Frequently Asked Questions on the Bucknell University Essay
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Vinay Bhaskara in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- How Bucknell Considers Admissions Essays
- What Applicants Should Write About or Avoid in Their Bucknell Essays
- How Early Decision Works at Bucknell
How Bucknell Considers Admissions Essays
In a normal admission year at selective schools, essays are the single most important personal component of your application. They constitute about 30% of your admissions decision.
Since Bucknell is a liberal arts college, it traditionally places a higher level of emphasis than similar colleges on the essay.
To understand why your essays are so important, it’s helpful to know how they get reviewed. When your Bucknell application is read, an individual admissions officer will do an initial read-through and then discuss it with a committee of their peers. These peers have read other applications and selected other applicants they think would be qualified.
The admissions officer that reads your essay will need to think positively about you. They are your advocate and can help move you forward in the admissions process. There are likely two or three qualified applicants for each spot they have available, so ensuring the admissions officer agrees that you are a strong applicant is necessary.
Your essays are the best way to establish that relationship with the admissions officer. By reading your personal statement, they can get to know you on a personal level and determine what makes you a qualified candidate.
More information about Bucknell’s 2022-2023 Essay Prompts is available here.
What Applicants Should Write About or Avoid in Their Bucknell Essays
The most important thing about an applicant’s college essay is that it portrays who they are.
It is helpful to avoid overly cliché topics or themes that may be contrary to a particular school’s beliefs. If a student is submitting an application to a religious institution, for example, discussing why someone may be against religion would not be the safest choice for an essay. Similarly, talking about the COVID-19 pandemic could be considered overdone in recent years, as many students choose to focus on that in their applications.
Instead, thinking about what personal experiences are the most meaningful can be helpful. How do those experiences impact daily life or long-term goals? Referencing extracurricular activities or the motivation behind a particular career choice, if relevant, can both be beneficial too. Highlighting those activities offers admissions officers a glimpse into how an applicant could contribute to their campus.
For more advice on how to write the Bucknell essays, read CollegeVine’s Guide on How to Write the Bucknell University Essay, or look at an example of the Bucknell University Essay.
How Early Decision Works at Bucknell
Bucknell, like many schools, has seen a decrease in early decision applicants following the pandemic. As a result, applicants will have higher chances of admission than in other years when applying early to Bucknell.
The Early Decision I application deadline for Bucknell is November 15, and students receive decisions in mid-December. The application deadline for Early Decision II is January 15, and students receive decisions in mid-February.
Both are binding plans, meaning Bucknell is the applicant’s first-choice school, and they agree to withdraw other applications if admitted.