spring semester.
When are bills available and when are they due? How will my aid appear on them?
First-semester billing statements will be made available by Bursar Services in mid-July, and first-semester payments will be due the first week in August. Second-semester bills will be made available the first week in December, with payments due the first week in January. If you enroll, you will find the exact due dates in B-bill, your Bucknell billing account accessible through your myBucknell login. Scholarships or loans awarded by other agencies may be deducted from the billing statement amount and the balance paid to the university. Please be aware that if your financial aid file is not complete by the time you receive your first billing notice in July, any previously awarded financial aid may be rescinded, and it is possible that Bursar Services may charge late fees to your student account. Bucknell charges a late fee of one percent of the unpaid balance at the end of each month for accounts with outstanding balances due to the non-receipt of scholarships or loans. If you have specific questions about your bill, you may contact Bursar Services at 570-577-3733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from school?
The timing of your withdrawal from the University may result in outstanding financial obligations. Until the withdrawal process is completed by the Registrar's Office, no refunds, if applicable, can be initiated. You can find the details of the University's Credit and Refund Policies, including guidance on the return of Federal Student Aid requirements published in the Finances and Financial Aid section of the University catalog. Questions regarding potential financial obligations and refunds should be directed to Bursar Services at 570-577-3733 or email@example.com.
If you are a current financial aid recipient, please understand that if you withdraw before 60% of the semester has passed, federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to calculate the percentage of the semester you completed and determine whether we must return any of your federal financial aid to the federal government and/or Bucknell financial aid to the University. If a refund of federal aid is required, the order is the following:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell grants for which a return of funds is required
- Academic Competitiveness Grants for which a return of funds is required
- National SMART Grants for which a return of funds is required
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) for which a return of funds is required
- Federal Teach Grant for which a return of funds is required
- Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant for which a return of funds is required
In addition, please be aware that federal loans that you have borrowed will go into repayment six months after you drop below half-time enrollment, unless you are in an approved leave of absence status as defined by the federal government for Title IV financial aid purposes. The federal Title IV leave of absence definition is more stringent than the Bucknell leave of absence definition, so they are not the same thing. In the vast majority of cases, Bucknell leave of absence does not qualify as a federal Title IV leave of absence, so your official status to the federal government must be reported as a withdrawal.
If you will be returning to Bucknell after a voluntary withdrawal, health withdrawal, or leave of absence, please be aware that you must re-apply for financial aid each year. Although we cannot make any guarantees, if you are eligible, we will do our best to provide financial aid to you. Our deadline for returning students is April 15, so please be sure to complete your financial aid file by this date. If you have questions as to what documentation is required, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
I want to go to summer school. May I receive financial aid for summer?
If you are required to attend summer school by the Dean for reasons of deficient gpa and/or credit hours, then aid may be a possibility. However, please be aware that we cannot cover the entire cost and that you will still be responsible for a portion. In addition, please note that we cannot provide summer aid (for a May program or regular summer session) to a student who either has graduated or will be graduating in May closest to the summer program in question.
How is my aid package handled if I study abroad?
If you are studying in a Bucknell approved off-campus program, typically you will receive the amount of aid you would have received had you remained on Bucknell's campus. Federal Work-Study cannot be used for off-campus study.
What if I think I am "independent?"
According to federal regulations, an unmarried undergraduate student under age 24 will be considered dependent unless you are a veteran or on active duty for purposes other than training, an orphan, a ward of the court or in foster care, an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of residence, have dependents of your own, you have been determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless by your high school/director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by HUD/director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program, or you can clearly document in writing (and have 2 adults who know you do the same) that you have been self-supporting for an extended period of time due to parental abuse or neglect. Please be aware that Bucknell does not offer institutional aid to students who simply consider themselves to be independent but do not qualify for one of the above conditions. The Office of Financial Aid receives very few requests for independent status since the circumstances are so serious, and approval is rare.
