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Honestly, W&L has been perfect for me. I love the small class sizes, how accessible my professors are, all the clubs and acti...
Honestly, W&L has been perfect for me. I love the small class sizes, how accessible my professors are, all the clubs and activities, the campus, everything. I even love Lexington--it's no big city, but I'm okay with that. The three hours to DC really is reasonable, and I don't have to worry about parking!
Students are competitive, but not too competitive. The Honor System is alive and strong, though of course it has its bumps along the way, but that we can adapt and change because of it is what makes it so honorable. Students generally dress up for class--you won't see anyone in pajamas. There still are a lot of rich students, but it's a general mix of many backgrounds. Currently, there isn't a lot of diversity, but it's growing. Greek life is still a very big deal (about 75% of students are Greek), but its influence isn't always a bad thing since it's more inclusive than exclusive. Students aren't generally very political on campus, but if they are, they're more likely to be conservative than liberal.
The campus is definitely worth a visit in person, and try to stay overnight if you can pull it off. However, I didn't have the best impression my first visit, but it's only improved from there, especially once I started taking classes. Definitely consider it!
To a limited degree. Although many students at Washington and Lee do still come from the South and from wealthy families, the face of the campus is definitely changing. The new Johnson scholarship has welcomed a lot of smart and talented students from different backgrounds to our campus, but even before that, our campus was already changing. The Shepherd Program for the Study of Poverty and Human Capability plays an important role on campus. Because of the Shepherd Program, students are more committed to the community, demonstrated by student-run clubs such as the Nabors Service League and English for Speakers of Other Languages. So yes, to some extent the stereotypes are true. If you keep your mind closed, that's all you will see. However, our campus offers so much more.
The academic life may be my favorite part about W&L, though of course it's only a fraction of what the school has to offer. There are no TAs and professors always have their doors open to talk, and I've been to some of their houses for dinner. Yes, classes are very hard, but it's worth it.
Athletics are pretty popular on campus. And I'll admit that the party scene is very popular, but that doesn't mean drinking is the only thing to do. There a lots of different types of parties for whatever scene you like, and there is no pressure to drink. If you don't want to go out, there are movies every night and always some activity or another going on. I'll just say, I've never been bored in my four years.
White, rich, preppy, Southern, conservative, 100% Greek Smart students that like to play hard after they work hard = a lot of alcohol
Washington and Lee is the best place on Earth! I can't imagine being happier at any other school. The administration knows s...
Washington and Lee is the best place on Earth! I can't imagine being happier at any other school. The administration knows students personally and will work with us to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Being the 9th oldest school in the entire country, there is an incredible amount of history here (including Robert E. Lees tomb). Throughout its history, many traditions have made W&L unique. The speaking tradition is one of my personal favorites: started by Lee himself, each student will smile, say hello, or otherwise acknowledge anyone who walks by them. It's about being nice, friendly, and establishing a sense of community. The academics here are quite demanding, but the small classes and brilliant professors make it well worthwhile. This school cares about its students and it will show you one of the best times of your entire life. I will forever remember the wonderful experiences and people from W&L. Lastly, the honor system is a huge part of the school. There is but one rule here at W&L, that everyone will be a gentleman or a lady at all times. If you lie, cheat, or steal, you are expelled from the university; otherwise, we enjoy an incredible amount of freedom and personal responsibility. It's truly a wonderful system.
Students here are highly intellectually engaged. They will discuss issues outside class and will investigate things that intrigue them. They are also highly politically active. The campus is conservative, but both the College Republicans and College Democrats are active on campus. Students come from all over the country and world. Some of my best friends are from Georgia, Washington, Maryland, New York, Nepal, and India. Students from all areas and ways of life come together at W&L and do not generally allow their differences to interfere with the possible friendship.
I absolutely love W&L. It is my favorite place on Earth and I would not trade my time here for anything. W&L has changed my life and I can't imagine where I would be without the influences and knowledge I have gained from my time here at Washington and Lee University.
Not really--students come from all over the country (and world). With the recently added Johnson scholarship, the student body is becoming more and more diverse every year.
