Update! Lehigh has three new supplemental prompts for 2019-20. Get all the details here.
Lehigh University is a highly selective private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The school is big on experiential, interdisciplinary learning that prepares its students to make an impact in the world. The prompt for the one required Lehigh supplemental essay is short and direct; it’s basically asking you, “Why Lehigh?”
150 words max
Why have you chosen to apply to Lehigh University?
With only 150 words to show readers why Lehigh is an ideal fit for you, you don’t have much room for anecdotes, philosophical diatribes, jokes, or epic poetry—save all that for your personal statement!
The best topics for your Lehigh supplemental essay are the unique interests and deeply held values that set you apart from others. It’s a good idea to be honest and specific so that you can give compelling reasons for why Lehigh is the perfect place for you.
Follow these steps to find the strongest details to include in your Lehigh essay:
Step 1: Brainstorm a list of your main intellectual passions, extracurricular interests, and any educational values that are important to you (ie. interdisciplinary learning, small class size). From your list, pick the top three that are most meaningful to you (make sure to include at least one major academic interest).
Step 2: Do some research on the Lehigh website so that for each item from step 1, you can identify 1-2 related Lehigh resources (courses, clubs, faculty, educational approach).
Here’s what an example student might list:
- Obsessed with Shakespeare and theater
- Mustard and Cheese Drama Society
- Want to write plays
- THTR 065: Introduction to Playwriting
- Love playing violin and want to study music of Shakespeare’s time
- MUS 234: Baroque and Classical Music
- LU Philharmonic Orchestra
Step 3: Write a sentence (or two) that sums up how these Lehigh resources would allow you to pursue your passions and achieve your goals. You should be clear and genuine here, but it’s great if you can come up with a creative angle that catches your reader’s attention.
- Example: “To be or not to be a playwright, that is my question. At Lehigh I’ll be able to explore my twin loves of drama and violin, and perhaps find a way to combine them.”
Now it’s time to write your Lehigh supplemental essay! Open with the sentence you wrote in step 3, then elaborate on how your interests and Lehigh’s resources fit together—and why this is meaningful to you and to your future. Remember, don’t just tell admissions readers a bunch of things they already know about their school; show them why you belong at Lehigh!
For more general advice on “Why this college” essays, check out our guide here.