Stanford and Lehigh: A Comprehensive Look

July 10, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Stanford and Lehigh: A Comprehensive Look

If you are a high school senior who is interested in attending a highly-rated university, but can’t seem to decide between Stanford and Lehigh, fear not. In this article, we will be comparing Stanford and Lehigh in order for you to make the best decision for your academic future.

Introduction: Why Compare Stanford and Lehigh?

Choosing a university to attend can be one of the biggest decisions that you may ever make in your life. With thousands of options, it can be tough to know where to start and how to narrow down your choices. This is where comparing universities becomes vital if you are unsure of where to invest so much time and money in the next four years of your life.

Stanford and Lehigh are two universities that are often compared due to their academic excellence, research opportunities, and campus culture. Both universities have a strong reputation for producing successful graduates who go on to make significant contributions in their respective fields.

Stanford University, located in California, is known for its world-class research facilities and programs in engineering, computer science, and business. The university has produced numerous Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, and leaders in technology and innovation.

On the other hand, Lehigh University, located in Pennsylvania, is renowned for its strong programs in engineering, business, and the arts. The university has a vibrant campus culture and a close-knit community that fosters collaboration and creativity.

The Histories of Stanford and Lehigh: Differences and Similarities

Coincidentally enough, both Stanford and Lehigh are founded by businessmen who made their fortunes in the railroad industry. Stanford University was founded in 1885, located in Stanford, California. Lehigh University was established in 1865 and is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Both institutions sought to provide an alternative to the traditional Ivy League schools.

four students lounging on the steps outside

One major difference between the two universities is their endowment size. As of 2021, Stanford’s endowment is worth roughly $30 billion compared to Lehigh’s $1.6 billion. This disparity in funds manifests in several ways throughout the university, such as research funding, facilities, faculty, and student resources.

Another notable difference between Stanford and Lehigh is their academic focus. Stanford is known for its strong emphasis on technology and innovation, with a renowned computer science program and a history of producing successful tech entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, Lehigh has a strong engineering program and is known for its expertise in materials science and metallurgy. Additionally, Lehigh has a highly regarded business school, while Stanford’s Graduate School of Business is consistently ranked as one of the top business schools in the world.

A Breakdown of the Academic Programs at Stanford and Lehigh

In terms of academic programs, both universities offer a wide variety of options, ranging from the humanities to engineering. Stanford has an extensive undergraduate program with approximately 70 majors spread across three schools: Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering. Lehigh offers over 50 undergraduate majors within four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education & Human Services, and Engineering & Applied Science.

However, Stanford distinguishes itself in certain areas. It is particularly strong in computer science, engineering, and the natural sciences. Meanwhile, Lehigh has a strong reputation for programs in business, architecture, and the arts.

Additionally, both universities offer graduate programs in various fields. Stanford has a highly regarded graduate program in business, law, and medicine, among others. Lehigh offers graduate programs in fields such as education, engineering, and psychology. Both universities also have research opportunities for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees.

Campus Life: Comparing Student Experiences at Stanford and Lehigh

Both universities have a diverse student body, with students hailing from all 50 US states and over 100 countries worldwide. However, Stanford has a larger undergraduate population, at approximately 7,000 compared to Lehigh’s 5,000.

Regarding campus life, Stanford has a more extensive campus with over 8,000 acres in California’s Bay Area, which allows for a wide range of outdoor activities and generally milder weather. Lehigh’s campus, on the other hand, offers students a more traditional campus experience, with classic architecture and a historical charm.

Cost of Attendance: How Do Stanford and Lehigh Stack Up?

One huge question for most applicants is, of course, the cost of attendance. Both universities are known to be pricey, but the cost of attendance at Stanford is notably higher than at Lehigh. According to the respective university websites, at Stanford, the estimated total expenses for the 2021-2022 academic year total $78,218, while Lehigh’s total is $74,150.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Additionally, Stanford offers a need-blind admission policy for US citizens and permanent residents, meaning that the applicant’s ability to pay will not be considered during the admission process. Lehigh does not have a need-blind policy.

It is important to note that while Stanford’s cost of attendance may be higher, the university also offers a generous financial aid program to help offset the cost. In fact, Stanford has a no-loan policy for families with incomes below $150,000 and reduced tuition for families with incomes below $65,000. Lehigh also offers financial aid, but the university does not have a no-loan policy and the amount of aid awarded may vary depending on the student’s financial need.

Athletics: Comparing Varsity Sports Programs at Stanford and Lehigh

Both universities have a strong athletic tradition. Stanford competes in Division I of the NCAA, while Lehigh competes in Division I of the Patriot League. While Lehigh might not be as well-known as Stanford for Athletics, they are still competitive in many areas, including wrestling, lacrosse, and football. However, Stanford is renowned for its dominance in several sports, including swimming, tennis, and volleyball, having won more than 140 national championships.

