Lexington, VA
Washington and Lee University


20 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Parker
What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is in rural Lexington, VA, so there isn't much to do besides go to frat parties, which I enjoy. There is a major gender ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is in rural Lexington, VA, so there isn't much to do besides go to frat parties, which I enjoy. There is a major gender relations problem on campus, and I think it has to do with the dynamic of Greek life, to a certain extent. Guys and girls generally don't interact outside of frat basements, and this leads to at best an awkwardness on the Hill, and at worst, objectification of women, and sexual assault. That said, I have experienced exceptions to this problem, and I do have guy friends with whom I feel comfortable. One aspect about W&L I love is the honor system. Everyone has to act like a gentleman or a gentlewoman, and lying, cheating, and stealing (an honor violation) has one punishment: expulsion. Students leave laptops, books, clothing, etc. around, and I haven't known of an instance in which anything was taken.

Describe the students at your school.

W&L's student body is primarily composed of fraternities and sororities. I have friends who are unaffiliated, but the majority of the student body is involved in Greek life. The most casual attires girls wear includes Nike running shorts and a t-shirt, if they choose to work out promptly following class. Other than that, polos, button-downs, dresses, etc are commonplace. Lily Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines and Tori Burch could stay in business solely off the female population at W&L. Guys are out of an ad from either Nautica, J.Crew or Polo as well. While upon coming to W&L, I thought virtually everyone would be conservative, there are a healthy number of liberal-minded students. The ideal date or boyfriend is the i-banker. Nobody cares about football or basketball. I have a handful of guy friends in varsity sports, but I can count the number of sports functions I've attended this year on one hand. And when we go to home football games, girls wear sundresses, and guys wear suits.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For the most part, yes, but that doesn't mean that to be happy at W&L you have to fit these norms. Diversification is shifting the dynamic of the school, and every year test scores of the incoming freshmen increase. W&L is, and is getting even more competitive.

What are the academics like at your school?

A high point is the experience in the classroom. The teachers, especially in the humanities, really want you to learn, and this is evident in their curriculum and their office hours. They are very available. The sciences are also helpful and engaging, but the classes tend to be bigger, probably due to essential classes for the MCAT, etc. Although I'm an English major (and a freshman), I'm researching this summer with a biology professor, which is a really unique experience. I am taking an anthropology class with 5 kids, and it's really engaging and interesting. Obviously, with such intimate class sizes, participation is key. In every class I'm taking, it's at least 25% of the grade. This makes you do your homework, and it forces you to think critically. The English department is very conducive to students who want to double-major, or who are going pre-med or pre-dent, etc. They want you to receive a well-rounded education that will benefit you in the future.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I only lock my door when I leave for breaks. I study a lot, and go to the library frequently. I almost always go out every Friday and Saturday night, which includes a party of some sort, and drinking is almost always involved. There is a bizarre dating scene; due to the gender relations issues, it's more of a "hook-up" scene, which leads to embarrassing situations and tensions between guys and girls. That said, I've been on a few dates here with a couple different guys, and I had a great time. It all depends on what you're looking for.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

W&L students are typically affluent, preppy, and Southern, to be kind. Although to W&L's credit, the amount of diversity on campus is increasing. In general, everyone's exceptionally smart, but our social scene is pretty hard-core. Alcohol can be obtained quite easily on and off campus, if one desires.

Katie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size, the professors, the parties are all aspects of W&L's culture that make it truly outstanding. I love my school, des...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size, the professors, the parties are all aspects of W&L's culture that make it truly outstanding. I love my school, despite the greek system's rigid social structure. Groups are pretty stratified yet I believe if there were no greek system, smaller cliques would form anyway and I would not benefit from the AMAZING parties and close bonds I have made with the girls in my srat. Academically and socially W&L has been incredibly enriching to my life.

Describe the students at your school.