Does Bucknell University participate in the Tuition Exchange Program?
Yes, and the selection process for Tuition Exchange benefits at Bucknell is very competitive. The number of Tuition Exchange awards extended by Bucknell University is contingent upon the number of Bucknell faculty and staff dependents who seek and receive Tuition Exchange benefits from other participating colleges and universities. Annually renewable, Tuition Exchange benefits are awarded only to first-year students at the point of initial enrollment to Bucknell University. Students who are not eligible for Tuition Exchange as first-year students, students who decline Tuition Exchange, and students not offered Tuition Exchange will not be eligible for Tuition Exchange benefits in successive years while enrolled at Bucknell University. Transfer students are not eligible for Tuition Exchange.
To be eligible for consideration, the Tuition Exchange application must be filed through the Tuition Exchange Office at the home institution. Applications must be made before February 1. For regular decision candidates, Tuition Exchange offers will be made by early April. Students offered Tuition Exchange are requested to either accept or decline it as soon as possible, allowing Bucknell to communicate with applicants on the Tuition Exchange wait list in a timely manner. Tuition exchange awards must be accepted by the deposit deadline noted on the Admissions decision letter.
The Tuition Exchange award at Bucknell University is a minimum of $32,500 for the 2014-15 academic year. Tuition Exchange for students participating in Bucknell sponsored off-campus programs led by Bucknell faculty (known as the "Bucknell in" programs) will also be valued at $32,500. Tuition Exchange for non-Bucknell off-campus programs will be valued at 30 percent of Bucknell tuition.
For Admissions related information regarding how Bucknell University administers its Tuition Exchange program, contact Mark D. Davies, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Planning and Director of Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Holly D. Gauger, Administrative Assistant, at email@example.com or 570-577-1366. For questions regarding the submittal or processing of a Tuition Exchange application, please contact Kelley Adams-Verge, Tuition Exchange Officer, Human Resources, at 570-577-1340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is financial assistance available for graduate study at Bucknell?
Some graduate grant assistance is available. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies, 209 Marts Hall, Bucknell University, 570-577-1304, for more information. Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 in unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Students may also be eligible for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. For more information regarding graduate student loans, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Does Bucknell participate in the Yellow Ribbon program?
Yes, we do. The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher education, in the United States, to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fund tuition expenses that exceed the VA cap for private schools.
Bucknell University is committed to providing up to $10,000 per academic year to up to 20 students per academic year who are selected to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will match this contribution. Students selected to participate in Bucknell's Yellow Ribbon program will receive up to $39,198.31 in tuition assistance for the 2013-14 academic year.
$19,198.31 (VA Post 9/11 GI Bill National Cap)
$10,000.00 (Bucknell University Yellow Ribbon)
$10,000.00 (VA Yellow Ribbon match)
Bucknell University will fund up to 20 students through the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2013-14 academic year. Please be aware that Bucknell's contribution will be from institutional financial aid sources, which can include merit aid sources. For example, if you are awarded a $10,000 merit scholarship, this $10,000 is what we will use for our $10,000 Yellow Ribbon contribution.
The Department of Veterans Affairs determines eligibility for benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill including the Yellow Ribbon Program. Only individuals entitled to the 100% maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive Yellow Ribbon Program funding. Your Certificate of Eligibility will advise if you meet the requirements for the Yellow Ribbon Program. You must submit your Certificate of Eligibility to Bucknell's Office of Financial Aid. The Registrar's Office will certify your enrollment to the VA.
Once a student has been selected to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program at Bucknell University, the student will remain eligible as long as each of the following has been met: Bucknell continues to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the student remains in good academic standing, and the student has remaining VA entitlement.
Contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible if you believe you are eligible and interested in participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Bucknell Yellow Ribbon funding is currently awarded on a first-come first-served basis.
How do I apply for aid if my parents are divorced?
