Wake Forest vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Wake Forest University

Wake Forest vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Look

Are you struggling to decide between colleges for your college education? Two prestigious institutions often compared with each other are Wake Forest vs Lehigh. In this article, we will cover all aspects of both schools, from academics to athletics, alumni networks to job placement rates. By the end, you will be equipped with all the information you need to make an informed decision about which school is right for you.

Lehigh: A Comprehensive Comparison

Let’s start with Lehigh. Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University is a private research institution with a strong focus on engineering and business. The university was founded in 1865 and currently has an enrollment of approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Lehigh University offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs across four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education. The university is also known for its strong research programs, with over $100 million in research funding annually. Lehigh’s campus is situated on 2,350 acres and includes state-of-the-art facilities such as the STEPS building, which houses interdisciplinary research centers and labs.

Academics: How Do Wake Forest and Lehigh Stack Up?

When it comes to academics, both Wake Forest and Lehigh are highly reputable. Wake Forest is a private liberal arts university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 5,000 students. Wake Forest has a strong emphasis on undergraduate education with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. Lehigh University, on the other hand, has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 5,100 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1.

At both schools, students can choose from a wide range of majors and minors. Wake Forest offers 45 undergraduate majors and 60 minors, while Lehigh University offers over 100 undergraduate majors.

View of Lehigh University: Enriching the College Experience

In addition to their undergraduate programs, both Wake Forest and Lehigh offer graduate programs in various fields. Wake Forest has graduate programs in business, law, medicine, and divinity, while Lehigh offers graduate programs in engineering, education, and business. These graduate programs provide students with the opportunity to further their education and specialize in their chosen field.Furthermore, both Wake Forest and Lehigh have strong research programs. Wake Forest is home to several research centers, including the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials. Lehigh University has research centers in areas such as environmental science, materials science, and data analytics. These research programs provide students with the opportunity to work alongside faculty members and contribute to groundbreaking research in their field of study.

Wake Forest vs Lehigh: Campus Life

When it comes to campus life, Wake Forest and Lehigh both offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students. Wake Forest is home to over 200 student organizations, while Lehigh University boasts over 150 clubs and organizations for students to participate in.

Both schools also offer a variety of dining options, including cafeteria-style dining halls and cafes. Wake Forest has a reputation for having exceptional food, and was ranked #6 in “Best Campus Food” by the Princeton Review in 2019. Lehigh also takes pride in its food options and offers a variety of dining choices on campus.

In addition to extracurricular activities and dining options, both Wake Forest and Lehigh prioritize student wellness. Wake Forest has a Student Health Service center that provides medical care, counseling services, and wellness programs. Lehigh also has a Health and Wellness Center that offers medical and mental health services, as well as wellness programs and resources.

Furthermore, both schools have a strong commitment to community service and civic engagement. Wake Forest has a Pro Humanitate Institute that connects students with service opportunities and promotes social justice. Lehigh has a Center for Community Engagement that offers service-learning courses and connects students with community partners for volunteer work.

Wake Forest vs Lehigh: Athletics

Sports are also an important aspect of campus life for many students. Wake Forest is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and offers 18 varsity sports teams, including basketball and football. Lehigh University, on the other hand, is a member of the Patriot League and offers 25 varsity sports teams.

Regardless of the school, both universities take their sports programs seriously and offer ample opportunities for students to participate in and support athletic events.

Wake Forest has a strong basketball program, with the men’s team making it to the NCAA tournament 23 times and the women’s team making it 14 times. The football team has also had success, winning the ACC championship in 2006. Lehigh, on the other hand, has a strong wrestling program, with the team winning the NCAA championship in 1938 and producing several individual champions over the years.

Both schools also offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students who may not want to participate in varsity athletics. These programs allow students to stay active and compete in a more casual setting, while still representing their school and building camaraderie with their peers.

Student Body: Who Attends Wake Forest and Lehigh?

The student body at both Wake Forest and Lehigh is diverse and accomplished. Wake Forest students come from all over the United States and the world, with 46% of the incoming freshman class identifying as students of color. Lehigh University also has a diverse student body, with 24% of students identifying as students of color.

At both schools, students are highly involved in their communities and take advantage of all the opportunities available to them.

Wake Forest University is known for its strong commitment to community service. In fact, the university has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for several years in a row. Wake Forest students are encouraged to participate in service projects both on and off campus, and many take advantage of the university’s numerous service-learning courses.

Lehigh University, on the other hand, is known for its strong engineering and business programs. The university has a long history of producing successful graduates in these fields, and many students take advantage of the university’s strong alumni network to secure internships and job opportunities.

Wake Forest vs Lehigh: Location, Location, Location

Location is an important consideration for many students. Wake Forest is located in the heart of Winston-Salem, a mid-sized city with a population of approximately 250,000. Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, which is a smaller city with a population of approximately 75,000.

Both locations offer ample opportunities for students to explore and engage with local culture. However, for students who prefer city life, Winston-Salem may be the better option, while those who prefer a quieter, more suburban environment may prefer Bethlehem.

Another factor to consider when choosing between Wake Forest and Lehigh is the climate. Winston-Salem experiences hot and humid summers, with temperatures often reaching the high 80s or low 90s. In contrast, Bethlehem has a more moderate climate, with temperatures rarely exceeding the mid-80s in the summer. Students who are sensitive to heat may prefer the cooler climate of Bethlehem.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Finally, it’s worth noting that both Wake Forest and Lehigh are located within a few hours’ drive of major cities. Winston-Salem is just a two-hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina, while Bethlehem is only an hour away from Philadelphia. This proximity to major urban centers can provide students with additional opportunities for internships, networking, and cultural experiences outside of their college town.

