Lexington, VA
Washington and Lee University


21 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Emily
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee is a very unique school. The campus is full of history, and students tend to follow traditions. Everyone i...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee is a very unique school. The campus is full of history, and students tend to follow traditions. Everyone is very proud of the two men whom our school is named after. A key component of W&L is the student-run honor system. Everyone takes this very seriously, which allows us to have freedom in taking unproctored exams and self-scheduling our finals. Students understand that if you committ an honor violation, you may be kicked out of the school

Describe the students at your school.

W&L is thought of as a white, southern Republican school. While this is mainly true, they are working on increasing diversity. Students are very politically active, mainly on the Republican side of things. The student body is fairly conservative. You normally see people dressed up for class, girls wearing J Crew and pearls and guys in Polo. People often don't wear sweats to class like at large state schools, but if you do wear sweats you won't be scoffed at.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

While W&L is more "southern" than some neighboring Virginia schools, it is not completely so. There are many people from the Carolinas and Georgia, but there is also a large concentration from the North. Due to the fact that it is a private school, many people who come here are wealthy, but the great financial aid they give is helping to bring in students from all income levels. The school is really working on increasing diversity. Greek life plays a prominent role on campus, but the Greek system is different here in that it is not exclusive, and you have friends all across the Greek system. Not rushing is also a definite possibilty, and the university is developing more weekend activities not centered around fraternities and sororities.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are tough at W&L and a main focus of students. During the week the library is a very lively place. Being a liberal arts university, students are able to take a broad variety of classes. I'm an econ/politics major, but I have taken courses such as geology, environmental studies, discrete math, and an english lit course. We also don't declare our majors until the end of sophomore year, which allows students freedom to take courses and figure out what subjects they would like to pursue.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Greek life plays a key role on campus since a majority of students are involved, and since W&L is in the middle of nowhere, there isn't a lot to do. Sports don't play a large role since we're a small D3 school, but you'll see a large student turnout if a team is doing well and going onto NCAA tournament competition.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The traditional stereotype of W&L is that it is a Southern school where greek life and money rule.

Alex
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I adore it here. The town is lovely- a true college town, the students are friendly, and the professors show genuine concern ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I adore it here. The town is lovely- a true college town, the students are friendly, and the professors show genuine concern for their students' welfare. There's a sense of history here that you don't find at many schools, and a committment to learning that's reflected in our small classes. Plus, we can throw a party.

Describe the students at your school.

It's a pretty preppy group. Invest in a pink polo and a few dozen sundresses before you come here. We're smart, and work really hard, but people are largely friendly and devoted to the school.

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

This is a school you'll either hate or become devoted to.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To a degree. There's a pastel section of campus, but for a small school there's also a startling diversity of opinon.

What are the academics like at your school?

I've never had a class over 30 people. I've never had a t.a., even for lab. I know the students in my major and all the professors, and what's more, I like them.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Life revolves around the greek system. There are alternatives, and we welcome independents, but if you hate greek life think carefully before coming here.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

A haven for preppy, conservative students.

Kara
What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L provides all of the resources of a larger university, but in a small, community like setting. The campus itself is beaut...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L provides all of the resources of a larger university, but in a small, community like setting. The campus itself is beautiful, situated between mountains in Virginia. There are so many extracurriculars to choose from, a student learns to prioritize. There are endless opportunities for leadership. Most importantly, the honor code truly makes W&L a unique place. The size helps, but what makes W&L a community and not just a school is the honor code. It is here that a person learns to be an adult, to have integrity, and to stand for something.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body is very much a part of W&L life. Everyday when I go to class, I'll pass by faces I recognize and whose name I know. It is the student's pride and respect for being at W&L that is contagious and creates a unique environment. Every senior leaves not wanting to go. It is the student body that adds an unparalleled energy and life to the ninth oldest college in the country. The four years spent here are nearly removed from reality, where the focus is on learning and growing. Every student shares that connection, which is why the alumni network is so strong.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not at all. I don't find that I fit those stereotypes, and I have found a wonderful, extensive group of friends.

