Location
Portland, OR
Undergrads
1,395
Tuition
$44,460
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews 411 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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5 College Freshman

Weather: Blue Clouds...That's What That Blue Stuff Is, Right? You will either see an A or a C- for weather at Reed. We have rain all year round, very little or no snow, and when it's not precipitating, it's overcast. I have loved rain and clouds my entire life, so neither bring me down--in fact, quite the opposite! When I walk outside to a rainy day, I smile the largest smile you're ever likely to see. Something about the way trees look after a rain, or the way the air smells, or the feel of the freshly-moist air on my east-coast skin, is absolutely wondrous. Not only that, but when the blue clouds DO appear, and that strange yellow orb shows its face, you will see the student body erupt out of their dorms and onto the Front Lawn, shirtless and with the music blaring, tossing Frisbees to one another with the grandest of smiles gracing their faces. I wouldn't trade the weather here for any other in the world.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Reed has no varsity sports. We don't recruit for sports. We do, however, have some intense sports teams, namely Rugby and Ultimate. Our Rugby and Ultimate Frisbee teams may not be stellar, but they take themselves and their respective sports very seriously, playing hard and fun. We also have a lot of recreational sports and tennis courts, as well as just about any court you could desire in our Sports Center. I love sports and the attitude Reedies have towards sports, though this is not the place for some one who wants to be on the NBA after college.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Nerds, Hippies, and Hipsters – Reedies are wonderful, awkward, beautiful, granola, nerdy, and against labels. I wouldn't say the majority of students here are of the stereotypical "hot" description, though if you're into happy, adorable people, then this is the place for you--especially if nerds are to you the new blondes (not that they're mutually exclusive here or anything). I absolutely love Reedies and all of their quirks.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Diversity: Though Reed is not known for its Ethnic diversity, it is one of the most diverse environments I've met. People here come from different ages, socioeconomic classes, and mindsets. You will see every fashion sense, every learning disorder, and every type of crazy here, and you will love it. One of the things I tell people about Reed which I take pride in is how all of us are so accepting of sexuality that you might as well assume bisexuality. While I have learned a great deal of getting along with every different kind of person, I will not say that Reed is the most diverse campus, for it has almost a homogeneous White, USA-resident population.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: If you know about Reed, you know about Reed's academics. Graduate programs know us for just this reason, as do foreign countries. You go to Reed because it will challenge you, and it will give you more work than you can sanely deal with. Freshman year is usually fairly easy, with the option to take 3 credits, and dealing with Hum 110 (not difficult) and other intro classes. The second you get to Sophomore year, though... watch out! The transition between year one to year two is considered the most difficult at Reed, because you switch to 4 relevant and often upper-division courses, each giving piles of coursework. Also, the classes you take are relevant to your major and future life, so you -have- to do well. Sophomore year is also when you need to start impressing professors and, at the end, you need to declare your major. Then Junior year comes about and the Qual. The Qual is a test you need to pass in order to go on to Senior year. It is different for every department, and can range from a test to an enormous and daunting paper, but universally does not spell for a good time. Pass that and you're onto your last year at Reed and the famous Reed Thesis that you get the pleasure of working on year-long. Your thesis is your life, and it is what will get you in to Grad School. It can be what makes you proudest, and/or it will be your nightmare. If Reed does one thing right, it's Academics. Be excited! You will leave Reed loving learning, and being excited with the prospect of reading 1000 pages on some obscure topic.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Reed's Financial Aid Department is incredibly personal, and in a great way. You can always talk to them, and almost always get more money if you talk your case well enough. They will do their best to give you as much as the FAFSA says you can't afford, which is usually enough. I have had nothing but good experiences dealing with Financial Aid at Reed.

5 College Freshman

Parking: Parking is available for all classes, and there's so much extra parking space, you will almost certainly find a space, and find a good one at that!

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: So Much to Do – Portland is a fantastic place, and the neighborhood Reed lies within is just a short bus ride downtown.

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: At a school full of liberal, bright people, there will be drug use--especially when it's a school that generates as much stress as Reed does on a day-to-day basis. Saying that, there is drug use at all colleges and universities around the country, and to believe otherwise would be foolish. At Reed, we are more open about our drug use that other schools keep under covers, and it's because we care about each other. We know the pros and cons of the drugs we use, and we want to keep everyone safe no matter what decisions they make. Because of this, we tell our peers and friends when we do or imbibe certain substances. It's just about the best environment around for Drug Safety, and though there is substance use, it is completely not peer-pressure-induced, and is not at all necessary for fitting in socially. Reed gets a lot of dirt on its "Drugginess" and it is not deserving of it. We are obviously doing something right, because of how many PhD's we produce and how positively graduate programs view Reed graduates.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Reed has some great facilities, especially for being such a small college! The gym here is great, the library is fantastic, and the ETC is incredible and modern. Everything is very accessible to students and very useful. Really not much I can say on the negative side here!

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I Feel Incredibly Safe – I have never once felt unsafe on Reed's campus. It is a small campus and Community Safety does its job very well, and Portland, OR is full of rather wonderful, interesting individuals. The crime in the neighborhood Reed's a part of is practically nonexistent, and most Reedies are very well-behaved. Despite this wonderful, secure and safe situation, this past year saw quite a bit of theft of rather valuable items, and there have been people from off-campus before who have taken items from vacant tables in the library, for example. Still, 99% of the time I feel 100% safe on this campus and in its buildings.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Trimet is pretty well on their game timewise, and they are very affordable. Portland has done a great job with its public transportation, and there are several bus lines that go right by both North and South sides of Reed's Campus. It's 2.05 for a trimet ticket, which will last you several hours (depending on the day) and will get you just about anywhere you want to go (though some places are rather indirect and can take an inconvenient amount of time, unfortunately).

