Student Recruiting

Recent Success

  • Undergraduate Admissions: Increased the percentage of domestic students of color 77% in five years, from 13% of the entering Class of 2020 to 23% in the Class of 2025. The percentage of Black students, including multi-racial students who identify as Black, entering the university has risen from 3.4% to 7% over the same period. 
  • Law Admissions: Increased the percentage of domestic students of color in the law student body to 23% since 2016. The percentage of Black students has risen from 4.1% to 6%.

Strategies and Tactics

  • Added staff in admissions and financial aid focused on diversity recruiting.
  • Developed three annual Diversity and Inclusion Visit Experiences, underwriting travel costs for participants;
  • Increased number of first-generation and underrepresented students visiting campus;
  • Expanded efforts and embraced new approaches to recruit diverse students to our athletic teams; 
  • Expanded admissions counselors’ fall travel to include community-based organization meetings and visits to high schools with college-bound students in diverse neighborhoods;
  • Deployed College Board Landscape to more accurately discern applicant school and neighborhood context.
  • Implemented early application outreach to underrepresented students and parents from admission officers, current students, alumni, faculty and staff;
  • Revised Admissions Ambassador and Alumni Admission Programs to prioritize training, recruit a diverse pool of tour guides and volunteers, and increase understanding of the university’s strategic priorities;
  • Sponsored visits to W&L by college counselors from schools with diverse populations.



Expanded partnership with QuestBridge, a national nonprofit that matches the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities, by 67% since 2018.

American Talent Initiative

Joined the American Talent Initiative to expand college to low- and moderate-income families;

College Greenlight

Partnered with College Greenlight, a free national college and scholarship search tool for first-generation and underrepresented students, their schools and community organizations

Financial Aid

  • Award $49 million in need-based financial aid annually, with an average aid award of $51,000;
  • Meet 100% of demonstrated student need without loans -- one of less than 20 institutions in the country to do so;
  • Established need-based scholarships for students from underrepresented communities, including Chicago and the American Southwest;
  • Ensured that students receiving significant need-based aid have access to funds in advance of fall matriculation to support travel and expenses related to starting school;
  • Established early application review process so that families can discern W&L aid opportunities before applying for early decision admission;
  • Implemented early application outreach to students and parents to explain financial aid process and added meetings with admitted students to review aid awards.