Types of Aid

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Types of Aid

Types of Aid

At Lehigh, 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 and do affect a family’s ability to pay.

The basic types of financial aid are Grants, Scholarships/Merit-Based Awards (not subject to repayment), Loans (that must be repaid) and Student employment. The sources are many: Lehigh University (which provides the majority of all the grant aid received by students); federal and state governments; and a variety of private sources.

What follows is a summary of the various types of need-based aid, including grants and scholarships, loans, and work opportunities. NOTE: 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.

Helpful tip: Be aware that applying to Lehigh and applying for aid are separate applications with different deadlines.

GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Grants and scholarships are gift aid awarded to students who either demonstrate financial need as determined by the university's financial aid staff, or are awarded solely on a merit basis. The majority of funds are awarded based on a student's calculated need. A few merit awards — Academic Merit Awards and Dean's Scholars — are awarded through the Office of Admissions to incoming freshmen. 

Grants

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.

In addition, be sure to check with your State Higher Education Agency to find out if there are any additional forms required for state grants.

Scholarships/Merit-Based Awards

At Lehigh, we have a focus on providing aid for students with demonstrated need; however, we also offer a limited number of merit-based scholarships, which are available to students with outstanding talents and extraordinary academic promise. When awarding merit aid, we take a holistic approach, looking beyond the numbers related to academic talent alone. We look at what a student contributes outside the classroom and also consider recommendations and personal essays.

Some of Lehigh's scholarships require an additional application; for others, all students are considered just by applying to Lehigh, so be sure to check the application checklist for a summary of steps you need to take in order to be considered.

In addition, it's important to note that students who receive merit awards, but also show demonstrated financial need, are indeed eligible to receive grant money to meet, but not exceed their calculated need. What follows is a partial list of Lehigh's scholarships with basic overviews and descriptions.

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 could qualify for these awards of $10,000 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.

Lehigh Scholars
The Lehigh Scholars program is a need-based merit award given to students with high academic merit and demonstrated need. Students are required to maintain a 2.8 grade point average to maintain the benefits of this program. All full-time admitted students will be considered by the Committee on Admissions.

Arts Merit Awards/Scholarships

Cutler-Sametz Choral Arts Scholarships
Talented singers are eligible for scholarships of $2,500 (renewable for four years). Recipients also receive free vocal lessons. Scholars may major and minor in any subject, but they will be expected to join the University Choir, a 50-voice, auditioned ensemble that tours regularly throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. All students who receive a Choral Arts Scholarship must have financial need as well as maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average. 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 Web site for the online application. The scholarship application deadline is January 15.

Snyder Family Marching 97 Scholarships
Established in 2000 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 Web site for the online application. The scholarship application deadline is January 15.

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 renewable for four years and are valued at $3,000 each. Recipients must maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average. A separate application, due by January 15, 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 lcgc3@lehigh.edu.

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 renewable for four years and are valued at $3,000 each. Recipients must maintain an active presence in the Department of Theatre and a 2.8 grade point average or better. A separate electronic application, due by February 1, is required. For more information on the Performing Arts Scholarship in Theatre, contact the Dept. of Theatre at 610-758-3640 or email Professor Kashi Johnson at kkj2@lehigh.edu.

Athletics Awards/Scholarships
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.

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 web site.

Private Scholarships
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. You can also check out scholarship handbooks at the library. In most instances there is no charge to apply for scholarships and no guarantee provided that you will receive a scholarship. In fact, 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.

Student Employment

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 other personal expenses. There are usually plenty of employment opportunities available, so students have ample opportunity to earn their full awards.

Fast fact: Research has shown that students who work an average of 10 hours a week while pursuing their degree tend to do better academically because they learn new skills and good time management.