I just ran onto that link myself vonlost.
If it helps, my oldest ( both kids actually) have math related learning disabilities, and while she took calc, she didnt hit the wall until ochem.
But calculus was fine. ( although she didnt take it freshman year- she had taken a year off after high school so her math wasnt fresh, she retook pre- calc the summer before sophomore year- she was already taking bio, chem & hum110, & we decided that was enough for her first year)
Originofother, I'm sorry if you don't like my line of questioning. But Reed is a VERY expensive school given the SAT scores ranges and ranking (yes, I know they don't "play" in the ranking space, but I also have no way of truly judging where they would come out if they did and if the school is really worth the expense). With no merit money, I am going to poke and prod at all of the weaknesses I see before being willing to shell out over $200,000 for an education there. Vague assurances that everyone there loves it are not enough for me... Don't be too defensive, as I am also following up on lines of questioning at other schools that ask about what seem like possible weaknesses. I do appreciate your description of the calculus class. That is sort of what I though the answer would be, but it helps to have it confirmed.
I can say that the person I talked to who works at the college said that Reed students can be quite obtuse about whether their behaviors are hurting other individuals. This person said they have seen frequent examples where students use the honor principle as a shield when in fact the student's behavior has been damaging to someone else. This person was actually quite complimentary of the intellectual abilities of Reed students, but did have this criticism. The defensiveness about smoking on campus seems like an example of this, as smoking does hurt others (second hand smoke illnesses, increased health care costs for the whole society, etc.).
As I said, my D liked it quite a bit and will apply. But as the person who pays the bills, I am going to ask a lot of questions before making a commitment if she is accepted.
So I didn't look at all of the Pluralistic Ignorance results, but clicked through a few of them. General impression is that Reedies think they are "above average" compared to fellow student in almost all categories. They gave themselves better rankings than they gave Reed as a whole in most cases. That is probably more human nature than specific to Reed, but interesting. "Where all the children are above average".
Yeah I read through the study and thought I saw a trend in the opposite direction as well.. I even thought about warning you that it created a false sense of humbleness from the student body because... that's not actually the case most of the time lol.
and I apologize if I seemed defensive, I was actually just trying to bring up some points that I think anyone here should be aware of before comitting (or shelling out the bucks, but I'll let you know, the financial aid department is pretty fantastic. I come from a very low income family and not going into too many specifics, after all was said and done, we ended up paying about 4,000 a year. So while there isn't a merit based, Reed really does try to meet demonstrated need from what I can tell.) In other news... the honor principle thing you heard about? I completely agree with what you were told... there's a lot of twisting the honor principle to defend your actions without thinking of others. I'm still not agreeing with your views on smoking, as we try to be aware and there are spots that smokers gravitate to on campus that non-smokers can stay away from. But one example I can think of is the issue of graffiti we have, put simply: students use the honor principle to back their decision to tag, and the administration uses it to defend covering it up. It can get a little sticky, but I think over all, it creates a self-awareness that is a nice change from the usual rules/consequences method.
Hmm, the paradox page is interesting (and actually helpful in sorting some of this). Regarding the Pluralistic Ignorance, I was looking at the Moral & Legal Issues section... Reedies think they steal less frequently and cheat less frequently than others in the community, and they think they value the honor principle more than others. That is where my "above average" comment came from. I didn't review all of the sections, some probably reveal other things.
Need based financial aid works well, obviously, for those with financial need. For those like me paying out of our own pockets, this is likely the biggest expenditure than I will make on any one thing in my life except a house. I didn't save from the day my kid was born to waste the money... so am going to do a lot of digging and questioning. Reed's calculator, by the way, shows zero financial aid for us. Some other schools do not. And my D is a very good candidate for merit aid at other schools. Obviously this is a choice that a lot of students have to make about Reed. I am not completely unwilling to do so, but it needs to be a compelling case in favor of the school to do so. And, of course, she has to be admitted.
Originofother, once you get past the initial calculus class, what are math courses like after that (if you have taken them)?
Well, I think it really depends on who you take math with. There are more traditionally taught math courses offered, but the two I took (calc, and then multi variable) were taught by the same scatter brained, philosophical, 'lets look a little deeper' professor who had a thing for giant proofs and not using numbers. My advice would be to just ask around when you're picking out classes... each professor comes with their own bucket of commentary and students are normally very excited to tell you what's to love or hate. Personally, I adored my year of math, it just happened to blow my mind.
Admissions is need aware, so there's that in your daughters favor, although it is interesting that similar schools found need and Reed did not.
