Lexington, VA
Washington and Lee University


20 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Allie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a very good school full of self-motivated people. The professors are incredible and are always available to help. Academ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a very good school full of self-motivated people. The professors are incredible and are always available to help. Academically, it would be difficult to find a more challenging and stimulating school. However, to survive at Washington and Lee you have to have thick skin. Gossip is rampant and it is difficult to succeed socially if you are not ready for it. The small size and isolated location augment the feeling of being in a social bubble. In general, it is a wonderful place to be, but not for the weak of heart. The school pushes students both mentally and socially.

Describe the students at your school.

The typical student is from a wealthy family in the South or East region of the country. There are very few minorities, and those on campus are usually international students. Many students have family ties to the school and consider it a stepping stone towards getting a well-paying job. The average student is very driven and serious, and reflect that by dressing nicely to class. The exterior is highly polished just like the politicians many wish to become. If you are not from a well educated and wealthy background it is difficult to reach the higher tiers of the social ladder.

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

It's a difficult place to survive, but if you do you will leave a socially and intellectually confident adult.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I would say the stereotypes are mostly accurate, but there is a growing minority that are the exact opposite.

What are the academics like at your school?

The classes are all challenging and time consuming, but the availability of professors and the willingness of fellow students to offer help makes every challenge surmountable. The smaller departments are especially strong in offering personal help and to tailoring the classes to students' needs. Overall, it is a highly intellectual campus full of very driven students.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Over 80% of the students are in a fraternity or sorority, but students also enjoy volunteering and the outdoors. Students strive to have a perfectly balanced resume, so any activity that will look good on a resume is usually done. Due to the amount of activities most students are involved in, there is rarely a minute wasted during the day. This creates a "work hard, party hard" mentality that most students fall into shortly after arrival. Since W&L is full of tradition, the students go all out during the big events. The sporting events are not well attended, but any annual frat party is packed. Mock Convention and Fancy Dress Ball are the two most important and formal parties, and are accompanied by cocktail parties and returning alumni.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

We are spoiled, rich, and Southern. W&L students are also thought to be close-minded and republican.

Harper
What is your overall opinion of this school?

the size is just right, and its amidst beautiful natural landscape in a very small southern town. there is so much school pri...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

the size is just right, and its amidst beautiful natural landscape in a very small southern town. there is so much school pride and even the alumni seem to always be comming back to visit. people who like to volunteer, like a sence of community, or who kinda know what direction they are going, are happy here. i admit that a couple students hav e trouble being comfortable here because it is very different from what they are used to and far from home. but these people are few in number, and the campus still boasts a student body from all around the country and the world. you should really visit the campus, have lunch here, and asks anyone and everyone lots of questions. there is a huge emphasis on studying abroad, internships, and a great alumni network and the school expects you to utrilize all the awesome opportunities. It is a work hard/play hard kind of school that boasts community at this boarder-line ivy league secluded gem. i couln not possibly stress the lable of a pride-filled community enough.

Describe the students at your school.

the school is predominantly white, but minority students still benefit from that same sense of community. the administration and student body often focus on making every student-type and orientation comfortable. while rich, polo-wearing conservatives are definately present here, the less-than-wealthy, original will be fine once they find their support group. even the classes provide opportunities for different students to interact. people who are hell-bent on living the same life that they did in high school may be dissapointed, because the campus is unlike most schools outside of Virginia. The campus is very different, but you have a whole new support group to help you grapple. you will undoubtedly be fine if you take advantage of the opportunites: groups, clubs, potential friends etc.

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

please, visit the campus before you decide! most people are packing a full schedual of things to do, but you should be able to ask anyone a question on anything about their expirience or where things are. if you are not comfortable here, you may not thrive to your fullest potential.

