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Lehigh and Colby: A Look at the Rivalry

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

guy in plaid shirt contemplating with pen and notebook

Lehigh and Colby: A Look at the Rivalry

When it comes to choosing the right college, two schools that often find themselves in comparison are Lehigh University and Colby College. These two institutions are known for their academics, diverse student body, and vibrant campus culture.

In this article, we will dive deep into the similarities and differences between Lehigh and Colby, and help you make an informed decision about which college is the right fit for you.

Campus Culture at Lehigh and Colby

While the academic reputation of these schools is impressive, another aspect to consider is the campus culture.

Lehigh is known for its lively social scene, with plenty of opportunities to participate in Greek life and attend parties. The school also hosts several music festivals throughout the year, attracting both local and national acts.

Colby, on the other hand, is more known for its intimate atmosphere and focus on community engagement. The college strongly encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities and service projects, often leading to close relationships between students and faculty.

College students walking in the campus.

Additionally, Lehigh offers a wide range of outdoor activities for students to enjoy. The campus is located near several state parks and hiking trails, providing opportunities for students to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The school also has a strong athletic program, with many students participating in varsity and club sports.

At Colby, sustainability is a key focus of the campus culture. The college has implemented several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including a composting program and a solar energy project. Students are encouraged to get involved in these efforts and to think critically about their impact on the environment.

Academics: A Comparison of Lehigh and Colby

When it comes to academics, Lehigh and Colby are both top-tier institutions. Lehigh has a strong focus on STEM subjects, with a renowned engineering program and a growing presence in the fields of computer science and data analytics. The university also offers several interdisciplinary majors, allowing students to explore a range of academic interests.

Colby, on the other hand, prides itself on offering a well-rounded liberal arts education. With a diverse range of majors and minors, students have the opportunity to explore a variety of fields before declaring a major. The college also emphasizes independent research, with many students conducting research projects in collaboration with faculty members.

Despite their differences, both Lehigh and Colby offer a strong commitment to undergraduate education. Small class sizes and a focus on student-faculty interaction ensure that students receive personalized attention and support throughout their academic journey. Additionally, both institutions offer a range of study abroad programs, allowing students to gain a global perspective and expand their cultural horizons.

Student Life: What to Expect at Lehigh and Colby

Another important factor to consider when choosing a college is the student life experience.

Group of students working together and talking.

At Lehigh, the student body is diverse and active. Greek life is a big part of the social scene, and there are over 150 clubs and organizations to choose from. The school is also home to several athletic teams, with many students participating in intramural sports.

Colby, on the other hand, has a smaller student body and a more intimate campus community. The school strongly encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities, with a focus on service and community engagement. The college also has several outdoor programs, including a popular outing club that leads students on hikes and camping trips throughout the state.

Additionally, both Lehigh and Colby offer a variety of cultural events and activities for students to enjoy. Lehigh hosts an annual international festival, showcasing the diverse backgrounds and cultures of its student body.

Colby, on the other hand, has a strong arts program, with a theater and dance department that puts on several productions throughout the year. Both schools also have a variety of guest speakers and lectures, providing students with opportunities to engage with experts in various fields.

Career Opportunities: How Do Lehigh and Colby Prepare Their Graduates?

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a college is the career opportunities available to graduates.

a young man shakes someone's hand after being interviewed

Lehigh has a strong focus on career development, with a dedicated Career Services Center that offers networking opportunities, job search resources, and career coaching. The university also has a strong alumni network, with many successful graduates working in fields such as engineering, finance, and technology.

Colby also has a dedicated Career Center, which offers similar resources and services to help students prepare for life after college. The college has a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, with many graduates going on to start their own businesses.

Additionally, both Lehigh and Colby offer various internship and co-op opportunities to their students. These programs allow students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study, build their professional network, and potentially secure a job offer before graduation.

Lehigh’s Career Services Center has partnerships with over 1,000 employers, while Colby’s Career Center has connections with companies and organizations across the country. These opportunities provide valuable experience and can give graduates a competitive edge in the job market.

Location Matters: Comparing the Surrounding Areas of Lehigh and Colby

The location of a college can also play a big role in the student experience. Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a small city that offers a mix of urban and suburban living. The area is known for its rich history and cultural attractions, including several museums and theaters.

Colby is located in Waterville, Maine, a small town with a strong sense of community. The area is known for its natural beauty, with several parks and lakes nearby for outdoor enthusiasts. The college is a few hours’ drive from Boston and Portland, offering students easy access to urban amenities and cultural attractions.

One of the advantages of Lehigh’s location is its proximity to major cities. Students can take advantage of internships, job opportunities, and cultural events in Philadelphia and New York City. Additionally, the Lehigh Valley region has a growing economy, with many businesses and startups offering opportunities for students to gain real-world experience.

On the other hand, Colby’s location in Maine offers a unique opportunity for students to connect with nature. The college has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship, and students can take advantage of the nearby hiking trails, lakes, and forests. The town of Waterville also has a vibrant arts scene, with several galleries and performance spaces showcasing local talent.

Admissions Requirements: What You Need to Know Before Applying to Lehigh or Colby

When applying to college, it’s important to understand the admissions requirements and process.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Lehigh is a selective university, with an acceptance rate of around 25%. Applicants are required to submit test scores, transcripts, and essays as part of the application process.

