Colby vs Lehigh: A Look at the Pros and Cons of Each University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Male man attending an online class

Colby vs Lehigh: A Look at the Pros and Cons of Each University

When considering where to continue your education, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each potential university. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Colby vs Lehigh to help you make an informed decision. We’ll cover everything from the schools’ locations and campus features to their academic programs, career opportunities, and student support services. So, let’s dive in!

Location and Campus Features

Colby University is located in Waterville, Maine, a small town with a population of just over 16,000. The campus is nestled among 714 acres of wooded grounds, providing a serene environment for students to immerse themselves in their studies. Lehigh University, on the other hand, is situated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is more populous, with a population of over 75,000. The campus spans over 2,355 acres and is situated in the Lehigh Valley with beautifully landscaped grounds.

Both universities offer a range of excellent campus features and amenities, from state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories to recreational facilities, libraries, and student centers. Students at Colby University enjoy access to the Colby Museum of Art, which features over 8,000 works of art, and the Alfond Athletics Center, which boasts an Olympic-sized pool and an ice rink. Lehigh University, on the other hand, features the Wilbur Powerhouse for arts and performance, along with the Stabler Arena for athletics events.

Colby University is also known for its commitment to sustainability. The campus has implemented various eco-friendly initiatives, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable transportation options. The university has even received recognition for its efforts, including being named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States.

Lehigh University, on the other hand, has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. The university has established various programs and resources to support students in developing their own businesses and startups. The Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation offers workshops, mentorship, and funding opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, while the Mountaintop Initiative provides a collaborative space for students to work on interdisciplinary projects.

Student Life and Campus Culture: Colby vs. Lehigh

When it comes to student life and campus culture, both Colby and Lehigh universities provide unique and exciting experiences for their students. At Colby, there are over 100 student organizations for students to get involved in, from the Outing Club to the Colby College Democrats. They also have a strong tradition of community service, with numerous opportunities for volunteering in the local area.

Lehigh University is equally diverse, with over 200 student-run clubs and organizations available for students to join. The campus hosts numerous events throughout the year, including music festivals, cultural celebrations, and sporting events. The Lehigh Mountain Hawks are well-known for their athletics programs, which provide great opportunities for students to get involved and support their school.

a group of students that are member of a school club practicing after class

Both universities also offer a wide range of resources and support services for their students. Colby has a comprehensive wellness program that includes mental health services, nutrition counseling, and fitness classes. Lehigh has a career services center that provides students with guidance on internships, job opportunities, and networking events. Additionally, both universities have dedicated staff and faculty members who are committed to helping students succeed academically and personally.

Academic Programs and Curriculum: Colby vs. Lehigh

Both Colby and Lehigh universities offer a wide range of academic programs and majors for students to choose from. At Colby, there are over 58 majors in arts and sciences, with particular strengths in fields such as economics and environmental science. They also offer a dual degree program in engineering with Columbia University.

Lehigh University, on the other hand, has more than 100 undergraduate majors across four colleges, with the top programs being engineering, business, and health. They also offer world-renowned interdisciplinary programs in materials science and data science. In addition, Lehigh offers a highly-ranked graduate program in education that is respected nationwide.

Colby University also offers a unique program called the Jan Plan, which is a one-month term in January where students can take a single course, participate in an internship, or engage in a research project. This program allows students to explore their interests and gain valuable experience outside of the traditional academic year.

Lehigh University has a strong focus on experiential learning, with opportunities for students to participate in internships, co-ops, and research projects. They also have a robust study abroad program, with partnerships in over 40 countries, allowing students to gain a global perspective and enhance their cultural awareness.

Admissions and Enrollment Statistics: Colby vs. Lehigh

When it comes to admissions and enrollment statistics, both universities are well-respected and highly competitive. At Colby University, the acceptance rate for the class was 8%. The average SAT score for admitted students was 1430, and the average ACT score was 32. The undergraduate enrollment for the academic year is approximately 2,200 students.

Lehigh University’s acceptance rate for the class was 37%. The average SAT score for admitted students was 1, and the average ACT score was 30. Lehigh has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 5,600 students for the academic year.

ACT books

It’s worth noting that both universities have seen an increase in applications in recent years. Colby University received over 13,000 applications for the class of 2024, which was a 10% increase from the previous year. Similarly, Lehigh University received over 32,000 applications for the class of 2024, which was a 14% increase from the previous year.

Both universities also have a diverse student body, with students coming from all over the United States and the world. At Colby University, students come from 47 states and 67 countries. Lehigh University has students from all 50 states and over 100 countries.

Faculty and Staff Quality: Colby vs. Lehigh

At both Colby and Lehigh universities, students benefit from outstanding faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping them achieve their academic goals. Colby has approximately 240 full-time faculty and staff, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. The faculty at Colby includes numerous experts in their respective fields, many of whom have published books, articles, and research papers in top journals and publications.

At Lehigh, there are approximately 1,100 full-time faculty and staff, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. The university attracts top talent from around the world, with 89% of the faculty holding terminal degrees in their fields.

