The real cost of one year at Bucknell is about 24 percent more than the comprehensive fee that is charged to students. Bucknell must provide an additional $11,000 per student each year to make up the difference. Annual gifts and funds from the University endowment help bridge this gap.
Net tuition, fees, room and board (i.e., not including the University’s distribution of $54 million in financial aid to students) comprise about 71 percent of our operating budget. The rest comes from endowment income (19 percent), gift revenue (5 percent), government grants (2 percent) and other sources (3 percent). So endowment and gift revenue are essential to Bucknell and to the experience our students have here.
We also are determined to hold the line on significant tuition increases and, to the best of our ability, will not increase our comprehensive fee above inflation. As a result, gifts from donors will become even more important to our future because of the critical margin of difference they provide in our ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty, develop and support academic programs, and improve the quality of our facilities, grounds and technologies.
All gifts make a difference. The best example is the Annual Fund, which is made up of gifts that donors want put to immediate use. We typically raise more than $12 million every year through the Annual Fund, and more than 80 percent of these gifts are less than $500. Through the Annual Fund, everyone in the Bucknell community can play an important part in the life of the University and its students. During this campaign, we want to increase Annual Fund giving to $14 million annually.
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