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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University (also known as W&L) is a private liberal arts college in Lexington, Virginia, United States.
The classical school from which Washington and Lee descended was established in 1749 as Augusta Academy,  about 20 miles (32 km) north of its present location. In 1776 it was renamed Liberty Hall in a burst of revolutionary fervor.The academy moved to Lexington in 1780, when it was chartered as Liberty Hall Academy, and built its first facility near town in 1782.


In 1796, George Washington endowed the academy with the largest gift ever given to an educational institution at that time: $20,000 in stock.  The gift rescued Liberty Hall from near-certain insolvency. In gratitude, the trustees changed the school’s name to Washington Academy; in 1813 it was chartered as Washington College.  Dividends from Washington’s gift continue to help pay part of the cost of each student’s education. Robert E. Lee was its president after the Civil War in 1865 until his death in 1870, after which the school was renamed Washington and Lee University.
Washington and Lee’s motto is Non incautus futuri, meaning “Not unmindful of the future.” It is an adaptation of the Lee family motto.

One quarter of W&L’s undergraduates participate in varsity athletics, three quarters in club or intramural programs. There are more than 120 student organizations and publications, and approximately 80 percent of undergraduates belong to fraternities or sororities.

Washington and Lee consists of three schools: The College; the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics; and the Washington and Lee School of Law.

Washington and Lee University Rankings in 2010

Washington and Lee University Rankings in 2011

Washington and Lee University Tuition and Fees


Undergraduate Law, J.D. Program Law, LLM Program
Tuition $ 40,990 $ 40,820 $ 44,900
Fees $ 387 $ 387 $ 387
Technology Fees $ 300 $ 300 $ 300
Health Services Fee $ 250 $ 250 $ 250
Student Bar Assn. Fee $ 190 $ 190
Single Room** $ 6,825 $ 6,825 $ 6,825
Double Room** $ 3,710 $ 3,710 $ 3,710
Board* $ 5,420 $ 5,420 $ 5,420
Books/Supplies $1,800 $2,425 $2,425
Personal/Misc $1,986 $1,986 $1,986
Law Living Expenses, Estimated $7,890 $7,890
Law Loan Fees, Estimated $1,100 $1,100
STANDARD COST OF ATTENDANCE*** $56,400 $62,085 $66,165

*For dining options available to upper class undergraduate and law, see Dining Services.

**Single and double room rates given are based on highest and lowest costs. Actual cost of room is determined by dorm and room assignment.

***The average cost for all necessary expenses mentioned above does not include health insurance, travel costs, or fraternity / sorority membership. Fraternity / sorority charges for first-years in 2010-2011 averaged $1,430 for men and $540 for women. Fraternity / sorority charges for upper-class students averaged $5,850 for men, $2,100 for women, with average room and board charges adding approximately $9,980 for men, $10,451 for women.

Schools and Colleges of Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University News

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