Lexington, VA
Washington and Lee University


21 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

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.

Stuart
What is your overall opinion of this school?

One of my most recent and loving memories of Washington and Lee was when half of the senior class stayed for the night of gra...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

One of my most recent and loving memories of Washington and Lee was when half of the senior class stayed for the night of graduation and went nude rope swinging into the Maury as a class. It showed that after four years our class had become unified and loved being with each other. Also, the administration wishes the students to become involved in the future of the school, and if one wishes to become involved in the various student run committees, he or she can make a huge impact on what W+L looks like for many years to come. After graduating and talking with many faculty members, they seem somewhat frustrated by the inability of students to take part in these discussions. The typical W+L student works hard at class, is involved in a varsity sport or leadership position at the school, and is a member of a fraternity or sorority. Balancing all three of these activities is often difficult to manage and often limits the student's capacity to become involved in school policy making. The few individuals that are not involved in these other activities are able to voice an opinion (good or bad) for the students to the faculty.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Some individuals choose to follow this mantra, but the school has become a lot more diverse in the past four years and now you can see individuals wearing their favorite local team jersey to class after a big win. Also, the social scene is not as preppy as everyone makes it out to be. It is a close knit community so the variety of individuals is not that extreme, but it is encouraging that the school has encouraged individuals to not fall into a sample mold and to independently seek out their own opinions and views.

What are the academics like at your school?

All of my professors knew my name from freshman year and on. When I would pass my Geology teacher from freshman year at Lowe's during my senior year, he would greet me and ask how I was doing and if I was able to go spelunching in the cave that wewhitewater rafting in West Virginia lately. Often times during spring term you can mix your major background with other topics that interest you. Since I am an Accounting and Finance major, I am interested in the general marketplace and many other facets that affect a value of a business or commodity. I was able to combine my interest in Chemistry with my major to take "Chemistry in the Marketplace," which went into the oil and gas business and the future that it holds. We went into basic economic principles and applied it to our findings in the actual chemical bonds found in the energy sources that we use today to formulate our theories on the future of the industry.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

All girls wear pearls and that all guys show up to class wearing madras shorts and vineyard vines attire.

Mel
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, W&L is a small school with endless opportunities. Professors, coaches, and peers encourage and foster your desire f...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, W&L is a small school with endless opportunities. Professors, coaches, and peers encourage and foster your desire for academic achievement as well as athletic, social, or community goals. W&L prepares you for the real world. Although W&L may seem like a Greek life fantasy world stuck in a bubble that extends 2.5 square miles, no student graduates without the skills and knowledge to tackle whatever they want to do. W&L prides itself on its honor system, and the difference with W&L is that those ideals are upheld with the highest respect by the students, professors, and community. The W&L bubble is a safe one, and never without a friendly smile or hello. Lexington is a small historic town, but the people love the school and love the students. With the town being so small, the school provides many extra-curricular activities. Students are very involved: the Outdoors club is popular since there are so many options in the mountains. The school is very concerned with environmental needs, and you won't walk 100 feet without finding recycling bins. A lot of times, you can get lost in the bubble, being so far away from everything. But the school is always up-to-date on the most current world events, and professors are happy to take a break from the syllabus and discuss it.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body seems uniform on the surface, but after attending one class at W&L you see that that is far from reality. The students are typically white and upper middle class; but the other ethnicities and socio-economic classes are not non-existent, nor are they hiding in the dark. The student body is very friendly and very open-minded. Everyone is accepted equally--even parties are open to anyone. With the Greek system being so predominant on campus, the only real separation is by fraternity or sorority; and even that is rarely a problem. Since the Greek system is so big, the social life is so big. But students work hard during the day, and do what they have to do. School-related matters stay on the hill, and discussion disagreements stay in the classroom. I have never heard of someone talking about their social class, how much money they have, or that they are better because of some shallow statistic. Students are modest when it comes to their own lives, and really, don't want to waste the time worrying or arguing over their differences.

