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Washington and Lee: The Right School For You and Me

Washington and Lee: The Right School For You and Me

By Alex Orlowski

Washington Lee is a liberal arts university with a considerable history that sufficiently fulfills and exceeds the expectations of its student.

Washington Lee is an institution older than the country itself. It was founded in 1749 but has been continually evolving since then, both in an academic and physical sense. The school’s motto, “non incautus futuri” (roughly translating to “not unmindful of the future”) speaks to this idea of progression. One particular example of this constant progression is the I.Q. Center, a state-of-the-art facility that houses a variety of sophisticated research and development tools, such as electron microscopes and a powerful 3D imaging laboratory. These resources are available to undergraduate students from all departments, this kind of accessibility rarely seen in the academic world.

Washington Lee has plenty of history, tradition, and consequently, a rich student culture. One such distinguishing characteristic that is emblematic of the culture at Washington Lee is the Honor System. It is an all-encompassing system of trust that all students are obliged to follow, otherwise risking expulsion. This system is the “real deal” -- under it, students pledge not to “lie, cheat, steal, or otherwise violate the community’s trust.” This furthers the community dynamic on campus, as professors do not doubt the authenticity of students work, have unproctored exams, and students are always confident that their belongings are safe.

The university functions under the 12:12:4 system. This means the academic year is divided into three sections: The 12-week fall term, 12-week winter term, and a 4-week spring term. 60% of students opted to study abroad in the 2017-2018 school year, and the spring term is when most of them chose to do so. Students are presented with 28 different countries they can travel to, immersing themselves into the culture and gaining valuable life experience all the while.

As for athletics, Washington and Lee has the resources available for collegiate athletes to compete at the highest level. On campus, 28% of students are varsity athletes, and the school is home to 24 division III athletics -- 12 for men and 12 for women. The men's football team has been successful in recent years, most recently having won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship in 2015. If varsity sports are not your cup of tea, Washington Lee offers dozens of clubs and intramural sports year round.

There are a substantial amount of majors and minors -- totaling 69 -- offered at Washington Lee. Although it is a liberal arts university, it is home to nationally prestigious programs in engineering and education, a “nationally accredited business school,” and a highly regarded journalism program. WIth consideration to all the aforementioned programs, students are able to explore a multitude of different subjects, all of which exist at a nationally competitive level.

First-year students have the unique opportunity of applying for the Johnson Scholarship. This program covers the costs of full tuition, as well as room and board, for up to 44 academically gifted students. To qualify, students must apply for the scholarship directly via writing supplement in the Common Application by Dec. 1. All prospective students are encouraged to do so, considering the immense benefit of debt-free graduation. Regular Decision and Early Decision Round 2 both share an application deadline of Jan. 1, and everything is done through the Common Application or Questbridge.

Offering a top-notch liberal arts education with uniquely extensive and flexible academics and extracurriculars, Washington Lee is a no-brainer for any college applicant. To learn more about Washington Lee, check out their website, at:

  • Private/Public College

    • Private

  • Undergraduate enrollment

    • 1,850

  • Male to Female Ratio

    • 48% female; 52% male

  • Student to Teacher Ratio

    • 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio

  • Overall Cost

    • $70,500 average cost of attendance

  • Percentage of Students on Financial Aid

    • 55% of first-year students receive financial aid

  • $ Size of Endowment

    • An endowment of more than 1.47 billion dollars

  • Location of School (Urban/Rural, as well as physical location)

    • Urban location in Lexington, Va.

  • Acceptance Rate

    • 24%

  • Graduation Rate

    • 88%

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