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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Admissions Quick Guide

Decision- ED or Regular

Welcome to your senior year. Home of cool kid lockers, assorted Dickens' novels, your senior prom and big decisions. One of the first big decisions you'll have to make is where you'll apply to college and when. At Washington and Lee we offer three deadlines for applications:

  1. The first two deadlines are Early Decision deadlines, meaning that they are binding commitments with the University that require you to enroll at Washington and Lee if you are admitted under this program. Hence, you may only apply to one school (your absolute favorite school in the entire universe) with binding Early Decision. How does financial aid play into the decision to apply Early Decision? Read below...
  2. The third deadline? It's Regular Decision. Regular Decision does not require any sort of commitment. This is made for students who would prefer to keep their options open. How does financial aid play into the decision to apply Regular Decision? Read below...

Application- Common App Exclusive

Finally the time comes to put pen to paper. Or maybe just move your mouse around a little. Washington and Lee is a member of the Common Application - one application you can use to apply over 300 schools nationwide. This application is available online and includes:

  • Common Application
  • Official Test Scores (see below)
  • W&L's Supplement to the Common Application (no extra essays required!)
  • Secondary School Report Form, Counselor Recommendation and Official Transcript
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
  • Early Decision candidates: The Early Decision Agreement
  • Mid-Year Grades (when they become available)
  • Final Grades (when they become available)



Senior Year might be full of fun but we'll also need you to spend a few Saturday mornings taking standardized tests. Washington and Lee requires either the SAT or the ACT with its writing portion. Additionally, we recommend you submit two SAT Subject Tests. This is a strong recommendation, but not a requirement to be considered for admission.

  1. The SAT (or the Scholastic Aptitude Test) is administered by the College Board and includes three different sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing.
  2. The ACT (or American College Testing) is administered by ACT and includes four different sections: English, Reading, Mathematics and Science. Washington and Lee also requires that applicants sit for the ACT's Writing portion.
  3. The SAT Subject Tests are administered by the College Board and test students on a variety of subject-specific information. Washington and Lee recommends applicants submit two SAT Subject Test scores, provided they are from different subjects. For instance, do not submit Math 1 and Math 2 or French Language and French Literature. Math and French? That's okay, as is any other combination you choose, in different subjects. SAT Subject Tests are not required to be considered for admission, but they can provide our admission committee with useful information as we seek to distinguish between the many highly qualified applicants wishing to attend W&L.

The Johnson Scholarship Program

In kindergarten you were the first to learn to count to 100. In elementary school you aced your spelling tests. Middle school biology was a breeze, and you founded the jazz band. And in high school you skipped senior skip day to finish a French test. You've worked hard and made your world a better place. Now you deserve a reward. How about four years of college, no charge? The Johnson Scholarship Program was established to recognize students' achievements in the classroom, their leadership potential, and their accomplishments in extracurricular endeavors. Annually the Johnson Scholarship Program awards over 40 full tuition, room and board scholarships to students based not on the ability to afford a W&L education, but on their hard work, their leadership experience and their involvement in their schools and communities . And all you have to do to put yourself into the running for the Johnson Scholarship is write one extra essay. Makes missing out on senior skip day sound pretty good! Click here to find out more information and to apply for the Johnson Scholarship.

Financial Aid

There's no doubt that a Washington and Lee education is a substantial investment. The Johnson Scholarship is one source of funding to help you afford that investment, but our need-based aid programs are just as impressive.

You wouldn't dream of sending in your admission application a month after our deadline, would you? Well, don't be late with your financial aid application, either! If you wait to apply for financial aid until you know whether you gained admission to W&L, it will be too late, and all the money will be gone. As soon as you start working on your essays and thinking about which teachers to ask for recommendation letters, you and your family should begin the financial aid application process. File the College Board's PROFILE form and the U.S. Government's FAFSA form to apply.

Best of all, admitted students who met all our financial aid deadlines and are found to have financial need will have their full need met with grant funds (free money) and a work-study job. No loans.


The Waiting Place... it's not just something from a Dr. Seuss book. And after you lick that postage stamp or hit the "submit" button you're there. All you can do now is wait. Applications take time to process and read. Annually we receive over 6,000 applications. Our staff will burn a vat of midnight oil to make it through them all, but we're thoughtful, careful and fair. Expect to hear from us by April 1st (no joke) if you apply Regular Decision, by December 22nd if you apply Early Decision 1 and by February 1st if you apply Early Decision 2.

In the meantime, read up on what it is we are looking for as we evaluate applications. Peruse our list of Frequently Asked Questions to gain more insight into Washington and Lee and the admissions process. Take a look at some facts about the background of the latest group of W&L First Years. And, as always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Finally, take Dr. Seuss' words of wisdom to heart: "Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you'll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you're that kind of a guy!"