Northwestern vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Analysis

July 14, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Female student smiling while writing.

Northwestern vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Analysis

Choosing the right university is a major decision in any student’s life. It’s no surprise that where you decide to attend college can impact your future in many ways. From the cost of attendance to campus life, academics, and extracurriculars, there’s much to consider when choosing a university.

In this article, we will be comparing Northwestern and Lehigh Universities, taking a comprehensive look at everything from campus life to financial assistance packages, and graduate outcomes, helping you make an informed decision on which university to choose.

Introduction: Understanding the Importance of Choosing the Right University

The decision to attend university can be life-changing for many individuals. It can impact future career prospects, networking opportunities, and ultimately, success in life. Hence, it’s essential to choose a university that suits your needs and aspirations. Northwestern and Lehigh are both great universities, but there are differences that you need to consider before making a decision.

One of the factors to consider when choosing a university is the location. Northwestern is located in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, while Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. If you prefer a bustling city environment, Northwestern may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a quieter, more rural setting, Lehigh may be a better fit.

Another important consideration is the academic programs offered by each university. Northwestern is known for its strong programs in journalism, engineering, and business, while Lehigh is known for its programs in engineering, business, and the arts. It’s important to research the specific programs you’re interested in and compare them between the two universities to determine which one aligns better with your academic goals.

Northwestern vs Lehigh: A Brief Overview

Northwestern University, located in Evanston, IL, was founded in 1851 and is a private research university. It is known for its excellent programs in journalism, engineering, education, and social sciences.

Lehigh University, located in Bethlehem, PA, was founded in 1865 and is known for its engineering and business programs. Both universities have a diverse student population and offer undergraduate and graduate programs.

Group of students working together and talking.

Despite their differences, Northwestern and Lehigh share a commitment to research and innovation. Northwestern has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with centers and institutes dedicated to fields such as nanotechnology, global health, and social policy.

Lehigh, on the other hand, has a reputation for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, with programs like the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation and the Mountaintop Initiative, which encourages students to work on real-world projects. Both universities also have a strong commitment to community engagement and service, with students and faculty involved in a range of local and global initiatives.

Location, Campus, and Campus Life: Which University Offers Better Options?

The location of a university can significantly impact your campus life experience. Northwestern’s main campus is located in the leafy suburb of Evanston, just north of Chicago. Evanston is a beautiful, lively city with numerous restaurants and shops. In contrast, Lehigh’s campus is situated in the college town of Bethlehem, which is a smaller town without as many attractions as Evanston.

However, Lehigh’s campus is known for its stunning views of the surrounding mountains. As for campus life, Northwestern offers a wide variety of student organizations and activities, from sports to music and theater. Lehigh, on the other hand, has a robust fraternity and sorority system and is known for its active outdoor recreation programs.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a university is the availability of internships and job opportunities. Northwestern has a strong reputation for its career services and has partnerships with many top companies in the Chicago area.

Lehigh also has a dedicated career services center and offers opportunities for students to connect with alumni in various industries. Additionally, Lehigh’s location in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania provides access to a growing startup scene and numerous internship opportunities in nearby cities like Philadelphia and New York.

Admissions Process: Comparing Acceptance Rates, SAT/ACT Scores, and Other Requirements

Admission to both Northwestern and Lehigh is highly competitive. Northwestern’s acceptance rate is around 9%, whereas Lehigh’s is around 24%. Both universities require SAT/ACT scores, high school transcripts, and essays as part of their admissions process. Northwestern also requires SAT subject tests or AP scores from applicants, while Lehigh recommends but does not require them.

View of students walking in the campus.

In addition to the required materials, Northwestern and Lehigh also consider extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated interest in the university during the admissions process. Northwestern offers interviews with alumni or admissions officers as a way for applicants to demonstrate their interest, while Lehigh encourages applicants to visit campus and attend information sessions.

Both universities also have an early decision and regular decision application options, with the early decision being a binding agreement to attend if accepted.

