There are many ways to finance a college education, and Bucknell's Office of Financial Aid is committed to providing relevant information to help students and families make the best decisions. We share advice and resources to help you understand your college financing options.
Awarded to students with the highest federal financial aid eligibility.
For 2022-23, awards range from $700 to $6,895.
If you become Pell-eligible after we receive and review your tax and verification information, previously awarded Bucknell Need-based Grants are reduced dollar for dollar.
Awarded to Pell recipients with the highest federal financial aid eligibility.
Not all Pell recipients may receive Buckell's SEOG funding. If you become SEOG eligible after we receive and review your tax and verification information, previously awarded Bucknell Need-based Grants are reduced dollar for dollar.
Many states provide funds for post-secondary education and many are transferable to out-of-state institutions, including those received by residents of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Vermont and West Virginia. Students should apply to their state grant programs by filing the appropriate application or by releasing the data to the state on the FAFSA. FAFSA instructions list the deadline dates for filing the form as a state grant application.
Pennsylvania State Grant Information
Bucknell awards estimated amounts to PA residents who appear to be eligible based on their FAFSA application.
Awards range from $612 to $5,700. (This may change depending on the state budget.)
To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before May 1.
Bucknell is unable to make up any state grant funds if your application is not submitted on time.
Bucknell students who apply for financial aid may borrow under several separate loan programs, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Since a student loan must be repaid after graduation or withdrawal from the University, it represents a serious commitment on the part of the student. We suggest careful borrowing, so do not borrow more than you need.
Interest rates and fees are federally regulated and subject to change.
2022-23 academic year fixed interest rates for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 (and before July 1, 2023):
Undergraduate students: 4.99% subsidized. Subsidized is need-based; the government subsidizes the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time.
Undergraduate students: 4.99% unsubsidized. Unsubsidized is not need-based; you will be charged interest until the loan is paid in full. If you allow interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized and added to the principal.
Annual combined subsidized and unsubsidized maximums are $5,500, $6,500, $7,500 and $7,500 in years one, two, three, and four of college, respectively. (Subsidized maximums are $3,500, $4,500, $5,500 and $5,500 each year respectively and unsubsidized maximums are up to $2,000 each year.)
Graduate students: 6.54% unsubsidized (there is no subsidized option). Unsubsidized is not need-based; you will be charged interest until the loan is paid in full. If you allow interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized and added to the principal.
You may also wish to review the section on Financial Awareness Counseling which can be found at https://studentloans.gov.
0.25% interest rate reduction for automatically debiting your payment from your checking account when you begin repayment.
We suggest that you consider making interest-only payments while you are enrolled. Even a small amount per month will reduce total repayments later.
Interest may be tax-deductible.
Federal regulations require two equal disbursements by electronic funds transfer, half in the fall and half in the spring. The federal government currently deducts a loan fee of 1.057% from each disbursement. For example, if you borrow $3,500 for the academic year, this is actually $1,750 per semester and the disbursements will be $1,732 for fall and $1,732 for spring since the federal government currently deducts a loan fee of 1.057% from each disbursement. These fees are federally regulated and subject to change.
Federal funds are not disbursed until after the first day of class each semester.
First-time borrowers must complete a 30-minute Entrance Counseling before the first disbursement. Results are sent to Bucknell University electronically.
First-time borrowers must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the first disbursement. This session takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and results are sent to Bucknell University electronically. If you are a returning student and previously borrowed a Federal Direct Loan within the last year, you do not need to complete a new MPN.
Upon graduation or ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time, students who have borrowed federal loans are required to complete the exit counseling process.
Repayment begins six months after graduation, dropping below half-time, or withdrawal.
A student who enters into public service employment can have any remaining balance on Federal Direct Loans forgiven after 10 years of repayment while in public service work.
