Lehigh Student- Ask Me Anything!

I am a Lehigh freshman in the engineering college that would have loved to have some more information before I committed to this college. As admits start rolling in, I’d love to answer any questions as accurately as one person can. I am not affiliated with Lehigh admissions. Take what I say with a grain of salt- I am happy here despite this information being pretty negative.

Some things I would have liked to have known:

Greek life is dominant here.

The campus culture is not friendly.

If your household makes less than 80k annually you will be in the minority here.

Tuition costs are increasing for pretty much no reason. It is SO expensive and facilities aren’t great.

Sexual assault is more common here than the national college average.

If you are physically disabled you will have a hard time getting around campus. There are so many more stairs than you saw on tours.

I would recommend reading the Lehigh Lookaway satire website and getting on yikyak if you visit campus to get a feel for some of what goes on.

All of the engineering first years share the same singular advisor.

I have also met many amazing people here and am very happy despite not being in greek life. It is all about what you make of it. If anyone wants verification that I’m a student, I could provide that as well. Ask away and I will get back as soon as I can!

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Thank you so much for answering questions!
What is school pride/athletic pride like?

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Pretty limited- of course there is LeLaf week before the Lehigh v Lafayette football game where spirit is super high and fun. Basketball games have good turnout occasionally. All sports events are free for students which is pretty cool. I will say there is some bribery in getting students to attend most sporting events if that tells you anything. There was a cash prize lottery for students that attended all the regular season basketball games or something like that.

Overall school spirit kinda depends on the person or group. People joke about not liking it here pretty often, especially on social media. Alumni seem to have very strong school spirit which is great for connections. It certainly doesn’t have the same school spirit feel as a state school like PSU or MSU. Hope that helps!

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Have you considered transferring ?

If so, which school or schools did you consider ?

To which other schools were you accepted when you chose Lehigh ?

Thank you.

Thank you so much! Really appreciate it

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Yes, I did consider transferring to a less “prestigious” school, looking for a friendlier culture that was less predominantly white and wealthy. I was looking at MSU or technical schools primarily. Other students I’ve spoken to who want to transfer are typically thinking big state school or city school because they dislike Bethlehem.

I’m not going to share other schools I was accepted to for the sake of privacy but it included some schools I would consider comparable to Lehigh (think along the lines of Villanova) and some technical schools. Lehigh was not the most selective school I was accepted to considering the 50% acceptance rate, but was pretty much my top choice and the end of the whole application process.

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The campus isn’t friendly? How so? I am a POC and fell in love with the campus during DAP. I also went to lehigh fest and the prospective students seemed very nice and outgoing. Compared to the other school i’m thinking about. SMU. It has a huge rich kid school rep, and people weren’t as outgoing to me there. I’m torn between them, but thought Lehigh was more accepting and better for my social life. Could you give some more insight into this?

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Would you please say more about the unfriendly vibe - and what about the school makes you want to stay? My child (non-partier, not interested in Greek life) has acceptances at some very friendly schools but likes the smaller size and academic (engineering) programs at Lehigh. I’m wondering whether this is the right environment - and whether going to a school with bigger classes and a more diverse community would be a good tradeoff. I’d appreciate any insight from you or anyone else in the Lehigh community. Thanks!

Yes, there is a bit of an unfriendly vibe on campus. There are a lot of kids from extremely wealthy families too. I met an amazing group of people through a club and it made me want to stay. There are awesome people at Lehigh. You will have to put in work to meet them if you aren’t involved in greek life. I am in the engineering college and think I get to do a lot of cool stuff because of the small class sizes. I also received a significant amount of financial aid. These are the three main reasons I’m going to stay. My friends and I discuss that Lehigh is different than we expected and that we considered transferring. If your child truly does not party they may find it difficult to find a social group they fit into at first. If I could redo my college process, I would consider going to a larger school with friendlier people, but ultimately I found my niche and am happy here.

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More on the unfriendly vibe- people just don’t go out of their way to be friendly. There is a term (lehigh look away) to describe not waving or acknowledging people you know when you see them on campus. Greek life dominates the main social scene and people mostly stick to their “groups.”

I replied to another comment about this but it’s just campus vibes kind of. It’s hard to articulate exactly, when you’re here you’ll get what I mean. It’s like there’s a lack of community from the student body as a whole basically. That’s the best way I can put it. I am not a POC so please take the rest of my insight with a grain of salt. Lehigh is a primarily white institution through and through. Some of the frats have a racist rep. An assisting professor was revealed to have extremely racist social media posts this year (he was fired of course.) The student body does have wealthy, spoiled, out of touch members. The social sororities have like 2 people of color each. Lehigh is a business at the end of the day and will advertise the diverse, welcoming version of itself, but that isn’t the full story. With that being said- there are communities for POC that are close knit. I don’t think many people here are actually racist. If you are interested in engineering or business and Lehigh is affordable for you, I think you could be happy here. I hope this helps.

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Do you know anything about the math department?
Everyone I’ve found online is in some form of engineering, but I wanna enroll in math, could you share the thoughts of any friends in the math department maybe?

How engineering classes are taught?
Is the curriculum project-based or lecture based?
Could you describe your engineering classes?
Thank you!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and insights so generously. My child has committed to Lehigh and I remain apprehensive (for the reasons you cited along with others). However, if they find people like you, it sounds like it could be a good experience. Thank you!