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

Sometimes I have to get away from the school and the town because it gets to be too small for me. But as soon as I leave, I can't wait to get back. There is no other place like W&L; it's strange to go just an hour away to a large state school where everything is different. I can't imagine walking on campus and not recognizing a single face. The reason W&L remains so prestigious is because its students are so close. People love the school because it brings together so many interesting and real people. There's a special bond W&L students form, and it can be seen in the strong alumni association. There is no way you can fail here--socially, academically; you direct your life, and you learn how to make it perfect for you.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The school is definitely small, and that has its pros as well as its cons. You choose to be as involved as you like, but it is almost impossible to stay out of the social bubble. Although the students tend to dress similar, by no means are they close-minded: classes are typically discussion-oriented, and no student holds back his personal opinions. The professors are just as diverse in their own opinions as the students, but they allow the class to be non-judgemental and are open for new ideas. There are just as many liberals as conservatives, and rarely will you find someone sticking to just one idea--students range all across the political spectrum.

What are the academics like at your school?

If you've never liked to talk much in class, you will now. It's hard not to voice one's opinon when everyone has so many different ideas. The professors are wonderful--they care about your progress, your understanding, and your well-being. I've had professors know my name by the second day of class--there is no hiding in the back. Students really take advantage of small class sizes, and professors do as well. Talking to your professor outside of class is common and encouraged--not only will you improve in the class, but you will form a bond that only provides beneficial results. Classes can range from an 8 person Religion seminar to a 35 person Intro Chemistry class. But even in the larger classes you are expected to participate, and your individual achievements will not go unnoticed. The greatest thing about W&L is its liberal education. Without it, I may never have taken a Religion class, and never found what I truly excell at studying. And with W&Ls open-ended education I am able to major in Religion and still take all the science classes I need and want in order to prepare for med-school. In fact, I even have time to double-major, and that is not uncommon. The greatest thing about the liberal education though, is that it unites the student body by requiring each person to be well-rounded. You meet so many different people in your classes that you would never meet at another school because they would be concentrating on one subject. The professors are very good at incorporating their own liberal education: I have Biology professors talking about philosophy, I have Religion professors discussing politics, I have Philosophy professors talking about genetics. The professors provide you with a background necessary for life and a mind geared for the future.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are too many clubs to name, and each has a good purpose that ultimately helps the community, the school, or the students. Athletes are everywhere, but sometimes you can't tell when they aren't at practice or a game. W&L athletes play because they love the game. Being a D-3 school sports aren't that popular, but lacrosse and soccer seem to get pretty popular. Football games are mainly a social event, and most don't stay for the whole game. The school provides many extra activities such as well-known speakers and movies that have not reached the stores. The IFC and Panhel also bring in speakers; all are well-received. The Greek system is more the just a party scene: it's where you meet your best friends, and gives you a chance to be more involved. All Greek affiliations are involved with community service and play a big role in improving the school itself. But it is a source for social events, as well. If you want to go out, there will probably be a party on any given night. The biggest nights are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Some of the more popular parties are the weekend events like Homecoming, Christmas Weekend, Fraternity Formals, Fancy Dress, and most recently, Mock Con. Mixers are also frequent, and sororities have formals, too. More than 80% of the student body is involved in the Greek system. It's not so much being able to say you are in a certain fraternity or sorority, but it's more of just being involved. It is harder for boys to not be in a frat than girls, because fraternities throw most of the parties. Yes, the social life tends to revolve around the Greeks, but it is not a negative aspect. You have your friends: it's not that certain people aren't invited, it's that there are different groups that just choose to be apart.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

It is a close-knit community with a relatively uniform student body. Some classify us as close-minded and highly conservative.