My largest class was 27 students (Macro Economics). The professors will always know your name and they will remember you for your entire W&L career. They are personally interested in your growth and success. It is very common for students to go to coffee with professors or to even go over to their houses for dinner on occasion. This does not mean that classes are easy--in fact they are quite difficult. I have never worked so hard, but it is manageable. I have time to double major, teach riding lessons, and be involved in my sorority and other clubs on campus. Students are competitive, but not in a cut-throat way. They all want to do well, but they will bend over backwards to help others who are directly competing against them. We're a community here and we act like it in all aspects of our life, including academics.
Greek life is quite a large part of W&L culture. Upwards of 80% of students choose to go Greek. It is an open Greek system, so no matter what Greek organization you join (or if you don't join), you are always welcome at any social event. As for dorm life, it's a really trusting community. Everyone leaves their doors open or unlocked. You also meet a lot of your original friends in the dorm: you get to know the people on your hall very well and hang out with them very often. There's always tons of stuff going on at W&L. There's always a commons movie playing; there's lots of great sporting events; we have great speakers. Clarence Thomas came to speak to us last year, as well as Bill Nye the Science Guy...and many great scholars, of course.
Rich, white and Southern
W&L is located in a picturesque, typical "college town." It is quaint and charming. Chivalry actually exists and the speaki...
W&L is located in a picturesque, typical "college town." It is quaint and charming. Chivalry actually exists and the speaking tradition makes for a friendly atmosphere.
The student body is primarily white and from the middle to upper class, HOWEVER, this is noticeably changing. Since I've arrived, I have already noticed that influence of the Johnson Scholarship, which offers full tuition and board to students from all backgrounds.
W&L is a great school and I am definitely happy with my choice. That said, I highly recommend visiting and staying with a student for a night to make sure it's a good fit, because it's not a place for everyone.
No, students definitely come from all walks of life and have opposing views, which they are not afraid to express.
The small size of the student body lends itself to an intimate academic atmosphere. Professors actually care about you and get to know you. Since all classes are taught by full professors, students never skip class because they feel it's "not worth it to go." There generally exists an open door policy, meaning that professors will drop what they're doing to meet with you whenever their office door is open.
The one thing I'd change about W&L is gender relations. While I am supporter of the greek system, it is arguably the reason for the unacceptable relations. Since greek members primarily eat and interact with those in their respective houses, the primary interaction between genders takes place at parties, where everyone is drunk. No need to explain the bad decisions that ensue...
W&L is often considered the breeding ground for the future right-wing upper echelon.
I think the thing I like best about Washington and Lee is the emphasis we have on tradition. Some of these quirky events incl...
I think the thing I like best about Washington and Lee is the emphasis we have on tradition. Some of these quirky events include: dressing up for football games, putting pennies on the grave of Traveller (Robert E Lee's horse) for goodluck before midterms, the speaking tradition (saying hello to people you pass around campus), and other things. The Honor System, though, is without a doubt the defining aspect of W&L. The system is manifested in many ways on campus: unproctored tests; self-scheduled exams, doors and cars remain unlocked; computers, ipods, and other valuables are left unattended in the library or other places around campus. Students trust each other and treat each other with respect. Similarly, professors trust their students. W&L has an Honor System that truly works. Rather than being a set of rules, the Honor System is a way of life, by which W&L students daily abide.
W&L students are fun-loving and welcoming. The campus has an extremely strong sense of community and individuals feel very at home walking around campus. Even if you don't know someone you pass, he or she will more than likely smile, nod, say hello, or in some other way acknowledge your presence. Although a strong majority of the students are white, there is a growing minority population. Many students tend to dress up for class, but not everyone does. There are always a few students in each class that will look very put together even for 8 AM Calculus, but that does not mean students feel required to look nice. Compared to other schools, W&L students are: smarter, friendlier, better-looking.
While a large number of students fit the "white, preppy, conservative, wealthy, southern" stereotype, that does not in any way mean that everyone is that way or that people who do not fit that mold are not welcome. I, personally, am not at all that way and I do not feel like an outsider. I am not ostracized because I do not fit the W&L stereotype and while some of the fashion was a bit of a shock when I first arrived, I've warmed up to it quite nicely. As for Greek life and the party scene, it is pretty dominant, but not in an intimidating way at all. More on that later though.
