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Washington and Lee University

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The W&L Promise

The W&L Promise guarantees free tuition to any undergraduate student admitted to Washington and Lee with a family income* below $75,000. In addition, those students may be eligible for loan-free assistance to cover room, board and other educational expenses, based on demonstrated need.  Transfer students are not eligible for the W&L Promise.

The W&L Promise is part of Washington and Lee's strategic initiative to make the distinctive W&L experience available to qualified students regardless of their financial situation.

In determining students' demonstrated need, Washington and Lee will continue its practice of undertaking a careful and personal assessment of each family's income and assets with the assistance of the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE from the College Board. Please see Applying for Need Based Financial Aid for instructions on submitting a complete W&Linstitutional need-based grant application.

Beginning with the fall semester of 2014, the W&L Promise will be available for all undergraduates, including those who are applying for admittance as members of the Class of 2018.

In addition to implementing the W&L Promise, Washington and Lee will continue to meet the full demonstrated financial need for admitted students from families in other income brackets entirely through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work study. Loans will not be included as part of the institutional need-based financial aid package.

Applicants and families who wish to be considered for the W&L Promise or any institutionally funded need-based assistance at W&L should submit a complete institutional need-based grant application by the deadline associated with their admissions application. Full details regarding the application process and deadlines can be found at Applying for Need Based Financial Aid.

W&L Promise FAQs

*What constitutes "family income?"

Family income is a combination of all available income sources as determined by the financial aid evaluation. Family income may include the adjusted gross income (AGI), untaxed income, income imputed from assets, living allowances and relevant employer benefits, and income from a non-custodial parent, if applicable.

How do I apply and qualify for the W&L Promise?

Applicants must submit a complete institutional need-based grant application including the CSS Profile, Parent and Student Federal tax returns, and non-custodial information if applicable. If the evaluation of the application indicates that the family income is less than $75,000, then the student will qualify for the W&L Promise.

What will I receive if I qualify for the W&L Promise?

Students who qualify for the W&L Promise will receive, at minimum, a grant equal to the full cost of tuition at W&L. In addition, families who qualify for the W&L Promise will also receive total financial aid packages consisting of grant and work-study awards, which, in combination, with the W&L Promise, will meet their full demonstrated need.

Do I need to reapply each year to qualify for the W&L Promise?

Yes, you will need to submit the complete institutional need-based grant application each year.

To whom is the W&L Promise available?

Beginning in the Fall of 2014, the W&L Promise will be available to all undergraduate students, including members of the Class of 2018.

What does "Full Demonstrated Need" mean?

Upon receipt of a complete institutional need-based grant application from your family, the financial aid office will review your family finances and through institutional evaluation determine your estimated family contribution (EFC.) Your family's "Full Demonstrated Need" is the difference between your institutional EFC and the W&L cost of attendance.

Are international students eligible to receive the W&L Promise?

International currencies and exchange rates can vary greatly from week to week making a family income evaluation inconsistent. However, entering international undergraduate students, beginning with the Class of 2018, are eligible to receive the W&L Promise. International students may also be eligible for generous need-based and/or merit awards. See details of the international student grant policy here.  The CSS Profile is the only document required for the international need-based application.

What does it mean to be offered a need-based aid package with "No Loans" or "Without Loans?"

Although loans are not included as part of the institutional need-based package, they may be offered to families as an option for meeting the estimated family contribution.

Are transfer studetnts eligible to receive the W&L Promise?

Transfer students are not provided any Institutional need-based assistance, and are not eligible for the W&L Promise.