Conflicting Feelings about William and Mary

My D graduated from W & M in 2018 with a double major and 4.0. She went directly to a 6 yr. Ivy League phd program and she still believes that the full IB program in Fairfax county was the most difficult thing she’s ever done.

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@LMHLAW3 That’s probably because she was learning the study skills that have contributed to her success ever since!

My daughter is doing well at W&M and is very happy there… She was a little concerned about the rumored culture of overwork and stress, but she is organized and disciplined, so it hasn’t been a problem. She swears she gets 8 hours of sleep a night, and does lots of activities. “Some people just like to complain,” she says.

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im a student at w&m right now. though a lot of people are overachievers, it does feel like home. it’s not as competitive of an environment as other top schools have. we work hard, but we do have a lot of fun. there are a lot of fun campus traditions throughout the year that make w&m worth it. do what’s best for you, though! i would say just give w&m a chance :slight_smile:

Love hearing from students at the school!

Looking forward to visiting there in a few weeks!

Hi all! My daughter just got her acceptance today, also letting her know she is a Monroe Scholar. Can anyone let us know if there is still a possibility of an offer for merit dollars, or would that have come in the email with the acceptance? We are OOS - while she loves W&M it is not an option with full OOS tuition. Thanks for any insight!

Such a great place! I can’t imagine something feeling more college than the Sunken Gardens (and I love where my kid goes - not W&M although was accepted a few yrs back).

Unfortunately the “merit dollars” available at W&M are very few. There is need-based financial aid, and there are “1693 Scholarships.”

Monroe Scholars can get a few thousand dollars for summer research projects. That’s nice, but doesn’t pay the tuition bill.

Just read a new poll about colleges who have the happiest students. W&M was ranked 5th and Virginia Tech was ranked 19th. So for those who think that W&M is all stress and no fun, here’s your answer. Good luck to everyone.

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There is also the WM Sure Scholarship.

You may have made a decision by now, but will add my two cents FWIW. I went to W&M in the 1970s, and I stayed for my freshman year. And then I left. I had a decent GPA at the end of the year, but found that the grading was tough and a lot of W&M students were classic nerds who studied virtually non-stop. I then spent three years at a Big Ten public flagship, studied reasonably hard while there but had much more time for extracurriculars, leadership development and partying. I graduated PBK and was admitted to several of the T14 law schools. I am not sure whether I would have been admitted to the same level of law school had I stayed at W&M. As others have said, the LSAT is key, but if you can’t get a 3.5+ GPA you are not going to get into a T14 law school. Law school admission officers know that Cornell and MIT are really tough schools, but I am not sure that W&M gets that kind of credit. In hindsight, I am pretty sure that even though I did a fair number of things at W&M to try to enjoy my freshman year (pledged fraternity, played a bit of rugby, wrote for The Flat Hat), had I stayed I would have spent way more time in the library and enjoyed myself much less.

My oldest daughter also attended W&M, majored in a hard science, played a sport, joined a sorority and was admitted to an Ivy med school. She said that people joked that about 1/3 of the students either join a fraternity/sorority and/or are athletes; the rest simply don’t care about having a social life. Williamsburg has a lot more to offer today than it did in the 1970s, but it is still more tourist town than college town. From my daughter’s characterization it remains a very serious place where most students who do well academically have to work very hard for it, and many are discouraged (if not clinically depressed). It is possible to have a balanced life there, but it is difficult.

I’ve seen grade deflation mentioned here in a couple of places. Almost all colleges in the U.S. have been experiencing grade INFLATION to varying degrees, and W&M is no exception. If you look at, a site that has a wealth of information on historical GPAs, W&M’s average GPA in 2014 was 3.33, which is pretty high for public universities. For comparison, UVA was 3.32 in 2013.

You can see on this site that virtually all schools have had rising average GPAs since about the late 1960s.

As a parent in FCPS (and FCPS alumna), the silver lining of the pressure cooker environment of most FCPS high schools is that college isn’t usually a culture shock to FCPS graduates.