External Scholarships

These gift aid resources may be need-based or merit-based and are administered by third-party agencies and organizations.

External scholarships, or outside scholarships, are offered by agencies or organizations outside of Lehigh.  Students must identify, apply for, and be selected to receive these outside resources.   In most instances, there is no charge to apply for scholarships and no guarantee 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.

There are many private (external) 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.comwww.college.netwww.fastweb.com, or www.gocollege.com. The Office of Financial Aid maintains a list of current external scholarships.

External Scholarships are factors in need-based financial aid eligibility.  That is, receipt of an external scholarship can impact eligibility for Lehigh or federal grants, loans or work-study.  If you are the recipient of an external scholarship, and you are a need-based financial aid applicant, you must inform the Office of Financial Aid of your outside scholarships.  Read Lehigh University’s Outside Scholarship Adjustment policy >

Types of Aid

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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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All loans must be repaid.  Need-based loan options are available through both Lehigh and the federal government.  Non-need-based loan options are available through the federal government and private sources. Eligibility for these options are determined by financial requirements submitted. 


Student Employment

A student employment or work study award is an opportunity for a student to get an on-campus job to earn money for college expenses. This award is used to meet a student’s financial need.


Merit Aid

At Lehigh, we offer a limited number of merit-based scholarships to incoming freshman, which are available to students with outstanding talents and extraordinary academic promise. When awarding merit aid, the Office of Admissions takes a holistic approach, looking beyond the numbers related to academic talent alone. They look at what a student contributes outside the classroom and also consider recommendations and personal essays.

Outside Scholarship

Often referred to as outside or external scholarships, these scholarships are private scholarships offered by organizations outside of Lehigh. A student's need-based financial aid eligibility may change due to receipt of an outside scholarship.  View our policy.