Financial Aid

Our Promise

We believe a W&L education should be affordable for all admitted students. Our financial aid evaluation is not just a set of numbers plugged into a formula. We review each application and treat each family according to its circumstances. All First-Year applicants, including domestic, international and undocumented students, are eligible and encouraged to apply for need-based financial aid.

W&L also offers competitive merit-based full-ride scholarships through the Johnson Scholarship Program and additional full-tuition scholarships on the basis of geography or special interest.

  • 100% — W&L meets the full demonstrated financial need of every admitted applicant entirely through grants and student employment, without loans.
  • $0 in tuition — Undergraduate students with a total family income below $125,000 and assets typical for their income will receive a minimum grant equal to full tuition.
  • $60 million in aid awarded annually. Our top-25 endowment among all U.S. colleges and universities allows us to provide need-based financial aid to the greatest number of students across the broadest range of incomes.
  • 57% of the entering first-year class received some form of financial aid, with an average aid award of $64,265.
  • ~44 members of the first-year class will win a prestigious Johnson Scholarship — an $80,000 per year value.

Making Ends Meet

Our mission is to make a W&L education affordable for all admitted students.


Merit Scholarships

The Johnson Scholarship Program awards full tuition, room and board scholarships each year to up to 44 exceptionally qualified students regardless of their family's circumstances. Each Johnson Scholar also receives financial support for summer opportunities such as internships, research and independent projects. In addition to the Johnson Scholarship, each year W&L offers several additional scholarships for which incoming first-year students may apply.


Our No-Loan Commitment

We award institutional, federal and state grants plus $2,000 in student employment to meet your individually demonstrated need. No loan will be offered to meet any part of your demonstrated need. Federal loans for students and parents may be offered as an option to cover the family's contribution.


Graduate Debt-Free

Our generous grant packages meet the demonstrated need of our aid applicants, and only a fraction of our families choose to take out optional loans to cover the family contribution. Over the past five years, an average of 67 percent of our undergraduate students graduated debt-free.


The W&L Promise

Any admitted undergraduate from a family with income below $150,000 and assets typical for their income will receive a grant equal to or greater than full tuition. Many will receive additional grant assistance to cover room, board, and other educational expenses.

Merit & Need-Based


QuestBridge is an organization that connects the nation's brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education.


Veterans and Yellow Ribbon

W&L is a strong supporter of veterans and VA educational programs, including Yellow Ribbon and tuition assistance. Students interested in participating in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) may do so through a partnership with neighboring Virginia Military Institute. Two-, three-, and four-year ROTC scholarships may be available. Currently, scholarships cover tuition and fees plus a significant stipend.

Access & Affordability

Students with the intellect to excel and the selflessness to care should have the opportunity to lead.

Award Stories

At first glance, a private college education may seem out of reach. We encourage you to look closer.

Johnson Scholar

Alvin Thomas

For Alvin, winning a prestigious, full-tuition Johnson Scholarship was “extremely liberating” because it lifted the financial burden and allowed him to take full advantage of W&L’s opportunities. At W&L, Alvin majored in engineering and minored in poverty studies. After graduating, he focused on global disease epidemiology while pursuing a master’s in public health at Johns Hopkins. Now Alvin is pursuing a doctorate at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Need-Based Grant

Elizabeth Elium

Elizabeth was awarded a need-based, no-loan package that covered her full cost of tuition. A geology major at W&L, Elizabeth earned a master’s degree at Oklahoma State and now works as a geologist in Dallas, Texas. “My financial aid award allowed me to be focused on school without constantly having to worry about loans or worry about my parents’ financial situation.”


Lenny Enkhbold

A native of Mongolia, Lenny majored in computer science and German, with a minor in philosophy. Lenny combined his love of the outdoors with W&L’s extensive alumni network to land a job as United States Engagement Coordinator for the Swedish outdoor brand Klättermusen, whose CEO is a W&L alum.

W&L education is more affordable than you think.

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Washington and Lee is committed to using the Principles and Standards of the College Cost Transparency Initiative in its student financial aid offers.