Welcome from the Director
The Office of Financial Aid determines eligibility for need-based financial aid. Lehigh University is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted and current students and continually seeks new ways to provide access to a Lehigh education for all students. We understand that the process of applying for financial aid may be confusing or stressful, and we are here to help you in any way we can.
All students have an assigned financial aid counselor and we have a friendly and knowledgeable staff available to assist you. We sincerely want to help you achieve your educational goals and know that financing an education is a significant factor in this process.
On this page you will find:
To help us help you, I want to provide the following tips:
- Please read this entire webpage as it provides a general overview of the need-based financial aid process.
- Review our tuition and costs. Remember that you won’t know what Lehigh would cost for you until you apply for financial aid and receive your decision.
- Learn about the four main types of aid. Should you apply and be eligible for need-based financial aid, you'll want to know what has been offered to you.
- When it’s time to apply for aid, carefully review the requirements to ensure you complete all necessary forms by the deadline.
- After you’ve applied, you can check your application and award status on our site.
- Once you’ve received your award, take the time to understand your award. This will help you understand additional loan requirements, as well as any revisions to your financial aid.
Our office believes that with a strong partnership between the university and you, as well as a commitment from you and your parents, a Lehigh University education is an attainable goal regardless of your family’s financial situation.
How Aid Works
The Office of Financial Aid determines your financial aid award based solely on your family’s demonstrated financial need. We consider many factors, such as your family’s income, assets, size and unusual expenses, and our program is designed to help families across the economic spectrum. Please note the following important items regarding the need-based financial aid process:
- Family Responsibility: Lehigh’s philosophy behind financial aid eligibility is that a student and his or her parents are first and foremost responsible for the expenses related to obtaining an undergraduate degree. Furthermore, our expectation is that both parents, regardless of marital status, have a responsibility to participate in the financial aid process.
- Expected Family Contribution: Lehigh financial aid counselors carefully review the information your family provides in the financial aid application, including any additional circumstances brought to our attention, in order to determine the Expected Family Contribution, also known as the “EFC." It is important to understand that the Expected Family Contribution is not what we think a family has “left over” after other expenses have been covered, and we do not necessarily expect that the parent contribution will be paid from current income. Rather, the level of contribution reflects our analysis of what parents can afford to absorb in education costs over time. Parents may choose to provide their contribution from savings, current income, future income (through borrowing), or some combination. Find additional information on how much you will have to pay >
- Determining Need-Based Financial Aid Eligibility: Need-based eligibility is calculated per academic year and is determined using the following formula:
Cost of attendance for one academic year - calculated EFC = financial need
Our commitment is to ensure that 100% of the financial need is covered by resources including merit scholarships, outside resources, loans, work study, and grants.
- Merit-Based Financial Aid: All students are considered for merit aid at the time of admission. Students who are selected to receive a merit-based scholarship will be notified when they are admitted to the University. The Office of Financial Aid does not determine eligibility for merit scholarships (academic, athletic or otherwise), and the application process described on our website is not related to these resources. View more information on Lehigh merit scholarships >
Factors that Impact Need-Based Aid Eligibility
Need-based financial aid eligibility is assessed each academic year. If the factors that impact financial aid remain relatively consistent from academic year to academic year, apply for financial aid by the deadline and make satisfactory academic progress, then your need-based financial aid eligibility should remain relatively the same each year.
Some factors that may result in a decrease or increase to need-based financial aid from one year to the next include, but are not limited to:
- Changes in family income
- Changes in family assets
- Changes to the number of supported family members in the household
- Changes in college enrollment for siblings (For Lehigh financial aid eligibility purposes, sibling college enrollment is only a factor for siblings enrolled as full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students, where there is an expectation of parent financial contribution. Siblings enrolled in graduate programs, service academies, or undergraduate programs where aid resources (including merit or athletic scholarship) cover the costs are not generally considered).
- Missing deadlines when reapplying for financial aid for a new academic year
- Failure to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Less than full-time enrollment
- Receipt of an outside resource.