Despite Stanford’s impressive record, Lehigh has also had its fair share of success in athletics. In 2019, Lehigh’s wrestling team won the Patriot League Championship and advanced to the NCAA Championships. Additionally, Lehigh’s women’s lacrosse team has won the Patriot League Championship four times in the past decade.

Both universities also prioritize the academic success of their student-athletes. Stanford has consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the country, and their student-athletes have an impressive graduation rate of 96%.

Similarly, Lehigh’s student-athletes have a graduation rate of 94%, and the university has been recognized for its commitment to academic excellence by being named an NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Institution.

Research Opportunities: Which University Offers More?

Research opportunities can be essential for students who want to gain practical experience or desire to explore potential career paths. Stanford University is a major research institution, with research funding backing several groundbreaking research projects. Lehigh seeks to champion research with its Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, which aims to foster experimental and project-based learning.

However, it is important to note that research opportunities are not limited to just these two universities. Many other institutions also offer extensive research programs and resources for students. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is renowned for its cutting-edge research in fields such as engineering, computer science, and biotechnology.

Similarly, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has a strong research focus, with numerous research centers and institutes dedicated to fields such as medicine, environmental science, and social sciences.

Career Services: How Do Stanford and Lehigh Prepare Students for the Workforce?

Both Stanford and Lehigh are dedicated to preparing their students with the necessary skills and experience to enter the workforce. Stanford offers the Career Education program, which provides a comprehensive career planning system that assists students in determining their career paths. In comparison, Lehigh’s Center for Career & Professional Development offers a range of services, including individual consultations, career fairs, and internship opportunities.

business students brainstorming

Additionally, both universities have strong alumni networks that provide valuable connections and resources for students seeking employment. Stanford’s Alumni Association offers career resources and networking events, while Lehigh’s Alumni Career Services provides career coaching and job search assistance. These networks allow students to tap into the experiences and expertise of successful graduates, giving them an edge in the competitive job market.

Notable Alumni from Both Universities

Both universities have produced influential alumni who have made their mark in multiple fields. Notable Stanford alumni include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, Chelsea Clinton, and John Steinbeck, while Lehigh alumni include Lee Iacocca, former President & CEO of Chrysler Corporation, and Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican-American War.

Stanford University has also produced notable alumni in the field of entertainment, including Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Connelly, and Issa Rae. Additionally, Stanford alumni have made significant contributions to the world of sports, with names such as Tiger Woods, John McEnroe, and Andrew Luck.

Lehigh University has also produced notable alumni in the field of business, including Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes, and Robert Campbell, former CEO of Sunoco. In addition, Lehigh alumni have made significant contributions to the world of science and technology, with names such as John Bardeen, a two-time Nobel Prize winner in Physics, and John Mauchly, co-inventor of the first electronic computer.

Admissions Criteria: What Does It Take to Get Accepted to Stanford or Lehigh?

Stanford and Lehigh are both highly selective institutions. In the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, Stanford had an acceptance rate of only 4.34%, while Lehigh had an acceptance rate of 22.5%.

Both universities look for students who have excelled in their academic pursuits, demonstrated leadership, and actively engaged in their communities. However, they differ slightly in their emphasis on standardized test scores. While Stanford does require standardized test scores, Lehigh has gone test-optional.

Group of students standing outdoors cheering

In addition to academic and extracurricular achievements, both Stanford and Lehigh also value diversity and inclusivity in their student body. They actively seek out students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences to create a vibrant and dynamic community on campus. This means that applicants who can demonstrate their unique perspectives and contributions to the university will have an advantage in the admissions process.

Conclusion: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing between universities like Stanford and Lehigh can be daunting, but hopefully, this article has helped to provide a comprehensive comparison to aid in your decision-making. No one university is better than the other – it all depends on what you want to study, what kind of campus experience you’re looking for, and your financial parameters.

Both Stanford and Lehigh offer challenging academic programs, unique campus experiences, and strong alumni networks. Therefore, it’s up to you to determine which factors match your priorities best. Whether you end up in sunny California or in the heart of Pennsylvania, both universities offer the opportunity to gain invaluable experiences and forge meaningful connections that will benefit you for years to come.

It’s important to note that while both universities offer a wide range of academic programs, they each have their own areas of expertise. For example, Stanford is known for its strong programs in computer science, engineering, and business, while Lehigh is renowned for its programs in engineering, business, and the arts. Consider your intended major and research which university has a stronger program in that field.

Additionally, the location of each university may play a significant role in your decision. Stanford is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, providing students with unique opportunities to connect with tech industry leaders and startups. On the other hand, Lehigh is situated in the historic town of Bethlehem, offering a more traditional college town experience with easy access to major cities like Philadelphia and New York.

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.

Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey toward realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.


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.