Lehigh and Pitzer: A Comprehensive Look at the Pros and Cons

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A female student studying in the library.

Lehigh and Pitzer: A Comprehensive Look at the Pros and Cons

Choosing the right college can be overwhelming. Two schools that might be on your list are Lehigh University and Pitzer College. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of each school to help you make an informed decision about your future.

Introduction: Exploring College Options

Before we dive into the details, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for in a college. Consider your academic interests, future career goals, location preferences, and overall campus culture. Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can begin to compare schools.

One important factor to consider when exploring college options is the size of the school. Do you prefer a small, intimate campus where you can get to know your professors and classmates on a personal level?

Or do you thrive in a larger, more diverse environment with a wider range of academic and extracurricular opportunities? It’s important to think about what type of learning environment will best suit your needs and help you achieve your goals.

Two students talking to each other.

Another important consideration is the cost of attendance. College can be expensive, and it’s important to have a clear understanding of the financial commitment involved. Look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid that may be available to you, and consider the long-term implications of taking out student loans.

Location and Campus Environment

Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is situated on a scenic hill overlooking the city. Pitzer College, on the other hand, is located in Claremont, California, and is known for its beautiful campus and warm climate.

Both schools offer a tight-knit community environment and plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in campus life. However, the location and campus environment are vastly different, so it’s important to consider which setting aligns best with your preferences.

Lehigh University’s location in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, provides students with easy access to nearby cities such as Philadelphia and New York City. This allows students to explore and experience different cultures and opportunities outside of campus.

Pitzer College’s location in Claremont, California, provides students with a warm and sunny climate year-round. This allows for outdoor activities and events to take place throughout the year, such as outdoor concerts and festivals.

Academic Offerings and Curriculum

Lehigh University offers a wide range of academic programs, including engineering, business, and the arts. Pitzer College is a liberal arts college and offers a broad range of majors, including environmental studies, gender studies, and psychology.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

Both schools have rigorous academic programs with distinguished faculty members, but the overall approach to education differs. Lehigh has a more focused academic curriculum, while Pitzer emphasizes interdisciplinary studies. Consider which teaching style and academic philosophy align best with your personal goals.

Lehigh University’s engineering program is highly regarded and has a strong emphasis on hands-on learning. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and are encouraged to participate in research projects.

Pitzer College’s environmental studies program is one of the best in the country, with a focus on sustainability and social justice. Students have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork and research projects, and to work with local organizations to address environmental issues.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

Lehigh and Pitzer both have active campus communities with a range of extracurricular activities. Lehigh has over 200 clubs and organizations, including Greek life, intramural sports, and community service groups.

Pitzer, on the other hand, has a strong focus on sustainability and social justice issues, with student-led initiatives such as the Green Bikes program and the student-run organic farm.

Both schools offer plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and make an impact on campus. Additionally, both Lehigh and Pitzer offer a variety of cultural and artistic opportunities for students.

Lehigh has a vibrant arts scene, with a student-run theater group, acapella groups, and a dance ensemble.

Pitzer, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on the arts and humanities, with a renowned art gallery and a music program that includes both Western and non-Western traditions.

Housing and Dormitories

Lehigh and Pitzer both offer on-campus housing for students. At Lehigh, first-year students are required to live on campus and can choose from traditional dorms or apartment-style accommodations.

Two students keeping their dorm room clean.

Pitzer has a mixture of traditional dorms and suite-style living arrangements. Both schools offer various options for students, and it’s important to consider your preferences for living arrangements when making a decision.

It’s worth noting that both Lehigh and Pitzer have housing options for upperclassmen as well. Lehigh offers a variety of on-campus apartments and townhouses for juniors and seniors, while Pitzer has a range of options including apartments, suites, and even a themed living community focused on sustainability.

Additionally, both schools have resources available to help students find off-campus housing if they prefer to live independently.

Campus Diversity and Inclusivity

Both Lehigh and Pitzer prioritize diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. Lehigh has a strong commitment to diversity and offers various programs and initiatives to support underrepresented groups.

Pitzer has a unique emphasis on social justice and inclusivity, which is reflected in its academic programs and campus culture. Consider which campus community aligns best with your values and desires for a supportive environment.

It is important to note that both Lehigh and Pitzer have student-led organizations and clubs that promote diversity and inclusivity. These groups provide a space for students to connect with others who share similar experiences and identities.

Lehigh has organizations such as the Black Student Union and the Latinx Student Alliance, while Pitzer has groups like the Queer Resource Center and the Asian Pacific American Coalition. These organizations not only provide a sense of community but also offer opportunities for leadership and activism.

Career Services and Internship Opportunities

Both Lehigh and Pitzer offer career services and internships to help students prepare for their futures.

a young man shakes someone's hand after being interviewed

At Lehigh, students have access to career counseling, job fairs, and networking events.

Pitzer has a strong focus on experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, research projects, and study abroad programs. Consider which approach to career development aligns best with your personal goals.

