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Washington and Lee University Reviews

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  • 03/10/2017

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 1 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Incredibly safe! Public Safety Services are a big help in a lot of ways (unlocking dorm room doors and such), and the Honor System is so effective that I could leave my laptop, wallet and smartphone sitting on a table in the library, walk away for two hours, and when I come back it will all be there.

    Greek Life

    Not your stereotypical big-school rowdy party boys and girls (well, the partying part does happen). Greek Life is an incredible way to join a whole new family on campus, and have a group of people you can always rely on. The fraternity and sorority houses are huge and gorgeous, with lots of space for social events and privacy, and there are also plenty of off-campus housing opportunities for seniors.

    Clubs and Activities

    Huge variety. This place has something (several things really) for everybody! There are no shortage of ways to get involved and be active on campus. Speaking as a member of our Old Dominion Athletic Conference Champions swimming team, our athletics are very competitive and perform well at our level of competition. As other examples, we have one of the best Outing Clubs in the country and our Mock Convention organization has predicted the presidential winner 19 out of 25 times since 1908, including the most recent election. In short, W&L clubs and activities are very versatile, with no wrong choices!

    Great for these types of students

    Social, hard-working, honest, talented, versatile, skilled, achieving, etc. This school requires high effort and high integrity of its students. The ever-lively and widely varied social scene allows students of all backgrounds and social preferences to find a niche.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Robert E. Lee is buried on campus, and our chief meeting-place is the scenic Lee Chapel, built by the former general when he served as president of the university. The spirit of of Lee's horse, Traveller, is rumored to roam the campus, and is also the namesake of a sober-ride bus service run through campus to several party scenes around town. One of dormitories, Graham-Lees Hall, has a tunnel going through it with columns at one end of the tunnel. It is said that if one walks through the center two columns, where the widest gap or thoroughfare is, that person will fail his/her next exam. This tradition is so well-observed that the concrete between the outer columns on either side is worn down because everybody walks to either side instead of going through the middle two columns.

    Bang for the buck

    W&L has a fantastic financial aid program, meeting all demonstrated need of accepted applicants. The Johnson Scholars program is also an excellent way that W&L awards highly-achieving students. In short, this school makes a way for students to get here despite financial shortcomings, and provides the same world-class courses and community.

    What to do for fun

    Anything you want! There are parties on most Wednesdays and weekends during warm months, plenty of clubs to join, intramural sports to play, and great natural scenery to explore!

    Food and Dining

    The main cafeteria is hit or miss when it comes to lunch and dinner, but I have found breakfast to be consistently good. Other food options on campus are generally good, and food in town is fabulous. Freshman meal plans provide for more than you will ever need.

    Dorm Life

    Spacious and well-furnished dormitories and rooms with plenty of personal space. Options for loft beds, and rental microwaves and refrigerators are available. Common areas are very comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

    Academic Rigor

    This is a very high-level school that WILL challenge you. The professors are there to help you and provide office hours to ask questions, but no course is truly a free A. However, the courses are incredibly rewarding as well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Even if the price tag looks a bit big, apply! W&L is excellent at giving good financial aid.

    In three sentences

    Washington & Lee University challenges its students at a high academic and moral level. The student-run Honor System is truly a very unique way of maintaining honesty and integrity on campus. The social scene on campus is lively and widely varied, with something for every kind of student and person!

  • 03/10/2017

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Ultimate Frisbee Club Sail Friday Undergrounds The Hub Choir

    What to do for fun

    Grab some ice cream in Sweet Thing Go hiking with friends Play ultimate frisbee in the soccer field Join the choir Go to concerts Or try out all the restaurants in Lexington

    Tips for prospective students

    Get ready to say Hi a lot because speaking tradition is popular. And you will sure like it. The Honor System makes sure that you shall not act dishonorably (either to cheat, steal or lie to your professor for no-good reason). However, if you follow the system, it is sure to bring you some of the best experiences in your college life. We are talking about taking quizzes whenever you like and wherever you are! And many more!

