Location
Portland, OR
Undergrads
1,395
Tuition
$44,460
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews 412 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of food carts all over Portland provide good, cheap food. There are a few decent places within close walking distance, but taking a short bus ride will give you greater options.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: The psychology department at Reed is phenomenal. I may be biased, but it's really wonderful. Professors have a wide range of expertise, but all come together in a way that makes the department feel like a family. I've loved every psych class I've taken and wouldn't want anything else.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Reed is governed by the Honor Principle which is not easily defined. The basic core of the principle is to act with honor. If something seems dishonorable to you, do not do it. Although this seems very ambiguous and lax, I find it to be surprisingly wonderful and effective. Students really do strive to act with honor and uphold the Honor Principle.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: Reed has a beautiful campus. There is plenty of green/outdoor space between our spacious front lawn and the canyon. All of the facilities are very nice and mostly quite new.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Facilities: All Reed seniors must write a senior thesis and defend it in order to graduate. This is an extremely laborious task and the culmination of one's time at Reed. Although some other colleges have honors programs tat require a thesis, the universality of the Reed thesis showcases the rigor of our academics and shapes how students learn. The knowledge that we will all embark on this task and complete it to join our fellow alumni is empowering and fosters a wonderful sense of community.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: If you want to party, then you can go make yourself a party. There aren't a lot of bars near Reed and no clubs. If you go to downtown portland, both can be found. Unless, you have a car or a friend who has a car going at at night to downtown portland would be inconvenient because the buses don't run that late and Reed does not offer any shuttles from there. Although, not a lot of people venture out to downtown portland for clubs and bars, mostly just concerts.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Not a lot of people enjoy sports at Reed. There isn't a big following for any of the sports and the facilities are alright.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Weather: I really like the weather at Reed. It does rain a lot and only the beginning and ends of the school year are some-what hot.Most days are cloudy which I like.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Portland Transportation is pretty reliable and easy to manage and it takes you to most places you would want to go. Reed doesn't have any sort of buses to help students get from place to place mostly because its unnecessary. The longest you take walking from place to place is 10-15 minutes. Regularly students who have farther distances to travel on a daily bases simply bike or skateboard. Having a car is nice and Reed has sufficient parking. Although having a car is not a necessity unless you plan on having a job off-campus that requires you to need that sort of transportation tool. Even then, using the bus would be an option. My problem with transportation would be that Portland buses don't run late at night or really early in the morning. Also, there is no student discount which would be convenient.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Diversity: Feels very rich and white. 50% of students pay full tuition. Only 8 black freshmen last year... We're getting better w/latino folks and it's a safer space than many for people of all/most genders/sexual orientations. People from all of the country and world, which is nice. You can build a diverse group of friends, the MRC is great for this, but you sort of have to work for it.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Transportation: Okay bus system, doesn't run late though, and weekend hours are rough. Bicycling is nice, but rain is not. Late bus around campus for late night studying, stops to early for party transport. Stuff is close and campus is small, so I tend to walk.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Every major at Reed is intense and would be an honors major elsewhere. All students take a qualifying exam in their major in the junior year and write a thesis in the senior year.

5 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: There is a one and a half year PE requirement at Reed, but not all PE is athletics per se - like dance, yoga, and martial arts. There are skills classes in sports like tennis and squash and training/conditioning classes. Some PE classes like rowing, sailing, hiking and skiing travel off-campus. Sports Center facilities are good. Outside of PE, IM teams and club sports are not well organized.

3 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Oregon drizzle is conducive of study. Better winters here than in New England or Midwest, but they can get boring. I managed to run outside a few days a week while at Reed, and the wet weather didn't get in the way. Senior year there was an unusual "drought" in February and March: 55-60 degrees and sunny. Better bring rain wear as it probably will never happen again.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: This is a big topic of debate. In the past, there have been those who misused the unusual freedoms of Reed to their own detriment.

5 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Community Safety Officers and new head of safety keep things safe.

4 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Nice mix of trees, lawns and forested canyon. The three Tudor gothic buildings are the nicest ones on campus. A new performing arts center opens fall 2013.

4 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking is fabulous! There are four main parking-lots on campus. Two are close to dorms, and the other is very close to the library and main educational facilities (the Bio building, the Chem building, Psych building, and the Educational Technology Center), and finally one closer to the cafeteria and gym. I've had a car on campus since I was a Freshman, and there's always a ton of parking availability.