Although since that is just using the site based calculators and not comparing packages, I think that the jury is still out as to the accuracy.
As another example, NYU is FAFSA-only which routinely shows more need than PROFILE, but NYU doesn't usually meet full need. So a Reed full-pay may indeed get some need-aid from NYU, and another student may get more need-aid from Reed than from NYU.
Although my D may get a small amount of need based aid her first year at some schools because my business has had some issues this year, odds are good that she will not after that. So I am really working under the assumption that I am probably paying pretty much the whole bill.
Thanks to everyone for the input... we will see where the admissions chips fall, and I may be back with more questions later.
I know the thread has been inactive for a while, but I thought I might as well chime in: I'm a junior at Reed right now. I think I can speak to a few things.
Reed does not have minors, but that doesn't mean you can't "create your own." I'm a physics major, but I've taken five classes through the Chinese department (some lit, some language, some history), and plan to take at least one more. (Song dynasty history, religion, and poetry! I'm excited.) A friend of mine who graduated last year was a physics major who did lots of studio art classes. A word about studio art — the program strikes me as really unusual but thoroughly excellent. Oddly enough, it seems like one of the more practical programs.
I'm taking a 400-level (essentially graduate school material) math elective, and doing research with a math professor. Math at reed strongly resembles the math that professional mathematicians do. (This is also true of U Chicago, for what it's worth.) To wit, I feel like I've grown a lot as a mathematician while here — but lots of math majors take upper division classes in the physics department, because physicists heavily rely on computation, where as (if I may generalize) mathematicians see computation as secondary to understanding. There's a great class in the physics department which is basically "all the math you need for a career in physics" (unless you're a theorist, in which case you need a bit more) -- when I took it, we covered differential equations, linear algebra, Fourier analysis, and other good stuff.
That being said, not many people can know while still in high school whether they like mathematician's math; if you would like to peruse, though, Reed's 100 level math sequence is here: Math 111 and Math 112 Course Notes: Reed College, its 200-level math sequence is here: Course notes for multivariable calculus, and an example of an upper division math class is here: people.reed.edu/~davidp/homepage/321.pdf. (As an aside, the last of these has a chapter called "celebrity deathmatch," referring to the integral as defined by Riemann and Lebesgue and which is more versatile. I find Reed professors have charming senses of humour.)
I got a 2340. I do not feel out of place at Reed. If you like data, College board research says that the correlation between SAT+high school GPA and college GPA is 0.62. Reed has a division called Institutional Research that crunches admissions stats vs. how kids do here, and we do a lot better than that. I think it's great that Reed is willing to admit kids that are brilliant but bad at taking standardized tests; I suspect lots of other schools would love to have such students, but are worried about hurting their rankings.
Reed's financial aid office can be capricious. I personally do not believe an undergraduate education is worth 200k, unless you view that sum strictly as an investment and your daughter plans to go into certain areas of high finance (in which case, silly as it is, that 200k pays itself off very quickly). Reed is a wonderful place, but many other schools are too.
5) Smoking (as if it hasn't been discussed in this thread)
My suspicion is this is actually Portland's influence on Reed. Reedies and Portlanders dress absurdly, smoke more and get more piercings than the average American, tend to be left-of-centre, and so on. My home city was the first in North America to ban smoking in restaurants; in this respect Portland was a bit of a culture shock. That being said, in my experience the smoker population seems larger than it is — because they all have to be outside thanks to a certain state law.
Many of my friends will point to smoking as the thing they dislike most about Reed, and campus surveys show more people are annoyed by smokers than smoke themselves. I feel that Reed has blessed me in a lot of ways, and while I'd prefer if people would smoke less, I can't say it's bothered me all that much during my time here.
The strongest reasons were that its academic strengths matched my interests, and I felt the community was an extraordinary one — people whom I love living and studying with. Your daughter should go somewhere where she'll be challenged by her classes and enriched by her peers. The admissions process is a hard one, I know; I wish you and your daughter the best of luck.
Truly intellectual colleges? HYP, Stanford, Columbia, Dartmouth, UPenn, all VERY intellectual obviously. Intellect is their priority, it's the precise reason they got into a school that prestigious. St. Johns and New College of Florida are very high ranked schools that are unconventionally brilliant. Also, Claremont McKenna students are brilliant, just, in a different way.
Brilliant (distinguished by unusual mental keenness or alertness) is not intellectual (having or showing the ability to easily learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations). Brilliant is more test scores and grades; intellectual is more attitude.