Academic Indicators

The Washington and Lee University Undergraduate Academic Indicators Report contains a set of key performance indicators trended over time. The collection and reporting of official admissions data, enrollment figures, and financial information follow different cycles, so it is important to pay careful attention to the time period identified for individual indicators.

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, Colorado College, Davidson College, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Harvey Mudd 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

From 2008 - 2013, the number of students applying to Washington and Lee averaged 6,319, due in large part to interest and competition for the esteemed Johnson Scholarships. Over the past several years, changes in admissions practice, strategy, and efficiencies have netted fewer applicants while attracting a more diverse student body of equally exceptional academic ability and talent.

Admissions Selectivity

Selectivity remains highly competitive with large numbers of exceptional applicants. Of the 21% of students offered admission in 2018, 38% enrolled in the fall.

Admissions Selectivity
Year of Application Yield (Percent of Accepted Students Who Enrolled) Selectivity (Percent of Applicants Accepted)
Fall 2008 42 17
Fall 2009 40 19
Fall 2010 37 19
Fall 2011 42 18
Fall 2012 41 19
Fall 2013 42 18
Fall 2014 42 20
Fall 2015 35 24
Fall 2016 39 24
Fall 2017 39 22
Fall 2018 38 21

Class Rank

Fully 83% of first-year students enrolling in Fall 2018 graduated in the top 10% of their high school class while 97% placed in the top 25%.

Class Rank
Application Year20082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
Top 10% 84 81 83 81 80 80 81 85 83 81 83
Top 25% 99 94 98 98 98 98 95 99 99 96 97

ACT Scores

ACT scores of incoming first-year students remain exceptional and are significantly higher than the national averages of all college bound seniors. At 31 and 33, the bottom and top quartiles of students submit ACT scores that vary by only two points.

ACT Scores
Fall 2008Fall 2009Fall 2010Fall 2011Fall 2012Fall 2013Fall 2014Fall 2015Fall 2016Fall 2017Fall 2018
W&L 75th %ile 31 32 32 32 32 33 33 33 33 33 33
W&L Average 30 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 32 32
W&L 25th %ile 28 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 30 31 31
National Average 21.1 21.1 21.0 21.1 21.1 20.9 21.0 21.0 20.8 21.0 21.0

Enrollment by State

The Class of 2022 represents 44 states and 14 different foreign countries.

Class of 2022: Top States of Origin
State Students
Virginia 78
Texas 36
New Jersey 34
North Carolina 32
Georgia 25
Pennsylvania 23
Maryland 21
South Carolina 19
New York 17
Alabama 17
International 17
All Others 155

First-Year Enrollment by Census Region

A majority of students in the Class of 2022 come from the South Atlantic, Middle Atlantic and West South Central US Census Regions.

Enrollment History

Undergraduate enrollment has averaged 1,829 the last three years. Law School enrollment declined to record lows and, mirroring national trends, has now rebounded .

Enrollment History
Year of Enrollment Undergraduate Enrollment Law Enrollment
2008 1752 407
2009 1759 400
2010 1759 414
2011 1793 403
2012 1838 464
2013 1855 422
2014 1890 374
2015 1854 318
2016 1830 330
2017 1827 393
2018 1829 394

Financial Aid for First-Years

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 2017, 64% received at least one type of financial aid.

Institutional Grants for First-Years

While the percentage of first-year students receiving institutional grant aid is typically lower at W&L compared to our peers, the average amount each student receives is higher. In 2017-18, 52% of first year students received an institutional grant, at an average of $46,265 per recipient.

Undergraduates Receiving Pell Grants

Over sixty (60%) percent of all Washington and Lee undergraduate students received financial aid in 2017-18. Of the total student population, approximately 9.5% received Pell grants.

Total Grant Aid Awarded

In 2017-18 over $43,914,000 was awarded in grants to W&L undergraduates. This includes all grant aid dollars received from the federal government, state or local government, the institution, and private grant 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. Washington and Lee consistently retains 96% or more of its first-year students, a rate comparable with that of our peer institutions.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio reflects the intimacy of the educational experience. In recent years, W&L's ratio has maintained fairly consistently at  8:1.

Class Size

Over 70% of undergraduate courses at Washington and Lee have fewer than 20 students, fostering a more personalized learning experience.

Distribution of Majors

In 2017-18, W&L awarded 470 undergraduate degrees to students who completed a total of 601 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.

Post-Graduation Study

At graduation, 87 members of the Class of 2019 (21% of those who responded) reported they were beginning advanced studies immediately. Law and medicine are consistently popular fields of post-graduate study.

Employment Rates

A majority of graduates report being employed, either full-or part-time. 76% of the Class of 2018 reported being employed 6 months after graduation. The majority of those who are not employed are enrolled full-time in graduate studies, for a combined total of 98% attending graduate school or employed 6 months after graduation.

Top Fields of Employment

In recent survey years, a larger percentage of graduates have been employed in the economics and finance fields. Education, Marketing, Health Care, and Science fields are also popular.