Lafayette College

Lafayette College appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Rankings: Best Small Colleges

30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Northeast

Lafayette College was founded in 1826 by the United States Secretary of War, James Madison Porter, and named after the Marquis de Lafayette. The inaugural class of 43 worked labor in the adjacent fields along the Lehigh River for tuition. During World War II, enrollment jumped as Lafayette was selected to train engineering cadets by the War Department. Lafayette College now stands as a selective private, nonprofit liberal arts institution. Endowed for $777 million, Lafayette serves over 2,400 students from its 110-acre suburban campus on College Hill in Easton, Pennsylvania, just 70 miles from Manhattan. Lafayette College has produced notable alumni like Chip Bergh, William E. Simon, Marcia Bernicat, and Joel Silver.

According to the U.S. News, Lafayette is the 37th best national liberal arts college with the 15th top undergraduate engineering degrees. Forbes magazine lauded Lafayette as America's 46th best public university with the 48th most grateful grads and A+ finances. Lafayette College claims the #47 spot in the Princeton Review's "Colleges That Pay You Back." Money magazine recognized Lafayette as the second best liberal arts college where graduates earn the most. The Journals of Blacks in Higher Education noted Lafayette for having the fifth most diverse faculty among liberal arts schools. As the 22nd "Smartest College," Lafayette also leads the United States for Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship recipients.

Lafayette College Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2014, Lafayette College is institutionally accredited as a baccalaureate college by the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSASC). This regional accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for Title IV funding and credit transfer. In particular, Lafayette's Engineering Division is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Both the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) extend their approval. The B.S. in Chemistry program also meets the American Chemical Society's standards.

Lafayette College Application Requirements

Lafayette College is one of America's most selective institutions with a 29.8 percent acceptance rate. Freshmen seeking to beat the odds must submit a well-rounded application. Lafayette has a holistic review process where academics, extra-curricular activities, personal character, and talent are considered. First-year students need to be graduating with a licensed high school diploma or homeschooled equivalent. Most rank in the top 20th percentile of their graduating class. On average, admitted Leopards present a secondary GPA of 3.46. Academic rigor with AP, Honors, and IB courses is weighed. Freshmen also achieve a mean SAT score of 1906 and ACT score of 29.

Joining Lafayette's community after attending another regionally accredited college or university is possible. Incoming transfers must hold at least nine credits for three transferable courses. For credit, transfers must present courses that have Lafayette equivalents and are graded "C" or higher. AP and IB credits completed in high school can't count. Competitive transfers will carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in college. At least two academic years must be completed in-residence at Lafayette, so there's a 60 credit maximum. Transfer agreements are established with the nearby Northampton Community College and Lehigh Carbon Community College. Non-native English speakers must score at least 95 on the TOEFL (iBT) exam.

The Early Decision deadline is November 15th and the Regular Decision deadline is January 15th each year. Before then, interested students can apply to Lafayette College by sending:

• Online Common Application form
• 200-word response to "Why Lafayette?"
• Academic transcripts from each school
• Official SAT or ACT scores
• Guidance counselor recommendation
• At least one teacher recommendation
• Application for need-based financial aid
• Payment for the $65 fee (or waiver request)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Although PayScale picked Lafayette College for the nation's fifth best ROI, this liberal arts school won't be cheap. Full-time undergraduate tuition is currently $48,450 per year. Students are required to pay the $750 matriculation fee and $435 activity and technology fee. On-campus residence typically costs $8,950 for dorm housing and $5,520 for meal plans annually. Lafayette suggests budgeting $1,000 for books and $900 for personal expenses. Total cost of attendance per full-time year is $64,105. Part-time students are billed $1,530 per course taken.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 55 percent of new, full-time Lafayette students earn assistance. The average financial aid package is worth $36,912. Institutional awards like the Marquis de Lafayette Scholarship, Athletic Scholarship, Posse Scholarship, and ROTC Scholarship are abundant. Another source of free gift aid is the Federal Pell Grant and FSEOG Grant programs. Children of fallen Armed Forces could qualify for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Military benefits are accepted from the Yellow Ribbon program. In-state residents often earn the Pennsylvania State Grant or NETS Grant. On-campus employers offer Federal Work-Study (FWS) at minimum wage. Lafayette students could also borrow Perkins, Direct, and PLUS loans under the $7,500 limit.

Degrees Available at Lafayette College

Lafayette College strives to produce influential thinkers by delivering a liberal arts-infused Common Course of Study that's specialized in over 50 majors. This "Hidden Ivy" offers rigorous academics with a low student-faculty ratio of 10:1 for personalization. Learning extends beyond the classroom through the Landis Community Outreach Center and EXCEL Scholars research program. Lafayette students also study abroad with 30+ partner universities, including Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica. Two notable degrees are the:

Chemical Engineering (B.S.)

Fully ABET-accredited, the Chemical Engineering (B.S.) program at Lafayette emphasizes life sciences to prepare undergraduates for discovering new products at the microscopic and macroscopic level. The 36-credit major includes courses on organic chemistry, mechanics, thermodynamics, design synthesis, reaction kinetics, process control, and energy balances. Students benefit from hands-on learning in the 90,000-square foot Acopian Engineering Center. Graduates achieve an above-average FE exam pass rate of 94 percent.

Film and Media Studies (A.B.)

Lafayette's Film and Media Studies (A.B.) program nurtures career relationships for budding media artists interested in the art and culture of moving images. Tackling this 27-credit major will involve in-depth study of cinema history, film genres, documentary film, popular culture, video art, photography, visual communication, and screenwriting. Upperclassmen can join the "London Through Film" trip and explore media archives at the Imperial War Museum. FAMS majors also attend the Fledgling Filmmakers' Festival.

Other unique degrees at Lafayette College include the Asian Studies (A.B.), Neuroscience (B.S.), Russian and East European Studies (A.B.), Geology (B.S.), and Policy Studies (A.B.).