In our process of forming each fall's entering class, our admissions committee considers a portion of the applicant pool through two binding Early Decision options. Early Decision may be the right option for you if Washington and Lee University is a clear first choice at the end your college search.
W&L's applicant review process is highly selective and the admissions committee's expectations regarding academic and personal credentials are essentially the same for both Early Decision options and Regular Decision. Nonetheless, as a part of the Early Decision review, we take into consideration each student's desire to attend Washington and Lee - as evidenced by a binding Early Decision application - while making final admission decisions. This occasionally leads the admissions committee to act in favor of a candidate whose academic credentials are at the competitive margin. Typically, approximately forty percent of each entering class at W&L is composed of Early Decision candidates.
It is also important to understand that W&L is committed to a Washington and Lee education affordable for all admitted candidates, regardless of socioeconomic background. Students who meet the Early Decision financial aid deadlines, and are found to have to have financial need, will receive financial aid awards made up of grant funding and a small portion of work-study, but no loans.
Separate from the need-based financial aid process, the Johnson Scholarship competition does not take place until well after the Early Decision process. If your enrollment at W&L depends on winning a Johnson Scholarship, then you should not apply under our binding Early Decision options.
Submitting an Early Decision application to W&L takes careful consideration and we suggest that you confer with your parents and secondary school counselor, in addition to our admissions and financial aid staff, before choosing this option. Since both Early Decision options are binding, if you are accepted, you must withdraw all other applications to other colleges and universities immediately after confirming your intention to enroll at W&L with a $1000 deposit.
Again, if you know unequivocally that W&L is where you would like to spend your four years of undergraduate studies, then contact your counselor and we can help you through the process of applying under Early Decision.