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    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Lehigh University Supplemental Essay Prompts 

    By Cait Williams

    Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: February 7th, 2024
    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Lehigh University Supplemental Essay Prompts 

    Lehigh University is a small private college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Lehigh, known for rigorous academics and premiere research, opened its doors in 1865. With an array of study abroad options and a beautiful campus located within an hour and a half of both the Pocono Mountains and New York City, Lehigh offers students numerous ways to grow beyond academics. If this sounds like the place for you, let us help you put your best foot forward on the Lehigh supplemental essays!

    The Lehigh University supplemental essay prompts

    Lehigh requires two supplemental essays on their application. This means there’s a lot of writing to do, but also more than one chance to stand out.  Their application may take more time than some others, but that comes with advantages. Lehigh’s prompts offer you the opportunity to really show them who you are. Take your time and don’t get overwhelmed. Let’s jump in!

    Prompt #1

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

    While the first Lehigh prompt looks like one simple question, it’s important to note that they want you to answer two things. First, how did you learn about Lehigh? Second, what pushed you to apply?

    Let’s start with the first part, how you first heard about Lehigh. This part of the prompt shouldn’t be terribly difficult to answer. Colleges know that students may hear about them in a number of different ways, so there is no right or wrong answer, there’s simply the answer that gives them the most information about you. 

    If you heard about the school through an alumnus, mention how you know that individual. If it was through multiple people that you heard about the school, tell them which interactions finally pushed you to look more seriously into the school.

    The second half of the prompt is another straightforward question about you. Now that you’ve told them how you heard about them, they want to know what pushed you to the next step and actually apply. Show Lehigh that you “did your homework” here!

    Here are a few questions to consider:

    • Is Lehigh well known for the major you want to pursue? 
    • Do they offer great athletic opportunities?
    • Is your mom or dad an alumnus and you want to follow in their footsteps? 

    It can be easy to answer this half of the prompt with facts about the university, but Lehigh already knows that information. You might mention their clubs and organizations, certain research opportunities they offer, or travel abroad options, but that doesn’t tell them much about you unless you make the connection between their resources and your goals. Use the “why were you motivated to apply section” to give a glimpse into who you are and what you’ll bring to Lehigh University. 

    Questions to consider:

    • Do you want to join a club or organization and try something totally new and outside your comfort zone? 
    • Why are you interested in a particular research subject? Do you know a person or situation that might be improved by that research?
    • What do you hope to gain by traveling abroad? Will you be the first person in your family to leave your country, state, or city in doing so?

    If you’re still feeling stuck, take some more time to research Lehigh to see what you like about them. Remember, the goal of this question is to get to know you a little better. Don’t overthink it. Be honest and consider what you want them to know about you. 

    Also see: What looks good on a college application?

    Prompt #2

    “We believe the quality and richness of a Lehigh education lies in us being a community of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ideas and viewpoints—a community where every individual is able to bring their full selves to every conversation and everything they do. We are committed to fostering a campus experience where everyone is empowered to share a broad range of perspectives in all of our campus learning environments.

    With this in mind, choose one of the following prompts and respond:

    1. What would you want to be different in your own community (local, school, religious, academic, etc.) or the broader global community to further principles of equality or equity?

    2. What factors have most shaped who you are and what you believe today? You might discuss an obstacle that you have overcome or an experience that has inspired you.

    3. Share with us a part of your personal background, perspective, experience or academic interest that has shaped you as a person and that would uniquely add to the Lehigh community” (Max 300 words)

    If you’re feeling intimidated by this prompt, that’s okay. This question will definitely require more time and effort than the first one. So, let’s break it down!

    Lehigh clearly states several of their values within the above statement. They want to see some of those same values reflected in your response. Again, the admissions officers are trying to get a good sense of “who you are” to see if their school is the best fit for you. If you don’t have the same, or similar, values, it might indicate that there is another school that may suit you better, which is okay. So, before we start writing, let’s examine their values and your own. 

    Questions to consider

    • What values does Lehigh think are important?
    • Do you think those values are also important?
    • What other personal values or principles do you think are important?

    The next step in this prompt is choosing which question to answer. Take a minute to read through your options and see if any stand out to you. If there is a question that makes you feel particularly passionate, go with that one! Showing passion is a great way to let people see who you are by showing what you value. 

    Option one

    Your first option is fairly straightforward. Take an inventory of the communities you are involved in or a part of. It doesn’t matter if the community is small, or large, as long as it’s something that you are a part of in some way, or that you have a personal connection to. Think about how that community and their history. Is there anything that sticks out to you that they’ve unfairly had to deal with? If so, this is your place to talk about it! 

    Before we move on, there’s just one more note we’d like to make about this first option. This question asks you to speak about something that you would like to be different, which means you don’t need to necessarily write out a plan for how that thing will change. You may propose some ideas, but the greater purpose of this prompt is to show that you pay attention in your communities and you have a desire to improve your community. 

    Don’t miss: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts

    Options two and three

    The next two questions are similar in structure, though what they are asking are two separate questions. Each option asks you a question that begins with you and asks you to translate what you’ve said about yourself into something. Below we’ve written out in detail what we mean a bit more. Start at point A and slowly think through how your answer connects to point B.

    Point A Point B
    Option 2

    Option two asks you to translate how factors in your life, such as people, a class you took, somewhere that you traveled, growing up in a single parent household, etc…



    … Have shaped who you are and what you believe today

    Option 3

    Option three wants to see you translate a personal experience, academic interest, or personal perspective you hold…


    …Into how one of those things has shaped you and how that will add to Lehigh’s Campus

    Remember, the goal of these questions is for Lehigh to get a better understanding of who you are. So, take a deep breath and remember that goal. You’ve got this!

    Don’t miss: How many schools should I apply to?

    Next Steps

    Next Steps

    • If you think Lehigh is the school for you, start thinking about and writing your application now
    • If possible, schedule a tour at the university to get to know more about it
    • Make sure you are aware of all the deadlines for your application period to be sure that you don’t miss any important deadlines
    • After you’ve applied, your final step is to wait and hear about the status of your acceptance, and regardless of the response, respond to Lehigh to acknowledge that status

    Frequently asked questions about Lehigh University 

    Does Lehigh look at demonstrated interest?

    Lehigh University does look at demonstrated interest as a factor in the application process. Demonstrated interest is the actions that students may take to show their interest in a college, such as taking a tour, reaching out to the admissions office, and more.

    Does Lehigh University require supplemental essays?

    Yes, Lehigh University requires two supplemental essays. It’s critical to your application that you answer each of the prompts thoroughly. An application that is rushed or poorly done will be noticeable to admissions officers.

    Does Lehigh University accept the Coalition Application?

    Yes, Lehigh University does accept the Coalition Application, as well as the Common Application!

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