1 College Sophomore

Athletics: We have no sports except for Ultimate Frisbee and Rugby. Anything else is unofficial. The Sports Center is quite nice I believe... I've only been inside a handful of times but the facilities seem up to date and clean and not too crowded and all that.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: There is a lot going in Portland for sure, mostly white hipster/hippie/yuppie stuff though, so if you you aren't in one of those demographics, you might have issues. There is a rapper here, and also a great jazz club. The city is mostly white, which is unnerving.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I've never felt unsafe. Like any other college, we have the periodic emergency-flashing-blue-light-things, which seem, quite unnecessarily, to densely populate the campus. I've heard a rape happened at one point, but since then, the administration and student body alike have been cracking down on assault. Students make fun of the "consent is Reed" motto, but I've seen even the most reckless drunken freshmen ask for consent before so much as holding a girl's hand. Lock your bike. Lock your room when moving in. I lock my computer, even though it feels useless. Common sense, dudes.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Freshmen are assigned housing and roommates based on a summer survey, so dorm assignments are pretty much random and very easy. I ended up in an early 2000's dorm, which is clean, functional, and cozy. ODB (old dorm block) makes up for its aged facilities in its booming social atmosphere and 1 minute proximity to everything. Freshmen usually get divided doubles and sometimes singles. Upperclassmen often go off-campus, but the ones who stay usually get singles. The most recent (still under construction!) dorms are pristine: the famed Grove. If you're a sci-fi fantasy die-hard, science-math guy, outdoorsy type, or even circus performer, there are theme dorms.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Our CSOs (Community Safety Officers) are super cool. They are lenient to the extent that you are not destroying property, harming yourself or others, or blatantly waving a bottle in their faces. One time, a CSO told my friends (who were drinking) to get off the roof so they wouldn't fall off and hurt themselves. They complied happily. I've seen students give hugs to CSOs. Respect earns respect. I've never received an AOD (alcohol and other drugs) violation, but the first strike is just a meeting with an administrator, I think.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I Love Portland. Portland is a great city, probably the most liberal city in the U.S. It does have its drawbacks, like historical racial issues (unequal public school funding, gentrification, etc.), but overall, it's way better than most of the U.S., in my opinion. Way more vegan culture and delicious eats here. Way more respect for the environment. Way more small, local business, that don't channel money into megacorporations. There's a great underground music scene, winter and summer. Reed doesn't have the best reputation in the wealthier, more conservation neighborhood south of the College. Sometimes Portlanders regard Reedies as privileged white rich hipster kids that like to party and do drugs and quote great classic literature (and to some degree they can be this way, haha). But overall Portland is pretty much all hipsters anyway, and Reed's overall reputation is good. It's definitely known for it's intense academics, intellectualism, and it seen as somewhat elite. A friend of mine described it as an "intellectual wonderland".

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: A Very Autonomous Environment – The Honor Principle is the prevailing rule here at Reed; it holds that, in any given situation, a person should do whatever is most honorable. This can obviously be interpreted in many ways, and this is part of the collaborative and dynamic nature of the Honor Principle. It's part of what makes Reed such a great and unusual place. People come here because they respect the philosophy of the Honor Principle and want to live by it themselves, and be in a community in which others do as well. It's common for people who've lost things like phones, jewelry, etc., to have it returned quickly. A friend of mine lost a laptop; it was turned in to Community Safety within an hour or two. It's a pretty great system that gives each member of a community a lot of freedom, and, along with it, responsibility. I love it.

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Eliot Hall
Eliot Hall
Eliot Hall Eliot Hall A rare snowy day
Photo by Makaristos under Public Domain | Source

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Ben DuPree
Hometown
Los Angeles, Calif.
Major
English
View all previous student authors

Looking back on the person you were when coming to Reed is often like looking through an opaque window. You still see the frame and some features of your old self, but the greater part of who you are rests on this side of the mirror, having been tempered by your experiences at Reed. Often after four years, students’ reasons for coming to Reed still hold up: the desire to attend a small school with an intimate academic setting, amidst a liberal and open culture of mostly-nice and genuine individuals. Many students choose Reed because they do not want to be another face in the crowd at a large state school. Empirically, Reed’s commitment to making critical thinkers and writers out of its students separates it from other academic institutions. Although many other institutions will train their students to write and think, Reed bombards your mind with reading, writing, and thought, helping many realize a level of intellectual self-awareness that they never thought possible. Students push themselves hard because they choose to, just as they go here because they want to. Any Reedie who wishes to be somewhere else has already left for that place. People stay at Reed and endure its academic rigors because they truly love and are committed to what the college has to offer.

Essentially, most students believe in Reed. Although they may feel disenchanted with their institution of higher education at times, most Reedies accept their school’s shortcomings for what they are, and accept that they cannot see themselves anywhere else. Reed is not just a college; it is an academic, personal, and social experience, and Reedies respect and cherish it.

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