Applying to W&L

Welcome. We're glad you're here, at step one of the admissions process. Below, you'll find the deadlines and requirements for reaching the end — applying to and enrolling at Washington and Lee University.

Image of foot bridge between Wilson Field and campus

Application Options

Current high school seniors or students who have never taken college classes after graduating from high school should apply as first-year applicants via one of the following applications:

Students previously enrolled full-time at another college or university may apply as transfer applicants. W&L does not accept the Common Application for transfers.

Application Deadlines

Application Plan Application Deadline Supplemental Materials Deadline* Notification Date
Early Decision I NOV 1, 2024 NOV 15, 2024 DEC 20, 2024
Early Decision II JAN 1, 2025 JAN 15, 2025 FEB 1, 2025
Regular Decision JAN 1, 2025 FEB 1, 2025 APR 1, 2025
Transfer MAY 15, 2025 MAY 15, 2025 JUN 1, 2025
  • All application deadlines are at 11:59 PM in your local time zone on the day listed above.
  • Early Decision is an application program designed for students who believe Washington and Lee is their top choice for college. EDI and EDII are both "binding" options; if admitted, students are required to enroll at W&L and withdraw applications from other schools.
  • *Supplemental materials to be reviewed with your application, including any submitted standardized test scores, optional short-answer personal statements, art/music portfolio submissions, teacher or counselor recommendations, and mid-year grade reports, should be submitted at your earliest convenience up to the deadline listed above.
    • The Johnson Scholarship essay is required for consideration for the merit award and must be submitted by 11:59 PM in your local time zone on Dec. 1, 2024.
    • Additional supplemental materials in support of a Johnson Scholarship application should be received by Dec. 15, 2024.

Scholarship and Financial Aid Deadlines

The Johnson Scholarship is W&L's premier merit-based scholarship, providing full tuition, housing, and meals to up to 10% of each incoming class. Scholarship winners also receive an additional $10,000 to support summer experiences or study abroad. Application for the Johnson Scholarship is open to all students and does require a supplemental essay due no later than 11:59 PM in your local time zone on Dec. 1, 2024. Please see the full application instructions.

Application Plan Scholarship Deadline Aid Applicaiton Deadline
Early Decision I DEC 1, 2024 DEC 1, 2024
Early Decision II DEC 1, 2024 JAN 15, 2025
Regular Decision DEC 1, 2024 FEB 15, 2025
Transfer N/A APR 15, 2025
  • A complete need-based aid application consists of a submitted FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and The College Board's CSS Profile form.
  • Finalists for the Johnson Scholarship will be notified in early February and invited to attend the selection event, an all-expenses-paid visit to campus, March 2-4, 2025, to meet other scholarship finalists, experience campus life, and interview with the scholarship committee.
  • A financial aid award notification is a letter detailing any scholarships or grants awarded by W&L and available federal aid for which you are eligible to accept.
  • If applicable, your financial aid award notification letter will be included with your admission decision.
  • Our Office of Financial Aid offers early need-based aid evaluations for students considering Early Decision, as well as one-on-one consultations for any applicant. To schedule an appointment, visit

Standardized Testing Deadlines

Application Plan ACT - Last Testing Date SAT - Last Testing Date
Early Decision I OCT 26, 2024 OCT 5, 2024
Early Decision II DEC 14, 2024 DEC 7, 2024
Regular Decision DEC 14, 2024 DEC 7, 2024
Transfer N/A N/A
  • Application to W&L is test optional. For students wishing to submit test scores, the following table highlights the last testing date for each test that will allow you to receive scores in time to submit for proper consideration with the rest of your application.

Application Requirements

  • A completed Common, Coalition, or QuestBridge Application
  • A signed Early Decision Agreement (if applying EDI or EDII)
  • An official copy of your high school transcript
  • Two high school teacher recommendations
  • One letter of recommendation from your school guidance or college counselor
  • A secondary school report form completed by a school guidance or college counselor
  • OPTIONAL: Self-reported or official scores from the ACT or SAT

Some applicants may qualify to have their Common Application or Coalition Application fee waived. To determine eligibility, request a fee waiver.

International applicants must submit all items listed above as part of the standard first-year application, plus the following. Please note that all school documents, including recommendation letters, must be submitted in English.

Required Items
  • Final or predicted school leaving exam results, if applicable
  • Official scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test, or Cambridge English: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency exam (see the full policy for applicability)
Additional Optional Items

Home-schooled applicants must submit all items listed above as part of the standard first-year application, plus the following:

  • A detailed description of your curriculum, including a list of texts utilized
  • If applicable, a listing of all high schools or colleges attended and official transcripts showing all courses completed and grades earned

Johnson Scholarship applicants must submit all items listed above as part of the standard first-year application, plus an additional 800-word max supplemental essay by Dec. 1, 2024.

Note: The scholarship application deadline is the same regardless of whether you are applying early or regular decision.

Read the full application instructions and view the essay prompts.

