Lehigh announces 4.5% tuition increase


This spring, Lehigh announced a 4.5% increase in tuition. The new tuition price is estimated to be $63,930, while the total cost of attendance is around $82,200.

The change in tuition will not affect students currently benefiting from the Lehigh Commitment, which provides a full tuition grant for students with a yearly family income of $75,000 or less.

Michael Todd, vice president for Finance and Administration, said deciding the tuition price is an important part of the University’s resource planning process.

He said the proposition to raise tuition prices is led by Lehigh’s budget team, and the team relies on careful planning from other departments throughout fall and early winter. University leaders then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approval. 

Todd said the decision to raise tuition prices is not made lightly and includes many polite disagreements, as he believes it should.

“One of the many things I love about Lehigh is our pragmatic culture and the shared recognition that we’re asking students and families to make a substantial investment,” Todd said. “It’s our responsibility then to deliver an educational experience worthy of that investment.”

He also said the wording around financial programs and tuition increases can be hard for students to understand. This leads to potential discouragement when making financial decisions. 

“Which is the last thing we want, because with such a robust financial aid program, we can help a lot of students and families,” Todd said. 

Jen Mertz, assistant vice provost of Financial Services, said her office calculates aid by subtracting the expected family contribution from the cost of attendance. If the expected contribution remains the same, aid will increase with rising tuition costs. 

Mertz said expected family contributions can change when a sibling enrolls or graduates from college, so students must apply for aid each year.

“We can always reevaluate eligibility for need-based aid,” Mertz said. “As costs increase, we will see more students qualifying for need-based aid.”

She said the program is designed to provide need-based aid for students even as costs increase.

“Affordability and access to all students is always on our minds,” Mertz said. “I feel strongly and I see firsthand that we do have a program built to ensure that all students can attend Lehigh, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.” 

Lya Ali, ’26, the vice president of leadership for Student Senate, said she has seen students face financial hardships and thinks a change in tuition prices can be daunting. 

Ali said the Senate has discussed rising tuition prices in the context of their student life budget. They will receive a portion of the extra funds from the tuition increase because they are considered an office through Student Involvement

“Other universities allocate more to student life based on tuition, so some universities would take a portion out of student tuition, out of each student’s, and then put this towards the fund for student life,” Ali said.

She said the Senate’s main focus was funding students and student life on their current budget. They hope the increase can supplement offices on campus that need it.


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