Interested in pursuing a field in science and technology? Then Lehigh University is well worth considering. Lehigh has invested millions to enhance programs in nanotechnology, biotechnology, biosciene and optoelectronics. In addition to being a leader in technology, the atmosphere is very collegial – students push each other to do their best and their career services office actively brings in multiple employers at a time to help students network before they graduate. If you’re wondering what type of student will excel at a college like Lehigh, one senior describes it by saying, “The type of student who will do best at Lehigh is the one who prefers to be too involved rather than sit back and observe.”
Here are a few quick facts about Lehigh:
Freshman retention: 94%
Freshmen from out of state: 75%
Most popular majors: finance, mechanical engineering, accounting
4-year Graduation rate: 72%
Student Community Diversity: 4% Black, 10% Latino, 9% International
Probably the most restrictive requirement for Lehigh is that students must complete courses in four domains: mathematical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, in addition to enrolling in an Evolution Seminar their first year which focuses on transition to college. Some degrees also require a mandatory internship or capstone project.
Aside from that, Lehigh undergraduates are free to study across disciplines. In fact, Lehigh is known for connecting traditionally separate disciplines, such as arts and engineering, computer science and business, and environmental engineering with minors in engineering leadership and sustainable development. Lehigh also boasts many dual-degree options and innovative special programs such as Technical Entrepreneurship Capstone, which teams up engineering, business, and arts students to design and make products for sponsoring companies. Students can also enroll in more than 250 study abroad options in 60 countries or a faculty-led program during winter or summer breaks in over a dozen countries. Those students who are looking to gain field experience can participate in a co-op – and get paid to do it.
On-campus housing is home to all first- and second-year students and 65% of students overall. Accommodations for underclassmen are described as “decent.” Upperclassmen have several housing options: apartment-style dorms, Greek houses, off-campus apartments, or an apartment in Farrington Square – a residential and commercial on-campus complex that houses about 250 upperclassmen. So if having a bookstore, farmer’s market, a coffee shop, restaurants, and sometimes live music right outside your door are your scene, you’ll want to apply to live here your last couple of years.
Similar colleges to consider:
Boston College, University of Southern California, Wake Forest, William and Mary
With such strong academic programs, you might expect the social life at Lehigh to be lacking, but that’s not the case. There’s a robust Greek life at Lehigh which attracts 38% of males to fraternities and 45% of females to sororities.
Lehigh After Dark hosts a variety of events, including a midnight breakfast bar, a carnival, and bingo night. Other traditions include the Founders Day celebration, Turkey Trot, and spirit week activities leading up to the big Lehigh vs. Lafayette football game. This game is such a big deal – and understandably so as it is the longest standing rivalry in college football (you hear that, Ohio State and Michigan fans? :-)) – that students put more emphasis on beating Lafayette than winning the whole Patriot League championship. The Division I Lehigh Mountain Hawks also boast a number of competitive teams besides football; their wrestling team is described as a “powerhouse” with numerous EIWA championships.
While Lehigh is located in an up and coming small town, undergrads have plenty of big city options with Philadelphia being 50 miles to the south and New York City about 75 miles to the east. The Poconos and Jersey Shore are also a short drive away.
Lehigh offers both need-based and merit-based aid, as well as 200 athletic scholarships. The average percentage of need met is 97%, with 75% being fully met. Although the tuition and fees are $72,000, the average financial aid package is $61,000. Where there is a demonstrated need, Lehigh has capped loans at $5,000 per year, and for families who make less than $75,000, loans have been completely removed from the financial aid package. More than 50% of students receive some type of financial aid.
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