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Lehigh University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!

Lehigh University 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 100-150 words; 1 essay of 200-250 words; 1 essay of 100-300 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Community

Please Note: All suggestions for answering the following questions are reflective of the opinion of CEA, and do not represent the views of the Admissions Department at Lehigh University.

How did you first learn about Lehigh University and what motivated you to apply? (100-150 words)

The first part of this question should not be rushed through. Really think back and try to pinpoint the moment that Lehigh appeared on your radar. Maybe a family member went there and you’ve known about it since you were a kid. Perhaps it’s a popular college for students in your city. Write your truth. And don’t forget to answer the second part of the question: What motivated you to apply? Does Lehigh have a major that few other schools in your region offer? Did the campus tour blow your mind? No matter your story, make sure to beckon the reader into your mind and take them on your journey from exploring options to applying. 

With the understanding that you are able to change Colleges at Lehigh after one year, please briefly describe why did you choose to apply to the College or program you selected above. (200 words)

Also a question that shouldn’t be rushed! You have 200 words max to gush about your chosen College and/or major, so our advice is to start with (you guessed it) research! Set aside an hour or so to really get into the Lehigh University website and read up on your school. What do you love about your chosen major? If you’re interested in the Environmental Studies major, can you describe the unique opportunities you’ll find in and around Lehigh? What resources are available to undergrads and how will they guide your craft? Is it the prospect of having so much academic flexibility after your first year of learning that draws you to this institution? The more detail you include, the more admissions will learn about you.


A compelling characteristic of Lehigh’s community is that our students want to be actively engaged in their learning, their community, and the world. Our students look to make a difference and have a real-world impact. We expect our community to challenge your viewpoint, your naturalized assumptions, and the way that you see the world around you. In the words of Lehigh’s President, John Simon, “The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has shaken our nation, and brought into harsh relief the life-threatening, systemic racial injustice that affects the lives of so many every day. Members of our community are angry and fearful, and we will support them…We need to make Lehigh University an actively anti-racist institution. By this, we mean actively speaking out and addressing acts of racism, racist comments, racist practices, policies and procedures.”

What would you want to be different in your own country or community to respond to issues of inequality, inequity, or injustice? (100-300 words)

We believe that Lehigh University seeks to be an anti-racist institution, one where students and faculty alike address problematic and systemic behavior, practices, policies, and procedures. In our opinion, admissions wants to know what change you would like to see in your country or community. Maybe you’d like to see the police defunded in your city, with local government leaders reallocating funds to education and infrastructure instead. Perhaps you would like to see the decriminalization of drug possession in your country, due to the overwhelming racial bias against those who are arrested for these offenses. Maybe you’re passionate about income inequality, and would like to see the minimum wage increase to a livable standard nationwide. However you decide to answer this prompt, be sure to show admissions that you strive to be informed about current events and issues, even if they don’t impact you directly. Let them know that you want to be part of positive change, and that you are looking to improve any state of inequity both in your own community and in your community at Lehigh.

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