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Academic Indicators

Washington and Lee University voluntarily publishes a number of key undergraduate academic performance indicators, including peer performance metrics, trended over time. The collection and reporting of select admissions statistics, enrollment data, and financial information follow different cycles and, as such, it is important to note the time period identified for individual metrics.

The University considers among its peers the top liberal arts institutions in the country, including Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colgate University, Davidson College, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Haverford College, Middlebury College, Pomona College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, University of Richmond, Vassar College, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.

Admissions Applications

The number of undergraduate applicants has averaged nearly 6,900 over the last three years, attracting an increasingly diverse and capable group of students from varied backgrounds. Interest in and competition for the esteemed Johnson Scholarship continues to generate significant interest from a large number of exceptionally talented individuals.

W&L Applications
Year of Enrollment Number of Applicants
Fall 2013 6222
Fall 2014 5797
Fall 2015 5377
Fall 2016 5101
Fall 2017 5455
Fall 2018 5855
Fall 2019 6178
Fall 2020 4998
Fall 2021 6621
Fall 2022 7224
Fall 2023 6825

Admissions Selectivity

Enrollment of new first-time, first-year students remains highly competitive with large numbers of exceptional applicants from diverse backgrounds. Over the past decade, the percentage of admitted students has ranged from 17% - 24%, while the percentage of admitted students who enroll averages 39%.

Admissions Selectivity
Year of Application Yield (% of Accepted Students Who Enrolled) Selectivity (% of Applicants Accepted)
Fall 2013 42 18
Fall 2014 41 20
Fall 2015 35 24
Fall 2016 39 24
Fall 2017 39 22
Fall 2018 38 21
Fall 2019 40 19
Fall 2020 37 24
Fall 2021 39 19
Fall 2022 39 17
Fall 2023 42 17

Enrollment by State

The Class of 2027 (first-time, full-time, first-year fall 2023 cohort) represents 44 states (and U.S. territories) and 26 different foreign countries.

Class of 2027: Top States of Origin
State Students
Virginia 83
Texas 42
North Carolina 34
Georgia 30
New Jersey 29
Maryland 25
Pennsylvania 25
Nonresident or Abroad 39
New York 22
South Carolina 16
Florida 15
Alabama 14
Tennessee 13
Connecticut 12
California 12
All Others 91

First-Year Enrollment by Census Region

Seventy percent of students in the Class of 2027 (first-time, full-time, first-year fall 2023 cohort) come from the South Atlantic, Middle Atlantic and West South Central US Census Regions while 8% are international.

Enrollment History

Over the last five years, undergraduate enrollment has averaged 1,861 while Law School enrollment has averaged 380. Additionally, there are 502 undergraduate students in the Class of 2027 (first-time, full-time, first-year fall 2023 cohort) and 126 law students in the Law Class of 2026. The University consistently meets its enrollment, persistence, and completion goals.

Enrollment History
Year of Enrollment Undergraduate Enrollment Law Enrollment
2013 1855 422
2014 1890 374
2015 1854 318
2016 1830 330
2017 1827 393
2018 1829 394
2019 1860 404
2020 1822 361
2021 1857 381
2022 1867 376
2023 1898 379

Financial Aid of any Type for First-Time, First-Year Students

Financial aid packages may include federal, state, local and institutional grants, as well as student loans and work-study. Of the class entering in Fall of 2021, 61% received at least one type of financial aid award.

Institutional Grants for First-Year Students

In 2021-22, 57% of first year students received an institutional grant at an average of $57,034 per recipient. The W&L Promise provides a minimum grant of tuition to any undergraduate student admitted to W&L with a total family income below $125,000 and assets typical for their income.

Undergraduates Receiving Pell Grants

Sixty-three (63%) percent of all Washington and Lee undergraduate students received financial aid in 2021-22. Of the total student population, approximately 10% received Pell grants.

Total Grant Aid Awarded

In 2021-22, $58,615,087 was awarded in grants and scholarships to W&L undergraduates. This includes all grant and/or scholarship aid dollars received from the federal government, state or local government, the institution, and private grant sources. The overwhelming majority of grant aid comes from private and institutional sources.

First-Year Retention

The retention rate is an indicator of how well first-year students acclimate to an institution's academic and social life. Ninety-six percent (96%) or more of the University's first-year students consistentily return their second year, a rate comparable to or exceeding that of our peer institutions and among the highest levels in the nation.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio reflects the intimacy of the educational experience. In recent years, W&L's ratio has maintained a favorable ratio of 1 faculty member for every 8 students.

Class Size

Fully 78% of undergraduate courses at Washington and Lee have fewer than 20 students, fostering a more personalized learning experience.

Distribution of Majors

In 2020-21, W&L awarded 444 undergraduate degrees to students who completed a total of 585 first and second majors. The accompanying chart illustrates the distribution of majors by broad discipline.

Graduation Rates

The six-year graduation rate represents students who enrolled as first-time, full-time students six years earlier and completed their undergraduate degrees within 150% of the traditional 4-year time frame. W&L's six-year graduation rates are equivalent with our peers. Although the six-year graduation rate is a federal reporting standard, nearly all students complete their program in four years.