Bucknell pay list or state school scholarship?

Our son was accepted into Bucknell class of 2022. He was very excited but received no merit or need base aid. So bascially list price. Our challenge is that he revised a very nice state school scholarship . On one hand we all love Bucknell but the cost is astonishing. is there anyone out there in the same boat? Trying to figure out if its worth paying for an elite school like Bucknell or go to a state school for 1/3rd the price? Any insight or wisdom will help?

Unless you are very wealthy, and I assume that you are not because of the question posed in this thread, do not pay sticker price for Bucknell when you have another suitable option at a much lower price.

Remember: Graduate school also charge tuition, fees, room & board, incidentals, books & travel.

Thanks for the wise advice.

Full pay here, not wealthy, wouldn’t change a thing. This is a very personal decision and you won’t go “wrong.” In our situation, my wife works for the sole purpose of paying for our kids’ higher ed costs. We were not looking for suitable, we were looking for exceptional. Bucknell has not disappointed.

I am not especially familiar with Bucknell other than having a friend of younger d go there. She studied English and creative writing and has a Master’s from Sarah Lawrence in poetry. She had a good experience there. The only point to consider with any school is that the cost of attending goes up every year for the most part as tuition and fees increase and usually there is an increase in housing costs from freshman year to sophomore housing and so on. This was the case with both schools my d’s attending. Living off-campus as upperclass college students can help with those costs but there are pros vs cons to living off campus. Being an RA is one way to decrease costs if interested.

Hello thanks for those comments, my son worked so hard ranked 5 out of 380 and so on. I want to give him every chance to succeed and Bucknell was his #1 choice. Little disapointed he did not get merit but no suprised seeing all the comments. I do appreciate you responding. It helps.

Thanks for those comments. Yes being an RA or work study could help him some…

Definitely a personal choice. One thing I learned from this process is that large state-owned and state-related (like UPitt) schools have a lot more merit money to give. Once you start looking at competitive private schools, merit money is very scarce to nonexistent. I do not qualify for financial aid and am a white male from East Coast. I applied to engineering programs at a wide variety of schools. I was lucky enough to get a Dean’s Scholarship from Bucknell. My letter said only about 40 engineering kids were offered the Dean’s scholarship. The Presidential Fellowship is Bucknell’s largest award, but according to its website, Bucknell considers need and merit when awarding both the Presidential and Dean’s. I was accepted to two other top tier schools, inducing one Ivy, but neither offered me merit money. I am going to Bucknell and couldn’t be happier. Cost is definitely an important factor, as another poster noted, especially if you are considering graduate school. If you love Bucknell, consider calling the Bucknell financial aid or admissions office to explain your situation and your other offer. There may be work study or other opportunities that make the overall lower.

I’m in the same exact boat with my son. He was accepted to our flagship U. Honors program and Bucknell. These are his top two choices. Flagship U. after scholarship is approx 21k. Bucknell, with zero scholarship, is around 69k. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around paying more than 3 times for Bucknell. The decision is difficult because prestige does matter. The Bucknell degree may open additional opportunities down the road because the alumni pull and reputation will be much greater. However, I do believe that Bucknell (and other schools) have crossed the line in terms of reasonableness and, although we can afford to pay for Bucknell, it will be painful. Although we’re still deciding, I’m leaning toward the Public U. and placing bets that my kid will ultimately achieve great things because all the other qualities he holds will eventually outweigh the benefits of a prestigious degree. I also believe companies/firms are just as inclined to hire from the Public school because they understand the ridiculous price of college and will recognize that the kid who went to the Public U can be a smart, hard working and gritty gem who is more grounded in making wise financial decisions for her/himself and their family. No easy answer but both good ones. Good luck deciding!

Thanks for the feedback my friend.

Thanks for getting back to me… Hard to believe the price tag so we are in the same boat. Headed up there this week during spring break to assess all the options… good luck to you and your son

Thanks all who are replied. In the end my son decided to accept Bucknell’s offer of admissions. We just all love what they have to offer. He accepted tonight. Thanks everyone. Good luck

@mizenev I think your son will love Bucknell. My D is a senior now and has had an exceptional experience. She has had a bit of arts merit $$ to lessen the financial bite but she also turned down a much lower cost alternative (she had received a $40k per year scholarship at another LAC ranked in the 50s). I am sure she would have had a great experience at the other school but we had told her at the outset of applications that we could afford full pay and so we left the choice up to her. Would it be nice to have the extra 120k now? Sure. But we had saved since she was little and between savings and current income we could pay so we did. She has worked several jobs on campus and pays for books and spending money and she knows that grad school if she decides to go that way in the future is likely up to her.

@CT_Dude we are in a similar situation. My son was accepted STEM honors at our flagship (UCONN). With scholarships, the cost is 1/10th the cost of Bucknell for 4 years.

Hi thanks so much for those comments. It helps to see that there are many of us who agree that Bucknell is exceptional and worth it. Personal decision for everyone.

That is exactly what we were facing but at UDel. It was UDel with significant scholarship or Bucknell at list. In the end we have found a way to make it work. So my son has skin in the game. His choice. Like BisonCT said earlier “it’s a personal choice”. There is no wrong answer.

Bucknell alum and parent of a recent graduate here. Definitely a personal choice and an expensive one. We were also full pay but it was a phenomenal experience for my daughter and worth every penny! She’s living on her own in NYC and loving life. Congratulations to your son! Enjoy every minute of it!

Can you afford Bucknell without parent loans ?
When you say ‘state school’ do you mean a public flagship (or semi public like Penn State or Pitt) or do you mean a passhe school like wcu?


Hi I was referring to Udel.