My Poverty 101 class last year had 9 students, and it met every day so I got to know the students in my class and my professor very very well. We all joked with each other and were a tight, close-knit family by the end of the term. It was also an intensely discussion-based course, so the 55 minutes of class flew by each and every day. The professor did a fantastic job of getting us to work out our opinions on our own, rather than spoon-feeding us what he wanted us to learn. He challenged our beliefs, made us think, and taught us so so much. The quality of teaching at W&L is unrivaled. Profesors are all extremely qualified and many have been published and are well-known names in their field. While many conduct research during summers or even during the year, they are primarily at W&L to teach. At W&L you will not find yourself in class with a professor who is at the University to do research and teach on the side, teaching is very much the first priority for all Professors. Along the same lines, there are no TAs at W&L. The only classes with any kind of teaching assistant are the introductory level language courses, and those assitants are international students studying at W&L employed by the university to meet with students individually and aid them in language development process. They do not teach the class but are there for development of conversation skills and other important aspects of the languge learning process. Students at W&L care a lot about success in their classes but that doesn't stop students from helping each other out. Even though classes are a challenge, the atmosphere is not competitive. Study groups are common, students often edit each other's papers, and discussion of class matter outside of class is a typical occurrence. While W&L has a reputation for a raging party scene and consistent underage drinking, students also take responsibility for their studies in as passionate a way. If there was a school that epitomized the phrase "work hard, party hard", W&L would be it.
The campus social scene really does revolve around Greek Life, but while many social events revolve around greek organizations, they are open to everyone, regardless of greek affiliation. Mixers are required to open to the public two hours after beginning, so virtually anyone can go to any party. Being independent does not restrict you from participating in any campus social activity. The social life does not only include fraternity parties though, there are movies playing in the commons every night and comedians and bands are brought to campus very often. There is ALWAYS something to do. Furthermore, students at W&L are open-minded. If you're not into drinking, no problem. If you prefer sitting in your room playing online poker all night, people will accept that. No student will ever feel pressure to do something outside his or her comfort zone in a social setting. Everyone respects each other's choices and everyone has a great time.
We're a campus full of white, preppy, conservative, wealthy, southern spoiled brats. Greek life controls the school, and we drink more alcohol than state schools 10x our size.
1. Beautiful campus 2. Small class sizes + awesome professors 3. An Honor System that really works 4. Greek Life 5. Alumni wh...
1. Beautiful campus 2. Small class sizes + awesome professors 3. An Honor System that really works 4. Greek Life 5. Alumni who love W&L
W&L is full of smart students from all over the US and from abroad. Students work hard but like to have fun too. Because of the student-run Honor System (that was actually inspired by Robert E. Lee) students hold themselves to a higher standard--no lying, cheating, or stealing. A perk? Student-scheduled final exams and the ability to leave your books anywhere on campus.
Sure, you have some students that fit the mold, but most students can't be pigeon-holed by the stereotypes. There are students from all over the globe, and a lot of people are from places like NJ or the DC area--not exactly super-Southern. The newly-instated Johnson Scholarship program is really increasing socioeconomic diversity on campus.
Professors at W&L are amazing. They know your name, have you to their homes for dinner, and give you their personal phone numbers in case you need help with the assignment for that night. One of my best classroom experiences at W&L was Philosophy 142: Modern Philosophy with visiting Professor Terjesen. I had never taken a Philosophy class before coming to Washington and Lee and have to admit that I was afraid I would find the subject matter boring or irrelevant. I was surprised when the exact opposite occurred. Professor Terjesen, a movie and pop culture buff, is able to relate all the material we learn to movies or other media relevant to the present-day. For example, when we were learning about Descartes’ metaphysical solipsism, a complicated name for Descartes’ belief that he can only prove his own existence, Professor Terjesen stopped his lecture to show the class a brief clip from Family Guy in which a character “watches” everyone in town through a cardboard TV. So, in that character’s mind, he was the only one who really existed, and thus he could only prove his own existence. The crazy examples Prof. Terjesen comes up with really help me to remember philosophical concepts that I would probably otherwise find too complicated to grasp. He makes sure everyone in the class understands even the most difficult of subject matters by presenting it in both a unique and informative manner.
Greek life is big here (over 70% of students are involved), so if you are thinking of applying to W&L, come with an open mind. Parties are fun, but you certainly don't have to drink to have a good time. Fancy Dress Ball, an event like prom, occurs every year. Lexington is a great place to live for four years too; it was actually just voted one of the coolest small towns in America. When the weather is nice, check out the local drive-in movie theater, tube down the Maury River, or visit Panther Falls for a swim.
1. Rich 2. White 3. Southern
The big picture of W&L is that it is a small, close-knit school. The classes are hard but the rewards are great. Professors...
