Asked by Anonymous
This is true: just in walking around campus and seeing people in my classes, I can tell that a majority of people here are White, and most of the ethnic diversity seems to come from the international student population. While most students are White, there is still diversity in the sense that everyone has different backgrounds. If you are looking for numbers, Reed’s Institutional Research department publishes demographic data. Almost a quarter of students are from California, which explains the largest three ethnic groups. The Fall 2013 enrollment is comprised of 60% White, 10% Asian, 10% Hispanic, 8% Unknown 7-8% International (this year’s freshman class is 12% international), 4% Black, and 2% Native American. Considering the demographics of the U.S. I would say that Reed is doing pretty well in terms of ethnic diversity considering its small applicant pool and high acceptance rate.
Keep in mind that Reed admissions is primarily self-selecting, so they can’t really go out of their way to shape the demographics of the campus. I have to say that I am pretty surprised by the number of international students here, and everyone here is really unique, even if they are in the same ethnic group. With that said, you would definitely get better ethnic diversity at a larger and better known institution such as Stanford.
If you are interested in more data, visit reed.edu/ir/
Note that participating in this blog is volunteer based, so it is not a random sampling of the student population. Also note I am not connected to Reed Admissions.
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
Asked by the-apple-cider-idenis
It’s great to hear from prospective students. If you really want to be here, shout it out in your application essay, and admissions will take that to heart. If you are applying this year, you can also apply for the second round of ED, which will increase your chances.
Let me know if you have any more questions!
I first heard about Reed when I was sitting in line for a wizard rock concert in Portland in the middle of summer ‘12. The people in line behind me said they were from Reed which, at the time, I had no idea even existed. I did some more research in the weeks following the concert and decided to check it out since I was visiting other colleges in Portland, anyway. It was the last campus I was scheduled to visit before returning home after disappointingly discovering that all of the colleges I visited were just that—colleges. I hadn’t felt a sense of community or belonging at any other school and I was beginning to worry that maybe I would end up attending a boring college.
Hi! My name is Annika Mellies, and I am a sophomore transfer student, planning to major in English Literature (hopefully with an emphasis in COMICS, heck yes!)
I grew up right here in P-town, and as the daughter of a Reed professor I was regularly asked if I would one day attend Reed College. This always seemed like a silly question: why on earth would I go to a college that was mere blocks away from my childhood home? Plus, come on, Reedies are a weird bunch and I wouldn’t be caught dead dying my hair or slathering myself with glitter at Renn Fayre.
But first impressions can be deceiving.
After attending Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington (say that three times fast) for a year I needed a change of pace and spent 10 incredible months serving as an AmeriCorps member in St. Louis, Missouri, tutoring second graders in reading and writing in an inner-city elementary school. During that time I pondered my life’s trajectory and decided, after some convincing, to give Reed a chance. I flew to Portland, sat in on a Hum 110 conference, and knew immediately that this was the school for me. The incredible intellectual drive of the students and the professors, the vibrant campus folklore, and being back in my gorgeous hometown has been better than I ever thought it would be. Turns out I’ve been a Reedie all along!
When I am not taking every graphic novel class I can get my hands on I play cello in the Reed orchestra, sing in the Collegium choir, and help teach science to 5th graders with the Reed College Science Outreach program.
My name is Harrison Watson, I was born in Dallas, Texas and finished High School in Austin, but in between I lived with my family in India, Spain, Pennsylvania, and Germany. I’m a Senior English Literature Major fixing to graduate in a month.
Growing up all over the place, I spent a lot of time in small international schools with amazing teacher-student ratios and high academic expectations. The difference between that kind of learning environment and the one at the Texas public high school I graduated from was immense. It was easy to get lost in a graduating class of 2,000+ people, and I found it hard to challenge myself or find others who would challenge me. I chose Reed because it seemed like the teachers and the students here would challenge me more than any other college I looked at, not just academically, but morally and socially too.
One of the things that made me fall in love with Reed (and allowed me to survive this crazy place) is that you can learn just about anything you want to here, as long as you put in the effort. I’ve done things since coming to Reed that I never would have dreamed of beforehand. I’ve learned to spin fire-poi and do Capoeira, organized an electronic music stage for Renn Fayre, and written (most of) a thesis on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, all because Reed students and professors are open to and actively encourage any kind of learning that you are passionate about. The main lesson that Reed has taught me is that I can learn, do, and be anything I want. It just takes practice.
