How to Write the Lehigh University Supplement Essays 2017-2018
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Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University is an American private research university founded in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer. A strong university in a variety of areas, Lehigh offers studies in an array of disciplines and boasts a strong engineering program.
In terms of population size, the institution has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 5,000 students, and its approximately 2,358 acres of campus are integrated in a city setting. Yet, despite its proximity to major cities like New York and Philadelphia, Lehigh’s main campus is situated on the wooded slope of South Mountain, and half of the campus is preserved as open space.
A selective university, Lehigh accepted 25.5% of applicants in 2016 and ranked #44 in the 2017 edition of Best National Universities.
For NCAA Division 1 Athletics, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks are members of the Patriot League, and the school’s most notable, historic athletic rivalry is with Lafayette College, located less than 20 miles away. In particular, the football game between Lehigh and Lafayette, also known as “The Rivalry,” is the most played rivalry game in American history, having been played 152 consecutive times since 1884. From a social-life standpoint, Greek Life is prominent at the university, with a third of the student body actively involved in fraternities and sororities.
Lehigh students are often characterized by their spirit, collaboration, and curiosity. One of school’s annual traditions, the “Bed Races,” allows students to construct their own bed-frame race cars, which teams proceed to race down the hill of South Mountain to glory. Teams have to design and build their own bed-frame racers, fostering a personalized inventiveness inherent in the tradition.
How to Write the Lehigh Application Essays
For the Lehigh supplemental essay, you are expected to choose 1 out of 3 essay prompts (250-300 words).
As with most college essay responses, you must answer the question while also conveying more information about your personality and interests. Here, Lehigh wants to know what exactly about the university, academics, and/or student body really gets you excited and passionate from an intellectual standpoint.
When selecting a topic, you must align your topic with offerings at the university; after all, it wouldn’t make sense if you wrote an essay about researching marine biology when Lehigh doesn’t have extensive offerings in that area. Try researching more into the school’s opportunities to find something that gels with your interests. Lehigh’s page of activities, clubs, and organizations is an excellent place to start.
At the same time, we advise you to be as specific as possible; instead of choosing a generic topic like “physics,” be more acute and develop a topic like “how the jaggedness of South Mountain motivated the architecture of Lehigh’s buildings, from a physics standpoint.”
Fitting for Lehigh, this essay revolves around the ideas of “family” and “community.” As previously discussed, the university has a very spirited campus community, characterized by individuals passionate about their university. This spirit feeds into the energy of the Lafayette rivalry, as well as academic endeavors.
It is important, when approaching this essay, to use evidence and support that is specific to the school. After all, many universities have strong communities that feel like family, but you need to differentiate and explain why you think the Lehigh Family is exceptional and fitting for you.
Right away, it is evident that this prompt focuses on leadership. Immediately, you may think about service work, positions you’ve held, or pioneering a project, but be careful. The point of this essay isn’t simply to discuss what leadership activities you’ve participated in; you have to take a stance on what inclusive leadership means to you, based on your experiences. Luckily, this prompt leaves flexibility for an array of responses.
The Bottom Line
Read through your essays and question critically if they convey what you want them to about yourself. Be your own skeptic. If you get stuck, we at CollegeVine recommend that you review the previously mentioned strategies and examples in this guide in order to reaffirm what Lehigh is looking for.
As you work on your Lehigh supplemental essays, remember to consider how they work in tandem with your entire application to reflect your identity. In particular, make sure your responses compliment your Common Application essay. Strategies to write the Common App essay can be found in CollegeVine’s Common App Guide 2017-2018.
Be creative, expressive, confident, and authentic! Don’t be afraid to challenge perceptions and explain your ideas.
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Best of luck and happy writing!
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