What are the academics like at your school?

I do not have a single complaint about the academics at W&L. I have had a wonderful education thus far, and KNOW that I would not have gotten a more indepth, hands-on education at any other school. The one on one connection with the professors is outstanding, the professor knows every students name. My largest class was twenty people. I have found myself endless challenged, but more fulfilled than I knew was possible. I have found myself enlightened and intellectually stimulated, everything I had hoped for out of college.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That all students are wealthy, conservative, southern, and stuck up.

Amy
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee is a small University in a tiny town in rural Virginia; but the campus offers lots of activities, chances ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee is a small University in a tiny town in rural Virginia; but the campus offers lots of activities, chances to get involved in the community, and numerous student organizations. The honor system at Washington and Lee, started by Lee in his term as President, is incredibly important to WnL life. Finals are self-scheduled and unproctored and professors are able to give students a lot of scope on projects, with take-home tests, and other assignments. Students leave bags and laptops sitting around the Commons or the Library with little thought to theft. Students living on campus rarely lock their doors, and even students off-campus often neglect to lock up. The campus is very safe and even women living off campus can feel safe walking home from the library at 2 in the morning. The social life at WnL is dominated by the Greek life, with 80% of the student body choosing to go Greek. When considering WnL as a prospective, it's definitely a good idea to keep an open mind about the Greek system. All of the fraternity and sorority houses are owned by the univeristy and rented out, the parties are all required to be open to anyone at 10, and we practice a deferred rush process. Deferred rush means that freshmen don't participate in formal rush until Winter term, after Christmas break, so that they have time to get used to the campus and college life and time to get to know the members of the Greek organizations they are considering. Between the Greek life pride and the small school atmosphere, people who come to WnL and stay end up loving the university. Our strong alumni network,demonstrates the continued interest WnL graduates have in their alma matter. While the student body can appear homogeneous, students come from all over the country, with one of the most popular student home states being New Jersey. The school still tends to be a bastion of conservative students but that too is slowly changing. WnL also has a fairly large international student base, adding to the diversity of the student body. I have loved WnL since I got here, and would strongly recommend the school to students who want both a great liberal arts institution and a school with a popular social scene.

Sarah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

This school prepares you for anything and everything! You can go to schools where you have to pull all-nighters every night t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

This school prepares you for anything and everything! You can go to schools where you have to pull all-nighters every night to finish homework, and then there are party schools where it isn't even neccesary to go to class. Washington and Lee is a place where you can grow however you want. First, classes are fun; the teachers tend to be a little ecentric, and lectures can lead places you never expected. Second, yes, we are social, but those skills are important also. I came in unable to really put myself out there, but here shy is not an option. This skill proved to be very useful as I have gone through the interview process the past two years looking for internships. Lastly, organizational skills become more profound from the participation in so many organizations. All major organizations are completely student run: Greek Life, The Executive Committee (deals with honor issues+), Mock-Convention, Fancy Dress, etc. I am already in my third year, and although I have already grown into a pretty awesome person, I know that things will just continue to go uphill.

Describe the students at your school.

I'm Hispanic and I do just fine.

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

Not every school is the right fit for everybody, and W&L is no exception. Don't come if: you don't want to party. This does not mean drink! Plenty of people have a social life and stay sober, but it is important that you are open to other people drinking, because it is a beloved past time of many students. Don't come if: you don't like to study. This is college; there are papers, and tests, and yes, even some homework. None of these are easy, and all take time. Don't come if: you don't like to be involved. We have a huge percentage of students in athletics, fine arts groups, organizations and university committees. Don't come if: you are adverse to travel. We are in the middle of no where, and it takes effort to get here. Shopping is also a difficulty: the closest mall is an hour away. Finally, don't come if: you don't like extreme weather. Coming from Texas, I didn't know what cold was, but you learn quickly to adapt. Layering is a must. It can also get very hot (there is a lot of on campus tanning). It also rains, a lot.

What are the academics like at your school?