What are the academics like at your school?

the professors are very accessible, will know your name, and offer guidence for things regarding topics from inside and outside of class. you will gain a relationship with most fo the professors for your major and they will all expect you to use them as resources. you should become comfortable speaking in class. students often carry on intellectual conversations outside of class and act on their convictions through various club activities. im very happy with the politics and religion departments and i know that the expirience that i get here could not possibly be immitated anywhere else.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

there are so many clubs and groups that most people are involved in a few in some respect. doors are left unlocked and laptops and books are scattered about campus by their owners for hours. there always seems to be some campus activity, lecture, game, theater event etc. i met my closest friends from all different places: a poker night, watching tv in the commons, clubs, and on my dorm hall. i have met most people in the dining hall, where very few people will bite you for sitting next to them, and you will learn more about what is going on around campus. you will learn about the long list of school traditions pretty fast. parties are common, but no one should chastize you for not going at this work hard/play hard school. about 3/4ths of the school is greek, but ive never regreted staying independant because that has become its own network of friends.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

VERY Greek oriented school, with polos and southern-gentility for all

Karen
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee is unusual for many reasons. It's not for everyone- the smallness means that it's hard to disappear. If ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee is unusual for many reasons. It's not for everyone- the smallness means that it's hard to disappear. If you have a bad experience with someone, you are bound to see him or her again. On the other hand, the small size means that walking around campus, you know everyone. You will never have a TA. Your professors will invite you over for dinner, and some will even call you if you've missed class (only to ask if you're ok, not to pry). I loved every minute of being there, I wouldn't have gone anywhere else.

Describe the students at your school.

Washington and Lee was historically a white, upper-class, male, Southern school. Though the administration is trying to change that image, it is still largely intact.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Washington and Lee is definately a small school, in the best way possible, and it does have a Southern feel. While some students have money, there are plenty of people there who are not rich or Southern. I would say the party atmosphere has definitely decreased during my four years at Washington and Lee (from 2004-2008).

What are the academics like at your school?

Every professor will know your name within the first two days of class. Classes are incredibly small. As a freshman, I took a class in which I was one of only three students. We took fieldtrips in the professor's car, even a weekend trip to Virginia Beach to go birdwatching. Also, if you are a science major, you will find Washington and Lee provides excellent research opportunities. Since there are no graduate students, undergrads get to help the professors with their research projects. I worked in the genetics lab for two years and used equipment I would never have even seen as an undergrad if I had gone to another school.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Students leave their dorm rooms open all of the time. It is a very safe campus. The Greek system is huge, though the administration is cracking down on the fraternities and they seem to be dying off one by one. For the next 10 years, at least, however, the Greek system will be a huge part of campus life. When I was a freshman in 2004, nearly the entire student body went to parties, and every fraternity had at least one party a weekend. This has changed. There are fewer large fraternity parties and more people drinking in small groups.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The college is said to be very small and very Southern, and students are known for having a lot of money and liking to party.

Sarah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing is the sense of community I love the small classes and personal relations that are possible and encouraged with p...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing is the sense of community I love the small classes and personal relations that are possible and encouraged with professors. Always remember my professors knowing my birthday, my interests, and my story- because they can I would like to see the rampant alcoholism and snobby attitudes dissappear. That is what I would change.

Describe the students at your school.

Hmm. Lots of white rich kids here. They all tend to dress alike too. It is a study in clones sometimes. But there are lots of other types too. That is what makes it interesting.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

No. While the vast majority of the kids here are from rich southern families, there are some people from all over. Can't really disagree about the snootiness Yes. Alcohol is a huge problem.

What are the academics like at your school?

I love the classes here! There are so many options, and professors truly care about the topics they are teaching. They are so cool, I want to hang out with them outside of class-discussing, joking, etc. The workload is challenging, but interesting. (Usually) Favorite classes: Geomorphology (Geology) Reading Lolita in Tehran (Womens Studies) Sainthood in 4 Traditions (Religion)

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I never lock my door. When I do by accident, it is a cause for panic, since I never have my key on me. Partying is huge. Almost to an unhealthy extent. Guest speakers are great; I have heard John Grisham, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and uncountable other fascinating speakers. If you aren't a drinker, Saturday night could be a bit dull. There are always free movies in the commons though-most of which are excellent.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

They are all rich, snotty, southern kids. They drink like fish.

