Abby Kapp stands and smiles

Abby Kapp ’21, Economics

March 2, 2020

Abby Kapp '21, an economics major from Barto, Pa., considered schools in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. She chose Bucknell both for its big-time basketball program and its small class sizes. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

When you choose to come to Bucknell, you're not really choosing to come to a school. It's more of a community.

Voted the best high school basketball player in Pennsylvania in 2017, Abby Kapp '21 drew recruiting interest from stellar schools across the Northeast. 

She chose Bucknell University not only for its strong basketball pedigree but also for its personalized approach to academics. 

"The smaller class sizes and the faculty-to-student ratio are impressive," she says. "When I go home and talk to my friends who go to bigger state schools, they say they've never talked to their professors. I just thought that was crazy because our professors here are very involved and want to meet with you."

When Kapp was being recruited, coaches at Bucknell reminded her that almost every college athlete ends their playing career at graduation. 

"They made me realize that college is only four years long, and you have your whole life after that," she says. "They wanted me to be sure I was picking an institution that really set me up to be successful later in life."

Kapp hadn't settled on a major when she arrived at Bucknell, so she took a variety of classes to explore different interests. Kapp remembers enjoying an AP Economics class in high school ("it came pretty naturally to me," she says), so she registered for ECON 103: Economic Principles and Problems.

Majoring in economics at Bucknell, Kapp says, immerses you in a field that's constantly evolving. But there's another benefit: versatility. 

"I also thought it could open up a lot of different avenues post-graduation," she says. "I didn't think that I was putting myself in a box in terms of career opportunities."


Abby Kapp dribbles past a defender

Abby Kapp dribbles past a defender in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Photo by Marc Hagemeier

Some of those skills even extend onto the basketball court, where Kapp is one of the best 3-point shooters in the Patriot League. After a game, you might find the economics major intensely scrutinizing the stat sheet.

"I pride myself on having a decent shooting percentage, but I don't try to obsess over it," she says. "I think that statistics are important, not in comparison to others, but to hold myself to a certain standard. I feel like if I do that, I'm able to contribute positively to my team's success."

That team has been there for Kapp since she arrived. They've taught her time management skills vital to juggling school, sports and a social life. 

But Kapp says her classmates are teammates, too. She says that at Bucknell, students and student-athletes are one big family. They take the same classes, eat in the same dining halls and live in the same residence halls. 

"You're not really put on a pedestal, but you still are respected as a student," she says. "I think that that's really important."

The same is true of Bucknell's professors, Kapp says. They're understanding if you need to miss class for a game, but they won't lower the bar. 

"The professors here will throw a lot at you, especially during midterms or finals time," she says. "They expect you to rise to the occasion, get a lot of stuff done and perform well. I think that's something that a future employer will value."


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