Get to Know Washington & Lee University

Comments Off on Get to Know Washington & Lee University 16 December 2019

Washington and Lee University is a highly regarded liberal arts institution in Lexington, Virginia. On a campus that has something for everyone, we talked to Julia on the admissions team to learn more about what W&L has in store for their students.

  1. What makes Washington and Lee stand out from other institutions?

We feel that education should not be a spectator sport. Our innovative liberal arts curriculum has evolved over our 270-year history to become one of the best hands-on learning programs in the country. We’ve augmented the liberal arts and sciences with offerings not commonly found in a small college setting, such as business, accounting, engineering, journalism and law, and interdisciplinary programs including ethics, poverty studies and entrepreneurship. Our student-run Honor System and four-week, immersive Spring Term make learning at W&L truly unique.

     2. What support services are available on campus?

We believe students thrive most when given personalized attention and support. An average class size of 15 students means students get to know their professors, and a wide range of academic support services are available. Outside of the classroom, our class deans, resident advisors, peer counselors and mental health and wellness counselors strive to ensure each student is successful throughout their four years.

Additionally, W&L’s Office of Inclusion and Engagement (OIE) fosters a culture at W&L in which all members of the community feel welcome and are able to participate in everything W&L has to offer. OIE supports programs and initiatives that explore, promote and celebrate the increasingly diverse backgrounds of our students. For example, students can get involved in Black Greek Life, attend the annual Equality Gala, live in one of our affinity theme houses and join one of the thirty student cultural and identity organizations that OIE supports.

For students still exploring their college options, we offer two diversity fly-in events each fall. The Diversity and Inclusion Visit Experience (DIVE) is a selective two-day all-expense paid program for rising high school seniors that provides an immersive campus visit so students can imagine themselves excelling in our classrooms and engaging with our friendly community.

     3. What should College Greenlight students know about financial aid at W&L?

A W&L education is within reach. We offer generous no-loan need-based financial aid programs that are among the nation’s strongest and meet every student’s full demonstrated need. In addition, the W&L Promise guarantees a minimum grant of tuition to any undergraduate student admitted to W&L with a total family income below $100,000 and typical assets. Over 50% of the first-year class is receiving grant assistance from the university, and the average need-based award is $46,300. 

Furthermore, the Johnson Scholarship, recognizing leadership, service and academic accomplishment, is awarded to 10 percent of the incoming class each year and is renewable for four years. The scholarship includes not only full tuition and room and board, but also $7,000 to support summer exploration and leadership experiences. 

    4. What does W&L’s campus and its surrounding area have to offer students?

Students with a wide array of interests find their home here. Our students lead over 100 clubs and organizations which include service opportunities, political engagement, recreational sports, Greek life, leadership training and so much more. On a weekend, you can find students volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, planning an Entrepreneurship Summit, watching a theater performance and cheering on the Generals at an NCAA DIII event.

The coffee shops, art galleries and trendy restaurants of Lexington – far from a sleepy town — are just a few steps away. Lexington (or “Lex Vegas” as the locals affectionately call it) combines small-town charm with a vibrant arts scene and centuries of history. Students can hang their mug on the wall at Lexington Coffee Shop, bring their creative ideas to life at the Lexington Collaboratory, attend an open-air concert and catch a double feature at Hull’s Drive-In theater.

Outside of town, students go hiking (or mountain biking, skiing, whitewater rafting…you name it!) in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and beyond through the W&L Outing Club. And for city-lovers, we are only a few hours away from DC, Richmond, Charlottesville and Roanoke.

   5. What else should student and counselors know?

Our students are successful. We are proud to have a 98 percent retention rate (students returning for their sophomore year) and a 91 percent four-year graduation rate. After graduation, 96 percent of graduates are employed or pursuing graduate school within six months of graduation. An array of research, travel and internship experiences help students build resumes, and these opportunities contribute to higher-than-average salaries for W&L graduates. We are also a top-producer of Fulbright Scholars and our students are awarded national post-graduate fellowships each year. 

Washington and Lee University offers top-notch academics with an impressive breadth of offerings and opportunities, and a vibrant, supportive community in which to build leadership skills and develop life-long connections. They have a long tradition of graduating smart, ambitious students who have the ability and desire to make a difference. 

To explore more and keep up with Washington and Lee, follow their Columns, Facebook, Instagram, and Campus News.

Questions about W&L? Reach out to Julia Littlefield, Assistant Director of Admissions at

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