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Bucknell to Open 176th Academic Year with Record New Class, Enrollment

Class of 2025 Has 1,031 New Students, Pushing Opening Enrollment to Record 3,810 Students for Start of Classes Aug. 23

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell University will welcome its largest incoming class in history, with the 1,031 new students in the Class of 2025 also pushing opening enrollment to a record 3,810 students (3,774 undergraduates, 36 graduate students as of Aug. 17) for the start of classes in its 176th academic year on Monday, Aug. 23.

Opening convocation and candlelighting ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22, in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. Convocation will mark the academic start of the Class of 2025’s Bucknell experience. President John Bravman will deliver the Convocation Address, officially opening the new academic year.

The record incoming class was selected from a record-setting applicant pool of 11,263 and comes from 34 states and 43 countries. The first-year student body includes 20.7% who are students of color, 3.8% international students and 8.1% who are first-generation students. The class had an average high school GPA of 3.62, up slightly from the previous year.

Talent Beyond the Classroom
Members of the class have also gotten involved in their academic, athletic and career interests in ways that are impossible to measure on a 4.0 scale.

One student researched water filtration. Another served as an intern at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Yet another was selected to present their findings on the composition of sand grains at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting.

The class also includes a Junior Olympics diver, a nationally-ranked squash player, an Ironman triathlon finisher, a young woman ranked 51st in the world in CrossFit, and a water polo player who competed at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Our incoming first-years showed their passion for myriad activities outside of the school day,” says Dean of Admissions Kevin Mathes ’07. “We are excited to see how these passions continue and expand as the Class of 2025 begins its Bucknell journey.”

More than half of applicants for the Class of 2025 applied test-optional, meaning they chose not to include SAT or ACT scores with their application. That percentage is up from 17% for the Class of 2024 — an increase that can be attributed largely to the pandemic.

There are also 21 transfer students this year, five of whom are Bucknell Community College Scholars.

“The Class of 2025 continues our tradition of attracting top academic talent to Bucknell,” Mathes says. “While their grades and course rigor were impressive, we were equally attracted to their curiosity, collaborative skills and ingenuity.”

Pandemic Policy
Bucknell has announced that it will conduct all courses fully in person during the fall 2021 semester, a move enabled by the University’s requirement that students are vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their arrival to campus, unless they have an approved exemption on file with Bucknell Student Health.

But due to the increased transmission of the COVID-19 delta variant nationally, masks are required for everyone in all public and academic indoor campus spaces, regardless of social distancing or vaccination status. Masks are not required outdoors.

“The delta variant of COVID-19 is highly transmissible and presents our campus with new challenges,” Bravman wrote in an Aug. 5 campus email. “We’ve handled the pandemic well, and I have full confidence that together we can adjust to changing circumstances and continue to thrive as a community.”

Bravman noted that as COVID-19 conditions remain fluid, the University community must continue to remain flexible regarding campus operations.


CONTACTS: Kevin Mathes, 570-577-1806,; Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-286-6266 (c),

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