We are dedicated to need-based financial aid and believe that we have a responsibility to evaluate a family’s ability to contribute in an equitable and consistent manner, recognizing that special circumstances can affect a family’s ability to pay. Students must complete the required financial aid applications and submit the requested documents to the Office of Financial Aid by the given deadlines in order to qualify for any need-based aid listed below. Be aware that applying for admission to Lehigh and applying for financial aid are separate applications with different deadlines.
The basic types of financial aid are:
Grants are gift aid awarded to students. Funds are awarded based on a student's calculated need as determined by the university’s financial aid staff.
Federal Grants (Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant [FSEOG]): Need-based gift aid that does not have to be repaid. These types of grants are federally funded and are for students with exceptional need. The value is determined annually and is based on information your family provides. If you are awarded a federal grant, it may reduce your institutional grant.
Lehigh Grants (Endowed & Sponsored Scholarships): Lehigh Grants are need-based awards funded through university funds and endowments established by generous alumni and friends of the university. The Lehigh Grant is originally awarded to act as a "placeholder" until we are notified of the amounts we are able to award for each of the named scholarship funds. The Lehigh Grant may be swapped with a scholarship, established by a donor. The student must be enrolled full-time.
State Grants: Many states offer grant assistance, based on financial need. State grants are awarded to students by the scholarship office of the state in which the student resides. If you are a recipient of a state grant, it may require a reduction in the institutional grant that may be part of your financial aid package. Be sure to check with your State Higher Education Agency to find out if there are any additional forms required for state grants.
Scholarships and merit-based awards are gift aid awarded to students solely on a merit basis. When awarding merit aid, we take a holistic approach, looking beyond the numbers related to academic talent alone and reviewing what a student contributes outside the classroom as well as considering recommendations and personal essays.
Some of Lehigh's scholarships require an additional application; for others, all students are considered just by applying to Lehigh. Be sure to read the summaries below for the steps you need to take in order to be considered for an award.
Please note that students who receive merit awards, but also show demonstrated financial need, are eligible to receive grant money to meet, but not exceed, their calculated need.
Academic Merit Awards/Scholarships
Academic Merit Awards: Lehigh's most prestigious merit scholarship awards are given to students in the top tier of our applicant pool. The awards are valued at full or half tuition, and are renewable over a four-year period, provided recipients maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. No additional application beyond your application for admission is necessary. All full-time admitted students will be considered by the Committee on Admissions.
Dean's Scholars: Students who excel academically and demonstrate leadership skills may qualify for these awards of $12,000 per academic year. These awards are renewable over a four-year period, provided recipients maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. No additional application beyond your application for admission is necessary. All full-time admitted students will be considered by the Committee on Admissions.
President's Scholars: This scholarship award provides a fifth year of free undergraduate or graduate study. Further information may be found on the Registrar's website.
Arts Merit Awards/Scholarships
Cutler-Sametz Choral Arts Scholarships: Several merit scholarships are available for gifted students in the Choral Arts who maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average. Talented singers are eligible for these scholarships, renewable for four years, and recipients also receive free vocal lessons. Scholars are expected to join the University Choir. All financial aid applications must be completed. A separate application from the music department is required. For more information, contact the music department at (610) 758-3839 or visit the Department of Music's website for the online application. The scholarship application deadline is January 1.
Snyder Family Marching 97 Scholarships: Established by alumnus Joseph Snyder and family, these scholarships are for students who demonstrate musical talent and leadership skills. The scholarship provides awards of $1,000 to $2,500. Recipients of this scholarship agree to participate fully in the Marching Band. Recipients must maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average. A separate application is required. For more information, contact the music department at (610) 758-3839 or visit the Department of Music's website for the online application. The scholarship application deadline is January 1.
Performing Arts Scholarships in Instrumental Music: Open to students in any academic major or program, these scholarships recognize students with exceptional musical talent. These scholarships are valued at $3,000 each and are renewable for four years. Recipients must maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average. A separate application, due by January 1, is required. For more information on the Performing Arts Scholarship in Music, contact the music department at (610) 758-3837 or email Linda Ganus at email@example.com.
Performing Arts Scholarships in Theatre: Open to students in any academic major or program, these scholarships recognize students with exceptional theatrical (including performance, design, technical, and playwriting) talent. These scholarships are valued at $3,000 each and are renewable for four years. Recipients must maintain an active presence in the Department of Theatre and at least a 2.8 grade point average. A separate electronic application, due by February 1, is required. For more information on the Performing Arts Scholarship in Theatre, contact the Department of Theatre at (610) 758-3640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A limited number of athletics scholarships are available for students with exceptional athletic ability. No additional application beyond your application for admission is necessary.
Lehigh University Merit Scholarship (National Merit Scholarship Corp.): Applicants who are National Merit Finalists will receive $1,000 or $2,000 from Lehigh University. No additional application is necessary.
There are many private scholarships you may apply for that may or may not be need-based, which are determined on various factors, such as academics, career goals, etc. To look for a scholarship that matches your interests and qualifications, you can access free scholarship information online at www.collegeboard.com or www.gocollege.com. In most instances there is no charge to apply for scholarships and no guarantee provided that you will receive a scholarship. We strongly recommend you avoid scholarships that require payment to apply. Be sure to carefully research the organization and be wary of scholarship scams. Each private scholarship has its own criteria and application process. Please review Lehigh University's External Scholarship Policy to find out how these awards may affect your need-based financial aid package.
LOANS (both need- and non-need-based)
Loans available to Lehigh students include Federal Stafford (both subsidized and unsubsidized), Federal Perkins and loans from various university-endowed funds. With the exception of an unsubsidized Stafford loan, no interest accrues while the borrower is enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
Following are educational loan opportunities for students and/or parents/guardians:
Federal Loans (Perkins, Stafford and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students [PLUS]): Federal Stafford or Perkins loans are funds that a student is required to repay after graduating from college (or once no longer enrolled at least half time). Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are funds that a credit-worthy parent may borrow. PLUS loans begin repayment while the student is in school.
Lehigh University Tuition Loans: Lehigh University Tuition Loans are funds that are awarded based on financial need, and are required to be repaid.
Private/Alternative Loans: A Private/Alternative Loan is a loan that a student can borrow to help finance the family's expected contribution. These loans are based on one's credit history (A student who has not established credit can apply with a co-borrower and can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any aid received). A wide variety of private loan providers are available. We strongly recommend that you carefully review all the terms of each individual loan, as they can vary greatly. Individual loan providers have their own applications and timelines. Plan to apply at least 30 days prior to the date the bill is due.
Federal Work-Study or Institutionally Funded Work Opportunity: Through Lehigh work-study awards, students can earn money to help meet expenses that are not billed by the institution, such as books and personal expenses. There are usually plenty of employment opportunities available, so students have ample opportunity to earn their full awards.