Merit Scholarship- What Bucknell Looks For

I am interested in Bucknell and I know they have great FA, but I would also like to try for some merit aid. The two I am interested in is the Presidential Fellowship and the Dean’s Scholarship. Both are pretty vague online, so I was interested to see if anyone on here has gotten either scholarship and what kind of stats they had. IDK if its very stats based for merit like Pitt or if you need really good ECs/awards instead. I would love to hear your experience with their aid. Thank you!

My son got the Presidential Fellowship 4 years ago. He had an ACT score of 34 and pretty good grades - not a 4.0 but probably not too far from it (can’t remember the exact number). Had 4 or 5 AP classes. He didn’t go crazy with the EC’s - is an Eagle Scout, played sports, was Treasurer of NHS, had a job.

One important thing to note is that they offer a number of students the chance to APPLY for the Fellowship (had to write additional short essays), but they offer the Fellowship to a much smaller number of students. Don’t know if it made a difference, but he really let his personality come through in those answers. They were funny - one made me laugh out loud. I think in his year around 200 were offered to apply, 80 were offered the fellowship, and about 25 accepted it. Keep in mind this was years ago and this could be very different now.

Hope this helps!

@benreb So high stats can get you the invite then standout essays get you the scholarship? Somehow I completely missed that they have to invite you first, I thought you just applied. My stats are comparable to your son(4.0 but slightly lower tests) with some good ECs so I’m hoping for the best! Do you think students that get invited but don’t make the final cut usually get the Dean’s scholarship or is that a completely different process?

I honestly don’t know anything about the Dean’s scholarship. I do know, however, that one of my son’s friends also was invited to apply for the Presidential Fellowship and didn’t get it. He wasn’t offered anything else, and ended up attending another school.

Please keep in mind that these are not hard and fast rules. I really don’t know why my son was offered the fellowship. I can only assume that it had something to do with his essays since that was the next step of the process. But my sample size is exactly one.

My second daughter was offered the opportunity to apply for the Presidential Fellows awards this year. Her invite said she was one of about 300 applicants given the opportunity. I did some searches at the time, and I’m pretty sure there was a standardized test cut off - 1440 (for the SAT combined Math/Reading) - but I can’t recall where I saw that. She wrote some great essays and was offered the Presidential Fellows award at the time she was offered admission to Bucknell. I will tell you that she has an excellent GPA, but not extraordinary. She loves Bucknell and was terribly torn and stressed about where to go. But she has strong interest in foreign language, so she did end up sending the deposit in to Middlebury. But she has plenty of Bucknell swag and is not afraid to wear a Bison sweatshirt in central Vermont!

There is more than just a stat score that determines who is invited to apply. Bucknell gets thousands of applications. My guess is they offer the scholarship app to the tippy top of the applicant pool and/or those with some unusual interest or quality.