I love the W&L students. People here are absolutely beautiful. For the most part, they dress well, know how to party and are intelligent and friendly. Students here seem to be in good shape for the most part. People either go to our awesome gym or participate in a sport. You are just as likely to see the students here in their running shorts, tee and sneakers as you are to see them in vineyard vines, forever 21, polo, designer jeans or lilly dresses.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

OUtstanding academic rep= accurate. I have incredible bonds with my professors and it is only my first year here. I feel highly stimulated by the classroom discussions. As for the southerness, it has come a long way from what it used to be. I know ALOT of northerners here yet southern culture is a powerful element of the greek life. I feel that a rigid social structure develops around social differences such as if one is from an old money southern family or if one is not southern or came from a wealthy family and private school. Before students entered various greek organizations--and nearly everyone did--the parties felt very inclusive. Every student was welcomed by upperclassmen and there was no apparent divide. Slowly as people assimilate to their frats and srats, parties become more exclusive and people associate only with certain groups. The "top frats" and various srats seem to fancy themselves as superior based on their southern backgrounds...

What are the academics like at your school?

I love my classes. I love my professors. W&L has exceeded my expectations in offering challenging yet extremely engaging classes which I have applied myself to 100%. I am very motivated by the interesting professors and classes offered. My main problem is the FDR (required core classes) which prevent me from taking the endless list of classes that interest me. Why should I be wasting my time with a math requirement when I'd rather be enjoying a class discussion and studying one of the highly fascinating humanities courses offered?

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Two words. GREEK LIFE. parties are open, (but as people become affliated with their own greek org, they become more stratified and social networks get a little tighter) the alcohol is free (as in, the frats pay for it) and there is almost ALWays something going on. I love the social life here. Definetly party hard study hard environment.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

a southern school with an emphasis on the greek life. Also famous for speaking tradition and intimate community/tightly knit, student faculty relationships

Robin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

w&l is very unique for the honor system in particular, which creates an environment that lets you schedule your own exams, le...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

w&l is very unique for the honor system in particular, which creates an environment that lets you schedule your own exams, leave valuables sitting around on campus safely, and never lock your dorm room. the students get to run a lot of the government of the school, and preside over the honor system themselves, not the faculty and admin. the propensity to dress up on campus is also rather unique, especially at football games when men wear brooks brothers jackets and bow ties and women wear bright sun dresses...which both genders also wear to class on a regular basis... w&l is also predominantly greek, which makes us all sound like uber-preps, but in reality there's a greek organization for everyone (there's a frat for the nerds and a frat for the frat lords, a sorority for girls who wouldnt otherwise be in a sorority), and even those who go independant arent left out, since all the parties are open to everyone, no matter what frat they're in.

Describe the students at your school.

W&L has had issues with the integration of new ideas and types of different students, and its a slow process, but one that is a goal of the student body almost universally. the school gives full scholarships to about a hundred outstanding students every year, and is gradually becoming a more diverse population. traditions are key at w&l though, and they carry over into dress, which is usually abnormally formal (sun dresses and suits, bowties, etc). a student who never dresses up for anything, and persistently wears sweats would probably feel a bit out of place, but at the same time a lot of people dress like that to class too.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

be prepared!!! girls, if you're going to washington and lee, buy sun dresses. lots of them...trust me you'll need them. and if drinking grain, drink the color the frat boys are drinking.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

there are people who act like that, but there are also people who dont...while the atmosphere is rather preppy, there's a large group of differenly minded students and a place on campus for mostly everyone (even if they're not the majority). despite the fact that w&l is a mostly white campus, its not racist, and though there might be a few jerks in the crowd, the majority of campus is very accepting and open.

What are the academics like at your school?

