Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid packages that aid in paying for college typically consist of grants, scholarships, loans and student employment.

Financial aid can consist of grants, scholarships, loans and student employment.  Typical financial aid packages consist of a combination of these types of aid and are determined after evaluating a family’s ability to contribute in an equitable and consistent manner.  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:

Gift Aid: Grants & Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are resources also known collectively as “gift aid” – they do not need to be repaid or earned by working. Most grants are considered need-based awards, while scholarships typically are merit-based.

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Loans (Both Need- and Non-Need Based)

Loans available to Lehigh students include Federal Direct (both subsidized and unsubsidized) and loans from various university-endowed funds. With the exception of an unsubsidized loan, no interest accrues on Federal Direct loans while the borrower is enrolled on at least a half-time basis. As part of our commitment to meet 100% of demonstrated need and graduate students with low debt, Lehigh caps loans to meet need at $5,000 per year, or $20,000 over 4 years, though many students' total loans to meet need are below this $5,000 cap.

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

External Scholarships

There are many private scholarships you may apply for that may or may not be need-based. These awards are based on various factors, such as academics, career goals, etc. You can access free scholarship information online at www.collegeboard.com or www.gocollege.com and search for a scholarship that matches your interests and qualifications. In most instances there is no charge to apply for scholarships and no guarantee that you will receive a scholarship.  We strongly recommend that 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 Outside Scholarship Adjustment Policy to find out how these awards may affect your need-based financial aid package.

Important Financial Aid Deadlines

The details below will help you understand your responsibilities and provide a timeline to ensure you have the best possible financial aid package in place for the upcoming academic year.
Student TypeDeadline to Submit Required FormsAward Notification
Early Decision INovember 1Mid-December
Early Decision IIJanuary 1 Mid-February
Regular DecisionFebruary 1 
(Non-U.S. citizens: January 1)
Late March
Current StudentsMarch 15Late June
Fall TransferApril 1Late May


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