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What Does It Really Cost to Attend Lehigh University?

The Keystone State boasts some of the top educational institutions in the nation, including the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University. It’s also home to Lehigh University, a premier research school with high price tag to match.


While the sticker price on a Lehigh University degree could be enough to discourage potential applicants, it’s important to remember that a majority of students pay significantly less to attend this institution. Read on to learn why college pricing is so variable, along with what it really costs to attend Lehigh University.


Why College Costs Are Highly Variable


When it comes to financing a college degree, parents don’t always know what to expect. And while they might be turned off by high list prices, it’s worth noting that net price of attending school is often significantly lower. This cost is found by adding up the value of government aid (local, state, and federal), institutional grants, merit aid, then subtracting it from the sticker price.


Families often think they should rule out private colleges because of the high price tags. However, private schools boast large endowments, so they often hand out more financial aid. For some families, attending a private school might be more affordable than going to a public one. o your research to find out what colleges and universities offer the best value for your family.


What Is the List Price at Lehigh University?


For the 2016-2017 school year, the list price for Lehigh was $63,075. It’s worth noting that students from families earning less than $175,000 a year rarely pay the sticker price. Additionally, those in the top 30% of accepted students may earn merit scholarships that reduce their out-of-pocket costs.

What Is the Lehigh University Financial Aid Net Price?


Lehigh’s financial aid net price is lower than the list price. For the 2016-2017 year, students paid an average rate of $55,458 after financial aid.


What Is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending Lehigh?


You can expect to pay more or less to attend Lehigh University based on your family’s income level. Below are average net tuition prices per family income bracket:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $20,231*
$30,001-$48,000 $14,106
$48,001-$75,000 $18,432
$75,001-$110,000 $28,417
$110,000 $45,419

* These numbers do not reflect any Pell Grants that families may receive. Families with an income of $0-30k often receive Federal Pell Grants, which reduce the amount of financial aid that individual institutions need to award. This is why there is a higher tuition rate for families with $0-30k vs. those with $30k-48k.

How Much Merit Aid Do Lehigh University Students Receive?


Lehigh University grants relatively little merit-based aid to incoming freshmen. For the 2016-2017 cycle, just 6.6% of students received merit aid with an average award amount of $590. These figures give Lehigh a ranking of 817 out of 1000 in our study of merit aid generosity.


If your student doesn’t qualify for financial aid, expect to spend $62,485 to attend Lehigh.

How Many Lehigh University Students Take Out Loans?


Students looking to bridge the gap between total tuition costs and financial aid may consider taking out loans. At Lehigh University, around 54% of students borrow money to finance their degrees, with an average loan per undergraduate of $3,762 total over four years.

Student Outcomes at Lehigh University


Students who attend Lehigh University tend to earn high salaries over the course of their careers. A decade after graduating, the average alumnus boasted a salary of $81,900. Moreover, families can feel good about their students finishing on time, as the school has a six-year graduation rate of 88%.

Local Area Cost Considerations


Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh is a fairly inexpensive place to pursue an education. With a cost of living index of 91.1, the area costs just less than the U.S. average. If living off-campus, expect to find a one-bedroom rental for $915, a two-bedroom for $1165, and a three-bedroom space for $1508. So if your student chooses to reside with roommates, they could conceivably pay as little as $500 per month in rent.


Unfortunately, the minimum wage in Pennsylvania is also on the low side. The hourly rate for employment is equal to the federal minimum of $7.25. For students planning to stay in the area after graduation, the average salary is $49,165 annually.

Ways to Save Money on College


Bethlehem offers lots of opportunity for students seeking off-campus work to save some cash. However, some students also have the chance to work on campus. Work-study jobs can be a great way for students to earn extra money. Some give students the chance to be a teaching assistant or tutor in their major, or involve down time to study, such as being a library desk aide.


Independent scholarships are another way for students to earn cash and reduce the college tuition burden. Through the National Merit Scholarship program, students in the top 1 percent of PSAT scorers have the chance to earn $2,500 to use toward their education. Each year, 15,000 people benefit from this fund.


You can also learn more about Lehigh University financial aid and scholarship opportunities on their website.


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Short Bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.