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There are 30 Comments

Snapshot - Student Ratings
Education Quality   A
Collaboration/Competitive   A-

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I realize this is a long rant, but it is really honest and full of thought.
Almost everyone here is these five things: rich, southern, Republican, heavy drinkers, and worst of all, pitifully, utterly obsessed with their frat/sor. Those who aren't, like me, have a miserable time in the very blandly uniform environment.

The Greek-life obsession is what I dislike the most about this school. I'm not in a frat (surprise surprise), and it always annoys me when students who like W&L say to prospective 12th graders "even if you don't go Greek you'll have no problem fitting in" when they're in a frat/sor themselves along with all their "friends" (frats/sors are forced friendships, and those aren't real are they?). Prospective students will also hear "there's a million other things to do if you're not into Greek-life." I can't explain it well, but that's simply not true. It's sort of like those things are positive and do fill some downtime, but in the end, they're simply extra-curricular distractions to the fact that you're an outsider.

It is very lonely as an Independent, and the school's culture and mindset ensure that those like me are constantly reminded that we're weird, different, that we don't fit in. It feels like this: "hey, don't you just LOVE it here?" "not really, to be honest." ", what is WRONG with you?"

I thought 19-22 year olds would've grown out of 10th grade cliques.
About the Honor Code: if you think about it, what does it say about the school when "We don't cheat" is one of the biggest, proudest slogans it has? Other schools have good standards of character without making a show of it, much less specially naming it ("Honor Code" looks good on brochures, I suppose).

About the Speaking Tradition: same thing as above - now saying hi to people is a big enough deal to be named and marketed? Besides, it only lasts for the first week of classes, thanks to the incoming freshmen who are repeatedly told to keep it during Orientation.

Three last points: 1) I'm from California, and nobody in this college has heard of what students here boast as one of America's very best. 2) As a comp sci major, it's extremely hard to schedule classes because, as with many other majors who have low demand/limited staff, I only have one time slot per class for all of the classes I need to take. Double majoring in W&L might just be impossible depending on your Major/(class) interests. 3) Lexington is only 6000 people - nothing at all to do here. No mall, no bowling, no parks. Just one tiny theater and rather expensive restaurants. That's why people just drink and drink at nights.

So please, if you are not just a person but an Individual, who has vibrant thoughts, ideas, opinions on life and America and the world, know that if you come to W&L you'll either compromise your identity to become part of the all-collective norm in order to fit in and enjoy yourself, or, choose to keep your Self and feel left out of not only W&L, but more importantly the college experience itself. I feel like I'm in a political ad here but I'm almost done: Choose Wisely. Don't Choose W&L.PS, I really recommend reading the few other Negatives submitted here. They give an honest picture from other view points.
Campus Aesthetics: A, Education Quality: F
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Aug 26 2014 3rd Year Male -- Class 2015  
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I went to Washington & Lee a long time ago. I am not sure if I would recommend it. The students are of a higher caliber than the teaching staff. Right now, it is an extremely expensive school ($50K) and it does not have a significant reputation. I would not recommend it. If you plan on majoring in business or political science, and you are more interested in the campus than the quality of instruction, then W&L is not a bad place.
Starting Job: Legal Assistant, Preparedness: B+, Reputation: F
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Sep 14 2011 Alumnus Male -- Class 2000 
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For me, Washington & Lee was more damaging than helpful. With few exceptions, I would recommend against going to W&L. Keep in mind that once you go, you cannot transfer out.

If you earn a degree from there, you will need to get a graduate degree to get some recognition. The reputation is always expressed in terms of a good "small, liberal arts college." Without that qualifier, it cannot compete.

In the 1980s, I found it to be an odd school. It was both small, exceedingly impersonal, and clique-ish. The professors and the administration were not particularly interested in teaching or communicating with students. The class size was small, but that does not mean the professors took a personal interest in their work. They did not.

The school had limited resources. To describe it as a university rather than a college is a stretch. I think most students would find it academically limited. The Commerce School was more a vocational school. It did not have the resources for anyone interested in accounting or finance. The sciences were weak, but that is acceptable. At W&L, you were either pre-med or you needed to get your degree elsewhere.

It is an odd place. It is also a lonely place.
In my opinion, it is not worth $35,000 a year.
My review may be out of date as well, but I would encourage students to seek out and ask W&L alumni from the late 70s and 80s. I would also ask more recent graduates, because, honestly, the school may have improved.
Starting Job: Legal Assistant, Preparedness: F, Reputation: D
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Apr 17 2011 Alumnus Male -- Class 2000 
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