John
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about the University is its academics. There is a work hard, play hard attitude, but the work that students do...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about the University is its academics. There is a work hard, play hard attitude, but the work that students do is remarkable in its quality, and you get a great education. The social aspects of the school are limited, students must make their own fun because the town is small and offers more for those interested in hiking or arts and crafts than for those looking for a night life. The school is about the right size, I'd say. The biggest problem with the school is the limited diversity, not just in terms of background but also in terms of viewpoint. It is a very conservative place. At the same time, minority recruitment has made strides over the years but there is still much room for improvement. Also, the way gay and lesbian students are treated here by other students, as well as the way women are treated, is extremely disappointing. The culture is still male and hetero-centric, and there are a large number of students who aim to keep it that way, whether it means resisting calls for change or actually engaging in harassment or verbal degradation of women and minority students. The Administration means well. They are in the inenviable position of any administration: trying to please all the students and faculty and trustees at the same time. They try hard, and I think many of them would like to change things more than they have, but they do not want to take the risk of acting in a bold manner.

Describe the students at your school.

I have had the pleasure of knowing a variety of constituencies at Washington and Lee, and while most students are white and do come from well to do backgrounds, there is a niche for everybody. I've addressed LGBT and women's issues above. I think gay students would certainly feel somewhat out of place at W & L, but that can change from year to year depending on how many gay kids are admitted. Politically liberal students may feel some hostility towards their views, but they will not feel out of place, and some may even thrive on it. It is a politically engaged campus.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There is some truth to any stereotype. I would say there is a bit more racial diversity than one would expect, given the school's reputation. Still, the majority of students are white and conservative. Anecdotally, I would say there are a lot of wealthy people on the undergraduate campus, but the University, and the Law School, both tend to be generous with financial aid. One of my friends comes from a pretty economically deprived background in western Maryland but got a full scholarship to W&L for his academics.

What are the academics like at your school?

W&L education is great. It is geared more towards an overall education than towards job training. On the undergrad side, I think the students are well prepared for employment and place respectably well. The Law School has had a weaker record on employment, but new staff in career services there have taken new initiatives that are starting to pay off. Class participation is indeed common and encouraged, and there is a lot of discussion about class and other intellectual issues outside of class. W & L may not be a perfect community, but it is a highly engaged community in the intellectual sense.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The social life on the University side revolves around fraternities. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, and the fraternities are no more or less accepting than any other part of the student body. They also throw some great parties. There is a heavy drinking culture, but that is a reality of modern college life these days. I think the social scene may be tougher fro women, who I think feel that they have to go along with the sort of sexual objectification, misogyny, and other male centered aspects of greek culture. On the other hand, some women may prefer a "traditional" Southern social life. On a Saturday night, if you don't drink, you can watch a movie, maybe catch a show at the Lime Kiln theater, or go to bed. On the law school side, social life revolves around house parties, since there are no social law fraternities. The law and undergrad sides rarely mix.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That they are wealthy, mostly white, and conservative.

Tripp
What is your overall opinion of this school?

it feels a bit small sometimes, but i do not want to see the school's size change. most of my time is spent in the fraternity...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

it feels a bit small sometimes, but i do not want to see the school's size change. most of my time is spent in the fraternity house. when i tell them i go to W&L, i either get an "i'm impressed" eyebrow arch, or a "where is that again?" W&L is run smoothly, few problems with "red tape." W&L is (almost too) steeped in tradition, with many old secret societies and drinking societies. the only real student complaint seems to be that Lexington is too small.

Describe the students at your school.

very, very homogenous. the school has pushed for diversity, but seems to be failing. different types of students, and even students in different fraternities interact minimally, with only a few exceptions.

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

a lot of fun-loving, outdoorsy frat-guys who smoke too much pot and drink too much alcohol but will end up being successful.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

for the most part, yes; however, as all seterotypes are, it is blown out of proportion.

