2020-2021 Tuition Letter

March 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Family Members:

At its meeting last month, the Board of Trustees approved the following tuition and fees for 2020-21:

  • Tuition $56,170
  • Room $8,365
  • Board $7,445
  • Student Activity Fee $545
  • Student Technology Fee $320
  • Student Health Fee $250

Washington and Lee is committed to providing a liberal arts education of the highest quality. This commitment requires that we continually invest in our people, programs and facilities. These investments allow us to increase the remarkable curricular and co-curricular opportunities that benefit our students.

Opening in the fall of 2020 will be the Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center. This project, which has been ongoing over the last two years, will result in a state-of-art physical education, recreation and athletic facility dedicated to our students. In addition, we will begin this summer with the construction of the Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence to be located in the heart of Leyburn Library. This teaching and learning laboratory, which will open in the fall of 2021, will support the educational success for all of our students. These are just two of the ten major investments in our facilities over the next decade that we believe are necessary to ensure the continued excellence of a W&L education.

Beyond facilities, we continue to invest in people. For example, over the coming year, we will bring on two new faculty in the Business Administration department as well as a full-time Director of the Writing Program and a Cultural Historian. These positions are consistent with the investments identified through our Strategic Plan.

It should be noted that the University does make a concentrated effort to operate as efficiently as possible. In 2017, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni issued a report titled, How Much is Too Much? Controlling Administrative Costs through Effective Oversight. The report identified a metric known as the Administrative Efficiency Ratio. W&L has the best ratio of the U.S. News Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges and is 34% more efficient than the average among this set of competitors.

The people, programs and facilities that provide our rich array of opportunities are undeniably expensive. The university's actual cost to educate each undergraduate student to be $87,140 this year. That is $17,500 more than our published comprehensive price, which means that even families paying full tuition receive a subsidy of 20 percent of the underlying real cost.

At Washington and Lee, we pride ourselves on providing an incredible opportunity for those with incredible potential. In order to offer W&L's distinctive educational experience, we rely on the continued support of the institution and the dedication of alumni and parents. I understand and appreciate the level of sacrifice that you make on behalf of your child, 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