Academic Programs & Majors: Northwestern vs Lehigh

Both Northwestern and Lehigh have an excellent reputation for their academic programs. Northwestern is known for its strong programs in journalism, engineering, social sciences, and education. Lehigh is known for its engineering and business programs.

However, Northwestern offers a broader range of majors, including music, theater and performance studies, and film and media studies, which is not offered at Lehigh.

Additionally, Northwestern has a unique program called “Integrated Science Program” which allows students to explore the intersection of different scientific disciplines. Lehigh, on the other hand, offers a program called “Global Citizenship Program” which focuses on developing students’ global awareness and understanding of different cultures.

Both universities have their own strengths and unique programs, making it important for students to carefully consider their academic interests and goals before making a decision.

Faculty & Staff: Northwestern vs Lehigh

Both universities boast top-notch faculty who are recognized experts in their fields. However, Northwestern has more distinguished faculty, including Nobel laureates, National Academy members, and MacArthur fellows. Northwestern also has a higher student-to-faculty ratio, which means more opportunities for students to work closely with their professors. Research opportunities are also abundant at both universities.

Furthermore, the faculty at Northwestern are known for their exceptional teaching quality. They are dedicated to providing students with a personalized learning experience and often go above and beyond to ensure that their students succeed. In addition, Northwestern has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research, which means that students have the opportunity to work with faculty from a variety of different fields.

On the other hand, the faculty at the other university are known for their groundbreaking research. They are at the forefront of their respective fields and often receive grants and funding for their research projects.

This means that students at this university have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects alongside their professors. However, the student-to-faculty ratio is slightly higher at this university, which means that students may not have as much one-on-one time with their professors.

Student Resources & Facilities: Northwestern vs Lehigh

Both Northwestern and Lehigh have extensive resources for students, such as libraries, student centers, and academic advising. However, Northwestern offers more support services, including mental health counseling, peer mentoring, and disability services.

Northwestern also has state-of-the-art facilities, including a music center, performance spaces, and engineering labs. Lehigh, on the other hand, has a robust career services center, which provides students with job search support and interview coaching.

View of students lounging in the campus.

In addition to the resources mentioned above, Northwestern also has a well-established study abroad program, which allows students to gain international experience and cultural exposure. The university offers a wide range of study abroad programs in various countries, including semester-long programs, summer programs, and short-term programs.

Lehigh, on the other hand, has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. The university has a dedicated center for entrepreneurship, which provides students with resources and support to start their own businesses. The center offers workshops, mentorship programs, and funding opportunities for student entrepreneurs.

Campus Safety: Northwestern vs Lehigh

When it comes to campus safety, both universities take it seriously and have measures in place to ensure the safety of students. According to the latest data, Northwestern has a low crime rate, with only two violent crimes reported in 2019. Lehigh also has a low crime rate, with only four violent crimes reported in 2019.

In addition to low crime rates, both universities have implemented safety measures to further ensure the well-being of their students. Northwestern has a campus-wide emergency notification system that sends alerts via text, email, and phone in the event of an emergency.

They also have a campus escort service that provides safe transportation for students walking alone at night. Lehigh has a similar emergency notification system and also offers self-defense classes for students. Both universities have campus police departments that are available 24/7 to respond to any safety concerns.

Student Life & Extracurricular Activities: Northwestern vs Lehigh

Both Northwestern and Lehigh offer a wide variety of student organizations, from sports teams to political clubs. Northwestern is known for its active arts and culture scene, including its student-run theater groups and orchestras. Lehigh has a robust fraternity and sorority system and is known for its outdoor recreation programs. Ultimately, which university offers better opportunities for students depends on what you’re looking for in campus life.

However, Northwestern also offers unique opportunities for students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. The university has a dedicated center for entrepreneurship, which provides resources and support for students looking to start their own businesses.

Additionally, Northwestern hosts an annual entrepreneurship competition, where students can pitch their ideas to investors and potentially win funding for their ventures. For students interested in pursuing a career in business or starting their own company, Northwestern may offer better opportunities than Lehigh.

