About Early Decision

Early Decision Options

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.

Early Decision (ED) applicants to W&L may apply under one of two programs:

  • Early Decision I (application deadline: November 1)
  • Early Decision II (application deadline: January 1)

The only difference between EDI and EDII is the deadline. The same selection criteria are used for both programs, both are binding, and both expect that an applicant will enroll if admitted.

Early Decision Agreement

Candidates for either ED program agree that they will enroll at W&L if admitted. Early Decision candidates may file Regular Decision applications at other colleges, but only with the understanding that if they are admitted to W&L under Early Decision, any other applications will be withdrawn, and no new applications will be initiated.

It is a violation of the Early Decision Agreement to file an Early Decision application at two separate institutions simultaneously.

Responsibility for understanding and complying with the rules of Early Decision rests with the candidate. Should an ED candidate violate the provisions of the program, Washington and Lee University may withdraw its offer of admission and financial aid.

Common Questions

  • A completed Common, Coalition, or QuestBridge Application
  • A signed Early Decision Agreement
  • An official copy of your high school transcript
  • Two teacher recommendations
  • One letter of recommendation from your guidance or college counselor
  • A secondary school report form completed by your 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.

Students who meet the Early Decision financial aid deadlines and are found to have financial need will receive financial aid awards when they are admitted.

To get an estimate of your expected cost to attend W&L, we recommended using our financial aid estimating tools prior to submitting your Early Decision application.

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  go.wlu.edu/aid-meeting.

Your scholarship application deadline is supplemental to your Early Decision admissions application. Whether applying EDI or EDII, we must receive both your completed scholarship application and your completed Common App, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application by December 1.

The Johnson Scholarship selection event does not take place until after the Early Decision deadline. If your enrollment at W&L depends on being awarded a Johnson Scholarship, then you should not apply under our binding Early Decision options.

  • Applicants may be admitted and expected to enroll under our binding Early Decision Agreement.
  • Applicants may be deferred to Regular Decision and are no longer bound by the Early Decision Agreement.
  • Applicants may be denied, which brings the application process at Washington and Lee University to an end. Applicants will not be reconsidered for Early Decision II or Regular Decision.

Your Early Decision application will automatically be reviewed again in our Regular Decision (RD) round. Applicants are not eligible for consideration under Early Decision II.

Before February 1, you may upload mid-year grade reports and other updates or relevant materials to your Application Portal for review by our Admission Committee.

Your continued demonstration of interest may be considered, but visiting campus is not expected or encouraged.

 Regular Decision applicants will be notified by April 1 with one of three decisions:

  • Applicants may be admitted and will have until May 1 to confirm enrollment.
  • Applicants may be waitlisted and will be asked to indicate interest in remaining on the waitlist. Students will be admitted from the waitlist as space is available. Waitlist activity will end by June 1.
  • Applicants may be denied, which brings the application process at Washington and Lee University to an end.