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Academic Indicators

The Washington and Lee University Undergraduate Academic Indicators Report contains a set of key performance indicators trended 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 indicators.

The University considers among its peers the top liberal arts institutions in the country, including Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colgate University, Colorado College, Davidson College, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Harvey Mudd College, Haverford College, Middlebury College, Pomona College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, University of Richmond, Vassar College, Wellesley 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. Over the past few years, changes in admissions practice, strategy, and efficiencies have netted fewer applicants while continuing to attract a diverse student body of exceptional academic ability and talent.

Admissions Selectivity

Selectivity remains competitive with higher numbers of qualified applicants. Of the 24% of students offered admission in 2016, 39% enrolled in the fall.

Admissions Selectivity
Year of Application Yield (Percent of Accepted Students Who Enrolled) Selectivity (Percent of Applicants Accepted)
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
Fall 2016 39 24

Class Rank

Fully 83% of Fall 2016's first-year students graduated in the top 10% of their high school class while 99% placed in the top 25%.

Class Rank
Application Year2007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Top 10% 80 84 81 83 81 80 80 81 85 83
Top 25% 96 99 94 98 98 98 98 95 99 99

ACT Scores

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

ACT Scores
Fall 2007Fall 2008Fall 2009Fall 2010Fall 2011Fall 2012Fall 2013Fall 2014Fall 2015Fall 2016Fall 2017
W&L 75th %ile 31 31 32 32 32 32 33 33 33 33 33
W&L Average 30 30 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 32
W&L 25th %ile 28 28 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 30 31
National Average 21.2 21.1 21.1 21.0 21.1 21.1 20.9 21.0 21.0 20.8 21.0

Enrollment by State

The Class of 2020 represents 38 states and 7 different foreign countries.

Class of 2020: Top States of Origin
State Students
Virginia 83
Texas 48
North Carolina 40
Georgia 27
Maryland 24
Florida 22
Pennsylvania 22
New York 19
New Jersey 18
International 13
California 13
All Others 137

First-Year Enrollment by Census Region

A majority of students in the Class of 2020 come from the South Atlantic, Middle Atlantic and West South Central US Census Regions.

Enrollment History

Undergraduate enrollment has averaged 1,857 the last four years. Law School enrollment declined to record lows and is beginning to rebound, mirroring national trends.

Enrollment History
Year of Enrollment Undergraduate Enrollment Law Enrollment
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
2016 1830 330

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 2015, sixty percent received at least one type of financial aid.

Institutional Grants for First-Years

While the percentage 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 2015-16, 48% of first year students received an institutional grant, at an average of $41,494 per recipient.

Undergraduates Receiving Pell Grants

Sixty (60%) percent of all Washington and Lee undergraduate students received financial aid in 2015-16. Of the total student population, approximately 9.2% received Pell grants.

Total Grant Aid Awarded

In 2015-16 over $39,500,000 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. Washington and Lee consistently retains 95% or more of its first-year students, a rate comparable with that 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 2016-17, W&L awarded 470 undergraduate degrees to students who completed a total of 609 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, 70 members of the Class of 2017 (18% of those who responded) reported they were beginning advanced studies immediately. Law and medicine are consistently popular fields of post-graduate study.

Employment Rates

A majority of graduates report being employed, either full-or part-time. 80% of the Class of 2016 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 99% 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, Marketing, Health Care, and Science fields are also popular.