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Reviews 197 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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5 College Junior

Scholarships: Only Need-Based – Reed doesn't offer merit-based scholarships, so if you (or your family) can pay your way, then you will. However, ALL financial need is met according to the financial aid office and I have personally found that to be a true claim.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Administration: Community Safety – Community safety officers (CSOs) are here to keep students safe and not to bust them. If you're discreet and safe then you're able to be responsible for yourself. But be honorable! If you're being destructive or disrespectful to yourself or others, then you shouldn't be surprised if there are repercussions.

2 College Freshman

Majors: The four year course plan for all hard science majors (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) are extremely packed. To be able to graduate in four years (especially for a Physics major) you need to know as a Freshman you want to be a science major. Also, there is not a lot of room to take other classes that interest you :(

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Administration: Trying to Step up – Reed has a reputation for being tolerant of drug and alcohol use. The administration is trying to counteract this reputation by stepping up on punishment and policy enforcement. However, the first time punishments are not very severe.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I Feel Safe During the Day. Until very recently, when we had two armed robberies on campus at night, I felt very safe on campus all the time. I still feel very safe during the day, and our campus security has increased their presence at night.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Portland Bus System Rocks! The Trimet system in the Portland area is inexpensive, user-friendly, and will get you almost anywhere.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: TriMet services the Portland area and have a bus stop across the street from the campus. They're usually reliable and travel everywhere across the city, including downtown and the airport!

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Normal for the Average City of Portland's Size – For the most part, the school puts in a strong effort to make the campus a safe environment. CSO's (Community Safety Officers) are there to help students if they need it, while not breathing down the students' necks. There have been occasional armed robberies on campus, probably because the robbers know Reed is extremely affluent (about 48% of students need no financial aid). Whenever this happens, though, Community Safety is quick to send out an email notification and extra patrols, and contacts the Portland Police Department. For the most part, the Honor Principle applies and there are few thefts committed by actual Reed students; the ones that do occasionally happen seem to mostly be done by people outside the Reed community. It's not a gated community (which I wouldn't like anyway), but I have never felt unsafe at Reed.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Great People, but Shy and Busy – Most people here are wonderfully interesting and usually passionate about something, whether it be academic, political, or some particular skill or hobby. People are generally not unattractive, but not a huge amount of capital is placed on being super hot. Most people are great to be friends with, but are often too shy to initiate relationships, or don't have the time to put into them what with the heavy academics.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Getting Around? There are a few options for transportation at or around Reed. The most common is the Portland bus system, which has a stop at Reed. It is pretty cheap, but the routes are a bit limiting. It takes about 30 minutes to get to downtown Portland from Reed (SE Portland) on the bus. If you drive there is free parking at Reed, which is definitely a plus. If you live off-campus there is a night bus that runs until very late that will take you home for free!

3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Commons is basically the only place for campus dining. Because Bon Appatite has a monopoly on food on campus, food prices are a bit high. The quality can be pretty good, but in general it is so-so. Local ingredients are used, but it often seems like they are turned into salty mush. At almost every meal there are around 7 options in Commons, so usually you can find something that's appetizing to you. On weekends, however, Commons sucks. There are kitchens in many of the dorms, but you still have to buy a board plan if you're living on-campus

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Tradtional Structure at an Untraditional Environment – If one is truly interested in their studies Reed should be at the top of their list. Reed provides a classic liberal arts education including a hellish workload, a diversity of subjects, and excellent professors. Reed is not for the light of heart. Students work to the bone, and would work more if there was any time. Professors are all PhD's and love their subjects. Students must interact closely with professors due to the conference system, in which there are classes with as few as four or five students. Reeds curriculum is very traditional, and to some may seem limiting, with many requirements and a somewhat small offering of classes.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Reedies generally agree that the classes they are taking are hard. The fact that we usually take only 3 to 4.5 units belies the difficulties that this course load actually entails. Of course, Reed students aren't in their books 24/7, but the significant thing is that many of us would like to be. If you enjoy that type of atmosphere, only then is Reed the appropriate place for you.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Commons Is Probably a More Sensible Meal Plan Than Most Colleges Offer – Food at commons is bought locally, raised by organic farmers, tastes quite good, and is vegetarian-friendly. The primary negatives would be short hours on the weekends (10:00am-2:30pm and 5:00pm-7:00pm) and the high cost of the food.