What are the academics like at your school?

very challenging. everyone is very intelligent, but not necessarily very intellectual. as a politics/ classics double major, I have been very satisfied with all my professors; however, some grade a bit too harshly. although it offers a liberal arts education, W&L conveniently also invests a lot of time and money making sure its students get jobs as well.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

a lot of off-campus fraternity sponsored parties. alcohol and drugs flow freely. few people date; alcohol-propelled "hook-ups" rule relationships between sexes.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

upper-middle to upper class white student body, preppy/ outdoorsy hybrids, fiscally and politically conservative, somewhat snobbish, all student drink excessively

Mel
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Here's the thing about W&L... Best decision I've ever made. And I'm pretty sure 99% of my class could attest to this. D...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Here's the thing about W&L... Best decision I've ever made. And I'm pretty sure 99% of my class could attest to this. Despite our attempt at DIII sports, of which I dabbled a few years in (no seriously, theyll take almost anyone), we have the school pride of a state school. Minus the body paint. Insert, coat and tie to football games, girls in sundresses. Varsity garden party. This little script box couldn't stand to hold even a summary of a month at my time at W&L but here's a few statements I've heard through the years that might be most effective: "If you gave me an acceptance letter from Harvard (or insert any school's name here) today, I'd still pick my experience at W&L time and again." "Freshman year i recall i once announced to Caroline* that we are the happiest people literally in the entire world. i had done the calculations, assessed our status in the grand scheme of life on earth and had deduced that we were literally the ultimate happy people. and looking back from the vantage point of graduation morning, i was right." - excerpt from a friend's email on graduation morning The people at W&L seriously make the experience. In my efforts to make this as sincere as possible, I cried the day I got in and I cried the day I left but the moments in between were some of my happiest.

Describe the students at your school.

Ambitious. Driven. Youre bound to know people in high places coming from this school. Pretty homogeneous student body-- but hey, thats why we like it.

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

Comparable schools... of which W&L still tops: UVA Vanderbilt Sewanee UGA Recent grads salivate at the thought of Homecoming in October and Alumni weekend in April-- its only twice a year now we get to return home. Overall, I'm pleased to be in a torrid love affair with W&L. I plan on it lasting a while.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yes. But to be extensive, the princeton review additionally names several cliches that still hold relevance: "Preppy" "Exclusive" "Country club-esque" "Republican" "Heavy drinking school"

What are the academics like at your school?

Just as aggressive on the dance floor as in the library. Not ridiculously competitive but everyone wants to genuinely do well. Honorable crowd. At the end of the day, if you don't land the investment banking job, youre in the minority.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Fraternities and sororities dominate the social scene, but its for the best. I'll save you time from checking out the princeton review rankings-- W&L has something like 90% greek life but its social scene has recently moved away from the fraternity houses to the "country"-- your average off campus house 5 minutes away. Something to note is that the university owns the greek scene and therefore incorporates its buildings into the school's strategic plan. I've heard every sorority(5)/fraternity(14) house cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million each. Irregardless, theres truthfully a place in the greek system for just about everyone to find their niche.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

If you haven't heard of it, you probably wouldn't have gotten in.

Hunter
What is your overall opinion of this school?

For me Washington and Lee is a place to learn, make connections, and enjoy life. Being in a fraternity sort of separates you ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

For me Washington and Lee is a place to learn, make connections, and enjoy life. Being in a fraternity sort of separates you sometimes from your stereotypical ivy collegiate experience and vaults you towards a life not dissimilar to Animal House. But my favorite part about the school is that your in the same classes as the men and women you party with - it brings energy and life to the classroom that I don't think you have anywhere else. Also the small class size lets you get an education that's really in touch with the professors, no TA's was a big draw for me. I'll be a junior this fall and my biggest class so far has been about 26 people.

Describe the students at your school.

AWESOME! If you find the right people (which you will), you'll have the most fun of your life, guaranteed.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

pretty much, but W&L is working hard to diversify and incorporate students from all over the country, we're on the brink

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

preppy, somewhat intellectual but more curious about the best way to have fun, rich, the southern gentleman, the prissy southern gal