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Get Out There! Portland is LOADED to the brim with little restaurants! We have the Food Carts, which, depending on the location, are open very late; we have many local, small business restaurants; and we have some larger chain restaurants. We have up-scale, and college-student affordable choices. Really, Portland is one of the more foodie of cities I've visited, so take advantage of it!

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: We've only got the one Cafeteria: Commons. About everything you would want to know about it is evident from its name: common food. This place has the typical foods, and follows a pretty predictable schedule. It's not fantastic, and "Daily Planet" (i.e. Foreign Dishes i.e. protein + raisins + celery = Foreign) is usually rather silly, but almost everyone can find something they like to eat. I have to admit, I turned somewhat vegetarian because of Commons, and the only predictably good meal being from the pasta and salad bars, but it has been nothing but good for my personal health! And though there's only the one cafeteria, there are also smaller little places, specifically Cafe Paradiso (where you can spend Board Points to buy small pizzas, coffees, smoothies, gelato, etc.), the Paradox, and the New Dox, where one can also go for different meals; however Commons is the major meeting place for one's major meals, and Bon Apetit is not one of the most stellar food providers.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: The Best Decision I've Made – I have never and will never regret a moment of choosing Reed College. Since the first day I visited (after I was accepted), I loved the place and knew I needed to go. Ever since then, I have loved every moment of my time here and it has prepared and educated me in an incredible way. LoveReed!

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Community Safety and CSO's – We call it "Community Safety" and not "Campus Security" for a reason. Generally, the school's policies that affect Reedies' academic or social lives are up to debate a la Honor Principle, and the student body can do a lot to demand change or show their displeasure towards any specific policies, which the administration will then attend to with the participation of the student body. Campus Strictness (or the lack thereof) is really wonderful here.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Dorms Are Great – The dorms on campus have a lot of character. Some are, I admit, rather homely (The Asylum Block--not its official name--and cross canyon dorms specifically), but almost all are spacious, unique, and harbor wonderful communities. Theme dorms are housed in specific areas (res life usually puts them in the ugliest dorms so people can actually choose to live in them) and attract quite the followings and stereotypes from people outside of them. We also keep getting new dorms, and the newest are both larger and nicer than the old ones, though Anna Mann and ODB will always be the most beautiful. Even the crappiest dorms have lounges and, generally, full or partial kitchens on every floor.

College Freshman

Greek Life: Reed has no sororities nor fraternities, and we like it that way! There are plenty of ways to get involved in the social scene though, so don't worry.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of Choices – Housing in Portland is not a huge problem. This is not a particularly expensive place to live, and if you've got a couple of friends to split the cost, it can actually be as cheap as 300-400 dollars a month for a house or an apartment--and that's a whole heck of a lot cheaper than dorms and board plans!!

4 College Freshman

Computers: Great Except for Printing – The labs are really great and there's almost always a computer open in the library and/or the ETC, and typically there are both Apples and PC's available. Each works very well and is rather state-of-the-art in components. Classrooms are also well-endowed tech-wise. The only real annoying aspect of computers at Reed I've encountered is printing fees: 8 cents per page. That may not seem like a lot, but it sure adds up when you've got a professor who's making you print out every 30+ page reading and bring it to class.

2 College Junior

Scholarships: Need-Based, Not Merit-Based – For my situation, it is very difficult to get financial aid because it is all need-based and not merit-based. Although on paper it may look like I have ample funds to pay for my VERY VERY expensive private, independent liberal arts college, it is not necessarily the case in real-life. From what I hear, however, students who are from low-income families find financial aid at Reed great and very worthwhile.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Very Diverse and Accepting – One of the things Reed College is famous for is its social acceptance of people of many different backgrounds, but it does lack in ethnic/racial diversity although not because the environment is not accepting of it. Also, Reed is known as a very liberal campus so that does often mean there are few highly religious students and very few Republicans.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Ample and Aesthetically Pleasing – Reed College has a lot of great facilities. Despite the small size and small student population, Reed has a fully equipped sports center and amazing library, not to mention it's own student-run nuclear reactor, lots of green, open spaces and it's own wetland nature preserve in the middle of campus. The dorms can vary from amazing to dingy and cramped. The classrooms are adequate and there are some better than others, depending on the age of the building. Aesthetically, it is very pleasing with a mix of modern and gothic architecture and very open feeling.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Facilities: This school is full of the brightest students in the country (and many from outside of the country), and yet we do not compete with one another. We help each other excel, and favor academic discourse over petty academic competition.

We receive grades, but we only know them if we ask for them (or if we're doing poorly... then the school will let us know). Instead of grades on our assignments, we receive detailed comments from our profs, which is more helpful for future assignments than percentages.

We don't have TA's. We have full face-time with our profs.

Reed is not a punitive community. We abide by the Honor Principle. We don't have curfews, and we are allowed to behave as we please within the extent of the law.

Reed is a place where you can be yourself. We are small, and a very tight-knit community. We love each other.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: These options are apparently more cost-efficient if financial aid doesn't help pay your room and board.

We also have campus-adjacent apartments, which are very nice and not much more expensive than living on campus. You may or may not choose to have a board plan if you live in one of these apartments.

The Sellwood neighborhood is close by, and it's beautiful. The houses are really close to supermarkets and restaurants, so you don't even need a car to live day-to-day.

1 person found this useful Report
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Eliot Hall
Eliot Hall
Eliot Hall Eliot Hall A rare snowy day
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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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