Transfer admission to Washington and Lee is highly competitive. Successful applicants generally have a very strong high school record, have earned college grades at the B (3.0) level or higher, and submit an SAT or ACT exam. However, during the on-going worldwide pandemic if you did not take the ACT or SAT when you applied to the program you currently attend, or if sitting for these exams would be a hardship, you may choose to submit your application without these exams.

  • A completed W&L Transfer Application
    • W&L does not accept the Common Application for Transfer Admission.
  • An official copy of your high school transcript
    • International students should include their school leaving certificate or exam results.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges from which you have received credit
  • Self-reported or official score reports from the SAT or ACT
    • Optional but recommended, for those applying for entry in Fall 2025.
  • Two letters of recommendation letters from professors at the college level
  • A completed college report form (see W&L Transfer Application), affirming that you are in good standing at the college from which you intend to transfer
  • If currently enrolled at a college: A completed mid-term report form (see W&L Transfer Application) if you are currently enrolled at a college.
  • If not currently enrolled at the time of application submission: Please contact the Admissions Office to waive this requirement.
  • Application fee of $60

After Applying

After submitting your application, you will receive an email from W&L with information about the online applicant portal and how to check the status of your application. To log in for the first time, you will need the email address associated with your application and the temporary password supplied in the confirmation email. 

In the portal, applicants may:

  • Confirm all required application materials have been submitted and received
  • Answer additional short essay prompts or reply to the prompts in a 2-minute video
  • Create a portfolio of images, video, or audio to supplement an application 
  • Connect with your assigned admissions counselor
  • Add updates to a submitted application, including awards, a resume, additional writing samples, or other relevant information 
  • Receive an admission decision and, if applicable, your merit and need-based aid award letter
  • Lastly, if admitted, confirm your place in the Class of 2029

Leadership and Integrety

The Johnson Scholarship

Johnson Scholarships cover tuition and fees, housing and food, and $10,000 in funding for a summer experience — a grand total of more than $80,000 per year, for up to 10% of the incoming class.

Class Profile

Who gets in to W&L?

Short answer — an impressive array of students enroll each year. We're continuously amazed at their talent, potential, and intellectual curiosity, as well as their diversity of interests, experiences, and backgrounds.

Holistic Review

Think of it as "whole-person" review. We want to get to know you and how you'll contribute to the life of the university.

Challenge Accepted

Your Academic Record

Did you choose to take high-level courses within the selection available to you in your school? We don't expect every applicant to have taken the same courses, and we're not comparing your grades with other applicants where there may be overlap. We're looking at you and the challenge you've set for yourself. It's part of our assessment of your preparation for our rigorous coursework and also an indication of your curiosity and drive.

A Clear Voice

Your Personal Statement

This is your chance to help us see the person in the application file. You are so much more than the sum of your transcript, optional test scores, and school profile. You're a complex individual with quirks and dreams and unique experiences. Tell us about those things. We're not here to grade you on your writing (though it never hurts to proofread), and we don't need you to drop some deep truth bomb -- we just want to know more about what makes you YOU. Give us a glimpse of the person who will be a thoughtful classmate and an active participant in daily campus life.

Sources of Truth

Letters of Recommendation

You spend a lot of time in your high school classroom, so your teachers likely know you better than many others do. The faculty-student bond is important here at W&L, so your letters of recommendation provide an insider's view into who you may be in our classrooms. We require recommendations from two high school teachers, ideally those who have taught you in a core subject area of math, science, English, social studies, or world language. We also recommend requesting letters from teachers who you’ve had in your junior year, if possible — you’ve probably grown a lot since your first year of high school!

Time Well Spent

Activities List

Our students are highly involved on campus and in the local community; we know you are, too. The activities list/resume is a great way for you to tell us how you spend your time outside the classroom and what you may be interested in continuing in college. Don’t be shy—the list is about more than clubs or sports. Do you work a part-time job or have significant family responsibilities? Do you own your own business or participate in community service? Let us know! We want to learn as much as we can about you by understanding your interests and commitments. Just remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and we do expect you to go to school, study, eat, hang with friends, and sleep. Be thorough, not exhaustive.

Artistic Expression

Creative Portfolio

For those who participate in the studio or performing arts, the portfolio is the perfect place for you to show off your talent. You can upload images or audio/video files, and our readers will be able to see them alongside your application. If you’re interested in being part of a vocal or instrumental ensemble at W&L, you can also reach out to our Music faculty to learn more. Creative use of the Portfolio is encouraged. Do you write for the school paper? Have you published a poem? Did you build a website from scratch? Feel free to upload examples of your creativity in other disciplines, too.

1:1 Chat

The Interview

The interview is an optional but recommended part of the admissions process. Holistic review means we want to get to know you as a whole person. What better way to do that than to sit down 1-on-1 with an admissions counselor, student fellow, or local alumni? This shouldn't be intimidating. It's a chance to ask your questions and to share with our team aspects of your personality that might not come across clearly in the written portions of your application. We offer both in-person and virtual interviews May-November, and our alumni interviews are offered September-January.