In High Demand

Students of Bucknell University gather around a lawn
Photo: Emily Paine
" "
Bucknell has become increasingly selective as interest from prospective students has grown year over year.
by Mike Ferlazzo
Bucknell opened its 178th academic year in August with a record enrollment for the third consecutive year. The student body comprises 3,925 students, including 3,867 undergraduates, 44 graduate students and 14 nondegree students. The opening enrollment figure reflects one of the highest sophomore retention rates in University history, with 96.3% of Class of 2026 students remaining enrolled; and the second-largest incoming class in Bucknell history, with 1,033 students in the Class of 2027.

Only last year’s record class of 1,039 new students was larger than this year’s. The University opened last year with the previous record enrollment at 3,854 students.

“Demand for a Bucknell education remains higher than ever,” said President John Bravman in his annual University Address to employees Aug. 14. “We have seen more than 11,000 applications in each of the past three years, with more students than ever accepting our offer of admission. I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve all done to reach this level of interest from such talented students.”

The incoming class was selected from among 11,010 applicants and hails from 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as 24 countries and administrative regions. The first-year student body includes 22% who are students of color (21.7% last year), 4.5% who are international students (4.1% last year) and 13.5% who are first-generation students. The class had an average high school GPA of 3.65, up slightly from last year (3.63).

There are also 27 transfer students this year, 12 of whom are Bucknell Community College Scholars.

“Bucknell’s Class of 2027 is an impressive mix of academic and personal talent,” says Assistant Vice President & Dean of Admissions Kevin Mathes ’07. “Their service to their communities, advocacy work and accomplishments impressed us. We know they will make a positive impact on the Bucknell community.”