Early Decision

Binding Early Decision

Students who determine that W&L is their first-choice college may consider applying through our Early Decision (ED) program. By applying ED, students commit to enroll at W&L if they are admitted and withdraw all other college applications — regardless of country — immediately after confirming their intention to enroll at W&L with a reservation deposit

Because of its binding nature, submitting an Early Decision application requires careful consideration. We recommend you confer with your parents and secondary school counselor, in addition to our admissions and financial aid staff, before choosing this option.

ED applicants receive an admission decision within a few weeks of the application deadline, along with details of any need-based financial aid award for which they qualify. There are two ED deadline options; ED I applicants are weighted equally with ED II applicants.

Early Decision Deadlines
  • ED I: November 1
  • ED II: January 1

The benefit of Early Decision

By applying Early Decision you demonstrate your strong interest and intent to enroll at Washington and Lee. While we always look at academic and extracurricular qualifications, in some cases, strong interest can be the tie break between students with similar applications. Typically, about forty percent of each entering class is composed of Early Decision applicants. 

Financial Aid

If you apply early decision and intend to also apply and be considered for financial aid, you will not know what your aid award package is until after your admission decision. 

If your enrollment at W&L depends on winning a Johnson Scholarship or other significant aid, then you should consider applying as Regular Decision versus the binding Early Decision options.

Office of Admissions

Gilliam House
19 Letcher Avenue
Lexington, Virginia 24450


Application Application Deadline Testing Deadline Financial Aid Application Notification Date
Early Decision Round 1 November 1 SAT Nov 3, ACT Oct 27 December 1 Late December
Johnson Scholarship December 9 SAT Dec 1, ACT Dec 8 Varies** Late March
Early Decision Round 2 January 1 SAT Dec 1, ACT Dec 8 January 15 Late January
Regular Decision January 1 SAT Dec 1, ACT Dec 8 February 15 April 1
**Financial aid application deadlines are based on your admission application decision choice (Early Decision 1 or 2, Regular Decision).