Last year I had an independent study. I don't know what that means at most schools, but here it is literally just you and the professor. Most of my friends still don't believe that the school would "waste" resources by offering a 3 credit course for just one person, but it happened. Of course I found both pros and cons for the class. The pros: 1) I really got to know the Professor, 2) I studies something that only I was interested in, 3) I was able to ask questions without the fear of embarrassment... The cons: 1) skipping was impossible, 2) it was very noticeable if I hadn't studied. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Taking a visual survey, I would guess that Mock-Convention is the most popular event on campus. There are so many ways to get involved that it is ridiculous not to. Essentially, right before the actual convention, we host a mock- presidential convention for the out of house party. Although there is planning involved in each of the four years (as in real life), it all culminates in the last 6 months. We kick it off in the beginning of the year by getting students to sign up in different state delegations; some go with their home state... some don't. Later in the year, there is a huge dance, "Mock-Con Gala," complete with cocktail parties, floor length dresses, tuxes, and a live band. It all ends with the convention which is opened by a parade with floats from each delegation. The convention is essentially a day of speakers, but is still so much fun.

Bobby
What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is unique-there's no other way to put it. This school has distinguished itself in so many ways over the years-it has such...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is unique-there's no other way to put it. This school has distinguished itself in so many ways over the years-it has such a rich history and so many great traditions, but it also has some of the most vibrant student life I've ever seen on a college campus. Students here are very intelligent and hold themselves to high standards. And, if you ask the average student, they will be quick to share all about how much they love W&L. It is a school that people get passionate about.

Describe the students at your school.

W&L's student body seems pretty homogeneous at first glance, but in reality, students come from all over and we have a sizable population of international students for a school of our size.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There definitely are a lot of students at this school who exemplify the "southern prep" stereotype, but this is not necessarily negative. Southern hospitality is great. And W&L students are very smart and very active on campus and in the community, although social life is one of the most important features of life at Washington and Lee.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academic life at W&L is very rigorous- W&L has a reputation for academics and professors hold students to very high standards. Everyone at W&L takes schoolwork very seriously, despite any stereotypes claiming that W&L students are just out to have a good time. Students come to W&L to get a quality education and to maximize their opportunities, and they take a lot of initiative in doing so.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Student activities abound at W&L- there are over 100 student-run organizations on campus, which is a HUGE number for a school of this size. And social life is one of the key components of student life at W&L; there is always something going on or something to do.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The most common W&L stereotype is "southern prep." There are a lot of southern students at this school, and many come from private schools. W&L students are also known for being very smart, and for being involved in A LOT of activities. But, they still know how to have a good time.

Elizabeth
What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is small enough that it is entirely possible that your professor will know everyone's name the first day of class, and ev...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is small enough that it is entirely possible that your professor will know everyone's name the first day of class, and even more importantly, professors become invested in each of their students because there are so few of us. The city of Lexington is wonderful, there are enough stores and coffee shops to keep city-lovers happy, and ample opportunities to explore the outdoors. Tubing down the Maury River and hiking Devil's Marbleyard are few "must-dos" before graduation.

Describe the students at your school.

Washington and Lee students are extremely outgoing. People often comment on how unbelievably social every student is. The campus is certainly becoming more liberal, and more socio-economically diverse (especially after the introduction of the merit-based Johnson Scholarship). Freshmen often worry more about how they dress than upperclassmen do, you are more likely to see sweats on the upperclassmen women than the freshmen girls. All parties at W&L are "open" and free which makes this campus very tight-knit. People aren't kicked out unless they cause trouble, and everyone is told about every party. In that sense, the student body is very inclusive.

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

You have to be tough, and love to socialize to have fun here. It's important to know that the social scene, specifically the Greek Life scene become nearly insignificant by senior year and begins to dwindle considerably Junior year. As long as you remember that the reason you are in college is to learn, you will be able to keep things in perspective, W&L offers a great education with a wild-ride of a social scene to match.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To a certain extent yes, however, the number of northern students is growing rapidly, and I would say that the campus is about 50/50 republicans to democrats

What are the academics like at your school?