Kendall
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Washington and Lee is the small campus and community feeling you get from being there. The school is the...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Washington and Lee is the small campus and community feeling you get from being there. The school is the perfect size where not everyone knows you, but you still have the opportunity to know everyone if you really wanted to. Another great thing about Washington and Lee is the small class size which allows for much more individual attention between you and the faculty, which you really can't find at a lot of bigger schools that are not as prestigious as Washington and Lee. Even so, there are things about Washington and Lee that worry me and should worry any student who is looking at college and that is the work hard, play hard mentality at the school. A lot of the students can party quite regularly and do well, but there are students who are not able to do this, and many of them who try to wind up making huge and sometimes fatal mistakes. Thus, I question whether or not we glorify this party mentality too much and look over the fact that there are a lot of negative things that come with habitual heavy drinking, such as increased sexual assaults, more alcohol related emergencies, and even the spread of sexually transmited infections. These are some of the issues that currently plague the institution and are causes for alarm for some students. That said, Washington and Lee still has a great deal of wonderful qualities. The school is gorgeous nearly all year and the administration is made up of some of the best and brightest teachers, counselors, and minds that can be found in the United States as well as abroad. There are countless opportunities to go abroad to learn and see the world. And the greek system, despite some of it flaws opens students up to vast opportunities for networking and socializing that a lot of other schools are unable to match. Some of my most valued memories and greatest connections are directly because of my decision to go greek and at times, I did question whether it was the right decision for me, but I always come to the same conclusion that I am a much stronger and well-rounded person for going greek and it has positively impacted my life in more ways than I can say. Finally, there is a great deal of school pride which can be seen at Homecoming and at other times throughout the year. Once you are a general, you are a general for life.

Describe the students at your school.

Issues of race and sexual orientation are still being dealt with at Washington and Lee. Washington and Lee has never boasted about being the most diverse school in the world, but it is certainly making strides and should be recognized for doing so. The school seems to be moving in a positive direction and with the Honor System currently in place, students are held to the highest esteem and are looked upon highly when they uphold the values of truth and honor. The school is also very politically active with our various political groups such as college republicans, Young Democrats, and College Libertarians. We also hold a Mock Convention for every presidential election and this convention has been followed by MTV and the Associated Press. Ultimately, the school gives students with diverse ways of thinking an opportunity to have their ideas heard on an open sound stage.

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

Washington and Lee is like any school. It has had its ups and downs and is currently working to make the institution the best that it can be. It won't take a year, two years, or even a decade to get there, but the point is, we are trying to get there, wherever there is. The school is amazing and if you want to come here, you have got to come visit ahead of time.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Some of these stereotypes were once acurate, but as the times are a-changin', we are starting to see a lot of these stereotypes phase out and a much different face of Washington and Lee emerging.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at Washington and Lee are quite rigorous and challenging. This school really shapes you into a well-rounded and strong student. The greatest thing about the curriculum is how it offers you a vast opportunity to learn about subjects that don't necessarily have to be in your major. My favorite classes have been classes that are culturally-based such as African American history and Environmental issues as they pertain to Chinese literature and film. The academics at Washington and Lee are also spectacular because you can always count on being able to go to your professor for help whenever you need it. All of my professors knew my name and I, theirs. Some professors even invite their students over for dinner to discuss class work. I truly believe an education at Washington and Lee is the best money can buy.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Social life at Washington and Lee is very lively. Like I have said, the students here know how to party and they do it quite often. There is almost never a night when you cannot find someone having a party. Unfortunately, the social life is predominantly greek-based which makes it difficult for non-greek students to maintain a lively social life unless they are friends with members of these organizations. Thus, the interaction between greek students and non-greek students are currently being worked upon with organizations on campus that try to bring these groups together to socialize in a neutral and comfortable atmosphere. Some traditions that happen each year are our huge Fancy Dress Ball which is open to everyone and is a great opportunity to get dolled up in your best look. It is kind of like a college prom and it is great to go to with your boyfriend/girlfriend or just a group of friends. It is more than 100 years old and is still going strong. Also, there are things to do that do not involve drinking and partying such as movies and Roanoke is nearby, which offers you a chance to do some shopping and even see a movie.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Some stereotypes that exist about Washington and Lee and Washington and Lee students are that they are all white, rich, and southern. That stereotype is false because I am not white, rich, or southern, and many of my friends aren't either. Another stereotype is that the students here are all monolithic and think the same way, which is farthest from the truth. You are going to meet people at Washington and Lee with very diverse ways of looking at the world, which is absolutely fascinating and ultimately, a great way to gain a better understanding of what people in the world are like. Lastly, another major stereotype of Washington and Lee is that everyone here has got to be apart of the Greek System, whether is it is through Historically black greek or Majority greek. I think that this way of thinking is dying out and the school is starting to see a lot more students opting out of going greek.

Details

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

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