With so few students selected for January admission to Lehigh each year, it is a process that often goes unnoticed.
According to John Morganelli, the senior associate director of admissions, there are typically about 20 to 25 students each year who are admitted to Lehigh in the spring semester as opposed to admission in the fall. Students accepted for spring admission are “identified specifically for it” and are “identified as people that have a strong affinity toward Lehigh,” Morganelli said.
Morganelli also said students are admitted for the spring semester in order “to maintain an enrollment number that makes sense for the university as a whole.”
Enrollment of students in the spring is typically less than it is in the fall. This happens for a number of reasons, including students going abroad, graduating early or leaving school for personal reasons. The new spring admits make up for these fluctuations in enrollment.
Morganelli said that the number of students granted spring admissions has nothing to do with the incoming freshmen class.
“It’s a program unto itself,” he said.
Students are usually admitted from the wait list in late April or early May, before the university knows the total enrollment for the fall. This year, more students enrolled than the university thought would, Morganelli said.
Because Lehigh already accepted students off the wait list for the program, there were still spring admits even though this year’s first-year class was the biggest to ever come in and the first-year dorms were already beyond capacity.
Morganelli said that spring admits are put wherever there is space, but that is not a deterrent for most students accepted into the program.
Spring admits have lived in Centennials I and II, McClintic-Marshall House, Dravo House and Drinker House.
Despite the structure of the spring admits program, however, students selected for January admission often feel they go unnoticed.
Rachel Sholder, ’16, was admitted to Lehigh as a spring admit in during the summer of 2012, like the rest of the class of 2016. However, her first semester at Lehigh was the spring 2013 semester. She was placed in Drinker and was one of only two first-year women living in the dorm.
“I have no hall friends from freshman year,” Sholder said.
Jen Dorogoff, ’17, was also admitted to Lehigh during the spring semester and was placed in Dravo Hall.
“They basically put you wherever there is room,” Dorogoff said.
Ali Fotinopoulos, ’17, said people on her hall were nice to her, but they weren’t really looking to foster strong friendships.
“I felt separated from everyone,” she said.
Dorogoff explained that students accepted for January admissions have to agree to some conditions if they accept their offer. They are not allowed to be full-time students at another college or university in the fall semester. They are, however, allowed to be part-time students before they arrive at Lehigh.
“You can go abroad, get a job, it’s really just about the credits, so they know you’re getting a Lehigh education and not another education,” Dorogoff said.
Sholder also said that she had a hard time choosing classes because she was not given an adviser.
“I definitely had a bunch of complaints at the time, but looking back at it, it’s no big deal,” Sholder said.
Dorogoff said that Lehigh needs to choose the right people to be accepted for the spring semester, people that really want to come to Lehigh.