We would not be the Bucknell of today, or have been for decades, without financial aid. Half of our students receive financial aid from the University, and a full 62 percent receive financial aid in some form from Bucknell, the federal government or other sources.
Financial aid opens doors to opportunity, changes lives and brings great students to Bucknell who could not afford to attend the University otherwise. We are committed to providing financial aid because we know that we would not be able to recruit and retain the best students from all backgrounds without it — which means we would not be the Bucknell we are without it, and would not otherwise be providing an education preparing our students for success in a global society.
We seek to raise at least $150 million in endowment gifts for scholarship and financial aid. Learn more
It takes tremendous resources to maintain our buildings and grounds, as well as the not-so obvious infrastructure necessary to create comfortable, convenient and safe living-and-learning spaces.
There is an additional challenge. In the last 30 years, the expectations for private universities to provide outstanding amenities and campus settings for students have dramatically escalated — whether the most advanced (and expensive) campus technologies, superb fitness facilities or residence halls with all the latest features.
Our primary objective is to provide a first-class learning experience, but as a residential university, we cannot take such expectations lightly. As the data show, Bucknell is overly reliant on tuition and fees, with a far-from-competitive per-capita endowment.
This campaign aspires to change all that and ensure that our financial resources position us to be the great campus we must for Bucknellians of tomorrow. We seek to raise at least $125 million for the physical places and spaces that will make our campaign priorities possible. Learn more
Our $60,000 comprehensive fee does not pay all the costs of running the University. As the budget chart shows, Bucknell is overly reliant on net tuition and fees (i.e., not including our annual distribution of $47 million in financial aid), which comprise about 73 percent of our operating budget. The rest comes from endowment income (15 percent), gift revenue (6 percent), research grants (2 percent) and other sources (4 percent).
Further, the real cost of one year at Bucknell is about 20 percent higher than the comprehensive fee charged to students. The University relies on gifts and returns on investments to make up the difference, as illustrated at right.
As all of higher education adjusts to the fact that universities must hold the line on significant tuition increases, our extreme dependence on tuition and fees will become a great competitive challenge, and endowment will become an even greater differentiator between institutions that thrive or falter.
Gifts to the Annual Fund are particularly important in keeping Bucknell accessible to the most qualified students.
Many people think Bucknell has received many gifts of $10 million or more – but that’s not the case. The University’s single-largest gift since WWII is $15 million; the second-largest, $11 million. The generosity of Bucknell donors makes us confident that the campaign now underway will lead to a number of other gifts of this scale or even larger.
While large gifts can fund large-scale projects and programs, all gifts are crucial to University operations. This is especially true of the Annual Fund, which is put to immediate use where it is needed most, and benefits every Bucknell student.
More than 80 percent of Annual Fund gifts are less than $500. Last year, these donations added up to nearly $1.3 million. Every program across the University benefits from these gifts. There is strength in numbers.
We seek to raise $100 million for the Annual Fund across the life of this campaign. Learn more