School Profile: Find Your Freedom at Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University is located in beautiful Lexington, Virginia and is ranked #31 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. With a mix of historical significance and the charm of a college town, Lexington is revered as one of the most gorgeous towns in the nation. Alive with energy, it offers amazing galleries, fine dining, country inns, and quaint little shops among other perks.

The scenic and picturesque outdoors with the southern Appalachians and Blue Ridge mountains surrounding the campus and town inspires many students to attend this University. If you love the great outdoors Washington and Lee University is the perfect place to spend four years where you can enjoy white water rafting, skiing, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and more while making your academic dreams come true in a topnotch school.

Washington and Lee University is a small liberal arts school that combines the benefits of personal relationships with professors and smaller class sizes with a multitude of options usually only seen at large research universities. At Washington and Lee they understand the importance of technical and analytical skills combined with moral insights. They strive to nurture and educate their students into “strong leaders, visionary thinkers, compassionate citizens, and ethical decision makers.” Students can choose from more than thirty-five majors, over twenty minors, and an array of interdisciplinary programs to create individualized and well-rounded academic paths that upon graduation will light the passageway to successful careers.

This University offers a unique undergraduate calendar of two twelve-week semesters and a four-week intercession. This academic calendar allows students a great deal of time and freedom to pursue focused coursework as well as extracurricular activities and programs. Students at Washington and Lee have many opportunities to study abroad, and partake in research programs, internships, and fellowships. Along with the many academic offerings, students have access to many resources such as career development, faculty advising, peer tutoring, and more. By taking advantage of all Washington and Lee has to offer, students will enter the career world ready to face any challenge and inspire global growth.

At Washington and Lee University, the philosophy is that having a successful college experience begins by making your first year a smooth transition, so they provide personalized guidance. The goal of this University is to assist all students in growing socially, emotionally, and intellectually, with academic and student life programs complimenting one another.

First years and sophomores are required to live on campus in residence halls, themed housing, or apartments, whereas juniors and seniors can choose whether they want to live on campus or not.  There are more than one hundred student organizations for students to choose from. If you cannot find a club or organization that interests you, they encourage students to create something new and offer adequate resources and tools to support it. Throughout the year there are a multitude of activities for students, including concerts, speakers, movies, and more.

Washington and Lee University athletics program is NCAA Division III with twenty-four varsity teams, twelve for women and twelve for men. They have accumulated numerous athletic accolades over the years including Conference Championships in many of the different sports. Washington and Lee University’s philosophy of “a healthy mind in a healthy body,” is the impetus for their commitment to ensuring each student participates in one form of physical education or another.

The top-tier facilities include a golf course, a fitness center, the Cy Twombly pool, a  ropes course, and many others. If students are not a part of one of the varsity sports teams they are encouraged to participate in club sports, intramurals, group exercise, or open recreational activities. Washington and Lee not only offers excellent facilities, athletic programs, and fitness programs, but also faculty mentors that are there to inspire, encourage, and guide each student’s individual physical goals.

There are many long-standing and highly acclaimed traditions at Washington and Lee University from the Fancy Dress Ball to the Mock Convention. They believe in the significance of the little everyday things as evidenced through The Speaking Tradition, which is just simply saying hello to one another when meeting in the Commons or passing on the Colonnade. This simple gesture given to those who attend this University or those just visiting showcases how open and honest this University truly is.

The most unique thing about Washington and Lee is the honor system, which is the oldest tradition at this college. With the student- run honor system, each person is taken at their word to be upstanding and responsible members of the college. This allows campus buildings to stay open 24-7, and enables most undergrads to schedule their own final examinations, which are taken unsupervised. This type of academic and social freedom is what sets this University apart from the rest.

We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of ChicagoPomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you.

By Colleen Hill