In order to apply for Bucknell need-based aid, you must complete the CSS PROFILE at by the appropriate deadline (refer to checklist for dates).  Your financial aid package will be determined based on our analysis of the information you report on the CSS PROFILE. Bucknell uses information from both the federal and institutional methodologies to calculate your eligibility for federal, state and Bucknell aid programs.

These are the primary pieces of information that we review:

  • parent and student income (both taxable and untaxed)
  • parent and student assets
  • number of family members supported by your parents
  • number of those family members who are enrolled at least half-time in degree-seeking first undergraduate higher education programs

In order for us to determine eligibility for Bucknell need-based aid, please understand that we need to know the total financial resources of the family. We require all income and asset information from the parents (or adults who are functioning as parents) who are supporting the family, regardless of gender, legal marital status or whether or not both are biological or adoptive parents. In some cases, parents have not or cannot be married but wish to apply for financial aid. If your family has integrated their economic resources for at least one year, then we need to know the information of all adults supporting the household, and we will require their tax documents for our institutional verification process.

We determine your Bucknell institutional family contribution, subtract it from our cost of attendance, and the result is your calculated institutional financial aid eligibility at Bucknell. Please keep in mind that Bucknell's methodology is different from the Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA, as that Federal EFC is calculated by the Department of Education and is only used to determine eligibility for federal aid. We are not able to meet a student's federal need level, but we try to award as much financial aid as possible with a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work study from all of the federal, state and institutional aid programs that we offer. (If you are not eligible for need-based aid, you will be awarded an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan.)  In future years, please be aware that if your family's income increases or number in college decreases, your Bucknell Need-Based Grant will decrease.

In May/June, we will review your and your parents' tax and verification documents. Please understand that we are not able to increase your aid during this verification; we will simply verify that you are still eligible for the aid package that was awarded to you.

It is *very important* to remember that if the actual income is higher than what was reported on the CSS PROFILE, assets are higher, or if the number in college is lower, then your need-based aid eligibility will be reduced, so you will need to be prepared for this situation.

Also, if you apply late, we cannot guarantee that funding will be available.

Applying for Aid in Future Years

Because your eligibility can change from year to year, you will need to reapply for aid each year during your time at Bucknell. (However, you will only need to complete the CSS PROFILE once.) Returning students must submit all documents by March 15. 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 degree-seeking first undergraduate programs).
    NOTE: Be aware that one of the factors affecting need-based aid eligibility the most is the number of children enrolled at least half-time in degree-seeking first undergraduate higher education programs. When this number decreases, your need-based grant will decrease as well. We do not want 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.

Realistically, you will want to consider what you and your parents will have to pay, not just for one year, but for each of your four years at Bucknell.  If your family's financial situation stays about the same, your financial aid should do the same.  However, please understand that we are not able to award additional aid to cover cost increases from year to year.


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