    In three sentences

    This university is a really great place to be for people, who are big fans of outdoor activities. The rural setting and natural sceneries in Lexington are truly mesmerizing, and the people here are very friendly. The academic life is challenging but it's worth it. Greek system is quite dominant.

  • 03/10/2017

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety is great! I feel comfortable walking around campus at any time of the day or night. The Campus Security Officers are great. They are super friendly and willing to give students a ride if needed.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is very prominent on W&L's campus. Around 85% of students participate and are affiliated with a fraternity/sorority. The Greek system is very diverse and inclusive here, not at all like a state school.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is every club a student could want and if there isn't one, it can be easily created! One of the most popular clubs on campus is the Outing Club. Because W&L is located among the Appalachians, the outdoor activities are endless!

    Great for these types of students

    All types! Everyone can find their niche here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One of my favorite W&L traditions is our speaking tradition. As legend goes, this tradition was started by Mrs. Lee. Whenever walking past someone on campus, it is tradition to say hello and smile.

    Bang for the buck

    W&L is an amazing school. The opportunities this school provides are endless. Definitely worth it!

    What to do for fun

    Because W&L is located in the Shenandoah Valley, their are countless activities to do in the Appalachian mountains. Downtown Lexington is frequently referred to LexVegas. There are a bunch of cute restaurants and boutiques that are within walking distance from campus. There is also a drive-in movie theater located close to campus. Lexington is also located in the perfect place for day trips. Charlottesville is around one hour away, DC around 3 hours.

    Food and Dining

    W&L has one main dining hall. There are many delicious options; a make your own panini/sandwich bar, pizza/pasta bar, salad bar, and multiple gluten free, dairy free and vegan options. There are also four smaller food stops that students can use their food flex at, including a delicious bagel and smoothie restaurant.

    Dorm Life

    Students are required to spend the first three years living on W&L's campus. The two freshman dorms have both been recently renovated within the past three years and are very nice and comfortable. Junior housing, which was just built this year, has two options for housing; town-houses, which house 6 students, or apartments, which house 4 students.

    Academic Rigor

    W&L is definitely very challenging. The professors are amazing and definitely know how to push students to do their best.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come visit! Once you do, you will fall in love with W&L, our student body, and the campus!

    In three sentences

    Washington and Lee has endless opportunities for students. The alumni network is beyond amazing, the professors are some of the best I've encountered, and the community is great. The Honor System is very unique to the university and ensures that a culture of trust is fostered on campus.

  • 03/10/2017

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Never felt unsafe here. Public safety is always around and available if you need help.

    Greek Life

    Dominates the social scene. something like 85% Greek membership, so its the best way to be social. Can't speak much on the other options for non affiliated students, but I know the school provides several alcohol free options.

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of clubs and organizations and its easy to create one of your own.

    Great for these types of students

    Academically driven people who also like to party as hard as they study.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Speaking tradition encourages everyone to be friendly, and it cultivates a great atmosphere.

    Bang for the buck

    Expensive school, but the alumni network and name recognition are huge draws.

    What to do for fun

    Tons of outdoor activities. Beyond that Lexington is a very small town so you might have to drive out to the neighboring cities.

    Food and Dining

    Standard dining hall is decent enough, but the cafe 77 and the Hillel dining in the morning are good alternatives. New seasonally themed dining at the third year village is great too.

    Dorm Life

    The freshman dorms are all very nice and newly renovated, and the new junior year village is beautiful. Only place that really stands out as old and desperately needs renovation are the sophomore apartments.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are very tough regardless of your major and you will have to work hard. There are always resources to help you out when you need it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go out and get to tons of people as a freshman. The more people you know the happier you will be.

    In three sentences

    Rigorous academics with very friendly people. Professors all love their subject and will work to help you. Social life revolves heavily around the party scene.

  • 01/18/2017

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The safety on campus and in Lexington is probably one of my favorite things about it. Public safety officers are so caring and work very hard to keep everyone safe. I never feel nervous or scared walking across campus at night. The residents of Lexington value the same things as those of us on campus, so there is a super friendly environment here.

    Greek Life

    We have a high percentage of Greek life on campus, but it is not mandatory. You can be an independent and still have a great time here!

