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Colleges similar to Reed?

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Replies to: Colleges similar to Reed?

  • unaloveunalove Registered User Posts: 3,725 Senior Member
    I think carolyn more deftly explained what I was going for-- that you can find a little bit of everything at every school. There are a lot of schools that people haven't mentioned, but if you find one that fits perfectly for you (say, a school like Amherst or Duke) I wouldn't second-guess your choice, particularly because I know of somebody who was completely stuck choosing between acceptances from Amherst and Reed and ended up choosing Amherst.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    "Open-minded," to me, means that you'll find a good deal of piercings, hair dye, and body odor. And students who are too interested in other things to care about others' physical appearances. On this end, Chicago is not known for being particularly "counterculture" but students don't give much of a whiff about physical appearance, for the most part.

    That's why I'm suggesting that the original poster be precise in what he/she likes about Reed. If it's the whole counter-culture vibe, then I don't think a place like Chicago or Swarthmore is going to fit the bill. If it's the intellectualism, then these two schools would. I would say that both Chicago and Swarthmore tend more to "geek" than "Renn Faire".
    Likewise, if it's the intellecutalism and not the counter-culture vibe, then suggestions like Bard are wide of the mark.

    Plus, as a general premise, trying to articulate what attracts a student to the college can be very helpful in identifying alternatives up and down the reach/match/safety continuum.
  • peter05peter05 Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    carolyn,

    the similarity between reed and ohio wesleyan has been argued elsewhere. i won't add more to that argument. the more problematic aspect of the discussion was that you jumped into the discussion with no actual recent experience with ohio wesleyan and even more disturbingly you got a few facts outright wrong about the college. in the argument you got facts not perceptions wrong. as a consumer, i don't care what perceptions people have about what they decide to buy as long as as i myself get the facts about what i am buying (be it is good or a college experience) correct. the 'kissing cousins' was never mentioned you can keep that in the perception category and for your dinner table.
  • kelseygkelseyg Registered User Posts: 786 Member
    Would anyone really classify Reed as laid-back? Talking to some people I know who go/went there, it's very competitive. One person transferred because she didn't enjoy the competitive atmosphere and felt it was too difficult to make friends.

    Anyway. I have one friend who didn't have the stats to get into Reed but is highly enjoying Ohio Wesleyan. If she's typical of many students there, I'd bet it has the quirky/cool/open-minded thing down.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 29,964 Super Moderator
    laid-back: - Wiktionary: relaxed and easy-going; an absence of stress or worry

    No, I don't think of Reed as laid-back, but also not competitive in the sense that students are not in competition with each other. Students are stressed, but the professor isn't going to fail a certain percentage; everyone will succeed if they work hard enough and learn the material. Grades are never posted or written on tests or papers (students must ask to see them, and the culture is not to ask), so there is no grade competition.
  • unaloveunalove Registered User Posts: 3,725 Senior Member
    I think of Reed as socially laid-back, which is the only kind of "laid-back" that matters to me. I've never felt stressed out about a demanding academic courseload, but I feel stressed out in social situations quite frequently. Thus, I think I'd find my experience at Reed to be a lot more easygoing for me than a school that is more traditional socially but academically laid-back.
  • lazydoglazydog Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    yeah i meant it as more socially laid back.

    Im looking for challenging academics with a relatively low amount of competition.
  • kelseygkelseyg Registered User Posts: 786 Member
    I know you meant socially laid-back, I'm more than aware that Reed has tough academics. Like I said, an acquaintance of mine transferred away from Reed because she felt it was too hard to make friends and very isolating at times. She transferred to a school that is equally well regarded academically, if not more so, so I don't think academics were the problem. I got the impression that she liked the level of academic difficulty but did say it is very competitive and unsociable. I didn't ask her too much about it since she just mentioned in passing (since she knows I'm actually a big fan of Reed and it was one of my top undergrad choices; don't get me wrong, I think it's a fantastic school.)

    You should just think about it when you visit, since I'm only talking anecdotes. She might very well be an oddity (there are unhappy people at every school!)
  • peter05peter05 Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    lazydog, is your friend still at ohio wesleyan? it is hard to make cross-college comparisons without using objective data. i am not a huge believer in perceptions or stereotypes. for example, many college counselors who rely or promote such stereotypes are a generation above the college-aged kids who make decisions and many of these counselors have never really even visited the campuses they are supposedly giving advice about or are giving advice based on old visits. go figure. i personally like the princeton review ratings on college culture. the books attempts to get as close as possible to an objective survey-based method of capturing the vague idea of what perceptions attempt to proxy. This is what PR has listed for students' opinion about OWU:

    Ohio Wesleyan Students Say...

    “The high percentage of international students” is one factor that causes OWU students to describe the school as “very diverse,” although they also acknowledge the presence of “your usual preps with popped-up collars.” As one student puts it, this “snobby, preppy image” is in fact “a stereotype that belies the camaraderie that really pervades the campus.” The school’s “Numerous student organizations facilitate cross-cultural discourse. OWU is also very GBLT friendly, with sexual identity courses and discussion forums a regular aspect of OWU’s social and cultural scene.” One student observes, “It is not unusual to see people walking around with mohawks, or to see people walking around in seersuckers.
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