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Lehighs Class of 2010 scores high in academics, diversity

Following a record-breaking year in number of applications received, Lehigh University's incoming Class of 2010 matches last year’s incoming class for the highest-ever academic credentials, while expanding its base of students from diverse backgrounds.

Nearly 25 percent (24.9 percent) of the university's Class of 2010 are from traditionally under-represented backgrounds. With a projected class size of 1,200 students, it is also one of the largest first-year classes in the university’s 141-year history.

“We were eager to enhance the diversity of the entering class from all perspectives in an effort to create a learning and residential environment that is reflective of the world,” said Eric Kaplan, Lehigh’s dean of admissions and financial aid. “We have more students from the West and Southeast and a greater percentage of students who were educated outside the United States. African-American and Latino students make up 11 percent of the class and approximately nine percent of students identified themselves as Asian or Asian-American.”

The median SAT of matriculating students for the Class of 2010 is 1310, which Kaplan says represents a 60-point increase in median SAT scores since 1998.

The range of academic and extracurricular interests is also impressive. “We expect these students will challenge each other in the classroom and contribute to Lehigh’s strong tradition as a residential community,” Kaplan added.

A total of 10,684 applications were received—marking a small increase over the previous record set in 2005. This builds on a trend of strong performance for Lehigh, which experienced a 32 percent growth in the number of applicants since 2001, according to Kaplan.

After careful consideration of all the applications, Lehigh’s Admissions Office extended offers of admission to 4,183, or 39 percent of the applicants, making Lehigh one of the most selective universities in the United States. Earlier this month, the university learned of the large number of students who accepted the offer of admission.

“Lehigh continues to draw highly talented students to campus,” Kaplan said. “The students have a history of exceptional academic accomplishment, and we’re excited to welcome them to South Mountain.”

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006

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