    Clubs and Activities

    If there is a club we do not have you can go ahead and start it!

    Great for these types of students

    Students with intrinsic academic motivation who can balance work and play.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have a tradition called the Speak tradition where you are supposed to say hello to everyone you pass by.

    Bang for the buck

    Definitely a pricey school but there is financial aid and merit aid available. The alumni network provides a great resource for finding internships and jobs. Do not let the price tag keep you from applying!

    What to do for fun

    Clubs, Friday Night Underground (live music and snacks!), go to the movie theater in town, go out to eat, athletic events, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, go for a hike, pretty much any outdoor activity.

    Food and Dining

    At first I was worried our one dining hall would get boring after a while, but there is always a ton of variety and the food is pretty great. In addition to the dining hall, there are on and off campus places to get food.

    Dorm Life

    Freshmen dorms were very recently redone and they are very nice! The maintenance staff works incredibly hard to keep everything clean. I was definitely impressed by them. Junior year housing just opened this year and I am SO excited to live there in a few years.

    Academic Rigor

    Definitely academically rigorous, but you are provided with all of the resources you need to succeed. Whether it is the math lab, the writing lab, or office hours there is always someone ready and willing to help.

    In three sentences

    Washington and Lee is an academically rigorous school with no shortage on fun. With a tight nit alumni network, there are endless one of kind opportunities available here for all students.

  • 01/17/2017

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 of 13

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Super safe! Public safety is always walking around campus at night and they go in dorms/campus housing to make sure everything is okay. You also have emergency phones all over campus. I've never had an issue and I've always felt safe walking home alone.

    Greek Life

    Yes, it exists and yes, it plays a role on campus. That being said, it is not only decreasing, but also inclusive. If you want to join a sorority or fraternity you're welcome to and you'll notice that some are more into greek life than others, but if you feel like going independent, you will find your people too. It's just a matter of looking for what works for you.

    Clubs and Activities

    You can create any club you want to. It's easy and usual!

    Great for these types of students

    If you are driven, hardworking, and are looking for lasting connections and a lot of knowledge, this is the place for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Speaking tradition! Everyone says hi as you walk by.

    Bang for the buck

    Yes, W&L is expensive; however, not only do you have an enormous amount of merit scholarships and financial aid available, but you also know that being here is worth every penny. The education you get here is amazing at both academic and personal level.

    What to do for fun

    W&L organizes all sorts of activities: family activities, theme activities (for MLK day for example), movie nights, game nights, ect. Lexington has some nice places to explore and the students organize parties themselves.

    Food and Dining

    Dhall is good for most of the days. You have different options and theme dinners/lunches for occasions such as Thanksgiving, International day, Halloween, Shakespeare day, etc. You also have Coop (Cafe 77) with great fried food, sandwiches, salads, yogurt and grilled chicken/veggie burgers. Hillel has very good smoothies and bagels, and third year housing changes every semester! The new tea house has really good wraps/to go food too.

    Dorm Life

    BRAND NEW DORMS! Clean, very well equipped (laundry room, common room, nice bathrooms), AC year round, and great furniture!

    Academic Rigor

    W&L is academically challenging: the students are very smart and the professors encourage and expect them to work hard and learn a lot everyday. It is a very rewarding experience.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be open minded so you can make the most out of your time here. Take advantage of the many resources offered to you. Don't be afraid to go to office hours! They can actually change your whole semester!

    In three sentences

    Incredibly nice, accessible, driven and knowledgeable professors. Small school with a very close community. There is no place like it.

  • 12/02/2016

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    7 of 13

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Washington and Lee seems like an academically sound school set in a beautiful location.

  • 06/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 out of 8 people found this review useful. 8 of 13

    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.

  • 04/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 9 of 13

    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.

  • 11/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 out of 9 people found this review useful. 2 people found this inaccurate. 10 of 13

    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.

  • 04/08/2012

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

    4 out of 5 people found this review useful. 11 of 13

    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!

  • 10/19/2011

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

    3 out of 4 people found this review useful. 12 of 13

    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.

  • 06/25/2011

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

    9 out of 10 people found this review useful. 13 of 13

    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.