Class participation is very common, and students take their academics seriously. The library is usually busy almost every day of the week. Professors are invested in their students, and often prefer to work with undergraduates doing research over the summer. My favorite class at Washington and Lee was a Biopsychology class called "Brain and Behavior," it is a "must-take" class at W&L for non-science and science majors alike!

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Outing Club is by far the most popular club on campus and for good reason. Lexington sits right on the Appalachian trail and is cut through by the Maury River. Guest speakers are very well attended, as are all of the student theater performances. Tickets are usually very cheap too. Fancy Dress in March is by far the best function of the year. Fraternities and Sororities are very important on campus. Although because so many students are "Greek," being Greek is not something that defines you, simply because almost everyone is. There is literally a sorority and fraternity for EVERY type of person, regardless of whether you are a nerd or a srat star.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Some stereotypes about Washington and Lee students are that they are conservative, and that they are very southern.

Alicia
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The academic benefits of a small, close-knit school like ours cannot be measured. Having a class with just two students and a...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The academic benefits of a small, close-knit school like ours cannot be measured. Having a class with just two students and a Pulitzer prize winning professor is not normal, nor can it ever be replicated outside the hallowed halls of academia. The small school has not once limited my opportunities; at W&L I have access to every opportunity students at bigger schools do, but I have less competition for them and more faculty support encouraging me to go after my goals.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

No! Yes, the typical student sports croakies and sperries sometimes, but our dress unfairly garners us this stereotype. Behind the popped collars and Lily there are students with diverse backgrounds, controversial opinions, crazy ambitions, and even liberal values. The conservative notion probably comes from both our appearance and our tradition as a small, Southern school. But speaking with faculty and fellow students will instantly prove that not everyone leans to the left -- being a liberal thinker at W&L necessitates only one thing: that you can back up your ideas. It isn't a school where you go and are given free reign to promulgate absurd liberal ideals without any weight. Nor is it one where you can rally behind the conservative platform without reason, either. W&L forces you to be able to defend your ideas -- liberal or conservative.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That it's a predominantly white, overwhelmingly preppy and affluent, conservative bastion of the South with a campus community controlled by a combination of tradition and Greek life.

Kelly
What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is a school that'll make you work hard, but it's definitely worth it. I have learned more here in four years than I ever...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

W&L is a school that'll make you work hard, but it's definitely worth it. I have learned more here in four years than I ever thought possible. When I first came to W&L I wasn't sure if I would like it, but now I know that I love it and I'm excited to be a proud alum next year.

Describe the students at your school.

As a former all boys school that only went co-ed in 1985, W&L has been slow to change its student body. That being said, the school has worked hard to attract a diversified student body and it gets more varied every year. The stereotypes still linger, but they're not really true any more.

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

W&L is not for everyone. It is a school you either love or hate, but if being here for fall term as a freshman doesn't scare you off then chances are you'll love it for life.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

No, W&L does a great job of attracting students from all different backgrounds, parts of the country, and from around the world.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors are tough and the workload is heavy. The academics are not, however, impossible. The small size makes it really easy to talk to professors and get help when you need it. Also, the work load isn't so demanding that you can't have a social life or get involved in extracurricular activities.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Students here can find organizations to join that relate to any interest you can think of. And, on the off chance that there isn't an organization for your interest, it's really easy to start a new one. Most students here do join a Greek organization, but it's not an exclusive process. We don't rush until January, so there's plenty of time to decide if the system is right for you. Also, most students who want to do well here don't party more than one or two nights a week.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Rich, white, southern, preppy, conservative

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

My school is very interested in social prowess and fashion. The Greek system dominates everything, and men are extremely disr...

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

My school is very interested in social prowess and fashion. The Greek system dominates everything, and men are extremely disrespectful to women.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Anyone who wants diversity and open-minded people and who hates fraternities and sororities shouldn't attend.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

DO NOT GO TO WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY. The people are shallow and self-absorbed and they lack wordliness. They are aware of their deficiencies but make no attempt to change them. Rape is very common and men have no respect whatsoever for women. AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COSTS!

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 1,830
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $48,267
  • Acceptance rate
  • 24%

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