It’s worth noting that both Lehigh and Pitzer have strong alumni networks that can be valuable resources for students seeking career guidance and job opportunities.

Lehigh’s alumni network spans across industries and includes successful professionals who are eager to help current students.

Pitzer’s alumni network is similarly supportive, with many graduates staying involved with the college and offering mentorship and internship opportunities to current students. Take advantage of these networks to gain insights into potential career paths and make valuable connections.

Tuition and Financial Aid Options

Lehigh and Pitzer have different tuition rates and financial aid options. Lehigh has a higher tuition rate but offers generous financial aid packages to admitted students.

Pitzer’s tuition rate is lower, but the college has a smaller endowment and may not be able to offer as much financial aid. Consider which school’s tuition and financial aid options are more feasible for your family’s budget.

It’s important to note that both Lehigh and Pitzer offer various types of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and loans.

Additionally, both schools have work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience.

When comparing tuition and financial aid options, it’s important to consider not only the cost of attendance but also the types of aid available and the potential for earning money through work-study programs.

Admissions Process and Selectivity

Both Lehigh and Pitzer have competitive admissions processes. Lehigh has a slightly higher acceptance rate and considers a range of factors in its admissions process, including academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and standardized test scores.

Pitzer has a selective admissions process and values a holistic approach to evaluating applicants, including extracurricular activities, community service, and personal essays. Consider which school’s admissions process aligns with your strengths and interests as an applicant.

It is important to note that both Lehigh and Pitzer offer opportunities for students to showcase their unique talents and experiences through optional supplemental materials, such as portfolios or creative writing samples.

These materials can provide a more comprehensive understanding of an applicant’s strengths and potential contributions to the campus community. However, it is important to carefully review each school’s guidelines for submitting supplemental materials and to only include materials that truly enhance your application.

Faculty Quality and Teaching Style

Lehigh and Pitzer both have distinguished faculty members who are experts in their fields. Lehigh has a strong focus on research and scholarship, with faculty members who are leaders in their respective industries.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Pitzer emphasizes interdisciplinary studies, and faculty members often incorporate hands-on, experiential learning into their teaching styles. Consider which teaching style and academic approach resonate with your educational goals.

Additionally, both Lehigh and Pitzer offer opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members outside of the classroom.

Lehigh has a robust undergraduate research program, where students can collaborate with faculty members on cutting-edge research projects.

Pitzer offers small class sizes and encourages students to work with faculty members on independent study projects. These opportunities allow students to deepen their understanding of their chosen field and develop strong relationships with their professors.

Student-to-Faculty Ratios

The student-to-faculty ratios at Lehigh and Pitzer differ. Lehigh has a slightly higher student-to-faculty ratio, which means that classes may be larger and less intimate.

Pitzer has a lower student-to-faculty ratio, which allows for closer relationships with professors and more personalized attention in the classroom. Consider which learning environment aligns with your preferences.

It is important to note that student-to-faculty ratios can also impact the availability of research opportunities.

With a lower student-to-faculty ratio, Pitzer students may have more opportunities to work closely with professors on research projects.

However, at Lehigh, larger class sizes may provide more opportunities for group projects and collaboration with peers. Consider your academic goals and priorities when evaluating the impact of student-to-faculty ratios on your college experience.

Alumni Network and Career Outcomes

Lehigh and Pitzer both have strong alumni networks and career outcomes for graduates. Lehigh graduates have gone on to work for prestigious companies such as Google, Amazon, and Goldman Sachs.

Pitzer has a strong focus on social justice and sustainability, and graduates often pursue careers in non-profits or government agencies. Consider which alumni network and career outcomes align with your future goals.

Lehigh’s alumni network is particularly strong in the fields of engineering, business, and finance. Graduates from Lehigh’s engineering program have gone on to work for companies such as Boeing, General Electric, and Lockheed Martin.

Pitzer’s alumni network, on the other hand, is known for its strong connections in the fields of social justice and sustainability. Graduates from Pitzer’s environmental studies program have gone on to work for organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, and the National Park Service.

Sustainability Initiatives

Pitzer College has a renowned sustainability program and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through various initiatives such as solar power, water conservation, and zero waste.

Lehigh also has sustainability initiatives in place, such as a LEED-certified building and a community garden. Consider which school’s approach to sustainability aligns with your personal values.

At Pitzer College, students are encouraged to take an active role in sustainability efforts through various clubs and organizations. The Green Bike Program, for example, provides free bike rentals to students, reducing the need for cars on campus.

Lehigh University has also made strides in sustainable transportation, with a free shuttle service that runs on biodiesel fuel. The university also offers a sustainability minor, allowing students to explore the intersection of environmental, social, and economic issues.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right College for You

Choosing the right college is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Both Lehigh and Pitzer have unique strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to weigh these factors against your own priorities and preferences.

Ultimately, the decision of which school to attend is a personal one that requires a deep understanding of your own values and goals. We hope this comprehensive look at the pros and cons of Lehigh and Pitzer has helped you in your decision-making process.

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