2018-19 Tuition Letter

March 23, 2018

Dear Parents and Family Members,

At its meeting last month, the Board of Trustees approved the following tuition and fees for 2018-19:

  • Tuition: $51,420
  • Room: $7,300
  • Board: $6,625
  • Student Activity Fee: $465
  • Student Technology Fee: $320
  • Student Health Fee: $250

Through a combination of philanthropy and tuition, we continue to make significant investments in the curricular and co-curricular opportunities available to our students. At the same time, we have also been able to invest in facilities and people permitting us not just to maintain but also to advance the excellence of our educational program. More than one-half of our total expenditures in 2016-17 (50.8 percent) came from philanthropy in the form of income from our endowment and generous gifts to the university from alumni, parents and friends. Net tuition revenues covered only 36.9 percent of the total expenditures, which is a significant decrease from 45.1percent just 10 years ago.

The growth in private support for the university over the last decade has translated into over $200 million of investment in new and renovated facilities that support the academic program and student experience at W&L. We have recently committed more than $50 million in additional investment toward the creation of the Richard L. Duchossois Athletic Center ($47.7 million) and the renovation of Woods Creek Apartments ($10 million). Both projects will begin as soon as the current school year ends.

Beyond facilities, private support has allowed us to expand curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students. These include additional student research grants, greater support for study abroad, growth in interdisciplinary offerings, and increased emphasis on experiential learning as part of a student's portfolio as well as more generous student financial aid. As we develop a new strategic plan, I can assure you that we will continue to make even greater investments to ensure that the value of every W&L student's educational experience is greater than the cost of attendance.

The people, programs and facilities that provide this rich array of offerings and opportunities for students are not inexpensive. In the current year, we estimate the university's actual cost to educate each student is $81,800, which is $18,500 more than our published comprehensive price and means that all students are receiving a subsidy of 22% of the real cost.

Quality education is an investment, not a commodity, and W&L is committed to providing a liberal arts education of the highest quality. This commitment relies upon the continued support of the institution and on the dedication of alumni and parents. I understand and appreciate the level of sacrifice that you make on behalf of your sons and daughters, and that is why we continue to strive to enhance the long-term value of a Washington and Lee education.

Steven G. McAllister Treasurer and Vice President for Finance