Liz
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee has plenty of student and alumni pride, which means that it's easy to network with the ambitious people wh...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Washington and Lee has plenty of student and alumni pride, which means that it's easy to network with the ambitious people who go here. That being said, the social scene is not as fluid as it initially appears. With fraternity and sorority membership extremely popular, friend groups form early and last: you end up knowing a lot of people, but being fully accepted into a group that's not in your sorority or fraternity can be difficult. Otherwise, people are generally very polite and respectful; the speaking tradition (everyone walking on campus says "hello" to each other) encourages this sense of friendly camaraderie. And while the social scene is probably receives the most attention from students and sites like this one, it's important not to forget all the opportunities beyond campus life. Hiking trails, the Maury river, and nearby farms afford outdoor activities that you will not want to miss out on: my favorite W&L memory is camping out on the Appalachian Trail with a group of friends during the last week of senior year.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body tends to be conservative and WASP-y, but the admissions office is doing a great job bringing more diversity to campus. It's true; you encounter students who indignantly pronounce that any change on campus, especially regarding diversity, indicates W&L's demise, but I think that the campus make-over is an excellent thing. If college is a place where you want to learn about yourself by learning from others who can constructively challenge your own beliefs, W&L might not be the best place for you; at the same time, I would challenge you to go there with that incentive to achieve some positive change on campus.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academically, I think Washington and Lee offers much more than people tend to assume. Without the dedicated, earnest interest of my professors, I would be a completely different--and disinterested--student. Class sizes are small and office hours are frequent; talking with professors about everything from the last test, the next paper, to that time THEY shaved their head in college, means that you develop strong relationships. You are held accountable for your performance because the professors pay attention to it, and for me, this made all the difference between starting as a B- student and finishing as an A student.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Greek life is overwhelmingly popular, with something like 85% of the students on campus belonging to a Greek organization. This means that the Greek scene is different from a lot of other places: all parties are open (no guest lists whatsoever and no cover charges), the Intra-Fraternity and Panhellenic Councils have a strong hand in student government, and frat parties are almost always more popular than Student Activities Board events (who have brought groups such as The Roots, Busta Rhymes, and 3-6 Mafia to campus). Good luck if you are planning a student showcase, poetry reading, play, or concert on a Friday or Saturday night--you simply won't have high attendance. But W&L is what you make it, and if you are looking for other activities, they are there: join the Outing Club or the call the Lenfest Center box office. As another result of this frat party preeminence, dating is practically non-existent. Students tend to casually, i.e. drunkenly, "hook up," a term which seems to cover everything from a mild dance-floor make-out to wild sex. But should your hook up status last long enough, you might end up having to DTR (determine the relationship)...and like me, end up with a boyfriend of two years.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Picture this: Sperry loafers or Rainbow flip-flops; chinos in Nantucket reds, buttery yellows, or soft pinks; every pastel shade of Polo shirts and button-downs imaginable; croakies expertly attached to sunglasses; floppy frat hair; and a cold can of Natty Lite, probably attired in a W&L coozie. This is not the stereotypical dress of W&L's fraternity scene...it's the reality of it. Dressing well, both in the classroom and while out at night, is an unspoken rule, and the students don't mind abiding by it. Men, see above. For women, this means brightly-colored dresses and well-matched shoes (Jack Rogers sandals are a current favorite). For a dressed down look, designer denim is another common adornment, and the classic prep style--chinos, button-downs, loafers--is always acceptable at W&L.

John
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Its a small school, so everybody knows each other, which helps the spread of rumors. Most people here drink, and drink a lot...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Its a small school, so everybody knows each other, which helps the spread of rumors. Most people here drink, and drink a lot, but they know that academics come first. The administration is trying to kill some traditions, like Spring Term, and the frat life.

Describe the students at your school.

Mostly white, preppy, conservatives, but that is changing. There is interaction between different students. Most don't care about politics too much, but are aware of it.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The school is diversifying more and more, which might be a bad thing.

What are the academics like at your school?

Small classes, often with discussions. Some of the older, great professors are being forced out to make way for the new, liberal ones. Students are competitive, but not in a bad way. The business department is great, and the majority of the professors are great.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Frats and srats are very important. The honor code is very effective. People party probably about 4 or 5 times a week. Off campus, there is one bar, but most drinking involve frats or srats.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Preppy, rich, nice people who are very intelligent.

Lexi
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is the perfect size, you know everyone by name at least and you can have a real relationship with the professors. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is the perfect size, you know everyone by name at least and you can have a real relationship with the professors. The best thing about Washington and Lee is the cultivation of leadership. With all the extracurriculars, from the Greek System to IM's, Washington and Lee develops each student's character and allows them to be as involved as they wish. I spend most of my time in Newcomb Hall, the Commons or the Greek houses. I'm from a western state so most people have never heard about Washington and Lee. However, when someone does recognize the name they have only good things to say about our community. The best part of Washington and Lee, and what has shaped my college experience the most is that this school is what you make it. If you only sit on the surface and see W&L as a shallow party school, you'll never know what you're missing. The history of this school is what makes it so special, and by getting involved, students make that history and continuously shape our community.

Describe the students at your school.