Both universities also prioritize the professional development of their faculty and staff. Colby offers a variety of resources and opportunities for faculty to enhance their teaching and research skills, including workshops, seminars, and funding for research projects. Lehigh provides similar opportunities, with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. This commitment to ongoing professional development ensures that students receive the highest quality education from knowledgeable and engaged faculty and staff.

Career Opportunities and Alumni Network: Colby vs. Lehigh

Both Colby and Lehigh universities provide excellent career opportunities and a strong alumni network. At Colby, students have access to the Colby Career Center, which provides resources and services such as job postings, internships, and job fairs. Colby’s alumni network is also extensive and well-connected, providing numerous opportunities for students to connect with alumni and gain valuable advice and mentorship.

A professor giving instructions to a student.

Lehigh University also boasts a strong career center, with resources and services such as career counseling, employer relations, and networking opportunities. Lehigh’s alumni network is also extensive, with over 81,000 alumni worldwide, providing great networking opportunities for students and graduates alike.

Additionally, both universities offer various programs and initiatives to help students prepare for their future careers. Colby offers a program called the Colby Plan, which allows students to explore different academic and career paths through internships, research, and study abroad opportunities. Lehigh offers a similar program called the Mountaintop Initiative, which provides students with hands-on experience in their chosen field and helps them develop skills that are highly valued by employers.

Campus Facilities and Resources: Colby vs. Lehigh

When it comes to campus facilities and resources, both Colby and Lehigh universities offer an abundance of options for students. At Colby, students can take advantage of world-class research facilities, including the Lunder Institute for American Art and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. Colby Library is also a great asset, housing over a million volumes and numerous online databases and publications.

Lehigh University offers a similarly impressive array of facilities and resources, from the renowned Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics to the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation. The Lehigh Library system is also extensive, featuring over 2 million volumes and access to thousands of electronic resources and databases.

Additionally, Colby University has a state-of-the-art athletic center that includes a pool, fitness center, and indoor track. The center also offers a variety of fitness classes and intramural sports for students to participate in. Lehigh University also has a strong athletic program, with a variety of varsity sports teams and a newly renovated stadium that can seat up to 16,000 spectators.

Both universities also offer extensive career services to help students prepare for life after graduation. Colby’s Career Center provides students with access to job and internship postings, career counseling, and networking events. Lehigh’s Center for Career and Professional Development offers similar services, as well as resume and cover letter reviews and mock interviews to help students prepare for job interviews.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid: Colby vs. Lehigh

The cost of attendance and availability of financial aid are important considerations for many students when choosing a university. At Colby, the annual cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year amounts to approximately $80,000, including tuition, fees, room and board. However, Colby is committed to providing financial aid to eligible students. Currently, over 50% of Colby’s students receive financial aid, with an average award of over $56,000 per year.

Lehigh University’s cost of attendance for the academic year amounts to approximately $83,000, including tuition, fees, room and board. Over 50% of Lehigh’s students receive financial aid, with an average award of approximately $70,000 per year.

In addition to financial aid, both Colby and Lehigh offer various scholarships and grants to help students cover the cost of attendance. Colby offers merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and talent-based awards for students who excel in athletics, music, or the arts. Lehigh also offers a range of scholarships and grants, including academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, and need-based grants.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance and financial aid packages can vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances, such as their family income, academic achievements, and extracurricular activities. Therefore, it’s recommended that students and their families use the net price calculator provided by each university to get a more accurate estimate of their out-of-pocket expenses.

Research Opportunities and Partnerships: Colby vs. Lehigh

Both Colby and Lehigh universities are committed to fostering a culture of research and innovation. At Colby, students have numerous opportunities to engage in research with faculty members, ranging from individual research projects to participation in academic conferences and symposia. Colby has also established partnerships with numerous organizations and institutions, such as Jackson Laboratory, the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

At Lehigh University, students are encouraged to explore their interests and passions through research projects, internships, and study-abroad opportunities. Lehigh has also established numerous partnerships with organizations and institutions around the world, such as the United States Steel Corporation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Da Vinci Science Center.

Furthermore, both universities offer resources and support for students interested in pursuing research. Colby has a dedicated research office that provides funding, training, and mentorship for students conducting research. Lehigh has a similar office that offers research grants, workshops, and access to state-of-the-art research facilities. Both universities also have active research communities, with regular seminars, workshops, and events that bring together students and faculty from different disciplines to share their research and collaborate on new projects.

Athletics Programs and Facilities: Colby vs. Lehigh

Both Colby and Lehigh universities provide excellent athletics programs and facilities for students to enjoy. Colby’s teams, known as the Mules, compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and field 32 varsity teams. Colby also offers numerous intramural and club sports programs, providing opportunities for all students to get involved in athletics.

Rugby team, people and coaching for field strategy, checklist and training progress, teamwork and planning game.