Colby is also a selective institution, with an acceptance rate of around 13%. The college requires test scores, transcripts, essays, and recommendations as part of the application process. Colby also offers an optional interview for interested applicants.

It’s important to note that both Lehigh and Colby have holistic admissions processes, meaning that they consider a variety of factors beyond just test scores and grades. They also take into account extracurricular activities, community involvement, and personal characteristics such as leadership and resilience. Therefore, it’s important for applicants to showcase their unique strengths and experiences in their application materials.

The Alumni Network at Lehigh and Colby: How Strong Is It?

One benefit of attending a prestigious college is the strength of the alumni network.

Lehigh has a large and active alumni network, with many graduates working in fields such as finance, engineering, and technology. The school offers several networking opportunities for alumni, including regional events and online resources.

Colby also has a strong alumni network, with many graduates working in fields such as law, medicine, and the arts. The college offers several regional clubs and events for alumni, and has a dedicated online platform for networking and career development.

However, the strength of an alumni network is not just measured by the number of events and resources available. It also depends on the level of engagement and support among alumni.

At Lehigh, there is a strong culture of giving back to the school, with many alumni donating their time and resources to support current students and recent graduates. Colby also has a culture of giving back, with many alumni serving as mentors and advisors to current students.

The Cost Factor: Comparing Tuition, Room, Board, and Other Expenses at Lehigh and Colby

Finally, we come to the cost of attending college. Both Lehigh and Colby are private institutions, with tuition and fees that can add up quickly.

Group of students walking in the campus.

According to the 2020-2021 academic year data, Lehigh’s tuition and fees amount to $57,790, while Colby’s tuition and fees amount to $74,350.

However, both schools offer generous financial aid packages and scholarships to eligible students. Lehigh meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted students, while Colby meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for both admitted and enrolled students.

It’s important to note that the cost of attending college goes beyond just tuition and fees. Room and board, textbooks, and other expenses can also add up quickly. At Lehigh, the average cost of room and board is $14,000 per year, while at Colby it is $16,500 per year.

Additionally, both schools offer various opportunities for students to work on campus and earn money towards their expenses. Lehigh has a robust work-study program, while Colby offers a variety of on-campus jobs through their student employment office.

What Makes Each School Unique? A Deep Dive into the Distinctive Features of Lehigh and Colby

While we have covered many similarities and differences between Lehigh and Colby, both schools have unique features that set them apart from each other. Lehigh’s strong focus on engineering and interdisciplinary majors, as well as its lively social scene, make it a great fit for students interested in STEM subjects and a vibrant campus culture.

Colby’s emphasis on community engagement, liberal arts education, and outdoor programs make it a great fit for students who value a tight-knit community and a diverse range of academic interests.

Additionally, Lehigh offers a wide range of study abroad programs, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives. Colby, on the other hand, has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, with initiatives such as a carbon-neutral campus and a sustainable food program.

Social Scene on Campus: How Do Students Spend Their Free Time at Lehigh and Colby?

Lehigh and Colby both offer plenty of opportunities for students to socialize and participate in extracurricular activities.

At Lehigh, students often attend parties and events hosted by Greek organizations or the university. The school also hosts several music festivals throughout the year, attracting both local and national acts.

Colby’s social scene is more focused on community engagement and outdoor activities. The college encourages students to participate in service projects and events, often leading to close relationships between students and faculty. The college also has several sports teams and an active outing club, offering students plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful Maine outdoors.

Aside from the traditional social events, Lehigh students also enjoy spending their free time at the university’s art museum and attending theater productions. The university’s theater program is highly regarded and often puts on productions that attract students from all majors.

At Colby, students also have the opportunity to participate in research projects and internships, allowing them to gain valuable experience in their field of study. The college has partnerships with several local businesses and organizations, providing students with a wide range of internship opportunities.

Faculty Culture: A Comparison of Teaching Styles, Research Interests, and More at Lehigh and Colby

Another important factor to consider when choosing a college is the faculty culture. Both Lehigh and Colby have highly accomplished faculty members with diverse research interests and teaching styles.

Lehigh’s faculty members are known for their expertise in STEM subjects, interdisciplinary research, and commitment to student success. The university also has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, encouraging students to conduct research projects and participate in internships.

Colby’s faculty members are known for their dedication to teaching and community engagement. The college emphasizes independent research, offering students the opportunity to conduct their own projects in collaboration with faculty members. Colby also has strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses, offering students unique internship and research opportunities.

Furthermore, Lehigh’s faculty members are actively involved in cutting-edge research projects, often collaborating with industry partners and government agencies. This provides students with the opportunity to work alongside experts in their field and gain valuable experience in real-world applications of their studies.

Final Verdict: Which College is Better for You?

Choosing the right college can be a difficult decision, but with the information provided in this article, we hope you are better equipped to make an informed choice. If you value a strong emphasis on STEM programs and a lively social scene, Lehigh may be the right choice for you. If you value a tight-knit community and a diverse range of academic interests, Colby may be the better fit.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your personal preferences and goals. Both Lehigh and Colby offer exceptional academic programs, vibrant campus cultures, and strong alumni networks.

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