Lehigh and College of William and Mary: Which School is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A young man thinking intently.

Lehigh and College of William and Mary: Which School is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be an overwhelming decision, with so many options offering unique experiences and opportunities. Two widely respected universities, Lehigh and College of William and Mary, have a lot to offer prospective students. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast these two schools to help you determine which might be the better fit for you.

Location and Campus Facilities

Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University’s campus is situated in a small, close-knit community. The campus spans 2,350 acres of rolling hills, lush greenery, and historic buildings. Lehigh’s engineering program routinely ranks in the top 30 nationally, and the university offers students a unique balance of classroom learning and hands-on research.

In contrast, the College of William and Mary’s beautiful campus is located in Williamsburg, Virginia. William and Mary is a public research university, one of the oldest in the United States, with a rich history dating back to the 1600s. The school has over 600 acres of land, boasting impressive facilities for academics and recreational activities.

Lehigh University’s campus is home to a variety of state-of-the-art facilities, including the STEPS building, which houses the university’s science and engineering programs, and the Zoellner Arts Center, which hosts a range of performances and events throughout the year.

The campus also features a number of athletic facilities, including the Goodman Stadium and the Ulrich Sports Complex, which offer students a range of opportunities to stay active and engaged outside of the classroom.

Academic Programs and Departments: A Comparative Analysis

Lehigh and William and Mary are highly selective universities, with rigorous academic programs that push students to achieve their best. Lehigh offers over 100 academic programs, with a strong emphasis on engineering, natural sciences, and business. The university is renowned for its research opportunities, with students working alongside faculty members on innovative projects.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

William and Mary offers students a range of academic programs across 8 different schools. In particular, the College of Arts and Sciences is highly regarded. The university is also known for its strong programs in public policy, law, and education.

Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics is one of the most prestigious business schools in the country. The college offers undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs that prepare students for leadership roles in the business world. The college’s faculty members are experts in their fields, and they bring real-world experience to the classroom.

William and Mary’s School of Education is also highly regarded, with a focus on preparing teachers and educational leaders who are committed to making a positive impact on their communities.

The school offers undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional development opportunities for educators. The faculty members are dedicated to providing students with a rigorous and supportive learning environment.

Student Life: Extracurricular Activities and Clubs

Both schools offer a diverse range of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. Lehigh’s campus includes over 200 student organizations, ranging from club sports teams to Greek life and academic clubs. The school also boasts state-of-the-art recreational and fitness facilities, providing students with ample opportunities to stay active and healthy.

William and Mary also offers students the chance to participate in a wide array of student organizations and clubs, ranging from Greek life to academic clubs and community service organizations. The school’s campus also includes a recreation center with state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a pool, and indoor courts.

Additionally, both schools offer unique opportunities for students to explore their interests and passions outside of the classroom. Lehigh University hosts an annual “Innovation Challenge” where students can pitch their business ideas and compete for funding and resources to bring their ideas to life.

William and Mary offers a “Global Film Festival” each year, showcasing international films and providing opportunities for students to engage with filmmakers and industry professionals.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

College tuition costs continue to rise, and it’s important to consider the cost of attendance when making your decision. Lehigh’s tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year totaled over $55,000, with room and board adding another $14,000 to $15,000. However, the university does offer a range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help offset the cost.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Similarly, the College of William and Mary’s tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year totaled over $24,000 for in-state students and $52,000 for out-of-state students. Room and board can add several thousand dollars more. The school offers financial aid and scholarship opportunities to help students manage the cost of attendance.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition, fees, and room and board. Other expenses to consider include textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses.

These costs can add up quickly and should be factored into your overall budget when planning for college. Many universities offer resources and tips for managing these additional expenses, such as textbook rental programs and student discounts on transportation.

Admissions Requirements: GPA, Test Scores, and Application Process

Both Lehigh and William and Mary are highly selective universities, with competitive admissions requirements. Lehigh looks for well-rounded students who demonstrate a strong academic record, leadership experience, and a commitment to extracurricular activities. The school wants to see students with a passion for learning and making a positive impact on the world around them.

Similarly, William and Mary seeks students with a strong academic record, a passion for learning, and a commitment to their community. The school looks for students who are leaders, innovative thinkers, and have a clear sense of their goals.

In addition to these requirements, both universities also consider standardized test scores as part of their admissions process. Lehigh requires either the SAT or ACT, while William and Mary accepts either of these tests as well as the TOEFL or IELTS for international students.

Furthermore, the application process for both universities includes submitting transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation. Lehigh also offers an optional interview for applicants, while William and Mary requires an interview for all applicants.

Faculty-to-Student Ratio and Class Sizes

Small class sizes and quality faculty are important factors to consider when selecting a school. Lehigh University has a faculty-to-student ratio of 9:1 and an average class size of 23 students. This allows for more personalized attention and a tighter-knit community in the classroom.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Similarly, the College of William and Mary has a faculty-to-student ratio of 11:1, with an average class size of 26 students. William and Mary prides itself on its small classes, which allow for more individualized attention and a collaborative learning environment.

In addition to small class sizes and quality faculty, both Lehigh University and the College of William and Mary offer a variety of resources to support student success. Lehigh University has a Writing Center, a Math Center, and a Center for Career and Professional Development, all of which provide individualized support to students.

The College of William and Mary offers similar resources, including a Writing Resources Center, a Quantitative Skills Center, and a Career Center. These resources help students to develop the skills they need to succeed academically and professionally.

Alumni Network and Career Services Support

Strong alumni networks and career services can be invaluable resources for graduates, helping them to establish connections and find meaningful employment after college.

Lehigh counts among its alumni a number of successful individuals, including Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The school offers a range of career services and resources, including networking events, job fairs, and alumni mentoring programs.