At 2.1%, Bucknell University's average U.S. Department of Education Official Fiscal Year 2017 Three-Year Cohort Default Rate on federal student loans is extremely low. This means that 97.9% of Bucknell's students repay these student loans on time. Our rate reflects Bucknell's commitment to encourage students to limit their student loan debt and our graduates' abilities to meet their financial responsibilities. (The cohort default rate is the percentage of borrowers who enter repayment in a fiscal year and default by the end of the next fiscal year. The Department issues default rates according to the fiscal year borrowers entered repayment.)
This is a non-need-based, credit-worthy loan that a parent may borrow in their name to assist with the student's educational costs. The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program offers flexible repayment terms with up to 10 years to repay, which includes interest-only payments or deferring principal and interest payments while the student is enrolled, and no penalty for early repayment or payoff. The program provides built-in insurance for death and disability that applies to both the borrower and the student at no additional cost.
The 2022-23 academic year fixed interest rate for Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans is 7.54%. This rate is for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2022 (and before July 1, 2023).
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year.
Parent borrowers must complete the Department of Education PLUS application every year you wish to borrow.
Parent borrowers must complete the PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). If you have previously borrowed a PLUS loan at Bucknell for the same student within the last year, it is not necessary to complete a new PLUS MPN.
Apply after May 15 and before Aug. 1 to ensure timely disbursement for the fall semester.
Maximum loan amount for which a parent may apply is financial aid cost of attendance minus any previously awarded financial aid. If you select "maximum," Bucknell will process the maximum loan amount for which you are eligible.
Federal regulations require two equal disbursements, half in the fall and half in the spring. PLUS funds will be applied to your student's Bucknell account by electronic funds transfer. The federal government currently deducts a loan fee of 4.228% less than the amount actually borrowed.
If the parent is denied a PLUS Loan because of credit reasons, then there are three options:
The parent may obtain an endorser for the amount requested (which requires a new PLUS MPN).
The student would be eligible for additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan (up to $4,000 for freshmen and sophomores, $5,000 for juniors and seniors).
We recommend that you apply for the entire 2022-23 academic year at one time (rather than a semester at a time) so that a credit check will only be performed once.
We understand that financing a college education can be a challenging process. We encourage you to fully utilize the Federal Direct Loan Program, both subsidized and unsubsidized. If you are still in need of additional options, we would like to inform you of a tool through ELM Select. The tool will allow you to compare available loan products from the private/alternative lenders used the most by Bucknell families in the past year. You may also check with your individual state agency to determine if there is an available loan product to meet any borrowing needs you may have. The Office of Financial Aid will be happy to work with any lender you choose, and you are not limited to the lenders shown in the comparison tool.
Keep in mind that the interest rates for private/alternative educational loans can vary depending upon your credit. They can also have different terms and conditions (fixed or variable). Other things you may want to consider are:
If the interest rate is capped
If the interest rate may change
How often your credit will be checked
If there is built-in life insurance and/or loan forgiveness in the event of the permanent disability or death of the student
If there are loan deferment options
If there are any additional processing fees
What the annual and aggregate loan limits are
If there is a grace period before repayment begins
If consolidation is a possibility
Steps to securing your private loan
Apply online for the loan you have chosen
Complete the self-certification form and submit it to your lender. (Most lenders will provide the form within the loan application.)
Bucknell University will be notified by the lender of the decision to approve or disapprove your loan. (Approvals are credit-based.)
If approved by the lender, Bucknell University will certify the loan amount for which you qualify. The lender will send you an approval disclosure, which you must respond to before the loan can be released to your student account.
A final (third) disclosure will be sent to you and you will have three business days to rescind (cancel) the loan.
If you wish to apply for a private educational loan, we suggest that you apply after May 15, as most credit checks are only valid for a limited period of time.
Administered by the Nelnet Campus Commerce, the Bucknell Monthly Plan divides college costs into consecutive monthly interest-free installments.
Available to employees or dependents of other colleges and universities that participate in the national Tuition Exchange Program.