Daniel Hope ‘15 (Atlanta, GA): Challenge Me
I first heard about Reed as a sophomore in high school from a senior I knew who was going to Reed. We didn’t talk about it much, but he told me to keep it in mind when I started looking at schools. Fast forward a year, and I had just started the college process, and was fairly apathetic about it. I hadn’t been a particularly driven student for the most part: My high school, while good, was filled with a lot of high achievers who didn’t seem to put much value in education besides getting a good grade, and a question you frequently heard was “Will this be on the test?” So when I started looking into Reed more, it seemed too good to be true. First off, it was on the other side of the country, which was a huge draw for me, since I’d lived in Atlanta since I was 8. Second off, the mindset of the place seemed like a dream come true: Life of the mind, learning for the sake of learning, challenge yourself, all these were things that had appealed to me. While my grades were generally average at best, the classes I did well in were the ones that pushed me and asked the most of me, and Reed seemed like a place where there would be a lot of those kinds of courses.
So I made it my goal to come to Reed. I pushed myself to get here for the rest of Junior and Senior year, and somehow managed to get in.
And I’ve loved it ever since. Whether it has been finishing off a hum paper an hour before the deadline and feeling like I’ve nailed it, or struggling through harder Econ courses, Reed has lived up to everything that I’d hoped it would be. I’ve met amazing people, joined an improv group, wandered through Portland neighborhoods at 2am, been exposed to more glitter than I thought possible, and overall, I’ve had the kind of the college experience that I once would have thought could only be found in cliche movies.
Thanks for having me Reed. It’s been a blast, and I’m looking forward to two more great years.
My name is Austen Weymueller, and I’ll end up graduating in the fall of 2014 because I’ve decided to take a semester off, to travel with my little sister, in between now and then. Yeah Spring/Fall!
I’m from Portland, OR – my parents’ house is all of a fifteen-minute drive away, which means I get to go home and eat my mom’s cooking often, thank god. I’m a studio art major, and feel like I’m starting to be known for carrying random large artsy objects around campus (ie: doors, steamer trunks, etc.).
A bit about me…I jam out to Phoenix and top-40 in the art building, live for traveling and cups of PG-tips tea, and my family and good friends who make me cry when I laugh, or who can make me laugh when I’m crying. I think the smell of rain on hot cement may be the best smell in the whole world, and that sailor tattoos are incredibly badass.
I came to Reed because it was literally the only school I applied to that I could afford. Can I just say thankyouthankyouthankyou financial aid! So that’s why I ended up here…and I’ve stayed here because I think I make sense here. It took me quite a while to realize that, but maybe I appreciate this place all the more because I’ve had to work at it. I love being able to make art and discuss politics and theories I almost understand and sunbathe on the front lawn, and meet up with my mom for lunch, all in a day. I make sense here because my friends and I can be ridiculous one minute and be talking about gender equality issues the next.
Reed gave me a year abroad, in Italy and Morocco, and changed my life. Looking at it all, I think I got lucky, I really do, and I’m excited to spend another year pushing what I know and do in this beautiful place.
Arion Russell ‘13 (Seattle, WA): Reed is exactly what I’ve needed.
I love fashion more than most things in life. I think I never really got over playing dress-up. I want to be a fashion designer because I want to make clothes that make people happy and feel good about themselves. Fashion should be fun.
I went to a big suburban high school where I felt really isolated and bored. I wanted to go to Reed because I wanted to be in a place where it was okay to be really genuinely interested in stuff, academic or otherwise, and where it was okay to be weird. People at Reed are really passionate about what they like and what they study, and since I’m a very passionate person it seemed like the perfect fit. I also really, really wanted to live in Portland. It’s pretty much the coolest city as far as I’m concerned. When I visited, I was struck by how amazingly cool and creative everyone seemed. I wanted to be exactly like all of them. I’ve since recovered from the delusion that Reedies are Perfect People, but I still appreciate the environment of creativity. Reed has been exactly what I’ve needed in my life.
Arion is also part of the Weapons of Mass Distraction, Reed’s fire dancing club that performs on Thursday evenings.