Classes are intense, interesting, and intimate. Last semester, i had two classes in which there were fewer than 10 people, and my largest class all year has 35 people in it. All of my professors have learned my name within a week or so of class, and I still talk to them frequently on campus. Students at w&; follow the philosophy of "work hard, play hard" and definately do their work alongside of the partying. getting into w&l is difficult, and even athletes have rigorous standards to meet. It's really refreshing, really to be able to hang out with friends or go to a party and have a conversation about the Decameron, Dante, John Locke, or gender perceptions in early modern europe. Its a fun atmosphere for learning, and i get to use material from previous classes to my advantage in future classes, where the teachers are as excited as I am to get more information. My department (Medieval and Renaissance studies) is really exciting, since it's made up of teachers from several departments who have one common passion, which really is a passion for them. They're a wonderful group who love to talk about their feild and love to discuss new ideas with students, both in class and out.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Greek organizations are really big, but the way the system works there's a place for everyone, basically, and independants essentially become their own fraternity/sorority. if i'm awake at 2 am on a tuesday, i'm on facebook ignoring the homework i should be doing....tuesdays and sundays are the only days during the week when there are no parties going on. every other night there's something going on on campus, but a lot of students dont go out on weekdays. most parties are dance-oriented as well as drink-oriented, so if you choose not to drink (which actually a lot of students do) there's always dancing, and there's always movies playing in the commons and often there're theatre events at the arts center. lexington is small, so off campus is basically on campus, but the town is in proximity to a lot of road-trip destinations, and organizations on campus sponsor events as well.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

everyone is obscenely rich, preppy, and obnoxious. everyone gets drunk constantly. students are conservative, unaccepting, and racist

Clint
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is perfectly sized for intense academic learning. However, this size leads to a tightened social scene. Washingt...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is perfectly sized for intense academic learning. However, this size leads to a tightened social scene. Washington and Lee is a well-known school among the right people. It is definitely a stepping stone to financial sucess - especially from the school of commerce. However, there is much competition in this path, so I picked a liberal arts major, which has been an incredible decision. The faculty are great - all intelligent and willing to help. There is an incredible party-side to the school despite it being small. However, the administration has been strangling this social scene, including kicking off fraternities, and monitoring drinking. This has led to a conformist social scene, which although still good, has dramatically changed for the worse since I've been at the school. Overall, it is an incredible school. I have experienced great academic learning, and gained the greatest friends of my life in the best social setting of any school I've ever visited. However, the school is looking to improve its academic standing, which equals an attack on the previously untouched and free social scene. The school will not be the same 3 years from now.

What are the academics like at your school?

competitive / difficult / geared towards job - school of commerce / geared towards learning - all liberal arts majors. Great academic setting

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

good-natured / posess the desire to suceed in life / friendly / most are of the same mold and background

Michael
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about W&L is the fact that there is a sort of community. Since we are so isolated from other areas the school ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about W&L is the fact that there is a sort of community. Since we are so isolated from other areas the school is very much a community where most people have at least heard of each other. If I could change one thing it would be to increase the diversity, the lack of diversity here is profound and has a negative impact on campus. I feel that the school is very small but it is nice for the reason I listed earlier, it makes it a community rather than an aggregation of students. Most people don't recognize the name W&L until you get into the business world, many of the people I have talked to that recognized the school were professionals. I spend most of my time on campus split between doing work in the science building and having fun at the greek houses. The entire town of Lexington grew around W&L and VMI so the college is the main thing in the town. The W&L administration really cares for its students and is wiling to work with and help students with whatever they need. The biggest recent controversy was something in our school newspaper called "The Bracket" in which students were slandered by other students using mysogynistic and homophobic terms. There is a lot of school pride here but it doesn't center around sports. Washington and Lee is a very unusual school as so much of the school centers around greek life, I would suggest you visit, preferably staying with a student, before coming here as its not for everyone. The one experience I will always remember is when the Dean of Students gave me a ride home from the airport. The most frequent complaints are that there is too much emphasis on greek life, not enough diversity, and that some really terrible people attend this school.

Describe the students at your school.

