Washington and Lee University vs Brown University

September 19, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Washington and Lee University vs Brown University

When it comes to choosing the right university for yourself, the decision can be a daunting one. There are so many factors to consider, from academics, extracurricular activities, campus culture, and more. In this article, we will be comparing Washington and Lee University vs Brown University based on differences in location, admission requirements, student body demographics, academic programs, campus life, athletics, alumni networks, tuition fees, and more.

Location and Campus Size

Washington and Lee University is a small liberal arts college located in Lexington, Virginia. Its campus spans over 430 acres with beautiful Georgian-style buildings and a historic charm that is hard to resist. Brown University, on the other hand, is an Ivy League institution located in Providence, Rhode Island. It has a relatively smaller campus, spanning over 146 acres, with modernist buildings that exude an intellectual vibe.

Despite its smaller size, Brown University has a unique advantage in its location. It is situated in the heart of Providence, a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene and a bustling downtown area. This allows students to easily access a variety of off-campus resources and opportunities, such as internships, research projects, and community service initiatives. In contrast, Washington and Lee University are located in a more rural area, which provides a quieter and more secluded environment for students to focus on their studies and engage in outdoor activities.

Admission Requirements and Process

The admission requirements for Washington and Lee University are selective and rigorous. The acceptance rate is 17%, and the average SAT score of enrolled students is 1410. In contrast, Brown University is one of the most competitive institutions in the country, with an acceptance rate of 5% and an average SAT score of 1490. Both universities require applicants to submit transcripts, test scores, essays, recommendation letters, and other materials for consideration.

Test score sheet with answers

Additionally, Washington and Lee University also consider extracurricular activities and demonstrated leadership skills in their admissions process. They value well-rounded individuals who have shown a commitment to their community and have taken on leadership roles. Brown University, on the other hand, places a strong emphasis on academic achievement and intellectual curiosity. They look for students who have a passion for learning and have pursued challenging coursework in high school.

Student Body Demographics: Washington and Lee University vs. Brown University

Washington and Lee University has a predominantly white student body, with over 80% of students identifying as Caucasian. However, there is a growing diversity within the student population, with an increasing number of students from Hispanic, African-American, and Asian backgrounds. Brown University, on the other hand, has a more diverse student body, with over 40% of students coming from minority backgrounds, including international students.

It is important to note that both universities have made efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. Washington and Lee University have implemented programs and initiatives to recruit and support underrepresented students, such as the QuestBridge program and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement. Brown University has also taken steps to promote diversity, including the creation of the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center and the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered: Washington and Lee University vs. Brown University

Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs and majors. At Washington and Lee, students can choose from over 40 majors and minors, including popular subjects such as business administration, economics, political science, and psychology, among others. Brown University, on the other hand, offers more than 80 undergraduate programs and majors, with a strong emphasis on liberal arts, sciences, engineering, and public policy.

In addition to the majors and programs offered, both universities also provide students with opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary studies and engage in research projects. At Washington and Lee, students can participate in the Johnson Scholarship Program, which provides funding for independent research and creative projects. Brown University offers a unique Open Curriculum, which allows students to design their own course of study and explore a variety of academic disciplines. Additionally, both universities have strong graduate programs, with Washington and Lee offering graduate degrees in law and business, and Brown University offering graduate programs in fields such as medicine, public health, and education.

Faculty-to-Student Ratio and Class Sizes: Washington and Lee University vs. Brown University

One of the advantages of attending a liberal arts college such as Washington and Lee University is the low student-to-faculty ratio, which is currently 8:1. This means that students have access to their professors, who can provide personalized attention, guidance, and mentorship. At Brown University, the student-to-faculty ratio is larger, at 6:1, but the average class size is still relatively small, with a median of 20 students per class.

Additionally, the small class sizes at Washington and Lee University and Brown University allow for more interactive and engaging classroom discussions. Students have the opportunity to participate actively in class, ask questions, and receive immediate feedback from their professors. This type of learning environment fosters critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration among students and faculty.

Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities: Washington and Lee University vs. Brown University

Washington and Lee University have a close-knit community and a vibrant campus life, with over 130 student organizations, ranging from academic, social, and sports clubs to fraternities and sororities. Brown University also has a strong emphasis on student life and extracurricular activities, with over 400 student-run organizations, including the Brown University Orchestra, Debate Society, and Outing Club, among others.

Additionally, both universities offer various opportunities for students to engage in community service and volunteer work. Washington and Lee University have a dedicated service-learning program that integrates community service into academic coursework, while Brown University has a Center for Public Service that provides resources and support for students interested in community engagement. These programs allow students to make a positive impact on their local communities while also gaining valuable skills and experiences.

Housing and Dining Options: Washington and Lee University vs. Brown University

At Washington and Lee University, students are required to live on campus for the first three years, with on-campus housing options ranging from traditional residence halls to theme houses and apartments. The university also boasts a variety of dining options, including a campus café, a pub, and a dining hall serving locally sourced food. Similarly, Brown University has a strong residential life program, with a wide range of housing options, including dorms, suites, apartments, and Greek houses. Brown also has a diverse range of culinary options, ranging from vegan cafes to sushi bars and ethnic cuisine.

a student moving to new  apartment

Additionally, both universities offer meal plans that cater to students with dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegetarian, and halal options. At Washington and Lee, students can also participate in a campus garden program, where they can grow their own produce and use it in the dining hall. Brown University has a program called “Food Recovery Network,” where students collect leftover food from campus events and donate it to local shelters and food banks. These initiatives demonstrate the universities’ commitment to sustainability and community outreach.

