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Washington and Lee University appears in these rankings:

30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Virginia

25 Best Value Small Colleges for a History Degree

Washington and Lee University is a medium sized private college in Virginia that carries the names of two prominent men. Founded in 1749 as a small college that offered a few bachelor programs, it opened as the Augusta Academy. It did not move to its present location in Lexington until 1780, which is the same year that it changed its name to Liberty Hall Academy. That name lasted until the late 1790s. After George Washington made a major donation to the school, it decided to add his name to its official title. The school didn't add the name Lee until it acquired a former college named after General Robert E. Lee.

Also known as W&L, the university has a strict and highly regulated honors code. All students must agree to follow this code and abide by all its tenants. Those tenants cover things like not cheating on exams and treating other students with respect. Those accused of violating the honor code must go before the Student Judicial Board or a similar organization and face fines and other penalties for their actions. Its honor code dates all the way back to the Civil War era, making it one of the nation's oldest honor codes. Some of the honors W& received include recognition as the 29th best American college by Forbes and as one of the best liberal arts colleges on a global scale according to Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report.

Washington and Lee University Accreditation Details

Prospective W&L students may want to look at program accreditation to see if the course of study they want to take has its own unique accreditation. Its programs in both journalism and mass communications have accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, and its law program has accreditation from the American Bar Association. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited its business degree program, and W&L also has accreditation for its undergraduate teaching program from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Regional accreditation is even more important than program accreditation because it shows students that they will work with the best professors and have access to the best classes. Washington and Lee University has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Washington and Lee University Application Requirements

Getting into an Ivy League school is extremely hard, and while W&L isn't an Ivy League school, it's nearly as selective as those schools are. Fewer than 20% of all students who apply every year will receive an acceptance letter. The first step in the application process is an account with the Common Application. This is a website that acts as an app to make life easier for high school students. Once you fill out basic information about your name, age, address, grades and test scores, you can use the app to submit applications to all the colleges on your list. You'll also need to fill out the W&L supplement that is available on that site.

Other requirements include a secondary school report that a teacher fills out and a recommendation form from your guidance counselor. You'll also need to submit a standardized test score and an official transcript. Those who take the ACT will also need to take the optional writing section. The university also recommends that students submit scores from the subject portions of the SAT. All prospective students must also supply the university with two letters of recommendation from their teachers, a copy of their mid term grades and a copy of their final grades. If your grades drop significantly, the university can rescind its offer.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The estimated cost of attendance for all undergrads at Washington and Lee University is around $61,000 a year. This includes tuition, all attached fees, a basic dorm room and meal plan and all books and supplies. If you decide to live in a different room or opt for a more expensive meal plan, your total cost will increase. As many freshmen pledge Greek organizations, those students will also need to pay fees of between $1,000 to $2,000 a year to their fraternity or sorority.

W&L offers its own private scholarship called the Johnson Scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship receive enough money to pay for their tuition and room and board. More than 40 of the best and brightest students receive this award each year, and you can apply for the scholarship online when you fill out the Common Application. If chosen, you may receive additional funds that pay for classes taken over the summer semester or money to cover your expenses when doing an internship. After filling out the FAFSA, W&L will figure out how much aid you need and look at ways to cover your total cost. Some students grants, loans and scholarships that cover the total cost of their education.

W&L Degree Options

Washington and Lee University now offers 37 majors and even more minors for its students. Its Journalism and Mass Communications degree program is one of the only programs on campus with its own accreditation. It features a journalism sequence or concentration for those who want to work for leading news stations and newspapers and a business journalism option for those who want to stay on the forefront of the business industry. While you'll need to take around 180 credit hours, a minimum of 46 of those credits must come from within the journalism and communications departments. You might take classes on journalism ethics, beat reporting, specialty reporting and producing for broadcast and online media. The program teaches students the basics of reporting in front of the camera or through their writing, but you'll also learn how to produce segments for news stations and media websites.

This is one of the country's only colleges that offers a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The program combines elements of literature, history, religion, philosophy and other topics. Students will need to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language like Latin, German, Russian or Spanish as they take courses on medieval writers and artists. Washington and Lee University offers students in this program the option to study what they want through internships, independent study projects and study abroad programs in areas like Rome and Paris.

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