Similarly, William and Mary has a strong alumni network, with graduates working in a range of fields both in the U.S. and internationally. The school’s Career Center provides students with a range of resources and tools to help them connect with employers, gain experience through internships, and develop their job search skills.

Moreover, alumni networks can also provide graduates with opportunities for continued learning and professional development. Many alumni associations offer workshops, seminars, and other educational events that can help graduates stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in their fields.

Campus Diversity: Ethnicity, Gender, and International Students

Campus diversity is an important factor to consider when selecting a school, as it can provide a more enriching and inclusive academic environment.

Lehigh University’s student body is made up of students from over 100 countries, representing a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. The school also has a strong commitment to supporting underrepresented groups, including women and minorities.

Similarly, the College of William and Mary has a diverse student body, with a number of initiatives in place to promote inclusion and diversity. The school has partnerships with a range of organizations aimed at helping students from underrepresented groups succeed academically and professionally.

One of the initiatives at the College of William and Mary is the Center for Student Diversity, which provides resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds. The center offers programs and events that celebrate different cultures and identities, as well as academic and career support for underrepresented students.

Additionally, the school has a strong commitment to gender diversity, with a number of programs and organizations aimed at supporting women in STEM fields and promoting gender equity on campus.

Student Housing Options at Lehigh and College of William and Mary

Both Lehigh and William and Mary offer a range of student housing options, including on-campus dormitories and off-campus apartments.

Lehigh’s on-campus housing options include traditional residence halls, suite-style apartments, and themed living communities. The school’s off-campus housing options are located in close proximity to campus and offer a range of amenities.

Similarly, William and Mary has a range of on-campus and off-campus housing options available to students. The school’s on-campus housing includes traditional residence halls, suite-style apartments, and theme housing. Off-campus housing options include apartments and houses located within walking distance of campus.

When considering on-campus dorms versus off-campus apartments, there are several factors to take into account. On-campus dorms offer the convenience of being close to classes and campus resources, as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with other students. However, they may also have stricter rules and regulations, and may not offer as much privacy as off-campus apartments.

Off-campus apartments, on the other hand, offer more independence and privacy, as well as the opportunity to live in a more diverse community. However, they may require a longer commute to campus and may not have the same level of support and resources as on-campus housing.

Applying to Lehigh and College of William and Mary

Applying to college can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to make the process run more smoothly. When applying to Lehigh or William and Mary, be sure to carefully review the admissions requirements and deadlines.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Start working on your application early, giving yourself plenty of time to craft a strong personal statement and gather any necessary supporting materials. Reach out to the schools’ admissions offices with any questions or concerns you may have, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

It’s also important to keep track of your application status and follow up with the schools if necessary. Make sure to submit all required documents and double-check that your application is complete before the deadline.

Additionally, consider visiting the campuses or attending virtual information sessions to get a better sense of the schools and their communities. By staying organized and proactive throughout the application process, you can increase your chances of being accepted to both Lehigh and William and Mary.

Social Life at Lehigh and College of William and Mary

One important aspect of college life is social life. Lehigh offers a vibrant and active social scene, with a range of events and activities scheduled throughout the year. The school’s Greek life is particularly popular, with a number of fraternities and sororities on campus. The university also hosts a range of cultural events, guest speakers, and concerts throughout the year.

Similarly, William and Mary offers a lively social scene, with a range of events and activities on campus. The school’s student organizations and clubs organize a range of activities and events throughout the year, including theater productions, comedy shows, and concerts.

However, there are some differences between the social scenes at Lehigh and William and Mary. Lehigh’s Greek life is more prominent and influential in the social scene, with many students participating in fraternity and sorority events.

On the other hand, William and Mary’s social scene is more diverse, with a wider range of student organizations and clubs that cater to different interests and hobbies. This allows students to find a community that aligns with their personal interests and values.

Graduate School Opportunities at Lehigh and College of William and Mary

For students who are considering pursuing further education after college, both Lehigh and William and Mary offer graduate school opportunities.

Business people discussing documents and ideas at meeting

Lehigh’s graduate school offers a range of programs spanning the natural sciences, engineering, business, and arts and sciences. The school’s graduate students are highly involved in research initiatives, and Lehigh’s graduate programs are highly regarded throughout the world.

Similarly, William and Mary’s graduate school offers a range of programs, including law, education, public policy, and business. The school’s graduate students are highly involved in research and internships, making connections and developing their skills to help them succeed professionally.

Lehigh’s graduate school also offers a number of unique programs, such as the Integrated Business and Engineering Program, which combines business and engineering coursework to prepare students for leadership roles in technology-driven industries. Additionally, the school’s Technical Entrepreneurship Program provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to start their own businesses.

William and Mary’s graduate school is known for its strong emphasis on public service and civic engagement. The school’s Public Policy Program, for example, prepares students for careers in government and nonprofit organizations, while the Education Program focuses on preparing teachers and administrators to work in diverse communities.


Ultimately, the decision between attending Lehigh University or the College of William and Mary will depend on your personal priorities and goals. Consider factors such as location, academic programs, campus culture, and cost of attendance as you weigh your options. Both schools offer a range of opportunities and experiences that can help you grow academically, professionally, and personally.

Segue to AdmissionSight

At AdmissionSight, we firmly uphold the conviction that every student is entitled to the chance to pursue their dreams at their preferred college. Our mission is to equip you with the expert advice and unwavering support you need to secure a place at the schools you aspire to attend.

With a seasoned team of college admissions specialists, we’ve spent over a decade guiding students like you toward their academic goals. We want to emphasize this – our expertise and insights are your secret weapon to success.


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