Students here tend to not be very active politically and things like demonstrations or protests are unheard of. Students who cannot balance work and partying need not apply here as it is expected of a student to do both. Students are often very busy with work for classes and then finish it so that every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night you can often expect to see straight A students out at parties. Students here dress much better than would be expected at another college. You don't see students wearing sweats unless they are going to the gym and there are a tremendous number of formal functions here (I have been to 3 black tie events this year). While W&L is predominantly Christian religion is not an oft discussed subject outside of academically so often one does not know what religion others are without asking, although there are ample opprotunities to attend religious services of your faith as there is a hindu temple, a buddhist meditation center, several mosques and synagogues, and almost every church imaginable within an hours drive. Most students are fiscally conservative and socially moderate. While there is some discrimination against minorities by certain segments of the student body overall most people are generally very accepting. Most W&L students are from the east coast and upper south but there is a broad diversity of students from across the country.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For a portion of the school, yes.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics here are amazing. The professors generally know your name by the second day of class and honestly care about the students and their success in life. My favorite class was Chem 111 with Dr. U, he embodies the best of this university's quality of instructors. My least favorite class was one taken with a visiting professor in the english department, I have never had a class that wasnt good taught by a full time professor here. Class participation is very common, its kind of hard to sit as an observer when class size is 10 or 15 students. It is encouraged and often your grade depends on the discussions you have outside of class time with the professors, who keep regular office hours but are available most times they are not teaching class. Academic discussions often occur outside of class between students and often it is pretty funny hearing at a big party drunk people discussing philosophy, science, or some other intelligent thing. Students are very competitive with each other but that never stops them from helping each other when needed. Its a healthy sort of competition where no one wants anyone to loose but wants their classmates to succeed so that if they are the best they are the best of the best. Washington and Lee's academic requirements are rigorous but fair and the gen ed credits ensure you experience a wide variety of knowledge during your college years. Overall learning here is geared towards learning for its own sake which is generally followed by getting a good job.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Washington and Lee has a tremendous amount of clubs for a school of its size and because of that participation is often lacking even though membership is high because people generally have too many commitments. Washington and Lee is majority greek with the greek system running the school social scene. As there is not much to do in Lexington almost all fun comes through the greek system. If you dont like this I really wouldnt suggest this school, but come and try it, the greek system here is quite different from the stereotype. The school is full of too many fun traditions to name but it is really cool. There are a lot of guest speakers, perhaps too many as people are often too committed to attend. There is not much in the way of culture and excitement around W&L except through the school and to get to the nearest larger city it is an hours drive but most people are busy enough here they dont leave.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That W&L students are rich southern white republicans that are very spoiled and are used to getting everything handed to them.

Rory
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size of the school is perfect. It's a ton of fun. The classes are really tough, but rewarding, and the teachers are reall...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size of the school is perfect. It's a ton of fun. The classes are really tough, but rewarding, and the teachers are really helpful. You can go to them for literally any problem you are encountering, in or out of the classroom. People in the right circles know that dubyuhnell is an extremely prestigous school to go to. I love the quote, "It's okay you've never heard of w&l, you wouldn't have gotten in." Lots of people make jokes about how no one can get the name right. It's not William and Lee, Washington and Mary, or William and Mary, and it's not In D.C. either.

Describe the students at your school.

Work Hard, Play Even Harder.

What are the academics like at your school?

All the professors take a great deal of pride in their students. I have not met one that does not help his/her students. I absolutely love the academic atmosphere. It's also extremely difficult to make good grades though. Once you get here, you still have to work.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Alumni weekend, parents weekend, and homecoming are all fun events . The Greek scene is HUGE, dispite Jason Rodocker and the administration's most valiant efforts.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

not accepting of gays, drink a lot, really smart. a lot of people see us as a rich country club that worships Robert E. Lee.

Tyler
Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The first stereotype is somewhat true. Of course there is a small percentage of students that do think they are better than e...

