Bucknell Vs. Denison Vs. Holy Cross

Hi! I am currently deciding between these three schools, as well as Santa Clara, but that is very far from home, or Lehigh, so it is mainly down to Bucknell, Denison, and HC. I want a close knit community, the “college experience,” rigorous academics, and good people. I am not sure what I would be majoring in yet, but I applied to the Arts and Science school for Bucknell and Lehigh. I would consider economics and political science. If anyone has any insight on any of these schools please let me know because I have to decide by May 1st.

Greek life is huge at both Bucknell and Denison and does not exist at Holy Cross. I would start there - are you looking for that component in your college experience? If not, you just decided. If so, you eliminated one.

Are all of these schools in reach financially for your family? How do you feel about required religion classes? Athletics? There are some similarities here but also some vast differences.

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I would say that I am indifferent about greek like I would join if I went to Bucknell or Denison, but since there is no Greek life at HC it would not be an issue for me. They are all in reach for my family, although Denison was the only school which did give me money. I love school spirit and I think that is a huge part of college. Required religion classes don’t bother me either.

My daughter is at Denison and couldn’t be happier. She is a STEM/pre-med major and is not involved in a sorority. At Denison greek life is non-residential therefore not pledging hasn’t impacted her social life at all. Denison has a very strong PPE major. Link below Philosophy, Politics & Economics | Denison University


Thank you for your response. Does she feel like there is a good balance between social life/enough going on at Denison, and academics? I would probably major in economics at Denison, but I know that STEM is big at Denison.

My daughter has taken 2 economics classes and throughly enjoyed them both. The academics at Denison are strong and the professors expect you to know the material. But my daughter always manages to find time to be with her friends. Bucknell was an also an option for my daughter as well. The thing that made a big difference for her was being close to major city which Columbus is. She also liked that OSU was close in case Denison started to feel small. She has only gone to visit friends from New Jersey that attend OSU once in 3 years because she really enjoys being at her school. I think these are all excellent choices.


Have you visited both schools? We just did a tour at HC last week, beautiful campus that sits on a hill overlooking the city of Worcester. They are putting a lot of money into the school, new Wellness center is open, new $100M performing arts center and currently building new upperclassman apartments. Students all seemed very friendly and collaborative.

Size? Bucknell (~4000) > HC (~3000) > Dennison (~2000)
Location: Urban (HC) vs Rural (B&D)
Cost: ???
Curriculum? For my D23 we laid out a sample plan for her major across all 4 years and compared different requirements.

Try not to worry about it , there’s no right or wrong choice. And after you decide, forget about the other schools (No Regrets!!).


We went to Denison’s Admitted Student event and were very impressed. Very pretty campus and town. I think economics is their most popular major. They told us about the opportunities available through the Knowlton Center on campus and Denison Edge in Columbus. The class sizes are small, which leads to close relationships with the faculty. The students we met were very nice and friendly. It seems like a more collaborative than competitive academic environment. Nice recreational and performing arts facilities. I don’t think Greek life would be overwhelming since it’s non-residential, as was said. Looks like a really nice small college experience.


Has anyone heard anything negative about any of these schools?

Yes! I have visited Denison, HC, and Bucknell. HC was beautiful and I know it is a great option academically. Also, HC is close to home and Boston which would be nice. I would say that Denison is very small, but that could be a positive it just all depends. Thank you!

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Holy Cross is known for having a very close knit community of students and their alumni association is one of the strongest of any college.