All on-campus students are required to be on a meal plan; however, the meal plan is based on a point system. Since we have a finite number of points, we're limited in how careless we can be with our purchases. This is beneficial in terms of the environmental impact and also teaches us to monitor the cost of our food, but of course it would be easier if we could take however much we want.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: Whether or not you will enjoy Reed's atmosphere depends on what you want in a college. Reedies generally stay on campus more often than is typical of college students. I think we have good reasons for that. Reed campus has everything that is necessary, and I think most Reedies regard learning as their primary goal. Our library is excellent. The people are excellent. The parties are not, but they are sufficient for what we need.

1 College Junior

Majors: Too One Note and Not Enough Options – I get that a small school is limited in what it can offer but with that in mind they should have tried to make sure that each of the 7 professors in the poli sci department has a completely different focus. Instead they have 4 professors who focus just on American politics, one IR professor and 3 political philosophy professors. So basically if you want to study anything other than the US or philosophy (so basically about 90% of the poli sci field) that's not really an option here unless you get lucky with the random visiting comparative politics professor they bring in each year.

3 people found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Party Scene: Plainly, It Sucks – You can't go anywhere if you're underaged. There really aren't any good clubs in Portland if you are over 21 either. At the parties on campus very few people dance. Most people just stand outside drinking their crappy hippster beer trying to make themselves sound smart.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: A Hobby, Not a Competition – Reed doesn't have "real" sports teams. We have groups of students who play sports in place of P.E., and they sometimes play games with students from other schools. However, these teams are the exception, not the rule. Depending on where your dorm is, you may spend the whole year without hearing anything about team sports.

On the other hand, the P.E. classes are quite excellent. There are a variety of activities ranging from meditation to ballroom dancing to weight lifting. You won't be bored, and the "obligation" is small (and generally pleasurable).

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Not a Concern – The people at Reed are, for the most part, coequal with the general population. On the other hand, that doesn't mean that Reed students are the same as everywhere else. Reedies aren't preoccupied with their appearance, so they tend to (but don't invariably) have a relatively relaxed look. Not only is appearance not a major concern, but we are generally too busy for elaborate (and potentially misleading) appearances.

6 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Fin Aid – I had lots of success at Reed securing good finicial aid. I feel that they are very accomdating and try to help students as much as possible

5 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Cheating isn't tolerated at Reed. Students police each other and themselves. There is an open policty for tests where students can take tests at home or outside of the classroom. Because of this honesty is veyr important.

5 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: There are many sports facilities available for students. Sports are required for all students so many different types of classes are available.

1 College Junior

Diversity: My experience of Reed's diversity has been *very* different from what others have described here. As someone who attended an economically and racially diverse public school for high school, I was shocked by Reed's monolithic whiteness and Reedies' overall privilege. There are definitely exceptions, but the dominant culture at Reed is very much upper-middle class. Most students (in my experience) attended expensive private high schools, and the vast majority of American students there are from California or the Northeast. While Reed is definitely accepting of quirkiness, different sexual orientations, and social awkwardness (and there's something to be said for those things), it lacks in the departments of socioeconomic and racial diversity. While Reedies are, or try to be, accepting of most people, in such a monolithic environment privilege is sometimes not noticed or called into question, resulting, at times, in a weird, pretentious, ivory-tower culture. Reedies have a tradition of proudly boasting that Reed isn't a trade school, for example (and one went so far as to shout this during a debate over whether or not the school newspaper should serve as a means of gaining experience in journalism). Most Reedies seem completely unaware of the classism inherent in demeaning trade schools. It's a small example, to be sure, but it's indicative of the way Reed's lack of diversity sometimes creeps into the public dialogue without being challenged.

26 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Food: Really Good, for a College Cafeteria – lots of local produce. not great, but better than anywhere else.

5 College Junior

Technology: lots of computers, almost always one available, mostly macs.

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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?

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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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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