Now that we have finally “launched” our son, I thought I would post here to give my impressions about Lehigh University and the experience we have had so far with the school.
Coming from northern New England, Lehigh was not a university that was on the radar for my son or any of his friends. However, as he began the research process for schools, Lehigh kept coming to the fore for its engineering and STEM program. My son was very interested in Lehigh’s commitment to research-based education, so this put Lehigh at the top of his list early on.
As a high school student my son took quite a few AP classes, is an Eagle Scout, and had excellent SAT scores and class standings. So we knew he would be in the running for admission to more than a few of his top choices.
Due to the COVID situation, we were unable to get him on campus for a tour but Lehigh did a nice job of having virtual tours and he spent quite a bit of time looking at YouTube videos from prior students and using GoogleMaps street view. Needless to say, when we did get to campus in June we were very impressed. The campus is gorgeous. Although hilly, the campus sits among the forest looking down on Bethlehem. Although the city was hit hard by the steel mill closure, it has come along way over the last thirty years. Walking the streets felt safe, and there are many resturants and cultural activities in the city. I highly recommend the historical area across the river in the Moravian area for shopping, food and walking.
The campus is clean, well maintained and has a nice “vibe”. One of my sons friends, who toured many campuses on his college admissions journey said it was his favorite campus of all the ones he toured.
Once the admissions letters started rolling in my concern as a parent was the financial aid piece. We are middle income so grants and loans were always going to be part of the decision making process. My wife and I were stunned by how good the financial aid package from Lehigh was. It pretty much sealed the deal for my son. Being our first into college, we were completely unsure about the next steps once my son was accepted but my emails to the financial aid staff were promptly answered and I was able to talk on the phone at my convenience to have my questions answered. Each time I have dealt with the various office staff at Lehigh they have always been immensely helpful and easy to access.
The communication from the school after my son was admitted was excellent. The university offered many online meetups and Q+A sessions covering a wide variety of topics that helped answer questions that we had.
Unlike some of his friends, he was able to choose a roomate using an online ap that Lehigh utilizes and also begin communicating with other people in his program. Lehigh offers first year “themed housing” which my son signed up for. This was helpful because he knew that he would be placed with people for his first year who could study together and had similar interests. By the time move in day came, he already had spent time on social media with several others from the dorm and was very comfortable with the thought of his new living arrangements.
Although COVID concerns still abound, we were pleased that Lehigh made vaccination mandatory early on and was very interested in having the 2021-2022 school year as normal as possible while still maintaining sensible precautions. Unlike some schools that shall be unnamed, Lehigh is committed to important events such as “Parents Weekend” and so forth that other schools have done away with for the year. Overall their communication to parents and students is excellent and the university has done an excellent job of making all the pieces of the puzzle fit seamlessly. As someone who is detail-oriented, Lehigh checks all the boxes as a parent.
Although my son has only been there a week, he seems to have adjusted well, has mentioned all the food options and has enjoyed his dorm experience thus far. We are looking forward to seeing him on parents weekend. Go Mountain Hawks!
PS, please feel free to email me if you have any questions about our journey and Lehigh.