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Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 1
The Requirements: 1 essay of 150 words; 1 essay of 200 words; 1 essay of 300 words
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.
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? Did the campus tour blow your mind? Does Lehigh have a major that few other schools in your region offer? (In this case, you’ll want to be mindful about how much information you share here, since the very next prompt asks about your academic goals.) No matter your story, invite the reader into your mind and take them on your journey from exploring options to applying. Overachievers will include a sentence or two about their vision for the next four years as well!
Admissions already knows why you decided to apply to Lehigh, and now they want to know more about how their unique academic offerings will help you to accomplish your goals. Take some time to meditate on what you hope your life will look like after Lehigh—we’re talking 10-20 years in the future. Once you have an idea of what you hope for that person to be like or do on an average day, invite admissions into your vision and show them how a Lehigh education is a pivotal step (or three) on the ladder of success to get there. Regardless of your vision, your response should cite programs, majors, and classes that Lehigh offers. Anyone can say they hope to become a revered journalist or an impactful teacher, but not everyone is going to do their homework to show admissions that they’ve thought through exactly how they will get there. Of course, admissions isn’t going to hold you to your blueprint, but they do want to see that you’ve given not only your education some serious thought, but your professional goals as well.
This prompt is for those who think big and have a strong commitment to the principles of equality and equity. Think about all of the communities you belong to (as tiny as your school’s Anime Club and as large as the entire Earth) and consider how different they could be with a few major equitable changes. Maybe your Robotics Club requires members to pay fees for competitions, and you worry this is a barrier to entry for lower-income students. Perhaps your state school board passed new guidelines that you feel jeopardize students’ ability to pursue their extracurricular interests. Maybe you wish governments across the seven seas prioritized combating climate change, since the people who will be impacted the most are those who have the fewest resources available to them. Once you identify and tell a story about the community issue you wish could be different, bring your response back to Lehigh: what will you do with this knowledge as a Lehigh student? How would you try to foster these improvements on campus or by using a Lehigh education?
This prompt and the next one seem very similar on the surface, but each focuses on something different. Here, Lehigh is asking you to discuss pivot points in your life and how those have shaped you into who you are today. For those of you who have those moments ready to go, great! For everyone else, take a few minutes to trace back over your life so far. What memories stand out as more vivid than the others? What events, conversations, or mentors nudged your life onto a slightly different path? Do some soul-searching to articulate your values, traits, and beliefs. For instance, maybe you grew up with a single parent and developed an early sense of responsibility. Or perhaps you took a Japanese class that sparked a love of Japanese art and a potential major. The term “factor” is broad enough to encompass many different influential people, traditions, or experiences, so keep your mind open as you brainstorm.
This is a more classic Diversity Essay. The focus here is on what makes you unique and how that uniqueness would enhance the Lehigh student body. For this question, think about times when people have been intrigued by or curious about your identity, skillset, or background. Maybe your twin passions for economics and art have turned you into your school’s go-to expert on NFTs. Perhaps you moved from a rural area to a major city and got your classmates excited about sustainable farming. What do you hope to share with others about your lived experience? How will you incorporate this element of your identity into your college experience? Lehigh wants to foster an inclusive student body where everyone feels empowered to be themselves. So how will you help achieve this goal?