I am currently a senior at Bucknell, and felt like prospective students should hear a slightly different opinion on some of the issues that seem to keep coming up.
While Bucknell lacks a ton of diversity, the school is making huge progress in this direction. Posse, which recruits groups of students from a few major urban center, has grown significantly. The center for multicultural affairs is very active, helping coordinate numerous student groups.
The Chief Diversity Officer, Rolando, is always starting new projects getting students involved in the surrounding communities, New York, and Chicago. One meeting with him and he will give you an appreciation for the commitment that Bucknell has to engaging diversity.
The professors in my department are amazing. I had a classes with the ousted Ethiopian leader Berhanu Nega, former VP of Goldman Sachs, and an excellent international law scholar. They offered some of the most academically challenging classes I have ever taken.
I now have the opportunity to do an independent study with a language professor and prepare an honors thesis on a topic of interest as I plan for graduate school.
Greek life is the center of social scene. There are fraternities for guys who want to bro out and ice their friends at 8am on a Monday morning. There is a fraternity for someone who wants to blaze every day after class. There are also fraternities that abstain from such activities. The common thread is that all fraternities are a tight "group within a group" for Bucknell students to have fun, brotherhood responsibilities, and leadership opportunities.
If you decide not to go Greek, it will take more effort on your part to have a social life. Girls have it easier, as they can float between parties and events a lot easier. But by your junior year, if you have ANY social skills at all, you will have friends in different fraternities who will gladly invite you to their events. The non-greeks I know are all happy in their decision, and many decide to join one of the less stereotypical fraternities by the time the graduate.
As a male, I feel under qualified to talk about sororities. While their recruitment process is far more scary than the guys, every girl I know is happy with her decision to go Greek.
As to the costs, Bucknell provides some of the best financial aid. I receive about 20,000 in need based scholarships a year, and my parents earn about 80,000 a year. I may be biased because of my own aid, but Bucknell makes it affordable.
The only real complaint I have is that the weather is brutal. But whatever. I probably need to stay inside and study more as it is.
Also, realize that the majority of Bucknellians go abroad. Go to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia. Since most students do it, it makes there less temptation to stay on campus all four years. Being surrounded by seniors who have all had different, positive international experiences is very unique to the Bucknell student body.
The new bookstore is pretty sweet also. I love the school and would make the same choice again.
Contact admissions and plan an overnight stay! See a residential college! People like complaining (about anything), so get a feel for yourself.