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Rank: 24

Washington and Lee University

Lexington, VAwww.wlu.edu/
Despite its high sticker price (about $51,000 per year for tuition alone), Washington and Lee awards so much aid that the all-in price of a degree is comparatively low for a private liberal arts school. And, unlike the Ivy League and many other elite private colleges, W&L offers some merit scholarships to top students who might not qualify for need-based aid. One of the oldest colleges in the U.S., Washington and Lee is named after George Washington, who endowed the struggling school with a $20,000 gift in 1796, and Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who served as the university's president after the Civil War. The school has faced controversy in recent years over a perceived lack of sensitivity regarding racial issues (more than 80% of students are white; only about 10% come from low-income households). In response, the university president apologized for the school's past ownership of slaves and ordered Confederate flags removed from a campus chapel named after Lee. Students can expect a lot of one-on-one time with professors; faculty members teach all of the classes. W&L students who go on to graduate typically do well in the work world. Recent graduates report earning about $59,700 a year within three years, according to PayScale. One of the social highlights of each year is the annual Fancy Dress Ball, a themed black-tie event that goes back more than a century.
costs
Est. Full Price 2018-2019
$67,500
% of students who get any grants
57%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$25,600
Average price for low-income students
$900
admissions
Acceptance rate
24%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1390/32
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
1,855
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit* grants
8%
Average merit grant
$34,766
student success
Graduation rate
92%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Average student debt
$21,500
Average salary within 3 years
$59,700
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
51%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 1

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Equality of Oppourtunity Project.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Equality of Oppourtunity Project.

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