Cost of Attendance: Is Wake Forest or Lehigh More Affordable?

When it comes to cost, Wake Forest and Lehigh are both expensive universities. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the estimated cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, and room and board) at Wake Forest was $77,108. The estimated cost of attendance at Lehigh University was $75,170.

However, both schools offer a variety of scholarship and financial aid options for students who need it. At Wake Forest, 50% of students receive some form of need-based aid, and the average need-based grant is $53,134. At Lehigh University, approximately 45% of students receive need-based financial aid, with the average need-based grant being $47,254.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance can vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances, such as their residency status, major, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, both Wake Forest and Lehigh offer opportunities for students to reduce their expenses through on-campus employment, such as work-study programs and part-time jobs.

Wake Forest vs Lehigh: Admission Requirements

Both Wake Forest and Lehigh University have highly selective admissions processes. For the class of 2024, Wake Forest had an acceptance rate of 29%, while Lehigh University had an acceptance rate of 22.7%.

For both schools, applicants are required to submit their high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and essays. In addition, Wake Forest offers applicants the option to submit a portfolio of their creative work.

It is important to note that both Wake Forest and Lehigh University also consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when reviewing applications. Applicants who have demonstrated leadership skills, volunteer experience, and a commitment to their community may have an advantage in the admissions process.

Furthermore, both schools offer early decision and early action options for applicants. Early decision is a binding agreement, meaning that if accepted, the student must attend the school. Early action is non-binding, allowing the student to apply to multiple schools and make a decision later on. It is important to carefully consider these options and their deadlines before submitting an application.

Faculty and Staff: Comparing the Teaching Styles at Wake Forest and Lehigh

When it comes to faculty and staff, both Wake Forest and Lehigh University employ highly qualified individuals who are dedicated to teaching and research. At Wake Forest, 96% of faculty hold a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field, while at Lehigh University, 92% of faculty have a Ph.D. or terminal degree.

Both schools have a strong commitment to undergraduate education and offer small class sizes to ensure that students receive personalized attention and instruction.

However, there are some differences in the teaching styles at these two universities. Wake Forest emphasizes a more discussion-based approach to learning, with a focus on critical thinking and analysis. Lehigh, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on hands-on learning and practical application of concepts.

Alumni Networks: Which School Has a Stronger Network?

Finally, let’s address alumni networks. Both Wake Forest and Lehigh have strong alumni networks, with alumni working in a variety of fields and industries around the world. Wake Forest has over 48,000 living alumni, while Lehigh University boasts over 86,000 alumni worldwide.

Both schools offer ample opportunities for students to network with alumni and gain access to career resources and job opportunities.

However, when it comes to the strength of the alumni network, Lehigh University has a slight edge. According to a recent survey, Lehigh alumni reported a higher level of engagement and willingness to help fellow alumni compared to Wake Forest alumni. This could be attributed to Lehigh’s strong emphasis on building a tight-knit community among its graduates.

Research Opportunities: What Are Your Options at Wake Forest and Lehigh?

Finally, let’s talk about research opportunities. Both Wake Forest and Lehigh University offer a range of research opportunities for students in various fields and disciplines.

At Wake Forest, students can participate in research through the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Center (URECA), which offers funding and support for students who wish to engage in research with faculty members. Similarly, Lehigh University offers a variety of research opportunities through its various departments and institutes.

One unique research opportunity at Wake Forest is the Richter Scholarship Program, which provides funding for students to conduct independent research projects during the summer. This program allows students to pursue their own research interests and gain valuable experience in their field of study.

Four cheerful students sitting together at the desk and studying while one man looking over shoulder and smiling

Lehigh University also offers a number of research centers and institutes, such as the Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and the Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy, which provide students with the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects alongside faculty members and industry professionals.

Wake Forest vs Lehigh: Job Placement Rates

Finally, let’s look at job placement rates for graduates of Wake Forest and Lehigh. Both schools have impressive job placement rates, with graduates going on to work in a variety of fields and industries.

According to data from Wake Forest, 93.3% of the class of 2019 were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation. Similarly, data from Lehigh University shows that 94% of graduates from the class of 2019 were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.

However, it’s important to note that job placement rates can vary depending on the field of study. For example, graduates from Wake Forest’s School of Business had a job placement rate of 98% within six months of graduation, while graduates from the School of Divinity had a job placement rate of 75% within the same time frame.

Additionally, it’s worth considering the location of the school and its proximity to job opportunities. Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which has a growing job market in industries such as healthcare, education, and technology. Wake Forest, on the other hand, is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which has a strong presence in industries such as finance, healthcare, and manufacturing.

College students walking together outdoors. Group of young people in college campus.


So, who comes out on top? It’s difficult to say. Both Wake Forest and Lehigh are exceptional universities with strong academics, vibrant campus communities, and dedicated faculty and staff. At the end of the day, the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and fit.

We hope this article has given you a comprehensive understanding of what each school has to offer. Good luck with your decision, and congratulations on embarking on this exciting new chapter of your life.

It’s worth noting that while both Wake Forest and Lehigh have similar academic programs, they each have their own unique strengths. For example, Wake Forest is known for its strong business and entrepreneurship programs, while Lehigh is renowned for its engineering and technology programs. It’s important to consider your intended major and career goals when making your decision.

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