Lehigh and Bryn Mawr: A Look at the Differences and Similarities

August 14, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Lehigh and Bryn Mawr: A Look at the Differences and Similarities

Choosing a college or university can be a daunting task. But, one way to make a decision is to compare different institutions based on certain criteria. In this article, we will compare two institutions – Lehigh and Bryn Mawr – and explore their differences and similarities.

Location and Setting: Where are Lehigh and Bryn Mawr Located?

Lehigh is situated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a small city located in the Lehigh Valley. In contrast, Bryn Mawr is situated in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, a small suburb located just outside of Philadelphia. It’s worth noting that while Lehigh is more remote, it’s only an hour away from Philadelphia or New York City.

Lehigh’s location in the Lehigh Valley provides students with access to a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and whitewater rafting. The university is also located near several state parks, including the popular Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Bryn Mawr’s location just outside of Philadelphia offers students the opportunity to explore one of the largest cities in the United States. Philadelphia is home to numerous museums, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

History and Founding of Lehigh and Bryn Mawr

Lehigh was founded in 1865 by Asa Packer, a wealthy industrialist who made his fortune in the railroad industry.

Meanwhile, Bryn Mawr was founded in 1885 by Quakers who wanted to establish a women’s college in the Philadelphia area.

Despite being founded 20 years apart, Lehigh and Bryn Mawr share a common bond in their commitment to academic excellence. Both institutions have a long-standing tradition of producing graduates who go on to make significant contributions in their respective fields.

Lehigh is known for its strong engineering and business programs, while Bryn Mawr is renowned for its rigorous liberal arts curriculum and commitment to women’s education. Today, both schools continue to attract top students from around the world and remain leaders in higher education.

Campus Size and Layout: How Do They Differ?

Lehigh’s campus is spread over 2,350 acres, making it significantly larger than Bryn Mawr’s 135-acre campus. But, both institutions have a mix of historic and modern buildings, set against some beautiful natural scenery.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Despite the difference in size, the layout of the two campuses also differs. Bryn Mawr’s campus is more compact, with buildings and facilities located in close proximity to each other.

In contrast, Lehigh’s campus is more spread out, with buildings and facilities located across different areas of the campus.

This can make navigation around the campus more challenging for new students, but also provides more opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.

Admissions Criteria: What Does It Take to Get into Lehigh or Bryn Mawr?

Lehigh and Bryn Mawr both have competitive admissions processes. The average SAT score for admitted students at Lehigh is around 1400, while the average ACT score is around 32.

Meanwhile, the average SAT score for admitted students at Bryn Mawr is around 1430, while the average ACT score is around 32.

However, test scores are not the only factor that admissions committees consider. Both Lehigh and Bryn Mawr also take into account a student’s high school GPA, extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Additionally, Bryn Mawr has a strong emphasis on women’s education and seeks to admit students who are committed to promoting gender equality and social justice.

Lehigh, on the other hand, values leadership and community involvement and looks for students who have made a positive impact in their schools or communities.

Student Body Diversity: Comparing Demographics at Lehigh and Bryn Mawr

Bryn Mawr prides itself on its diverse student body, with around 28% of students identifying as students of color.

Lehigh, on the other hand, is working to increase its diversity, with around 24% of students identifying as students of color.

Students smiling at the camera together.

However, diversity is not just limited to race and ethnicity. At Bryn Mawr, there is also a significant representation of international students, with around 15% of the student body coming from outside the United States.

Lehigh, on the other hand, has a smaller international student population, with only around 6% of students coming from outside the country.

Another aspect of diversity is socioeconomic status. Bryn Mawr has a higher percentage of students receiving financial aid, with around 60% of students receiving some form of financial assistance.

Lehigh, on the other hand, has a lower percentage of students receiving financial aid, with around 40% of students receiving some form of financial assistance.

Majors Offered: What Academic Programs Are Available at Each Institution?

Lehigh offers over 100 undergraduate majors, ranging from engineering to business to humanities. Meanwhile, Bryn Mawr offers over 35 undergraduate majors, focusing on the liberal arts and sciences.

In addition to the undergraduate majors, both Lehigh and Bryn Mawr offer graduate programs. Lehigh offers over 50 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees in fields such as education, engineering, and business.

Bryn Mawr offers graduate programs in fields such as humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with a focus on research and scholarship.

Both institutions also offer a variety of interdisciplinary programs and opportunities for students to pursue their own research interests.

Lehigh’s Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences (IDEAS) program allows students to combine their interests in multiple fields, while Bryn Mawr’s Undergraduate Research Program provides funding and support for students to conduct independent research projects.

Faculty Profiles: Who Teaches at Lehigh and Bryn Mawr?

Both institutions have world-renowned faculty members, with Lehigh employing around 1,300 full-time faculty members and Bryn Mawr employing around 129 full-time faculty members.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Both institutions have a low student-to-faculty ratio, allowing for a personalized learning experience.