Mike Sommer ‘16 (Bernards Township, NJ): Life of the Mind.
“I’m really interested in Physics and Art, and if I could find a way to combine the two into one major I totally would. I have no idea how to do that really, but the one idea I have is that they both attempt to model things. You can compare realist art to classical physics and abstract art to theoretical physics but that’s more of a philosophical waxing than an actual combination of the two majors.
The thing most people notice about me on first meeting me is of course the unit circle tattoo. I knew I wanted a tattoo for a while and that I wanted it to be related to my interests. You use the unit circle (or at least concepts related to it) a lot in physics. Components of vectors, anything modeled by a wave or combinations of waves, anything that relies on trigonometric identities, certain integrals. Its really cool how so many concepts and tools come from something as simple as a circle with a radius of 1. I was very happy with it and haven’t regretted it whatsoever, although a couple people at Reed have criticized me for not using the polar coordinate equation to define it (which just goes to show how geeky people here are).”
"I actually didn’t really have any plan for getting a college education for a while, I felt really out of place in my hometown, and one day stumbled onto some information about Reed while mindlessly browsing the internet in my high school’s library. I was really intrigued by the motto "the life of the mind" and the whole idea of learning for the sake of learning rather than to bestow a certain prestige on your resume. I never visited Reed or went to any of the off campus meetings, so when I showed up here at O-week I really had no idea what to expect. But I remember walking into the canyon, sitting on a very particular log that jutted out into the creek, and smoking a cigarette. I wondered what it would be like to go here for four years. I just had a very good feeling, I felt really at peace, and I knew that I had made the right decision. The people here really made me feel welcome (which as a homosexual living in a tiny conservative town was a rare feeling) and just like my tattoo, I have only positive feelings about coming here."
Kate Hilts ‘16 (Boston, MA): I felt comfortable around all the dyed hair and hyper-intellectualism.
“I decided to peruse environmental science here after having a climate change apocalypse nightmare. I’ve had a few more since. The even weirder part is that I’ve talked to two other science majors here who have also had them. Other trivia: I lived in Botswana for a year and a half, and I don’t shave my legs.”
"I’d had my eye on Reed for a while, but what sealed it was my campus visit. I was in a democratically-run school-within-a-school program in high school, with a hundred kids who all knew each other, or at least each other’s names. While walking around Reed’s campus with my friends cousin, it felt like a bigger version of that; everyone was weird, cynical, outspoken, and friendly. I felt comfortable around all the dyed hair and hyper-intellectualism."
Asked by cherrybombqueen
Send me something about you and why you chose reed! Also, tell me where you are from, and your expected graduation year — then we can set up a time to get a photo.
Alex Houston ‘13 (Orlando, FL): welcome to the thrift shop.
"I like buying smelly, old, rejected, sad-looking clothing by the pound at the Goodwill Outlet Store (aka the bins) and turning it into runway-inspired fashion featuring Reed students and friends. Check it out - binsbabes.tumblr.com. Besides setting up questionable fashion photo shoots and promoting my tumblr, I’m interested in fingerprint identification, Enid Blyton, the 40+ independent coffee shops in SE Portland, and Beyonce.”
"I chose Reed because I visited on a beautiful sunny day in the spring and was immediately surrounded by friendly people who wanted to talk about crazy/interesting/weird subjects. I wasn’t fully cognizant that Portland is usually cloudy and that I met exceptionally outgoing Reedies that day. In the last four years, I’ve come to love the Portland drizzle (some days more than others), my classes, the city of Portland, and my fellow classmates. Through Reed I’ve been given amazing opportunities: surfing in the Pacific Ocean (Gray Fund), interning at the Innocence Project of Florida (McGill Lawrence), having tea with the founder of Powell’s Bookstore (Reed Leadership series), and attending the Southeastern Psychological Association conference (Reed Opportunity Grant). I’m grateful to Reed not just for the education I’ve received, but for all of the opportunities afforded to me and the amazing friends I’ve made. I’ll miss this next year."
Maddie Gordon ‘16 (Seattle, WA): I wanted a community.
“ I love to cook and eat, I love to write, and I love hot-gluing shit together to make cool things.”
"I came to Reed because I wanted a place with a small theatre department that I could really find a community in. The fact that Reed is in such a cool city doesn’t hurt, either."