Athletics and Sports Teams

Washington and Lee University is a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and has a strong athletics program, with 23 varsity sports teams, including football, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse, among others. Similarly, Brown University is a member of the Ivy League Athletic Conference and has over 30 varsity sports teams, including baseball, basketball, cross country, and sailing, among others.

Both universities also offer a variety of club and intramural sports for students who want to participate in athletics at a less competitive level. At Washington and Lee, students can join clubs for activities such as ultimate frisbee, rugby, and equestrian sports. Brown University offers club sports such as fencing, ice hockey, and ultimate frisbee, as well as intramural leagues for sports like flag football, dodgeball, and volleyball.

Career Services and Alumni Network

Both universities have strong career services and alumni networks that offer guidance, resources, and networking opportunities to students and graduates. Washington and Lee University has a Career Services office that provides career counseling, job and internship postings, and recruiting events. Brown University also has a comprehensive Career Development Center that offers career advising, networking events, and job search resources. Both universities have active alumni associations that offer mentorship, professional development, and networking opportunities.

mentor explaining new online project to newly graduate students

Additionally, both universities have established partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with access to exclusive job and internship opportunities. Washington and Lee University has partnerships with companies such as Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and Teach for America. Brown University has partnerships with companies such as Google, Microsoft, and the Peace Corps. These partnerships not only provide students with valuable work experience but also help to establish strong connections within their respective industries.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Options

The cost of attending Washington and Lee University is around $82,000 per year, including tuition, room and board, and other fees. The university offers need-based and merit-based financial aid to eligible students, including grants, loans, and work-study programs. Similarly, Brown University’s cost of attendance for the academic year is around $84,000, with generous financial aid packages available to students.

It is important to note that the financial aid options available to students can vary greatly between universities. For example, some universities may offer more need-based aid, while others may offer more merit-based aid. Additionally, some universities may have specific scholarships or grants available for certain majors or areas of study. It is important for students and their families to research and compare financial aid options when considering different universities.

Research Opportunities

Both universities offer unique research opportunities to students, enabling them to conduct independent research, work with faculty members, and participate in cutting-edge scientific and social projects. Washington and Lee University have a strong undergraduate research program, with over 80% of students participating in research during their time on campus. Brown University also has a robust research infrastructure, with funding, support, and facilities available for students and faculty in various disciplines.

At Washington and Lee University, students have the opportunity to participate in the Summer Research Scholars program, which provides funding for students to conduct research with a faculty mentor over the summer. This program allows students to fully immerse themselves in their research and gain valuable experience in their field of study.

Brown University offers a unique research opportunity through its partnership with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Students can participate in the Brown-MBL Partnership, which allows them to conduct research in marine biology and ecology alongside leading scientists in the field. This partnership provides students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to contribute to groundbreaking research in the field of marine science.

International Programs

Both universities offer a variety of international programs for students, including study abroad programs, language immersion programs, and international internships. Washington and Lee University have study abroad programs in over 100 locations, ranging from Europe to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Brown University also has an extensive global engagement program, with partnerships in over 50 countries and a variety of programs that expose students to different cultures, languages, and perspectives.

In addition to these programs, both universities also offer opportunities for students to participate in international service projects and volunteer work. Washington and Lee University have a program called “Spring Term Abroad,” where students can spend a month in a foreign country working on a service project. Brown University has a similar program called “Alternative Spring Break,” where students can travel to different parts of the world to engage in community service projects. These programs not only allow students to make a positive impact in the world but also provide valuable cultural immersion experiences.

Campus Safety Measures

Both universities have robust safety measures in place, ensuring that students, faculty, and staff feel safe and secure on campus. Washington and Lee University has its own Department of Public Safety, which is responsible for campus security, emergency response, and crime prevention. Brown University also has its own Department of Public Safety, which offers safety escorts, crime prevention education, and emergency response services.

stop violence at school

In addition to the Department of Public Safety, both universities have implemented various safety measures to ensure the well-being of their campus community. Washington and Lee University have installed emergency call boxes throughout the campus, providing a quick and easy way for students to call for help in case of an emergency. Brown University has a comprehensive sexual assault and harassment prevention program, which includes education and training for students, faculty, and staff, as well as a confidential reporting system for survivors.

Graduation Rates and Employment Outcomes

Both universities have high graduation rates, with Washington and Lee University reporting a 92% graduation rate and Brown University reporting an 85% graduation rate. Graduates from both universities go on to pursue successful careers in a variety of industries, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, public service, and leadership.

In conclusion, while Washington and Lee University and Brown University have their unique strengths and drawbacks, they both offer exceptional academic programs, a vibrant campus life, extracurricular activities, research opportunities, and supportive alumni networks. Ultimately, the right choice for you will depend on your academic interests, personal preferences, and career goals.

It is worth noting that both universities have strong career centers that provide students with resources and support to help them achieve their career goals. At Washington and Lee University, the Career and Professional Development office offers career counseling, job and internship search assistance, resume and cover letter reviews, and networking opportunities. Similarly, Brown University’s CareerLAB provides students with career advising, employer connections, and skill-building workshops. These resources are invaluable in helping students navigate the job market and secure meaningful employment after graduation.


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