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Washington and Lee University Reviews

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  • 06/25/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    5 out of 6 people found this review useful. 1 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    It's great for anyone who knows they want to go Greek since Greek life is a big part of the school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely apply for the Johnson Scholarship, even if you don't get it, the Scholarship Competition is a great way to really get familiar with the campus. And have a teacher proof-read your essay before you submit it!

    Bang for the buck

    It's a pricey school, but if you work hard (and apply for the Johnson Scholarship) it can be affordable. Hopefully it will pay out after graduation.

    Will enjoy being here

    Located in the South, everyone is so super friendly and hospitable. The campus is absolutely gorgeous and being an outdoorsy girl, it's a perfect location to go outside and enjoy the mountains

    Will learn a lot

    I've had the chance to sit in on an econ class, and from that one class it is clear that the professors are top-notch. The academic quality of the school makes it worth the hefty price tag.

  • 11/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 6 people found this review useful. 2 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    SO MUCH GREEK LIFE. Seriously, if you're into that sort of thing, this is the place for you. Also if you're rich, white, and from the South.

    Dorm Life

    Awful, unless you escape the sanitarium-esque decor and alcohol and puke-drenched halls of Graham-Lees.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are difficult and the professors are tough, but fair and incredibly knowledge as well as very invested in student success.

    Tips for prospective students

    There is a life available for people not interested in the Greek system, but you have to be INCREDIBLY independent to handle being an Independent at W&L.

    In three sentences

    Amazing academics, engaging professors, wonderful course selection, and a beautiful campus. Downsides: HUGE amount of Greek life and the entire school follows the work hard, play hard ideology. Huge emphasis on drinking.

  • 06/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 3 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Lexington is a small town and the campus security is very active and helpful. We have a very strong honor system in place, allowed students to leave their rooms unlocked and their backpacks unattended with little worry anything will happen. I have many friends who have lost wallets, phones, etc., and had them promptly returned.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is huge at Washington and Lee. Almost every student is involved, which can sound daunting. It may be helpful to know that greek life is not as exclusive as at other schools, and you'll find that there really is an organization for everyone. Many of the students involved aren't typically greek (i.e. snobby, rich) and find that the system allows great opportunities for community service as well as great housing.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are lots of different clubs, from a capella to volunteering to language clubs. Most of the clubs are smaller, allowing for you to really get to know the people involved and a GREAT chance for leadership, and the funding is substantial, but it's often hard to get non-members involved in activities, since the school is on the smaller side (this is especially obvious in sorority fundraisers). Unfortunately, the club sports are also very limited (though it's pretty easy to get involved in our NCAA sports, since we're division 3).

    Great for these types of students

    Business students, journalism students, premed and prelaw students, and artistic students who want a chance to really stand out.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The streaking tradition started here! General Robert E. Lee started the streaking tradition across our epic colonnade, and if you graduate without doing it, you aren't a real W&L graduate! Our school fight song, the Washington & Lee Swing, also has a much-copied tune. Look it up- I guarantee you've heard it. Other great activities include Mock Convention. Every four years over 90% of the campus gets involved to predict who will be elected to run in the presidential race in the party out of power. We're right almost every time, and get keynote speakers like Ann Coulter and Carville. Lastly, our yearly Fancy Dress is like prom on crack- every student and tons of faculty get dolled up and go to this black tie event, featuring a live band AND a DJ, as well as an unforgettable theme each year.

    Bang for the buck

    W&L is a top ranked school- and employers know that. Almost every department could be considered one of the best in the nation, and the career opportunities that follow students- particularly business majors- are unheard of. There are also a wide variety of opportunities for students in the sciences, including the prestigious Richmond Term, where W&L alumni doctors host students in their practices for a month, and a wide variety of research labs that are easy to get involved in. However, if you're hoping to go to grad school, you can expect great recs, but don't hope for much help otherwise. The career counseling office is a little lacking, and most of the opportunities are thanks to the very supportive and successful alumns.

    What to do for fun

    On campus, the parties are inventive and crazy, and activities like Fancy Dress and lots of visiting musical artists (including Pretty Lights, White Panda, and more) and comedians will keep you busy. Off campus, go to Natural Bridge Zoo, Foamhenge, or tube down the Maury.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall (dhall) is full of local, healthy food, though the diversity leaves something to be desired. Off campus, there are a variety of great local restaurants with unique dishes and cult followings.

