First founded in 1918 as a small Bible institute with 12 students and one teacher, Lee University has grown into a comprehensive private evangelical Christian liberal arts institution. Affiliated with the Church of God, Lee offers faith-based learning to more than 5,000 students annually. Lee University is nestled on a beautiful 120-acre suburban campus along the Ocoee River in Cleveland, Tennessee, near Chattanooga. Following the motto “Where Christ is King,” Lee excels at providing Christ-centered education at the baccalaureate and graduate level. Across its five academic schools, Lee has achieved an average freshman retention rate of 75 percent.
According to the U.S. News, Lee University is the 46th best regional college, 14th top value school, and 25th best university for veterans in the South. In particular, Lee is honored for hosting America’s 131st best online bachelor’s degrees. For three straight years, Lee was named among The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For.” The Open Doors Report ranked Lee fourth nationwide for giving credit to study abroad. Lee University was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2009. USA Today also lauded Lee as the 13th “College Most Committed to Community Service.”
Lee University Accreditation Details
Lee University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV funding. Lee is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). In addition, academic departments have received five program-specific accreditations. Business degrees meet the standards of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Music programs are approved by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Teaching degrees are accredited via the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Lee University Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 89 percent, Lee University has a selective admissions process that doesn’t consider race, color, national original, religion, or disability. New freshmen must hold a diploma for an approved secondary school or pass the GED equivalency test. First-year students must have maintained a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants must have scored at least 17 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT, excluding writing. Admissions will also consider other factors of future potential, such as extra-curricular activities, community service, and work experience.
Undergraduate transfers are accepted from other regionally accredited colleges for students who have completed at least one full-time semester. Carrying a minimum overall college GPA of 2.0 or higher is required. Incoming transfers must attend a “Transitions” dinner and New Student Orientation weekend. At the graduate level, applicants must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent. Most master’s programs mandate a minimum collegiate GPA of 3.0. Graduate students must have passed the MAT, GRE, or GMAT within the last 10 years.
During the rolling admissions, interested students wishing to attend Lee University should contact the Admissions Office with the following:
- Completed online admissions form
- Non-refundable $25 application fee
- Official transcripts of all academic work
- College entrance exam scores
- Three professional recommendations
- 500-word personal goals statement
- Medical proof of two MMR vaccinations
- Residential Life application (if applicable)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates at Lee University can expect to pay $7,500 per semester for tuition. Those living on campus will be charged $11,520 per semester with room and board. Part-time learners are billed $600 per credit hour taken. Undergrad students are also responsible for paying a $300 student services fee and $35 technology fee. Graduate students at Lee must afford paying $600 per credit. There’s an extra $400 fee for MBA students. Grads are required to provide for the $75 technology fee, $50 student activity fee, and $75 health service fee.
Around 95 percent of beginning full-time students receive financial aid at Lee University. With the FAFSA form, students can borrow money through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, or Federal Perkins Loan. Free federal funding is available via the Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Military members qualify for aid through the Montgomery GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program. In-state residents should apply for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship or Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Federal Work-Study (FWS) can provide part-time employment. Textbook vouchers are given to students whose financial aid exceeds the amount of their school bill. Scholarships are also numerous, such as the Centennial Scholarship, Community College Graduate Scholarship, and John D. Nichols Scholarship.
In 12 academic departments, Lee University offers a multitude of degree options to build upon the universal 18-credit liberal arts core. Undergraduates can currently select from over 50 majors, including Anthropology, Digital Media Studies, Biochemistry, Exercise Science, Human Development, Church Music, Children’s Ministry, and Church Administration. There are also 16 master’s programs, such as the high-ranking Master of Business Administration. Lee has a low student-faculty ratio of 17:1, so 55 percent of classes have less than 20 students. The Global Perspectives Program has sent students abroad to countries like Egypt, Austria, Ireland, and Honduras.
Non-local freshmen are required to live on-campus in one of 17 residence halls. Dining choices are available for every palette at Deacon Jones Dining Hall, Jazzman’s Cafe, and Snacks ‘n Stacks. At the campus’ center stands William G. Squires Library, which provides access to book volumes, journal articles, and databases. All Lee students are required to work with Campus Ministries to complete at least 10 hours of community service per semester. Two worship services are held each week on Tuesday and Thursday at the New Chapel. Full-time students must attend 70 percent of chapels during the semester.
Lee strives to promote personal, professional, and spiritual growth with over 100 voluntary student clubs. Students can participate in a club as serious as the College Democrats and College Republicans, or try something lighthearted like the Knit Wits Fiber Arts Club. Singers can join the Voices of Lee, a cappella group that competed on the show “The Sing-Off.” The Festival Choir has also performed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Athletic students could participate in the Flames’ 15 varsity sports competing in NCAA Division II. Since Lee University is located in the Great Smoky Mountains, hiking and camping opportunities also abound.