Frequently Asked Questions
Bucknell University’s online Parent and Family FAQs provide a short response to questions often asked by parents and families. The abbreviated responses, however, are not intended to amend or replace official university policies or documents which should be consulted prior to any final decisions.
- What should we focus on during the application process?
Applying to college should be one step in a broader college search process. First – well before applying – your son or daughter needs to ensure that Bucknell’s academic programs and residential environment would be a good fit. To determine fit, prospective students should:
- visit campus
- research the University and its programs
- review admissions criteria and the profiles of previous classes
- talk with faculty, staff and students about how they might pursue their interests at Bucknell
Second, once a prospective student is comfortable that Bucknell would be a good fit, he or she is ready to apply. Bucknell requires the Common Application and a school-specific supplement. Applicants should use the supplement – especially the essays – to describe their goals, interests and passions. The Admissions Committee looks for students demonstrating unique combinations of academic achievement, talent, community engagement, creativity, leadership and civic-mindedness. – Robert Springall, dean of admissions
- What resources are available if my student encounters problems?
For personal/campus life issues: The staff of the Dean of Students office is here to help students deal with all personal, residential, social and non-academic related concerns. There are many support offices available for students and students can discover these by stopping by any one of the Deans of Students offices for a personal meeting or they might wish to check the University website for information first. The residence life staff is always a good “first place” to ask questions regarding referrals.
For academic concerns: If a student is having a problem in a particular course, the best course of action is for him or her to discuss the problem with the instructor as soon as possible. All instructors have office hours and are also willing to make an appointment to meet with a student outside of office hours. Students can also discuss academic issues with their adviser or with the academic associate deans of the student’s college. Instructors, advisers and deans may also refer the student to other resources on campus.
The Writing Center is an excellent resource for students who want help in any stage of the writing process. There is also a peer tutoring program for the lower-level math and science courses conducted by the Writing Center. Students must speak with their instructor to initiate a request for a tutor. – Lynn Breyfogle, associate dean of the college of arts and sciences and Karen Marosi, associate dean of engineering
Advising and Support:
- Where can I find a calendar of important dates during the academic year?
View the academic calendar here.
- Are there events that families of students can attend?
Yes. In the fall, families are invited to Family Weekend where they can hear about current happenings at the University, participate in activities, explore campus, attend sporting events, meet members of the Parents Board and Parents Office staff, and meet faculty members and administrators. The weekend is very popular among families, especially of newly enrolled students.
Art, theatre, music and dance performances occur regularly throughout the academic year, and many are open to families and community members. See the full calendar of events.
- What’s a good time for families of prospective students to visit campus?
From Bucknell’s Dean of Admissions: There could be several appropriate times for a visit, depending on the depth of a prospective student’s engagement with Bucknell.
High school juniors and their families are invited to campus in the spring for an open house typically held in April. This open house introduces students and families to Bucknell’s campus and programs.
Tours and hour-long preview sessions are available throughout the year, but they are especially popular in the spring and summer months when families have more time to travel. (The Office of Admissions is closed on Sundays.)
For high school seniors who are beginning to get serious about Bucknell, we offer daylong visit programs and several fall open houses. See the admissions visit options page and calendar for more information about visiting campus. We also encourage you to check out our online virtual tour. – Robert Springall, dean of admissions
- What is there to do on weekends? Do students stay or go home?
A student perspective: I have found that the weekend is often my busiest time of the week! There are so many wonderful programs offered by the University and by the plethora of student-run organizations that I have to plan my weekends accordingly to fit all that I want to do. From concerts to sporting tournaments, from off-campus trips to nighttime carnivals and parties, the weekend life of a Bucknellian is both exciting and enriching. Bucknell is not a suitcase school; students rarely leave campus on weekends. There is so much to do, both during the day and at night, that usually students are afraid of leaving and missing out! -- Chelsea Burghoff ’11
- What’s life like for students who aren’t part of Greek life?
A student perspective: Life on Bucknell's campus is truly what you make of it. Between the many clubs and organizations, opportunities to get involved academically both in and beyond the classroom, and community service and volunteer opportunities inside and outside of Lewisburg, a student can surely get a wonderful experience at Bucknell. Not being involved in Greek life on campus has given me extra free time to participate in other organizations and activities where I have met tons of people, yet I can also go to parties held by fraternities and sororities whenever I want to. I have made best friends for life through my residence halls, in my classes and in my extracurricular activities. – Jess Domsky ’11
- What types of career support do you offer students?
The Career Development Center assists students with employment, internships, externships, decision making (major, career, interests), and graduate and professional school searches throughout their time at Bucknell. In addition, a comprehensive alumni career services program is available to graduates. As a parent, you can review resources on our website that will help you understand how the Career Development Center supports students throughout their time at the University and after graduation.
- What are the employment prospects for new graduates?
In general, Bucknell graduates do well in the marketplace. For example, in the Class of 2008, 93 percent of graduates reported that they were employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation.
