Lehigh University is a small-scale university in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While Bethlehem isn’t the most lively of spots, Lehigh has gained a reputation as a good school with a great social life. Study abroad is big at Lehigh; 43% of the class of 2016 studied abroad, and the opportunities are geographically and academically diverse. We also have first-hand testimony that Lehigh’s on-campus food blows most similarly-sized schools out of the water by offering many options across a variety of student restaurants and dining halls.
Lehigh is a competitive college with an acceptance rate of about 25%.
Why have you chosen to apply to Lehigh University? (150 words)`
A 150-word limit does not give you much to work with, but, before you get started, go back and look at the other information Lehigh asked for in their college-specific section. Most importantly, they ask for you to tell them what you are planning in majoring in (reminder: never be undecided, even if you really are) and what activities you would like to take part in, listed in order of preference.
Since you’ve already told them two of the key things you need to get across in a supplement like this, there is a little bit of weight taken off. They already know your academic interest, they already know your extracurricular interest, so you can use these 150 words as a place to expand on what you’ve already said, rather than stating the obvious.
Take this chance to dive deep. Specify what areas of your intended major are most interesting to you, name a professor or two who you would like to work with, and give one to two courses that you are interested in taking. If you have space to say two courses, have the second one be related to a possible minor, and say what that minor would be.
Finally, make sure that you leave room to talk about the Lehigh culture and community. Normally we direct students to not prioritize conversations about community if the supplement is short because academics come first. If you have the room here, use it! But remember to be just as specific as you have been about your academics. Saying “I like the community,” won’t be enough. In fact, we’d count that as a waste of words. Instead, share 1-2 small things that really stand out to you, whether they are community resources, traditions, or a piece of school history that is still relevant today. Lehigh has a long tradition of Fraternities and Sororities on campus, and the school is proud of their greek community. Nearly a third of students pledge, so if that is something that you are considering, this supplement may be a good place to mention it.
The Lehigh supplement is short and simple, but that’s not a reason to take it lightly. Short answers deserve just as much time as longer ones, so take your time, think a lot, and keep quoting Cat Stevens.
If you get the Cat Stevens reference, you would probably enjoy working with us. We’re cool like that.