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All items on Washington and Lee's Writing Supplement are optional. However, applicants who wish to be considered for W&L's merit-based aid must submit a Johnson Scholarship Application essay. Please see the additional instructions below.

Please elaborate on how you have familiarized yourself with Washington and Lee University and what led to your decision to apply. (250 words maximum)    

All applications for the Johnson Scholarship are due December 1, 2016, regardless of the applicant's admission plan.

Applying for the Johnson Scholarship Program does not constitute an early decision application and is not binding. Finalists will be named with particular attention given to their records of academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and civic involvement, and their Johnson Scholarship application essays.

Early Decision applicants, please note the specific instructions for ED 1 applicants in the Help Center sidebar.


1. Complete and submit your Common Application, including transcripts, recommendations, and test scores (including SAT or ACT with writing scores) by December 1, 2016.

2. Respond to one of the essay prompts below and submit your completed writing supplement by December 1, 2016. You will not be able to return to your writing supplement after it is submitted. 

The Honor System has been a hallmark of the Washington and Lee experience for well over a century. Exclusively governed by the W&L student body, the system exemplifies the trust and integrity that distinguish the campus at large. Reflect on a time when you have been entrusted with a significant responsibility. How did you earn it? More important, how did you respond?

Washington and Lee University’s “standards include civility. When free and equal people with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, disagreement is inevitable. In that contentious swirl of competing views, assertiveness is called for, but so, too, is reticence. You have to develop the courage of your convictions while entertaining the possibility you could be wrong. And you have to resist the temptation to demonize those who disagree with you as morally deficient just because they may not share your views.” (Kenneth Ruscio ’76, current President of Washington and Lee University). Reflect on a time when your stance on an issue changed as a result of civil discourse.

Consider the meaning of “fair,” especially how the term can be misused. What impact does fairness—perceived or actual—have in society and your life? Has fairness ever helped or hurt you personally? At what cost or benefit to you or others?

“To promote literature in this rising empire and to encourage the arts, have ever been amongst the warmest wishes of my heart.” (George Washington, 1798, first president of the United States and first major benefactor of Washington and Lee University) Describe a work of art that has influenced you, and discuss the impact it has had on you.

“What I want to hear after a Spring Term course is that ‘This class changed my life.’ ” (Marc Conner, Ballengee Professor of English and Interim Provost). W&L’s Spring Term is a four week, intensive experience during which students take only one course, allowing for undivided attention to the subject matter. Spring Term courses are known for innovative pedagogy, interdisciplinary scholarship, travel, and field work in diverse settings. If you could design a Spring Term course, what would you propose, and why would you choose to pursue that topic?

Non incautus futuri (not unmindful of the future) is a telling motto for the country’s ninth oldest higher education institution. In your opinion, what should W&L be most mindful about in preparing you for the future?

Please enter your Johnson Scholarship essay below (800 word maximum).    

Max and Sylvia Weinstein Scholarship

The Weinstein Scholarship recognizes an entering Jewish first-year student with an exemplary academic and extracurricular record who intends to become involved in Washington and Lee's vibrant Jewish Community. If you wish to be considered for this award please submit a statement describing your background and your interest in Jewish life at W&L. 

NOTE: Only students selected as finalists in the Johnson Scholarship competition are eligible for the Weinstein Scholarship. 


1. Apply for the Johnson Scholarship by following the directions above. Only Johnson finalists are considered for the Weinstein Scholarship.

2. Submit a statement below describing your background and your interest in Jewish life at W&L.

Please enter your Weinstein Scholarship statement below (350 word maximum).