Affordability Guidance for Low-Socioeconomic Students
We realize you may face additional challenges in navigating your college experience. This page provides general information you may find helpful. Please contact your class dean if you have questions or concerns at any time. Your class dean can put you in contact with another low-socioeconomic student at W&L. You are encouraged to speak directly with Jim Kaster, Director of Financial Aid, if you have specific aid-related questions, including questions about the CSS Profile, the FAFSA and other financial aid applications and forms.
Well-managed aid packages may create discretionary credit if you use less than the allotted money for housing, books, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.
Other Costs and Fees
Discretionary credit can cover opportunities with additional costs such as Outing Club membership, break trips, study abroad, Greek expenses, etc. Many students do not anticipate the additional expenses such as ordering pizza with friends, needed clothing items, tickets to FD, travel to and from airports, shipping packages or summer storage, etc. We try to promote when fee reductions or subsidies are available, but you are encouraged to ask if you are unsure. Please do not assume your participation is impossible based on cost.
The University runs a shuttle at the beginning and end of each major break to help students get to airports in D.C. or Roanoke at a reasonable cost.
If you are eligible for an Essential Opportunity grant as an incoming student that would provide an additional $3,000-$5,000 in discretionary credit over your four years at W&L, you will receive a letter from Financial Aid in July. There are a limited number of these grants, so you should not count on receiving one, but in recent years, more than 50% of eligible applicants received one.
Sophomores and juniors at W&L should apply for a Johnson Opportunity grant in January to receive $1,000-$3,000 to support a spring term or summer experience. This is a competitive process, so not every applicant will receive a grant.
The Angel Fund
The Student Affairs Angel Fund provides discretionary funds for use in the case of extreme emergencies that result in students' needing financial support. Examples of events that may qualify for such emergency fund are the major loss of personal property as the result of a fire or flood, death or severe illness of a member of the immediate family that may result in travel requirements, or sudden loss of parental support as the result of a major natural disaster.
The fund is designed to be used for temporary, short-term, extreme events and is administered by Student Affairs.
Whether you are comfortable asking for financial support or prefer your circumstances unknown, we realize that beyond waiving expenses or providing additional funds is how included you feel in the community. We emphasize community building and want our students to develop the desire and skills to create an inclusive community.