Students really dress up for class here. Students are very political, most are conservative but there is a very vocal liberal community as well.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Only superficially, if you get to know the university and the students there is much more to our community.

What are the academics like at your school?

I know all of my professors and can really only name one that I didn't love. My favorite class was Grave Matters (Anth 290B) with Dr. Means. Least favorite, Global Politics (Pol 105) with Professor McCaughrin. Class participation is absolutely necessary in most classes. Students are competitive, extremly bright, motivated and exceptional.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The Greek System is by far the most popular, largest student organization on campus. Over 80% of the school is Greek. I love my sorority and being involved has given me a chance to develop my leadership skills while helping my community.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

"All W&L students are rich, white, conservatives"

Jordan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

My love for W&L is incredible, just like most of the student body. People love this school and have so much pride in it. Howe...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

My love for W&L is incredible, just like most of the student body. People love this school and have so much pride in it. However, it is a hard school socially. The Greek system puts a huge strain on friendships and confidence. There is a definite order of frats and srats from highest to lowest and it gets bad. Some people from higher srats won't talk to people in lower ones, and you always have to go to parties based on where your sorority is welcome. Besides that, people do generally love everyone else. The speaking tradition is great and the professors are amazing. The small size allows you to get to know everyone and I love that.

Describe the students at your school.

pretty white, rich, popped collars and so on, but there is a decent amount of diversity. We have a good number of international students more than racial diversity. Also, it depends on where you hang out. The top srats and frats are all white, but the middle/lower ones have more diversity. People are not that politically aware until the year or our Mock Convention. Then everyone gets involved. I would say we are split down the middle politically even thought most people think it's a very conservative school.

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

HUGE hookup culture. Not much dating going on. It's all DFM (Dance Floor Makeouts) and other drunk making out. A lot of relationships are purely based on drunk interactions. I "dated" a guy for four months and only hung out with him twice in a sober situation.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To some extent. Every school with a Greek system is going to have a lot of money, drinking, and social hierarchy. But I feel like W&L is slightly worse than other schools. Some people feel that they can't even talk to another based on a srat or frat label. If you feed into this, then it will be terrible. But if you don't let it get to you, then it isn't much worse than any where else. Also, it is a very white school. But there is a decent amount of diversity of thought, which I think is more important in a college anyway. And lastly, the drinking is huge. It is not necessary to drink, but it is huge, especially during Spring Term. That term most people drink during the week as well as during the afternoons.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

GREAT social scene. No matter what day of the week you want to go out, you can find a party and people who will go out with you. However, the Greek system and labels definitely put a strain on which parties certain people feel comfortable at. Also, most people are involved in the Greek system as well as at least two other activities. it's great!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

1. They are alcoholics who drink all the time. 2. They are all rich, white, preppy, and stuck up. 3. The Greek system dominates and creates a social hierarchy.

Emily
What is your overall opinion of this school?

town needs more attractions. administration needs to remember that this school is based on tradition and maybe they should be...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

town needs more attractions. administration needs to remember that this school is based on tradition and maybe they should be a little more lax on the fraternities. after all, they've been here since the beginning. I will always remember the professors that show their love for W&L by getting to know each student and continuing traditions.

Describe the students at your school.

Non greeks are rare. Most (but not all) students look put together for class. You won;t see any pajamas in the classrooms. I'd say the majority of students are from the south. I don't hear a lot about financial aid, most people here probably don't need it.

What are the academics like at your school?

All of my professors know my name. Studying is a part of every day here. We are all academically enriched- even on spring break the conversations are intellectual- its who we are. I've heard great stories (mostly from my dad) about eating with professors outside of class. I havent had that opportunity yet, but I sure hope I will. Being a liberal arts college, W&L makes sure that each student gets a taste of everything (which means lots of requirements before you settle on a major!)

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

All doors are unlocked all the time. The alumni organization (Kathekon) is very popular, I think because W&L alums love this place and are fun to be around. Football games are poplar for the first quarter, just to see who's wearing what. No one dates, but hookups are ramped. People only go see the plays if they get extra credit for a class. People party about 3 nights a week, because we have lots of work too. Except for spring term- then its about 5 nights a week. Greek life is HUGE! I dont know more than 10 independents, but apparently all of our parties are open to them.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Rich, southern, conservative, party animals, honest

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