Cost of Attendance: A Comparison of Tuition Fees, Housing, and Other Expenses

The costs of attendance at Northwestern and Lehigh are comparable, with both universities charging around $50,000 a year for tuition, room, and board. However, the cost of attendance can vary depending on factors such as your major, scholarships, and financial aid eligibility. In general, Northwestern is slightly more expensive than Lehigh.

Young woman using a laptop on a table.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance also includes additional expenses such as textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses. These costs can add up quickly and should be factored into your overall budget when considering the affordability of a university.

Furthermore, it is worth researching the availability of on-campus jobs and internships, as these can provide valuable work experience and help offset the cost of attendance. Both Northwestern and Lehigh offer a variety of opportunities for students to work on campus, including positions in research labs, dining services, and administrative offices.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: Northwestern vs Lehigh

Both Northwestern and Lehigh offer financial assistance to eligible students, and both universities award merit-based scholarships. However, Northwestern has more resources for financial aid, including need-based grants and loans.

Northwestern also offers work-study programs, which allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. This can help offset the cost of tuition and other expenses. Lehigh, on the other hand, does not have a formal work-study program but does offer on-campus employment opportunities.

In addition, Northwestern has a dedicated financial aid office that provides personalized assistance to students and families throughout the financial aid process. Lehigh also has a financial aid office, but it may not have the same level of resources and support as Northwestern’s office.

Graduate Outcomes & Career Prospects: Northwestern vs Lehigh

Both Northwestern and Lehigh have impressive graduate outcomes, with graduates from both universities going on to successful careers in various fields. However, Northwestern has a higher percentage of graduates who go on to graduate school, which can be an advantage for those who wish to pursue further education. Lehigh, on the other hand, has a strong alumni network, which can be beneficial for networking and job search support.

Another factor to consider when comparing graduate outcomes and career prospects between Northwestern and Lehigh is the location of the universities. Northwestern is located in Evanston, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. This proximity to a major city can provide graduates with more job opportunities and access to a wider range of industries.

Lehigh, on the other hand, is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is a smaller city. However, the university has strong connections with local businesses and organizations, which can provide graduates with unique job opportunities.

In addition, both Northwestern and Lehigh offer career services and resources to their students and alumni. Northwestern’s Career Advancement office provides career counseling, job search support, and networking events. Lehigh’s Center for Career and Professional Development offers similar services, as well as internship and co-op opportunities. Both universities also have active alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and mentorship opportunities for graduates.

Conclusion: Which University Comes Out on Top?

Both Northwestern and Lehigh are excellent universities with their unique strengths. Ultimately, which university is better for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. By weighing the pros and cons of each university, you can choose the one that best suits your goals and aspirations.

A woman typing in her table.

It is important to consider factors such as location, campus culture, academic programs, and extracurricular activities when making your decision. Northwestern, located in the bustling city of Chicago, offers a diverse range of academic programs and a vibrant campus culture.

Lehigh, on the other hand, is situated in a smaller town in Pennsylvania and is known for its strong engineering and business programs. Additionally, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities, from sports teams to student organizations, that can enhance your college experience. Ultimately, it is up to you to weigh these factors and make the best decision for your future.

Additional Considerations for Choosing the Right University

When choosing a university, there are other considerations to keep in mind, such as the size of the student body, distance from home, and availability of extracurricular activities. It’s also essential to visit each university, talk to current students, and get a feel for the campus’s atmosphere.

By taking these factors into account and doing your research, you can make an informed decision and choose the university that’s right for you.

Another important consideration when choosing a university is the quality of the faculty and academic programs. Look into the professors’ credentials and research interests, as well as the university’s reputation in your desired field of study. Additionally, consider the availability of research opportunities, internships, and other hands-on experiences that can enhance your education and future career prospects.

By evaluating the academic offerings of each university, you can ensure that you receive a high-quality education that prepares you for success.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we offer.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.