Lehigh University has a diverse faculty, with 32% of full-time faculty members identifying as a member of a minority group.

Bryn Mawr College also has a diverse faculty, with 25% of full-time faculty members identifying as a member of a minority group. Both institutions prioritize diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices.

In addition to their full-time faculty, both Lehigh and Bryn Mawr also have adjunct and visiting faculty members who bring a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom.

These faculty members often work in industry or have other professional experiences that they can share with students, providing a unique perspective on the subjects they teach.

Extracurricular Activities: What Clubs, Sports, and Organizations Are Available on Campus?

Both institutions have an abundance of extracurricular activities available on campus, ranging from sports teams to academic clubs to social organizations.

View of a coach using a whistle during practice.

At Lehigh, popular sports include football, basketball, and lacrosse, while at Bryn Mawr, students can participate in sports like crew, soccer, and volleyball.

Additionally, both schools offer a variety of academic clubs, such as debate teams, robotics clubs, and environmental clubs. These clubs provide students with opportunities to explore their interests outside of the classroom and connect with like-minded peers.

Social organizations, such as Greek life and multicultural clubs, are also available on both campuses, offering students a chance to build community and engage in cultural exchange. With so many options available, students are sure to find extracurricular activities that align with their passions and goals.

Campus Culture: Comparing the Social Scene at Lehigh and Bryn Mawr

Both institutions have a strong campus culture, but it’s worth noting that they are quite different.

Lehigh has a more traditional campus experience with a strong Greek life presence, while Bryn Mawr has a more progressive and inclusive culture.

At Lehigh, the Greek life presence is a significant part of the social scene. Fraternities and sororities host events and parties throughout the year, and many students choose to join a Greek organization. However, this can also create a divide between those who are part of Greek life and those who are not.

On the other hand, Bryn Mawr has a more inclusive culture that values diversity and social justice. The campus community is known for being welcoming and accepting of all students, regardless of their background or identity. This is reflected in the various student organizations and clubs that promote diversity and inclusion on campus.

Career Services and Job Placement: Which Institution Has Better Opportunities for Graduates?

Both institutions have established career services centers, which help students with everything from resume writing to networking to job interviews.

Graduates from both institutions have gone on to successful careers in a range of industries, including finance, technology, and law.

However, Institution A has a higher job placement rate for graduates within the first six months after graduation. This is due to their strong partnerships with companies in various industries, which provide exclusive job opportunities for their graduates.

On the other hand, Institution B offers more extensive career counseling services, including personality and skills assessments, which help students identify their strengths and interests and match them with suitable career paths.

Furthermore, Institution A offers internship programs for students, which provide hands-on experience and often lead to job offers upon graduation.

Institution B, on the other hand, has a mentorship program where students are paired with alumni who are established professionals in their fields. This program provides valuable networking opportunities and guidance for students as they navigate their career paths.

Tuition Costs and Financial Aid: Comparing the Price Tag of a Degree from Lehigh or Bryn Mawr

Both institutions have high tuition costs, with Lehigh costing around $57,000 per year and Bryn Mawr costing around $52,000 per year.

However, both institutions offer generous financial aid packages to eligible students.

SCHOLARSHIP sketch on notebook

Lehigh University offers a variety of merit-based scholarships to incoming students, including the Presidential Scholarship, which covers full tuition for four years.

In addition, Lehigh also offers need-based financial aid to eligible students, with over 50% of students receiving some form of financial assistance.

Bryn Mawr College also offers a range of scholarships and grants to incoming students, including the Bryn Mawr Grant, which covers up to full tuition for students with demonstrated financial need. The college also offers work-study programs and low-interest loans to help students cover the cost of attendance.

Alumni Networks: How Active Are Former Students from Each Institution?

Both institutions have active alumni networks, with many graduates remaining involved with their respective institutions and supporting current students.

Lehigh has over 80,000 alumni living across the globe, while Bryn Mawr has over 23,000 alumni living across the globe.

Lehigh’s alumni network is particularly active in the fields of engineering, business, and technology. Many Lehigh alumni have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, and industry leaders.

The university’s alumni association hosts numerous events throughout the year, including networking opportunities, career fairs, and social gatherings.

Bryn Mawr’s alumni network is known for its strong commitment to social justice and activism. Many Bryn Mawr graduates have pursued careers in public service, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups.

The college’s alumni association sponsors a variety of events and programs that promote social responsibility and community engagement, including volunteer opportunities, fundraising campaigns, and educational initiatives.

Conclusion: Which School is the Better Fit for You?

Ultimately, the decision of which institution to attend depends on each individual’s preferences, academic interests, and personal circumstances. Both Lehigh and Bryn Mawr are excellent institutions that offer high-quality education and a range of opportunities for their students.

By comparing the differences and similarities between the two institutions, prospective students can make an informed decision that is right for them.

Segue to AdmissionSight

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