    Dorm Life

    While the dorms are currently below-par, the university is currently doing construction to totally remodel and update all of the freshman dorms. The amount of activities (including alcohol-free) are boundless, with movie nights, visiting comedians, pool tables, monthly freshman bonding activities (like bonfires, carnivals, etc.), and more. You'd be hard-pressed to find a freshmen with nothing to do on a Friday night.

    Academic Rigor

    Washington and Lee is an intense academic environment. However, the professors are very dedicated and willing to help, unlike at many large universities, where their prime focus is on research. If you put in the work, top grades are possible, but many students have a hard time adjusting from their lax high school schedules.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're looking for a school with diversity, this may not be the most obvious pick. Though many students come from similar backgrounds, you can be sure that every student you will meet is extraordinary in some, or many, ways. Don't judge a book by it's cover. In addition, use your faculty! This school is rare in that all the faculty really want to help you, take you out for ice cream, give you research opportunities, etc. Don't end up senior year feeling like you never got to know any of your professors (though I'm not sure this is even possible!).

    In three sentences

    A small campus with a great community vibe, filled with overachieving students that graduate with starry eyes and top internships.

  • 04/08/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 4 people found this review useful. 4 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Dorm Life

    We didn't get to go inside of a dorm, but they were all beautiful from the outside. They also said it was very common for upperclassmen to rent a townhouse down the road from W&L as a group and live there too, and it wasn't too expensive. Variety of options!

    Academic Rigor

    All of the professors I talked to seemed very engaged and interested in getting to know their students personally.

    In three sentences

    I toured W&L this past year, and I had the most amazing experience! I got to sit with a guidance counselor and talk with him and my mom for over an hour about the school and various programs that I was interested in, and then I went on a tour with a senior there who was very informative and helpful and even introduced me to some of his professors. It felt like the tour was catered specifically for me!

  • 04/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 5 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I've always had a good experience with security, but I never had a lot of reasons to worry. I never felt unsafe or had trouble, but I heard others did.

    Greek Life

    HUGE. HUGE. DARN. HUGE. LIKE SUPER HUGE. But not a necessity! For the ladies, if you aren't super sratty, there's a sorority for that. If you still want to stay independent, like I did, it is still possible and enjoyable. The Indie community is just as strong, despite the small numbers.

    Clubs and Activities

    There isn't much, but what's there is good. It's easy to start a group though, so I recommend it.

    Great for these types of students

    Preppy, southern, white is the stereotype, but it's actively growing more diverse. If you can study hard and party harder, you'll also do fine. If you aren't any of this, like myself, do NOT despair or give into loathing everything like I did. You'll miss out on a lot more opportunities. Make friends and do things with them.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Streaking the colonnade is a supposed tradition, but I haven't done it. Definitely explore the library, it's got some fun secret nooks.

    Bang for the buck

    Overly priced to the extreme, but if you can afford it or get financial aid, do it. All colleges are overpriced anyway.

    What to do for fun

    Parties, sorority/fraternity greek life, intramural sports and organizations, volunteer opportunities, christian groups.

    Food and Dining

    Not excellent, but they do have crab and lobster dinners every now and then.

    Dorm Life

    Most of the dorms are small, old, loud, and not air conditioned. Get out as soon as you can.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely do the pre-orientation trip, you'll walk in to this small, very social conscience with friends. If you don't drink alcohol, like me, still go to the parties because they'll still be fun. If you don't like the parties, don't despair! There ARE other social opportunities. Also, DEFINITELY reach out to the professors for help.

    In three sentences

    A very close knit school with countless intern and job opportunities. The professors are grand, knowledgeable, and some of the most fascinating people in the world. However, it does have a VERY large party scene, be that for better or worse.

  • 10/19/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 3 people found this review useful. 6 of 6

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    The campus is beautiful and it seems the people are too... At first they seem a bit haughty but everyone is very welcoming, nice and very fashionable!

    Will enjoy being here

    Smaller campus to walk around, cute town, and endless outdoor activities along with tons of greek life is what I saw.