The big picture of W&L is that it is a small, close-knit school. The classes are hard but the rewards are great. Professors teach small classes and bend over backwards for their students. As hard as everyone works they play harder, there is not a dull friday or saturday night.
The student body is kind of homogenious but people have many different perspectives if you get to know them. Everyone is pretty friendly and agreeable which makes for a happy student body that is fun to be a part of.
There is diversity on campus if you take time to look for it you will find it. If you only want to be friends with rich white kids you can but if you take time to become friends with everyone you will see it is a pretty diverse campus. About the way people dress it is true most of the time. Dressing nicely is not a bad thing and during finals and exams when people are really stressed they wear sweatpants and tee shirts.
At the end of the term the professors will know everyones name even in the largest classes (which are around 40 people). Professors are usually very willing to work hard with you outside of class to make sure you are getting everything. Most classes in the history department are small and discussion based. Class participation is crucial but also makes the classes dynamic and engaging. Students are not super competetive, they are willing to talk outside of class and work together-when it is permitted. The academic requirements are easy to fufill and interesting. The teachers really teach you how to learn, analyze, and argue. As a result almost everyone gets a job or into a graduate program.
Students are very involved on campus and busy with class but it does not effect the social scene. The fraternities and soroities throw awesome parties and being greek is an important part of the social scene. however, you can have fun without being greek and it is easy to have friends in other houses. The weekends and wednesday night are big party days and are worth finishing your work early for.
Everyone is rich and white, that everyone dresses nicely all the time
Alcohol. Bow-ties. middle of nowhere.
Alcohol. Bow-ties. middle of nowhere.
diverse in that most u.s. states are represented. most students are upper middle class with conservative parents.
Rep. Joe "you lie!" Wilson, W&L Class of 1969. Pat Robertson, W&L Class of 1950.
overshadowed by the fraternities. don't go there for the academics.
the amount of alcohol consumed is truly breath-taking.
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At W&L, the classes are hard. There is no getting around that. However, I've learned just as much in the classroom as I have ...
At W&L, the classes are hard. There is no getting around that. However, I've learned just as much in the classroom as I have outside of it. The social scene is a big part of W&L. Greek life is the key to the social scene here. Greek life, though, is a little different here than at most schools I've visited. Since basically everyone is in a frat or sorority, each house has a very unique mindset and its pretty easy to find a good group of guys or girls that you fit in with. The school is pretty small but it really helps in the classroom. I can talk to my professors whenever I need to and they actually know my first and last name. Lexington is a great little town but most students don't venture outside of W&L because there's really no need to. The administration is amazing. They are always there to help out and actually take the time to understand your side of the story. And of course, the honor system. Its the key of all life at W&L and its amazing. I can schedule my final exams for when I want to take them, I get to take all my other tests unproctered and I can leave all my personal items like my computer, wallet, cell phone etc sitting out in the open and know that no one will take them. I've never locked my door in the dorms or in my fraternity house and I don't need to. I trust all the other students because I know they trust me.
Washington and Lee is a diverse school with students from all over the country and world. I'm one of very few from my state and yet I have not felt like I'm left out in anyway. Most of the students seem to come from well off families, but there are plenty who are not. The students do like to party a lot, but that comes after the hardwork in the classroom. Students are extremely friendly and talkative. I would feel out of place here if I were not social and I did not like to party a fair amount.
W&L is on the upswing. Students are getting smarter, more dedicated and more diverse. The University has spent quite a bit of time and money making sure that everything a student will ever need is available. In combination with the amazing history, legacy and record of the University, I believe its the ability of the individual students that make this place amazing.
Not at all. While we are not as diverse of a school as some in terms of skin color, I think diversity means a whole lot more than that. We have kids from not only all over the country, but also from all over the world. Everyone here has their own story, thier own background. I've been exposed to so many different types of people and have had no problems with anyone. Everyone is extremely friendly, eagar to go out of their way to help you and very considerate as well.
