Academic Indicators

The Washington and Lee University Undergraduate Academic Indicators Report contains a set of key performance indicators compared over time. The collection and reporting of official admissions data, enrollment figures, and financial information follow different cycles, so it is important to pay careful attention to the time period identified for individual statistics.

The following indicators refer to Washington and Lee University's peer institutions. The institutional peers consist of the top 30 US News Best Liberal Arts Colleges (2016 edition) excluding the three service academies (West Point, Annapolis, and Air Force). They include five women's colleges (Wellesley, Smith, Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Scripps) and Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Carleton College, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Colorado College, Davidson College, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Harvey Mudd College, Haverford College, Kenyon College, Macalester College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College, Pomona College, Swarthmore College, University of Richmond, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.

Admissions Applications

Since 2007, the number of students applying to Washington and Lee has increased significantly, due in large part to interest and competition for the esteemed Johnson Scholarships.

Admissions Selectivity

Selectivity remains competitive with higher numbers of qualified applicants. Of the 24% of students offered admission in 2015, 35% enrolled in the fall.

Admissions Selectivity
Year of ApplicationYield (Percent of Accepted Students Who Enrolled)Selectivity (Percent of Applicants Accepted)
Fall 2006 39 28
Fall 2007 45 27
Fall 2008 42 17
Fall 2009 40 19
Fall 2010 37 19
Fall 2011 42 18
Fall 2012 41 19
Fall 2013 42 18
Fall 2014 42 20
Fall 2015 35 24

Class Rank

Fully 85% of Fall 2015's first-year students graduated in the top 10% of their high school class while 99% placed in the top 25%.

Class Rank
Application Year200720082009201020112012201320142015
Top 10% 80 84 81 83 81 80 80 81 85
Top 25% 96 99 94 98 98 98 98 95 99

Average SAT Scores

Average SAT scores of incoming first-year students remain strong and are significantly higher than the national averages of all college bound seniors.

Average SAT Scores
Fall 2006Fall 2007Fall 2008Fall 2009Fall 2010Fall 2011Fall 2012Fall 2013Fall 2014Fall 2015
Average Math 693 691 700 695 693 698 693 692 697 697
Average Critical Reading Score 693 700 697 697 691 693 692 695 698 694
Average Writing Score 680 690 693 689 681 689 684 695 686 690

Enrollment by State

The Class of 2019 represents 40 states and 11 different countries.

Class of 2019: Top States of Origin
State Students
Virginia 50
Texas 38
North Carolina 36
International 27
Georgia 25
New Jersey 25
New York 23
Maryland 22
Florida 21
Massachusetts 20
Connecticut 18
All Others 149

First-Year Enrollment by Region

A majority of students in the Class of 2019 come from the South Atlantic, Middle Atlantic and West South Central Regions.

Enrollment History

Undergraduate enrollment has averaged 1,859 the last four years, while Law School enrollment has declined significantly mirroring national trends.

Enrollment History
Year of Enrollment Undergraduate Enrollment Law Enrollment
2006 1753 404
2007 1778 414
2008 1752 407
2009 1759 400
2010 1759 414
2011 1793 403
2012 1838 464
2013 1855 422
2014 1890 374
2015 1854 318

Financial Aid for First-Years

Financial aid packages may include federal, state, local and institutional grants, as well as student loans and work-study. Of the class entering in Fall of 2014, sixty-three percent received at least one type of financial aid.

Institutional Grants for First-Years

While the percent of first-year students receiving institutional grant aid is typically lower at W&L compared to our peers, the average amount each student receives is higher. In 2014-15, 49% of first year students received an institutional grant, at an average of $43,207 per recipient.

Undergraduates Receiving Pell Grants

Fifty-nine (59%) percent of all Washington and Lee undergraduate students received financial aid in 2014-15. Of the total student population, approximately 10% received Pell grants.

Total Grant Aid Awarded

In 2014-15 over $41,500,000 was awarded in grants to W&L undergraduates. This includes all grant aid dollars received from the federal government, state or local government, the institution, and private grant sources.

First-Year Retention

The retention rate is an indicator of how well first-year students acclimate to an institution's academic and social life. Although more recently first to second-year retention has increased to 97%, Washington and Lee consistently retains 94% to 95% of its first-year students, in range with the rate of our peer institutions.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio reflects the intimacy of the educational experience. In recent years, W&L's ratio has maintained fairly consistently at  8:1.

Class Size

Over 70% of undergraduate courses at Washington and Lee have fewer than 20 students, fostering a more personalized learning experience.

Distribution of Majors

In 2015-16, W&L awarded 470 undergraduate degrees to students who completed a total of 595 first and second majors. The accompanying chart illustrates the distribution of majors by broad discipline.

Graduation Rates

The six-year graduation rate represents students who enrolled as first-time, full-time students six years earlier and completed their undergraduate degrees within 150% of the traditional 4-year time frame. W&L's six-year graduation rates are equivalent with our peers. Although the six-year graduation rate is a federal reporting standard, nearly all students complete their program in four years.

Post-Graduation Study

At graduation, 91 members of the Class of 2016 (24% of those who responded) reported they were beginning advanced studies immediately. Law is consistently a popular field of post-graduate study.

Employment Rates

A majority of graduates report being employed, either full-or part-time. 74% of the Class of 2015 reported being employed 6 months after graduation. The majority of those who are not employed are enrolled full-time in graduate studies, for a combined total of 97% attending graduate school or employed 6 months after graduation.

Top Fields of Employment

In recent survey years, a larger percentage of graduates have been employed in the economics and finance fields. Education, Information Technology, and Health Care fields are also popular.