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Washington and Lee university, in Lexington, Virginia, is a private, not-for-profit university. The town itself isn’t particularly close to the university. Students who want to go to Lexington will have to drive for a few minutes before they get to the town itself. However, campus housing is provided for students, which means they won’t have to commute back and forth to school. Even so, students should be able to find leisure activities they enjoy in town once they are done with their studies.

Overview of Washington and Lee University (W&L)

The university’s Carnegie classification focuses most on its baccalaureate colleges Arts and Sciences programs. Washington and Lee University (W&L) accepts both dual credit students, students still in high school who want to earn high school and university credits at the same time, and advanced placement exam scores for credits.

The faculty is quite small, 240 instructors, putting the student-to-faculty ratio sits at 8 to 1.

Washington and Lee, which was founded before the birth of the US in 1749, is well established as an educational institution of value. The student population is small, just as the faculty is small. Total student enrollment is 2,223; undergraduate students make up the bulk of the student body at 1,829 or 82% and graduate students make up the remainder of the student body at 394 students or 18%.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 8:1
Graduation Rate 95%
Year Founded 1749

Student Enrollment

Total Students2,223


Undergraduate Student

Male 914.5
Female 914.5

Graduate Student

Male 197
Female 197

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W&L Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 2,884
Female 2,971


Male 577
Female 654

Acceptance Rate21%

Male 20%
Female 22%

Enrollment 467

Male 168
Female 187
Application Fee $60
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Recommended
Application Deadline January 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

W&L Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The sticker price for education at Washington and Lee University, which includes tuition, books, supplies, room/board, and other expenses, comes up to $73,900. This is likely to seem quite high for many families.

Financial aid (federal and institutional) can help. Once all financial aid has been applied to the total cost of attendance, the average net price in a recent academic year was $21,919. Broken down by family income, you can see how much you might end up being responsible for below.

  • Families earning up to $30,000 pay around $706
  • Families earning between $30,001 and $48,000 pay around $1,920
  • Families earning between $48,001 and $75,000 pay around $7,039
  • Families earning between $75,001 and $110,000 pay around $14,439
  • Families earning more than $110,001 pay around $41,186

First-year students who apply for financial aid number 301, or 64% of the student body. Grants and scholarships are awarded to 263, or 56% of students. The average award amount is $45,232. Students receiving institutional grants and scholarships number 245, or 52%, and they receive an average of $46,265.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $21,918
Average Total Aid $45,232
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Room & Board $14,845

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $54,830
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $54,830
  • Books and Supplies - $2,010
  • Room & Board - $14,845
  • Other - $2,215


The student retention rate for first-year students is 96%, meaning that almost the entire freshmen class returns to the same institution for a second year of instruction. The four-year graduation rate is 92%. Given the continuing trend for students to spend longer in college over the last couple decades, it’s no surprise that the 6-year graduation rate is slightly higher 95%.

Students unable to attend classes in person during the day won’t be able to attend evening classes or access classes or class material through online learning; Washington and Lee doesn’t offer either option to its students.

The most popular degree programs at Washington and Lee University are business, management, marketing, and related support services; social sciences; biological and biomedical sciences; communication, journalism and related programs; history; mathematics and statistics; and physical sciences.

Student Population Total

Student Population 2,223

Evening Classes : No
Distance Learning : No

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 107 Total Graduates / 25%
Business Administration and Management, General 66 Graduates
Accounting and Business/Management 41 Graduates
All Social Science Majors 111 Total Graduates / 26%
Economics, General 67 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 38 Graduates
Sociology and Anthropology 6 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 49 Total Graduates / 11%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 26 Graduates
Neuroscience 14 Graduates
History 25 Total Graduates / 6%
History, General 25 Graduates
Biochemistry 9 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 23 Total Graduates / 5%
Journalism 12 Graduates
Public Relations/Image Management 11 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 28%

Outcome & Salary

Students from a small, private university can still realize a good return on investment (ROI) after graduation. The average salary of a graduate of Washington and Lee University is $76,000; their early-career salary is $67,000 and their mid-career salary is $144,700.

Ten-year salary earnings potential for these same graduates is $760,000 and their 20-year salary earnings potential is $2,207,000. This makes the 10-year projected ROI $672,000 and their 20-year projected ROI is $2,118,328. All of this takes into account the net price of education (four years), which is around $87,672.

High school graduates who don’t go to college have a national average salary of $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is $775,840.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $67,000
College Grads Average Salary $76,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $1,44,700
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $760,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,207,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $87,672
10 Year Projected ROI $672,328
20 Year Projected ROI $2,119,328
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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