Academic life at W&L is intense. The small class sizes help the students, however, and it is easy to develop relationships with professors. The professors know your name, will email you when you miss class, and generally care about your performance. My favorite classes have been interactive, requiring preparation prior to class as well as in class participation. It is common to meet and become friends with students in your classes because most of the out of class work is done in groups. Homework is rare but difficult. Most of the classes I have taken have required lots of reading but the reading really helps the classroom move smoothly. The liberal arts requirement ensures that students take classes in all areas, and I've actually found that the classes outside my major are interesting. One of my favorite classes was my Geology lab I took during Spring term, where it was my only class. We were in the field everyday and learned geology through hands on experience. It is much easier to remember and understand topics when you've seen them firsthand. The education at W&L both prepares students for real world jobs and it also promotes students to explore areas that they are interested in.
The students at W&L like to be involved. The outing club is the most popular club on campus. Through the outing club, a student can borrow any equipment necessary to adventure into the beautiful area surrounding Lexington and it is common for students to go camping with a group of friends. The dorms are always open, as are the classrooms. The library is a popular place on campus, almost as popular as the gym. Students are in great shape and take pride in thier appearance. Weekends are the most fun at W&L because generally Saturday is spent with friends attending sporting events, driving on road trips or just relaxing. Most students study all day on Sunday but with our workload that is necessary. The parties are awesome, with such a small student body most students go to the same set of parties and its nice to see everyone together. Most social activities happen off campus, but in Lexington its a maximum of 15 minutes to drive anywhere. The social life at W&L is the best part. You learn as much from talking to fellow students as you do in the classroom and its great to be able to build lasting relationships that could potentially lead to jobs after school.
Washington and Lee is sometimes sterotyped as a rich, white kids school. Also, there are a lot of kids here from New Jersey, Baltimore, DC etc that play lacrosse and so its sometimes considered a "bro" school. There are also lots of southerners here, mainly Alabama.
As a senior at W&L, I am very sad to be wrapping up my undergraduate career. Washington and Lee has challenged me academical...
As a senior at W&L, I am very sad to be wrapping up my undergraduate career. Washington and Lee has challenged me academically and has pushed me to achieve things that I once thought impossible. Four years ago I would have never thought that I would have been a part of a 61 page business plan! I am so proud of all the work that I have accomplished and all that I have learned. I am also extremely grateful to have gotten to know all of my professors very well and to maintain those relationships throughout my time here. I know now that, after spending such valuable and stimulating time at W&L, I am capable of anything.
If you fit the W&L stereotype, you'll have a great time. Statistically, about 60 women experience rape or attempted rape each...
If you fit the W&L stereotype, you'll have a great time. Statistically, about 60 women experience rape or attempted rape each year. The school does not publish these statistics and prospective students deserve to know. Lexington is a sucky place to live--you're about an hour away from anything to do. If you don't drink, don't come to W&L because you'll have a hard time having fun and finding things to do on campus. W&L creed: Conform or be a community outsider. There is no school pride and the Speaking Tradition is dead. I would even argue the Honor System is failing. Men dominate the social scene even though the women are smarter and more active on campus. If you don't plan on being Greek, you will have a hard time finding friends and having an active social life. Academically, it's hard to beat W&L. I have been given opportunities here that would not be possible anywhere else. Most professors care about who you are as a person and
No racial, socioeconomic or much religious diversity. If you're not white and upper-class, 1)look elsewhere or 2)be prepared to deal with a lot of problems--not necessarily racial harrassment but trouble fitting in and havng an active social life. Students dress well--people don't wear sweats to class here--hardly ever. People say campus is "conservative" but mostly it's just apathetic. There is no activism of any kind on campus.
The school goes a great job of playing down the negatives, spinning them to positives and making it look like there's a lot of diversity on campus. There's not. Spend time here, talk to people and really try to figure out if you can live here for four full years. If you can deal with all the bad (or you thin the bad is good), you'll have the time of your life.
About 80 percent of the population fits this "stereotype." 20 percent are chill people with a diversity of thought and backgrounds.
Professors are great but there are exceptions. In the journalism department, everyone is a kind, giving person who wants to know about you and your life. Teaching does not stop after the class bell rings. I'm biased, but I think anything in the C-School sucks. Students study a lot, but that doesn't mean it's the only thing that happens (by far not true). Career services is a good resource, but if you're not a c-school major or planning on going to grad school, there's not much they can do to help you get a job.
80 percent Greek--if you're not, you'll have problems making friends and having an active social life. No one dates--they "hook up." Don't expect for a guy to take you out to dinner and a movie--ever. Studying and partying take up 100 percent of student life.
They're rich, white, priviledged kids who only care about drinking, making money and moving back to their gated communities.
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