Awards are not guaranteed. The selection process for Tuition Exchange Program benefits at Bucknell is very competitive. A large number of qualified applicants express interest for a limited number of awards.
Only first-year students at the point of initial enrollment to Bucknell are eligible.
Students who are not eligible for the award as a first-year student, students who decline the Tuition Exchange award and students who are not offered the award as first-year students are not eligible for Tuition Exchange benefits in successive years while enrolled at Bucknell.
Transfer students are not eligible.
Complete and submit your application for admission to Bucknell.
The Tuition Exchange application must be filed through the Tuition Exchange Office at the home institution (the employer of the applicant or his/her parent). Applications must be made before Feb. 1.
For regular-decision candidates, Tuition Exchange benefit offers will be made by early April.
Students offered a Tuition Exchange award are requested to either accept or decline the tuition benefit as soon as possible, allowing Bucknell to communicate with applicants on the Tuition Exchange wait list in a timely manner.
Tuition benefit awards must be accepted by the deposit deadline noted on the Admissions decision letter.
145 first-year applicants to Bucknell filed Tuition Exchange applications.
67 of those Tuition Exchange applicants were admitted to Bucknell. Admitted Tuition Exchange applicants were reviewed according to academic achievement, aptitude for college study and potential for contribution to the University community. (Admissions decisions at Bucknell are made independent of a student's application for Tuition Exchange benefits).
43 students were offered Tuition Exchange awards based upon those reviews and benefit availability.
9 enrolling students accepted the Tuition Exchange benefit.
Other Types of Aid
Information about how grants and scholarships from areas outside Bucknell affect your award
Bucknell University is committed to providing students and their families with the best information and processing alternatives available regarding student borrowing. In support of this commitment and in an effort to rule out any perceived or actual conflict of interest between the Bucknell University officers, employees or agents and education loan lenders, Bucknell University has adopted the following Code of Conduct in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA § 487(e)). The University shall publish this Code on its website and annually inform those with responsibilities for student educational loans.
Bucknell University participates in the Federal Direct, Federal Direct Undergraduate PLUS, and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Programs for which the Federal Government is the only possible source of funding. Therefore, the Code of Conduct only applies to Private Educational Loans.
Bucknell University prohibits any real or apparent conflicts of interest between its officers, employees or agents and educational loan lenders arising from student lending transactions.
Bucknell University does not participate in any revenue-sharing arrangements for private educational loans with any lender. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘revenue-sharing arrangement’ means an arrangement between an institution and a lender under which 1) a lender provides or issues a loan that is made, insured, or guaranteed to students attending the institution or to the families of such students; and 2) the institution recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing, to the institution, an officer or employee of the institution or any agent.
Bucknell University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the institution who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to solicit or accept any gifts greater than a nominal value from any lender, guarantor or servicer.
Bucknell University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the institution who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including a stock purchase option) from a lender or affiliate of a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
Bucknell University does not permit any officer, employee or agent of the institution who is employed in the Office of Financial Aid or is otherwise involved in the administration of education loans to accept anything of value from a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders and/or guarantors in exchange for service on an advisory board, commission or other group established by such a lender, guarantor group of lenders and/or guarantors. Bucknell University does allow for the reasonable reimbursement of travel expenses associated with participation in such boards, commissions or groups by lenders, guarantors, or groups of lenders and/or guarantors.
Bucknell University does not assign a lender to any financial aid package for Private Educational Loans.
Bucknell University recognizes that a borrower has the right to choose any lender from which to borrow to finance his/her education. Therefore, Bucknell University will not refuse to certify or otherwise deny or delay certification of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender and/or guarantor.
Bucknell University will not request or accept any offer of funds to be used for Private Education Loans to students from any lender in exchange for providing the lender with a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV loans.
Bucknell University will not use any lender for any Office of Financial Aid or call center assistance.
Updated Sept. 2020
Get in Touch With Our Team
At the Office of Financial Aid, we welcome your questions throughout your financial aid journey with Bucknell.