Higher Education Options In Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley may be best known for its industrial history and, nowadays, its attractions, but there’s one thing about the Valley that might surprise you. With plenty of colleges, universities, and community colleges, Lehigh Valley is also a hotspot for higher education! If you’re considering attending a school in the Valley, you have plenty of options to choose from. From public, state-supported universities to private, religious colleges, here are the best higher education options in Lehigh Valley.
Due to lower tuition fees and higher acceptance rates, public universities and colleges are usually the most popular choice for those looking to get into higher education. But while Lehigh Valley doesn’t have any public universities native to the area, there are a few campus offshoots of public universities from other areas of the state. Notably, Penn State has a campus in Center Valley, which offers degrees in applied psychology, business administration, corporate communication, and more. East Stroudsburg University also has a presence in the Valley; the school has partnered with other institutions in the Valley area to provide courses in nursing and speech language pathology.
While private schools may be more expensive and harder to get into than public schools, they often have smaller classes and a tighter community. And when it comes to private schools, Lehigh Valley has them in spades. In Allentown, there’s Cedar Crest College, a private women’s liberal arts college, and Muhlenberg College, which boasts more than 40 majors and an 11-to-1 student to faculty ratio. In Bethlehem, you can attend the private institutions of Moravian College or Lehigh University, which bills itself as having one of the largest private campuses in the country. Finally, Center Valley is home to DeSales University, which is a private Catholic university. While all of these schools was founded on varying principles, each takes pride in providing the best in education.
You might not be looking for a costly, four-year commitment. In this case, attending a community college can provide you with some of your general education credits for a fraction of what it would cost you at a private or public university. There are a few community colleges in Lehigh Valley. First, there’s Lehigh Carbon Community College, which offers both associate degrees and certificate programs. LCCC has also partnered with Albright College and Bloomsburg University to offer some bachelor’s degree programs. Besides LCCC, Lehigh Valley’s other major community college is Northampton Community College. While NCC offers similar programs to LCCC, the school does one thing differently: it has on-campus housing available, the only community college in Pennsylvania to have such.
Each of these schools offers something unique, and there’s something about all of them that their students enjoy. Finding the right fit for your school is important, so it’s important to do your research before you commit to a school. Read up on your prospective school’s programs and mission, and if you can, schedule a campus visit. It might be comforting to know, however, that if things end up not working out with one college, there are many alternative options nearby!