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The first stereotype is somewhat true. Of course there is a small percentage of students that do think they are better than everyone else, but for te most part the student body is normal. The partying stereotype is actually quite acurate. We are nationally known party school and definitely do not dissappoint. Around here we go with the saying, "We work hard, but party harder." The main reason we are such a party school is because of our Greek scene. I think about 90% of the student body is involved in a Greek organization here. Unlike many schools, almost everyone is welcome at the any Fraternity party at Washington & Lee.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The main Stereotype is that we are a bunch of rich, preppy, private school kids who think we are better than everyone else. There is also the stereotype that we are a party school and very Greek oriented.

Karen
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I came to W&L because it was a small, prestigious private school not too close to any major cities. I enjoy the close relati...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I came to W&L because it was a small, prestigious private school not too close to any major cities. I enjoy the close relationships I have with my professors, who all know me by name and are incredibly friendly and approachable. Additionally, the honor system allows flexibility in exam scheduling and ensure that I feel safe and that my belongings are undisturbed on campus, which I appreciate. One unusual aspect of W&L is the spring term (currently six weeks, soon to be four weeks) during which students take 1-2 classes, study abroad or leave school early to take part in internships and summer jobs. This particular aspect of the school is a pleasant experience in that the classes, while intense and demanding as per school standards, are scheduled with a great deal of freetime to enjoy one's social life. The opportunities to study abroad during this time (an opportunity I am currently taking advantage of) are extensive. Furthermore, spring term typically lasts beyond the end date of most other schools, but with our options, we may in fact enter the area of summer jobs along side our fellow college students.

Describe the students at your school.

Although diversity is in the student body and endorsed on campus, an average visitor might gain an impression of homogenity among the students. Financial backgrounds tend to be upper middle class and above, but I've never witnessed or experienced any kind of bigotry. I believe that despite the similarities, tolerance isn't just a watchword. On other campuses, those touted as liberal and all tolerant, I've observed a disdain for those who label themselves conservative. At W&L, I believe that all are tolerant and tolerated. Any remarks about political affiliations (especially conseravatives towards the liberal) are often made, and taken, in jest. The small student body allows for closeness and acceptance based on personality, not political views, sexual orientation, religious leanings or socio-economic standing.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The stereotypes are somewhat accurate, but perhaps exaggerated. Except for the southern part -- That's not really accurate.

What are the academics like at your school?

Although I could state so above, I am also a Classics major, in addition to the Physics major. My professors in both fields of study are friendly, approachable, yet also demanding of our work, setting standards achieveable, but challenging -- as I have come to expect from all fields in which I have studied at this school. Even during classes which I did not enjoy because of the subject, I still appreciated my professors' dedication and enthusiasm for their teaching matter. In addition to studying physics and classics, I work for the physics department, which allows me to spend time with the professors in a more relaxed environment. They are incredibly personable, and while outside the classroom far more casual, they still maintain professionalism in the classroom. The academic requirements are wide-ranged, forcing students to study matters that might be outside their major focus. These requirements caused me to take an ancient philosophy class, which contributed towards my decision to add classics to my major declaration. The general education requirements gear the school towards learning for its own sake, but not exclusively and certainly not extremely. The career center is an influential presence on campus.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The activities and social life at W&L are, in one word, vibrant. Opportunities abound for greek and non-greek, drinkers and non-drinkers, those who enjoy the parties and those who prefer movie nights. Because of the prevalence of the greek system, most consider the greek life to be the social life. However, as an independent and one who does not typically party, I have rarely found myself unoccupied on the weekends. Activities range from movie nights to game nights to camping to hiking trips. Impromptu gatherings my freshman year were common place, given the security we felt in leaving our doors open and the closeness one developed among one's hallmates. Studying demands considerable time, yet the informal motto of the student body is "Work hard. Play hard." This phrase, I believe, embodies the social life of most students. Parties are commonplace, yet rarely get out of hand given the dedication to academics. Dating is usually casual (random party hook-ups are prevalent). Traditions, especially certain themed parties, are embraced -- not surprising at a school named after two such historically important generals.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Extremely preppy, hard-core partiers, very conservative and southern

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