What Does it Take to Get Into Lehigh University?
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Only 25% of applicants are accepted at Lehigh University. What does it take to get in?
Known for its unique interdisciplinary programs, such as Computer Science and Business (CSB), Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS), and Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE), Lehigh University is home to three colleges with undergraduate programs, including:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
- College of Business & Economics
The university is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in Lehigh Valley, with three campuses that are situated on or around South Mountain. With rigorous academic programs, including 7-year combined degree programs in optometry and dentistry, and stellar athletics, it’s no surprise that Lehigh has a strong freshman retention rate of 96%
How do you get into Lehigh? Here’s what the university looks for.
Applying to Lehigh: A Quick Review
To apply to Lehigh, you will submit:
- Common App
- Lehigh Supplement
- School report, including counselor recommendation and official transcript
- Teacher recommendation
- Midyear and final report
- SAT or ACT (superscores within one version of the test; writing not required)
- Subject Tests recommended (potentially awards credit for scores 700+)
Regular: January 1
Early Decision 1: November 1
Early Decision 2: January 1
Lehigh Acceptance Rate: How Difficult is it to Get In?
Admission to Lehigh is very competitive; the university has an admission rate of 25%. Of 3,489 acceptances, 35% (1,234) matriculated as part of the class of 2021.
Standardized Test Scores
SAT middle 50% range:
- SAT critical reading: 640-715
- SAT math: 660-755
ACT middle 50% range: 30-33
So, What Does It Take to Get Into Lehigh?
Lehigh performs a holistic review of your application, taking into account class rank, grades, any grade fluctuations, academic performance in courses related to your program of study, curriculum rigor, recommendations, extracurriculars, work experience, and demonstrated interest.
Lehigh emphasizes real-world learning and collaboration. Consider gaining experience through internships, volunteering, and other extracurriculars to show Lehigh that you’re passionate about learning—and get a taste of a potential career.
Given Lehigh’s emphasis on interdisciplinary programs, it can also be helpful to demonstrate multiple talents and interests. You should show that you’re well-rounded but specialized, of course, but having multiple specialties indicates that you have many talents. If you attend Lehigh, you could have the opportunity to pursue several or intersecting interests and talents.
Finally, it’s important to show that Lehigh is a top choice of yours. As a school with a clear “why us?” essay, Lehigh wants students who want to go to Lehigh. In addition to demonstrating your knowledge of and fit with the university in your essay, you should also visit, participate in an on-campus interview, or demonstrate interest in other ways.
What If You Get Rejected?
Being denied admission to any college, particularly one of your top choices, is disappointing. Still, it’s important to take a step back and regroup. If you get rejected from Lehigh, here’s what you can do:
Take a gap year or transfer in. If you had your heart set on Leigh or received bad news from the other colleges on your list, one option is to take a gap year and reapply next admissions cycle. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have a productive plan for the year. You might undertake a research project, volunteer, study to improve your SAT scores, or take classes at a local college. Do know, however, that this path is risky, as taking a gap year won’t ensure your acceptance the second time around.
You could also begin your studies at another institution with the hopes of transferring. However, with an admissions rate of 25% for transfer students and only 30-40 transfer spots, the odds of acceptance are equivalent to those for applying as a first-year student.
Keep it in perspective. Even if Lehigh was your top choice, chances are, you’ll find a way to make a college that did accept you work. College really is what you make of it, and if you put effort into adjusting to another school by joining clubs, working hard in your classes, and cultivating a social life, you’ll likely find that you can make a fulfilling college experience for yourself, even if you end up at a college that wasn’t your top choice.
For more personalized expertise on getting into Lehigh, consider CollegeVines’s College Application Guidance Program. When you sign up for our program, we carefully pair you with the perfect admissions specialist based on your current academic and extracurricular profile and the schools in which you’re interested. Your personal application specialist will help you with branding, essays, and interviews, and provide you with support and guidance in all other aspects of the application process.
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