Employers in both profit and nonprofit organizations highly value the skills set and profile that a Bucknellian brings to the table. The career development center works with a wide variety of employers each year in cultivating externship, internship, entry-level full time, and experienced hires for our students and alumni.
- How do I reach certain offices?
Division of Student Affairs: 570.577.1601
Financial Aid and Tuition
- What are the costs?
For students entering 2013-14, estimated fees are:
- $46,646 for tuition
- $11,258 for basic room and board (your costs may be higher depending upon your selections)
- $256 for student activity fees
- Total: $58,160
Please keep in mind that these fees do not necessarily provide an accurate picture of the amount you or your family would owe.
Any student who would like to be considered for need-based financial assistance may apply for financial aid. If a student qualifies for aid, the amount owed to Bucknell would be less than the total of the costs listed above. In fact, it is possible that the amount a student is expected to pay Bucknell may be close to the same amount at colleges and universities with lower tuition and fees.
For your reference:
- About 50 percent of students receive financial aid from Bucknell, and 62 percent receive financial aid of some form.
- The average financial aid award is about $28,000, which includes scholarships, loans and work study.
- The average loan total upon graduation is about $21,000.
- How does financial aid work?
All Bucknell applicants seeking financial assistance must complete a CSS PROFILE listing Bucknell code 2050.
Deadlines: January 15 for Regular Decision and Early Decision II, and November 15 for Early Decision I. Later on, we will need the FAFSA and verification and tax documents if you are admitted and decide to enroll.
Bucknell reviews the CSS PROFILE and determines financial aid based on several factors:
- Family size: number of members in a the household supported by the parents
- The number of siblings in the household simultaneously enrolled at least half time in undergraduate degree-seeking programs
- The student’s total income and assets
- Parent(s)’ total income and assets:
Since the amounts in these four categories can be at so many different levels, there are no specific income or asset cutoffs in the determination of need-based financial aid eligibility. Please keep in mind that Bucknell is not able to meet students’ federal financial aid need, but we award as much aid as we are able, combining grants/scholarships, loans and work-study.
A student must be enrolled full-time in order to be eligible for Bucknell aid. If a student is enrolled less than full-time, he or she may borrow loans but is not eligible for Bucknell need-based scholarship.
Health and Safety
- What’s the University’s alcohol policy?
Bucknell’s alcohol policy is outlined in the Student Handbook. In short, responsibility for obeying local ordinances and state and federal laws lies with the individual. Nevertheless, the University works to ensure that students understand their responsibility under the law and works to prevent minors from possessing and consuming alcohol on property owned, controlled or supervised by the University. Students violating alcohol policy are disciplined according to a points system.
- How safe is the campus?
The campus is very safe. To promote and ensure campus safety, we have a highly trained professional public safety staff, medical professionals based on campus for students through our Student Health Service and our Office of Psychological Services, a Sexual Misconduct Survivor Advocate program, an emergency preparedness task force, and an emergency communications system, among other related efforts.
- What if my student gets sick?
Bucknell’s Student Health Service office provides a number of health care services including assessment and treatment of illness and injuries, gynecology, physical therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, nutrition counseling, allergy injections, wellness and health promotion services and more.
There is no fee to students for physician visits at the SHS, and there is no limit to the number of visits students may make.
Student Health Service is here to help each student obtain and preserve his or her optimal level of physical, mental and spiritual well-being
Psychological Services offers a wide range of services to help make students' college years more satisfying, rewarding and productive.
Health Care Coverage and Billing Information
Medical records and TB screening
- Do I need to notify my hometown newspapers that my student has been named to the dean's list or does the University do that?
The Office of Communications regularly issues 'hometowns' about student achievements at Bucknell, including the dean's list (every fall and spring) and graduation, as well as participation in undergraduate research projects, study abroad blogs, etc. The Office of Communications maintains an e-mail database linking hometown ZIP codes with newspaper coverage areas. Parents can assist with this database of hometown newspaper e-mail addresses by e-mailing Kathryn Kopchik, Community News Editor, at email@example.com, with their student's name and the name and e-mail address of their preferred hometown newspaper(s). Students who request no publicity during their years at Bucknell should alert the Office of Communications of their no publicity preference. For more information, call 570-577-3618.
Housing, Rooms and Roommates
- How does housing selection work?
First-year students must to log onto myBucknell and fill out a Residence Hall Assignment Questionnaire, which tracks student preferences, living styles and habits.
All first-year students are assigned rooms on floors with other first-year students. Besides the traditional residence hall experience, students can request living in a Residential College, a CHOICE hall, a quiet floor or the leadership living community.
Upperclass students receive room assignments based on a lottery system that gives seniors priority.
- Can my student live off campus?
Maybe. All undergraduate students are required to live on campus in a University-owned facility or University-related fraternity house unless they receive formal approval to reside off campus or commute from home (with a parent or guardian in residence).
Only a limited number of students receive approval.
Non-traditional-age students may live in a home or privately-owned rental unit.
- What do residence hall rooms look like? What’s the layout?
