Washington & Lee University to offer free tuition to needy students

The Lexington, Va. school will offer free tuition to admitted students whose family income is lower than $75,000. Photo: MarmadukePercy/Wikimedia Commons

(WJLA) - Washington & Lee University, the private, small central Virginia college, will waive tuition starting next fall for any admitted student whose family income is below $75,000.

Beginning with the Fall 2014 semester, administrators at the Lexington, Va. campus say that they'll guarantee free tuition for undergraduate students whose family falls within the financial threshold - a program they've dubbed the W&L Promise.

According to U.S. News and World Report, tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $44,507 for each of the 1,838 students enrolled. Only 19.5 percent of applicants to Washington & Lee were accepted for the current academic year.

"Making the University more affordable has been a key element of our strategic plan for the past six years," Washington & Lee University President Kenneth Ruscio said in a statement. "To the extent that we have been successful in achieving elements of this plan, we are determined to do even more."

Ruscio said in his statement that the school has a goal to provide $160 million in need-based financial aid. The free tuition program will be available beginning next autumn and will be available for both new and currently enrolled students.

Students in need also will be able to apply for additional financial assistance for housing.

In its annual rankings, Washington & Lee was U.S. News' #14 liberal arts school in the country.