Lehigh fields 25 varsity teams, competing in the Patriot League and known as the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh’s athletic facilities are top-notch, including the Goodman Stadium for football games and the ULIF PA Stadium for soccer games. Lehigh also offers a wide range of recreational and fitness facilities for all students.

Additionally, both universities prioritize the health and safety of their student-athletes. Colby and Lehigh have dedicated athletic trainers and medical staff to ensure that athletes receive proper care and treatment for injuries. Both universities also have strict protocols in place for concussion management and prevention.

Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities

Student organizations and leadership opportunities are vital components of the college experience, and both Colby and Lehigh universities offer numerous options for students to get involved. At Colby, students can join over 100 student-run clubs and organizations, ranging from academic and pre-professional groups to service and cultural organizations. The Colby Leadership Institute is also available for students who want to develop their leadership skills.

Lehigh University provides an equally impressive array of student organizations and leadership opportunities, with over 200 student-run clubs and organizations available. The Mountaintop Experience, a summer program where students work on collaborative projects, is also available to select Lehigh students, who are provided access to funding and resources necessary to work on their own ideas and proposals.

Additionally, both universities offer opportunities for students to take on leadership roles within their organizations. At Colby, students can run for positions such as club president or treasurer, and gain valuable experience in managing budgets and leading teams. Lehigh also offers leadership positions within their clubs and organizations, as well as through their Leadership Development Program, which provides training and support for students interested in becoming effective leaders.

Furthermore, both universities encourage students to create their own clubs and organizations if they do not find one that aligns with their interests. Colby and Lehigh provide resources and support for students who want to start their own groups, including funding, meeting spaces, and guidance on how to recruit members and plan events.

Campus Security Measures and Safety Records

When it comes to campus security measures and safety records, both Colby and Lehigh universities are committed to providing a safe environment for their students, faculty, and staff. Colby employs a dedicated campus security force and has numerous protocols and procedures in place to ensure the safety of its community members. Colby is also a small, close-knit community where safety concerns are quickly addressed and resolved.

campus police department

Lehigh University takes campus safety and security very seriously, with a dedicated police department and a team of emergency managers. The university also provides students and faculty with numerous resources, such as the LiveSafe app for easy communication with campus safety officers and the Lehigh Guardian app which offers services such as the “SafeWalk” feature and emergency notifications. Lehigh remains committed to always ensuring the safety of its community.

In addition to the measures already mentioned, Colby University has implemented a comprehensive emergency response plan that includes regular drills and training for students, faculty, and staff. The university also has a system in place for reporting and addressing any safety concerns or incidents that may occur on campus. Colby’s commitment to safety is reflected in its low crime rate and high satisfaction among students and parents.

Similarly, Lehigh University has a strong focus on prevention and education when it comes to campus safety. The university offers a variety of programs and workshops on topics such as sexual assault prevention, alcohol and drug awareness, and active shooter response. Lehigh also partners with local law enforcement agencies to ensure a coordinated response in the event of an emergency.

Study Abroad Programs and International Experiences

Both Colby and Lehigh universities offer ample opportunities for study abroad and international experiences, allowing students to expand their horizons and immerse themselves in different cultures. At Colby, students can participate in over 240 study-abroad programs in more than 70 countries across the globe. The Off-Campus Study Office provides guidance and support for students planning their study abroad experience.

Lehigh University also offers numerous opportunities for international experiences, including study abroad programs in over 145 countries, interdisciplinary courses focused on global issues, and international research opportunities. The Global Union, a student-run organization, is also available for students who want to connect with other international students and learn more about different cultures.

Furthermore, both universities offer language immersion programs for students who want to improve their language skills while experiencing a new culture. Colby offers language immersion programs in Spanish, French, German, and Russian, while Lehigh offers programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. These programs provide students with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of the country they are studying in.

In addition to study abroad programs, both universities also offer international internships and service learning opportunities. These programs allow students to gain practical experience in their field of study while also making a positive impact on the local community. Colby offers internships in fields such as business, education, and healthcare, while Lehigh offers internships in fields such as engineering, finance, and marketing. Service learning opportunities are also available in areas such as education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability.

Student Support Services, Counseling, and Health Care

Student support services, counseling, and health care are important resources for students to access during their college experience. At Colby, numerous services are provided including academic support services, tutoring programs, and wellness resources such as counseling and health care. Colby provides students with access to many on-campus medical services including primary care, counseling, psychiatry, health and wellness education, physical therapy, and more.

Lehigh University also offers an extensive range of student support services, including academic advising, career counseling, and mental health resources. The Counseling Center and Health & Wellness Center are available for students who need support and care while studying at Lehigh. The university is also committed to providing holistic care and support to all students.


There you have it, a comprehensive look at Colby and Lehigh universities. Both schools offer unique and exciting opportunities for students. It’s important to evaluate the various factors discussed in this article to determine which university is the right fit for you. Remember, the best university for you is one that aligns with your academic interests, personal goals, and lifestyle preferences. We wish you all the best in making your decision!

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