Room size and style vary throughout campus. In each case, however, every student receives a bed, desk, desk chair, dresser and closet/wardrobe. A typical double exceeds 160 sq. ft. and has Internet connection, wireless Internet, land-line phone and digital cable capability. (Residence Hall choices)
- What if my student has concerns about a roommate?
The first step is always to encourage your student to have a face-face-conversation with the roommate to discuss solutions. The next step would be for the student to contact the Resident Assistant (RA), who may also use the skills of the Residence Life Coordinator. After these steps have been initiated, a student may go to the Office of Housing and Residence Life for assistance.
- We live far away. Are storage facilities available in the summer?
A student perspective: Depending on exactly how far away you live, there may be completely free storage available to you right on Bucknell’s campus. If you live 300 miles away or more, you can store things in the attic of Kress Hall at no cost. If you live overseas, you may also store things in the Craft Center over the summer. If you live inside these distances, you can still find off-campus storage facilities fairly close to the university. The rent for these units varies depending on size, but generally they aren’t terribly pricey. More information, including places and prices of off-campus storage, is available. – Sophie Kondor ’11 (from California)
- What are the campus laundry facilities like?
Laundry facilities are available in each of the residence halls. Through an online service, students can view the current status of every laundry facility on campus, reserve specific machines and find out the status of machines. They can even sign up to receive text message alerts when a machine is available using LaundryView.com.
Lewisburg and Surrounding Area
- What's it like in Lewisburg and the surrounding area?
A parent perspective: Lewisburg and the surrounding area are beautiful. The University is the classic campus with red brick buildings, chapel steeple, stadium, walkways, rolling hills, students walking around and bells ringing on the quarter hour. You couldn't put together a better vision of Bucknell and rural Pennsylvania.
The town of Lewisburg is small and easily navigated on foot. You can walk from campus to the main street, called Market Street, where you will find stores and restaurants. The side streets are full of old, quaint homes with porches and columns. If you are from a major metropolitan city, you might think the shopping is limited but there is certainly enough shopping available to satisfy all the students' needs. –Julie A. Silbermann ’78, P’08, P’12
- We’re coming to visit. What is there to do off campus?
- What kind of library research support is available to students?
Library collections (online, print, video, archives) are designed to support the University curriculum. Library research help is available for students whenever the library is open (view library hours). Students may seek help via walkup at the Reference Desk, by email, IM, phone, or appointment with subject specialist librarians. Self-service Research by Subject guides are also available from the library website. Learn more about Library & Information Technology.
- What lodging is available for us when we visit?
Here are some suggestions for where to stay when you visit Bucknell.
- How do meal plans work?
Three meal plans are available for first-year students. Students in the upper-class years can choose from these same three plans, plus Dining Dollar and block meal plans. Students who live on campus must purchase a meal plan. Learn more about meal plan policies.
- What resources are available for students who want to study abroad?
What resources are available for students who want to study abroad?
The staff of the Office of International Education assists the approximately 250 students who study abroad each year. The office helps students find and apply to the right programs for them, ensures quality coursework and assists with departure preparation and the transition back to Bucknell.
Bucknell sponsors programs in Spain, France, and England and offers a number of approved programs through formal relationships with global education organization partners. In addition, Bucknell partners with domestic programs sponsored by other American colleges or institutions including the Duke University Marine Laboratory Program in North Carolina and semester internship programs in Washington and Philadelphia.
Bucknell also offers faculty-led summer programs in such locations as Barbados, Northern Ireland and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Does financial aid apply toward study abroad?
Yes. 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. However, federal work-study cannot be used for off-campus study. The Office of Financial Aid is here to help students and their families with questions related to aid and studying abroad: 570.577.1331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology and Computers
- What technology services are available to students?
Technology support is available for students via IM, email, phone, or walkup services. Multimedia equipment is also available for students to borrow in the library. The campus is 99% wireless (including outdoor spaces), and computing labs are plentiful on campus; many are open 24 hrs. Bucknell offers a Bison Laptop purchase program through Dell and Apple. Full technical support is available for Bison Laptops. Students may access campus information via the myBucknell portal. Learn more about Library & Information Technology.
Transportation and Vehicles on Campus
- Can my student have a car on campus?
Not in the first year. Students are eligible to receive a parking permit as sophomores, juniors or seniors provided there are no current restricting sanctions.
- If my student doesn’t have a car, how can he or she get around?
A student perspective: Not having a car on campus is definitely not a problem at Bucknell. In general, everyone is really friendly, so upperclass students with cars are willing to provide rides for those in need of running errands. A ride helps students find rides or riders to share costs, and the CAP Center sponsors roundtrip shuttles to the Susquehanna Valley Mall, Walmart and Weis on Saturdays. There is also a CVS within walking distance of campus. If a student needs an even quicker fix, the bookstore sells over-the-counter medicine, cleaning products, snacks, etc. –Sam Martin ’11
- Are shuttle services available for transportation to and from the airport?
Yes, to the Harrisburg airport and train/bus station and the Williamsport, Philadelphia airports during the fall and spring break and the beginning and end of semesters. JFK shuttles run at the beginning and end of each semester only. Reservations are required. See details and make reservations.