The student's custodial parent must complete the CSS PROFILE, including financial data about his/her spouse. In addition, the non-custodial parent (and spouse) must complete the Bucknell University Non-Custodial Parent's Form.
Does Bucknell provide merit scholarships? If so, how can I apply for them, and how are they awarded?
While most Bucknell aid is awarded based on need, a small number can be awarded based on other special attributes. There is no special application necessary at this time for these non-need based scholarships; students are selected based on admissions or recruiting criteria. See the Bucknell Scholarship Program section on our website for more information.
How does satisfactory academic progress work?
Bucknell University students who receive federal financial aid are required to be in good academic standing and to be achieving satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees. (Please be aware that satisfactory progress for federal financial aid eligibility is separate from the University's academic progress policy.) The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid at the end of each semester.
Bucknell University students who receive federal financial aid must meet or exceed the requirements summarized below:
- Must successfully complete at least 67% of all attempted coursework. Calculations that do not result in whole numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number. Course withdrawals, incompletes, and transfer credits are included in this calculation.
- Must achieve a cumulative minimum GPA as noted in the following chart:
1 - 6.99
7 - 11.99
12 - 17.99
18 - 22.99
23 - 27.99
Treatment of W, I, AU, F, and TR Grades:
- Course withdrawals (W) are not included in the GPA calculation, but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework.
- Incomplete (I) grades are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework until the incomplete grade is replaced with a permanent grade and academic progress can be reevaluated.
- An audit (AU) is not considered attempted coursework. It is not included in the GPA calculation or completion rate determination.
- A failing grade (F) is treated as attempted credits not earned; it will be included in the calculation of the GPA and the minimum completion rate.
- Transfer credits (TR) accepted by Bucknell University are counted as both attempted and earned credits.
Students who do not achieve the levels of financial aid satisfactory academic progress listed in the chart above will be placed on financial aid warning by the Office of Financial Aid for the upcoming semester, and will be notified of this status in writing. Such a student will be expected to achieve financial aid satisfactory academic progress by the end of the upcoming semester. If the student does, then federal financial aid may still be awarded for the next semester. If the student does not achieve financial aid satisfactory academic progress, then federal financial aid will be suspended for the next semester, and the student will need to secure other sources of funding outside the University.
In addition, please be aware that institutional and state financial aid may be suspended as well. If it is determined that a student is not eligible for federal/state aid, but is still eligible for institutional aid, it is important to understand that the family is responsible for securing funding to replace the federal/state aid that was lost. If it is determined that a student is not eligible for either institutional or federal/state aid, then the family is responsible for securing funding to replace all aid that was lost. It is important to keep in mind that Bucknell University institutional financial aid is limited to eight semesters. Federal guidelines stipulate that federal aid may be awarded for a maximum of twelve semesters.
If a student wishes to appeal the loss of institutional and/or federal/state aid, the student must submit an appeal letter to the Office of Financial Aid within two weeks of being notified of their loss of financial aid eligibility. The letter must include any extenuating circumstances (including but not limited to death in the family, catastrophic injury, serious medical situations, etc.), any information the student feels was relevant to his or her lack of academic progress, and a specific plan to retain financial aid satisfactory academic progress and good standing. The Office of Financial Aid will review such appeals and consult the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering or the Registrar's Office as necessary. Each student's situation will be reviewed individually and on its own merits. It is possible that a student may be granted a waiver of the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy if the situation warrants such consideration due to the student's circumstances. If so, the student will be placed on financial aid probation for their next period of enrollment. However, this is not guaranteed and should not be expected. Each situation is unique and will be reviewed thoroughly.
May I request additional aid because of special circumstances?
We will certainly try to consider your special family circumstances. Please document the situation with as many facts and figures as possible in a letter to the Office of Financial Aid. We will review your information and try to assist you. However, please be aware that increases in Bucknell Need-Based Grant are rare. In most cases, the only additional aid we can suggest will be loans.