Lehigh University Acceptance Rate: 46%
Successful Applicant Profile
- SAT/ACT scores
- Checklist of Application Requirements
- Application Deadlines
What Should You Expect
- Student life
- Academics offered
- Athletics offered
- Notable Alumni
Lehigh University is a private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Lehigh University was founded in 1865 and is renowned for its contribution to the art of engineering as well as its unique approach to academics. Lehigh is considered a perfect sized school and admission to the university is considered very competitive but attainable for the right student.
If you have decided Lehigh is the school for you, it is important to know all you can about application process and what the university expects from its applicants prior to submitting your application to give you the best possible chance of gaining admission and becoming a Lehigh Hawk.
When compared with other prestigious schools throughout the United States, Lehigh University’s acceptance rate of 46% may seem very high and therefore admission to Lehigh is a very attainable goal. However, applicants should be under no illusions that only very good students are granted a place at Lehigh. The university can be seen as a bit of an anomaly in that during a time when we have seen steadily declining acceptance rates at academic institutions of similar standing, Lehigh does not appear to be following that trend and its numbers appear to be going up & down from year to year.
Lehigh University accepted 36% of all applicants for its 2021-22 admissions cycle, which is around 5,507 of the 15,161 applications the university received. The 36% of students accepted for the class of 2026 represents a downturn from the 46% that were accepted the previous year. However, in 2020 the Lehigh University acceptance rate was 50%, demonstrating the up and down percentage that has become common with Lehigh University – displaying no particular trend.
Relating to SAT and ACT scores, these are taken into consideration as part of your application but are listed as optional at Lehigh University through to at least the 2023-24 admissions cycle. For those admitted in the class of 2025 who did decide to submit their SAT/ACT scores as part of the application process (2025 being the most recent official statistics available here) the average range of standardized test scores was 1340-1460 on the SAT and the ACT, range was 31-35.
Furthermore, the class of 2025 boasted 57% of its cohort who were in the top decile of their high school class, while 86% percent were in the top quartile, underlining again the academic standards expected of those who gain admission to the Brown and White student body.
Successful Applicant Profile
Lehigh is considered a private, selective and STEM-focused academic institution that is highly regarded both in the United States and internationally. A degree from Lehigh carries considerable gravitas and the university boasts prestigious alumni, world-class education and a desirable setting, offering those who gain admission a top overall student experience that’s highly regarded.
Academic programs at Lehigh are spread amongst its five colleges; the College of Arts
and Sciences the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Health and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, all of which come with stellar reputations.
The fluctuating nature of the Lehigh University acceptance rate means it’s very important to understand the admissions process and ensure that you’re ticking all the boxes required by the admissions officers. With Lehigh University acceptance rate percentages up and down depending upon the year, it is clear the university is not striving to meet a particular threshold but really does asses each application based on its merits.
Admissions criteria at Lehigh is broad and varied and these include but are not limited to character and personal qualities, extracurricular activities, academic GPA and overall rigor of secondary school record as well as application essay. If you have decided Lehigh is the school for you, presenting your application in the strongest possible way is crucially important and here at AdmissionSight we are here to help you navigate that process to becoming a Lehigh Hawk.
Demographics: Who Makes up the Lehigh Student Body?
Lehigh University displays a reasonable amount of diversity amongst its student population, although the university have been making efforts to increase the level of diversity in recent years. According to the statistics which the university released for the class of 2025 – the most recent currently available – 54% of its student body identified as female and 46% identified as male.
When it comes to the race and ethnicity of the student population at Lehigh, the university released the following breakdown of its student body for the class of 2025;
- Asian American: 9%
- Hispanic: 10%
- African American: 5%
- White: 61%
- Two or more races: 4%
In addition to these statistics, it should be noted that international students make up 8% of the undergraduate population at Lehigh. The highest number of these students come from the following countries; China, India, South Korea and Iran, which shows a real mix of cultures.
At Lehigh University, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is primarily concerned with taking care of the diversity of the study body on campus. The office offers a wide range of services including anti-racism resources, scholarships, experiences, workshops and events for all students.
Eight percent of the overall student body at Lehigh University is made up of international students and the university does have a dedicated Office of International Affairs (Lehigh Global) which ensures a positive overall experience for students from overseas, providing a variation of services.
Lehigh Global helps international students in navigating life in the US once they arrive on campus as well as providing advice on travel, documentation and other immigration issues. In addition, Lehigh Global also deals with integration and adjusting to life and culture in the US and at Lehigh.
Average SAT/ACT Scores of Students Admitted to Lehigh
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, adopted a ‘test-optional’ policy that has now been extended through to the 2023-24 admission cycles. This means that applicants to the university can submit test scores if they wish but are not required to do so in order to be considered for admission. Choosing not to do so will not harm your application and the university places an emphasis on both your academic and intellectual fit when making decisions on who to admit.
Those who did choose to submit standardized tests scores from the Lehigh University class of 2025, which are the most recently released scores available, the mid-50% SAT range for this cohort was 1360-1520 and the ACT range was 31-34. This high level of SAT/ACT range accurately reflects the academic standards required at Lehigh and while not having such high scores will certainly not disqualify you (other crucial factors are also considered), they do form part of your admissions application when assessing whether you are a fit for Lehigh should you choose to submit them.
The ongoing popularity of Lehigh as an established institution with a great track record has made it a dream school for many prospective students across the US and beyond. If you’ve decided to apply, navigating the application process can sometimes prove a little daunting. Don’t worry, we here at AdmissionSight have got you covered – here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know about gaining admission to Lehigh and what is expected of its successful applicants for admission.
How Much Will it Cost to Attend Lehigh University?
In terms of costs, for the academic year 2022-2023, the total cost of first-year tuition and fees for Lehigh University amounts to $57,470. Unlike some other elite institutions, the university does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students in terms of the cost of tuition and fees. The total above is different from the total cost of attendance, which also factors in other expenses such as the cost of room and board and books, supplies, and general living costs while at Lehigh.
The breakdown of costs for attendance at Lehigh University is outlined below;
- Tuition and fees (in-state) – $57,470
- Tuition and fees (out-of-state) – $57,470
- Room and board – $15,330
- Personal expenses & books/supplies – $2065
In total, this amounts to an overall cost of attendance for first-year undergraduate students of $74,865, which certainly places Lehigh in the higher bracket in terms of expensive institutions in the United States. To offset the cost of attendance, the university offers a variety of financial aid options and continues to promote equality and diversity through an array of financing options that include university and program-specific scholarships and grants on top of federal aid.
Financial Aid at Lehigh University
The cost of attending Lehigh University is certainly amongst some of the highest for first-year undergraduate students outside of the Ivy League institutions in the United States. With an overall total cost of attendance priced at $74,865, it can seem daunting to secure your place at Lehigh even if you meet the academic and personal requirements in your admissions application. However, in order to offset these costs, the university does offer a variety of financial aid options to make attendance possible for students from all economic backgrounds.
The university notes on its official website that 90% of undergraduate families with an income less than $75,000 received grants and scholarships in an amount greater than the full cost of tuition for the academic intake of 2021-22 and that it intends to continue providing this level of financial aid.
Standard federal aid options such as Pell Grants and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) are offered at Lehigh, as well as Lehigh Grants that do not need to be repaid. Lehigh Grants are need-based awards funded through university funds and endowments established by generous alumni of the university and usually make up any remaining documented need.
In addition to this, merit-based scholarships are available depending upon your academic standing and the department/program to which you apply and are admitted. These include the Alice P. Gast STEM Scholarship, the Lehigh University Merit Scholarship/National Merit Scholarship and the Cutler-Sametz Choral Arts Scholarships all of which provide generous awards to recipients.
There are also numerous grants and scholarships available depending on the college and specific program. For a more detailed and specific run down of the financial aid available at Lehigh, students can use the Financial Aid Calculator provided by the university on its dedicated website.
The Application Requirements
With its fluctuating acceptance percentage, it is often difficult to anticipate the difficulty of gaining admission to Lehigh University. However, with its stellar reputation as one of the top 50 schools in the nation (weighted against both private and public), the university can certainly afford to be selective when it comes to selecting its student body.
The university places a large on emphasis on individual character and achievements as well as academic qualities when assessing if you will be a good fit for the institution. As the school is not overly large in size, the community feel lends itself to a wide range of factors when making admissions decisions – including grades, course rigor, recommendations, academic honors or awards, personal essays, and other information specific to your own experiences and personal attributes in deciding if you fit the Brown & White standard.
Admissions requirements are program and department-specific, but Lehigh provides a guide of basic requirements for all first-year undergraduates applying for admission. These include:
- Completed Common Application or Lehigh Application
- School Report (including counselor recommendation) and Official High School Transcript
- At least one (1) teacher recommendation
- SAT or ACT scores (optional)
- $70 Lehigh application fee or application fee waiver
International students from non-English speaking institutions or applicants whose first/primary language is not English or whose secondary schooling has not been in English are also required by the university to submit official proof of English language proficiency.
Important Dates for the Lehigh Admission Timeline?
Students hopeful of gaining admission to Lehigh should take into account that the application deadlines for admission to are split into two sections; the Early Action (EA) admissions deadline and the Regular Decision admissions deadline depending on the date of completed application.
For Early Decision admissions, the deadline to submit your application materials to Lehigh is November 1 at 11:59pm. Applicants are then told of their admissions decision by mid-December.
For Regular Decision admissions, the deadline to submit your application materials to Lehigh is January 1 at 11:59pm. Applicants can then expect their Regular Decision response by March 31.
What Students Can Expect
Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University is famous for offering a tremendous overall environment that allows its students to flourish. The university proudly offers its student a great mixture of both distinguished academics but while also striking the right balance between study and fun, with a real sense of community both on the beautiful campus itself and the wider Bethlehem area. There are many clubs, sports and opportunities for social engagement.
“I love Lehigh University not only for the financial aid that is given but the variety of opportunities given to each student,” wrote one student on Unigo. “Although the campus has a lot of stairs, it is a common way of exercise here. It is a great school with professors there to help you in in your decision process. Lehigh University also has a really beautiful campus and amazing facilities.”
In order to get more information about the Lehigh University acceptance rate as well as the campus generally and the entire admissions process, you can email [email protected] or call the admissions department at (610) 758-3100.
Lehigh University is considered a mid-size university with a focus on STEM majors in particular and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s most distinguished private research institutions. Overall, the Lehigh University offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in over 100 specialties. Academics at Lehigh are divided amongst its five colleges which are listed below:
- College of Arts & Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Health
- P.C. Rossin College of Engineering & Applied Science
Lehigh enjoys a fantastic reputation in all its academics, and given the size of the university it considers itself a specialist institution in all the programs it proudly offers. Some of the most popular programs at Lehigh include: Finance, General; Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering; Accounting; Marketing/Marketing Management, General; Business/Managerial Economics; Information Technology; Psychology, General; Industrial Engineering; and Chemical Engineering.
What Athletic Options are Available?
Lehigh University offers a total of 24 varsity sports teams – 12 of which are men’s teams and 12 of which are for women. The teams, known as the ‘Lehigh Mountain Hawks’ are listed below:
- Cross Country
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
Notable Lehigh University Alumni
Lehigh University boasts a large array of notable alumni who have had a huge impact on the world. Alumni from Lehigh have made great contributions to the world of politics, engineering and the arts, leading to many wanting to follow in their footsteps. Some notable Lehigh alumni include;
- Lee Lacocca
- Stephanie Ruhle
- Paul Guilfoyle
- Don Most
- CJ McCollum
- Martin Baron
- Roger Penske
- Fred Trump Jr
- Michael Smerconish
- Robert Christopher Riley
- Ali Al-Naimi
- Charlie Dent
- Gina Lewandowski
- Leonard Lance
- Geoff Diehl
If you’ve decided that Lehigh University is the university for you, some of its famous alumni may give you a greater inspiration to follow in their footsteps. The admissions process is never meant to be easy, however, if you feel you have what it takes, allow us at AdmissionSight to show you how to maximize your strengths and minimize any potential weaknesses in your application so that the college admissions officers at Lehigh see you for the fantastic potential you possess.