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Colleges similar to Reed?

lazydoglazydog Registered User Posts: 328 Member
edited August 2008 in College Search & Selection
looking for some schools with the same vibe as reed....the same intelectual, open-minded, fresh, laid back, feel

So far ive found......
Lewis and clark
St Johns college

any more you guys can think of.....
i guess we'll just make a list

Post edited by lazydog on

Replies to: Colleges similar to Reed?

  • fireflyscoutfireflyscout Registered User Posts: 5,453 Senior Member
    Carleton, Beloit to name a couple.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 31,769 Super Moderator
    Grinnell, Swarthmore.
  • sstGO27sstGO27 Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    New, Hampshire, Vassar, Bard, Earlham, and maybe Warren Wilson, Haverford, Brown, or Brandeis
  • dntw8updntw8up Registered User Posts: 1,594 Senior Member
    New College of Florida!
  • WeskidWeskid Registered User Posts: 1,288 Senior Member
    I agree with those already listed. Also try Wesleyan.
  • lazydoglazydog Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    Ok, so is that vibe only really found in LACs or are there any large universties or even state schools that you know of with that same vibe?

    thanks guys
  • unaloveunalove Registered User Posts: 3,725 Senior Member
    Sure thing. All of the following are public schools with a bit of a funky edge to them:

    Evergreen State College (Washington)
    New College of Florida
    Purchase College (New York)-- probably not that intellectual, but very artsy
    UC Berkeley

    And I'm sure there are more. If you end up attending a state school, the common denominator to attract students (usually) is its low cost rather than "fit" or "feel." This means that you see a lot of diversity in the people and personalities that attend these schools. I know a lot of graduates of the SUNY system who are self-described funky intellectuals who loved, loved, loved their experiences as an undergrad.
  • MilwDadMilwDad Registered User Posts: 545 Member
    Kalamazoo in Michigan.
  • pointoforderpointoforder Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    Haverford, Grinnell, and Swarthmore
  • poubellepoubelle Registered User Posts: 364 Member
    Yeah, I agree with a lot those listed above.

    I'll put in a good word for Swarthmore, Macalester, UChicago, Haverford, Brown.
  • CurrySpiceCurrySpice Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Whitman, Kenyon, Carleton, Macalester, Grinnell

    For a public, I've heard University of Colorado - Boulder has a very artsy vibe.
    But I agree with the poster who said large publics are less likely to be as focused in student vibe as the smaller LACs.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    You better be very precise in what you like about Reed. You are getting a bunch of schools thrown at you that may be similar to one particular aspect of Reed, but are diametrically opposite in other ways.

    For example, you have had both Bard and Swarthmore thrown in to the suggestion box. IMO, you could not find two more dissimilar colleges than Bard and Swarthmore. They are at opposite ends of the universe.

    I also see very little similarity between Reed and UChicago.
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    ^ Reed and UChicago, as well as St. John's, have a core curriculum and are famous for intellectualism. Oberlin and Macalester fit in quirkiness. I don't know much about Lewis and Clark, other than it being geographically close to Reed. As for suggestions:

    Core - Columbia, Thomas Aquinas.
    Intellectualism - Swarthmore, Carleton.
    Quirkiness - Vassar, Wesleyan, Bard, Hampshire, Brown.
    Laid-back - any of the Midwestern LACs, especially those previously mentioned (Grinnell, Beloit, Earlham, Kalamazoo--the latter three are also safer)

    I've heard good things about New College of Florida, but can't really speak to it.
  • unaloveunalove Registered User Posts: 3,725 Senior Member

    Here's what the OP liked about Reed:
    the same intelectual, open-minded, fresh, laid back, feel

    I must admit that I've never stepped foot on Reed's campus, and I only know one or two current students, but I certainly feel I could connect the dots between Reed and Chicago (as well as Swarthmore and Bard).

    Let's start with Reed, Chicago, and Swarthmore-- they're among the handful of schools in this country that brag about the quality and intensity of academic life that they offer their students. Anybody who likes big books and big ideas will probably find any of those three to be heavenly.

    Of the three, Chicago probably has the reputation for being the most conservative (politically and socially) and the most straight-laced. Reed probably has the reputation for having more drugs. I don't know enough about Swarthmore to know how its reputation differs or is similar to Chicago/Reed. But whatever it is, it's a reputation and only a reputation.

    Bard tends to attract students who march to a different drummer, and while it might not have the same academic claims of intensity as the other schools, some kids I know there could kick my butt in terms of well-readliness any day of the week.

    What I will agree is that the OP uses somewhat vague terms in describing Reed, but that's not his or her fault, but rather the fact that characterizing colleges in a few words is extraordinarily difficult or even impossible.

    "Intellectual" could be used to describe any school that's been listed on this thread so far.

    "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. (I do have a good deal of friends who change their hairstyle and color regularly and have piercings in way ouchie places, so again, it's hard to establish any kind of hard and fast rules here).

    "Fresh"-- I like this word a lot. I interpret it to mean a lot of students who are true to themselves and follow their own passions to their own ends rather than obsess about goals that others put in place for them.

    "Laid-back"-- I think this goes along with "fresh." "Laid-back" is where you can find students who aren't stressed out about measuring up to others.

    Interesting to note: most people probably wouldn't describe Reed as "laid-back," because of its reputation for lots of work. But I think the OP proves what I've been trying to argue all along: the right school for the right person will appear to be "laid-back," no matter what others might say about it.
  • carolyncarolyn Registered User Posts: 7,435 Senior Member
    unalove, I think you make an excellent point. A lot of this really is about personal perception, and since we all filter information through our own biases and experiences, one person's "Reed-like" or "Bard-like" or "Swarthmore-like" may be very different than another person's view of the same group of schools. A few months ago, for instance, someone on the Reed board insisted that Ohio Wesleyan and Reed were practically kissing cousins. Many people would consider these two very different places, but in this person's world-view they shared enough characteristics to make them very similar in his opinion. (Please note and disclaimer: I am not in anyway implying that there is anything wrong with Ohio Wesleyan!)

    Perhaps, since no two colleges are ever going to be EXACTLY the same, and each person will filter the similarities and differences between schools through their own selective experiences and biases, it would be better to talk about schools that are on the same CONTINUUM in terms of sharing certain characteristics. Some of the schools on the same continuum might be closer to each other on one end or other of the continuum, but there are enough commonalities to make it not completely absurd to think that an INDIVIDUAL student could find similarities and perhaps good fits among all of the schools on a defined continuum. (Of course, some will still debate whether certain schools should be on the same continuum...)

    That said, I can see commonalities between Reed and almost all of the schools mentioned in this site, some stronger on one quality than another, but certainly someone could make a case that many are on the same continuum of what the original poster is identifying as his personal criteria. Again, some may be a little closer to what he is looking for than others, but so far there's no school that, from my perception at least, couldn't fit into the same continuum, depending on the weighting of the continuum's criteria. Rather than argue our individual perceptions of the subtleties between schools in this thread, perhaps we should just stick to brainstorming ideas for the poster and let him weigh the suggestions through his own filters, definitions, and experiences.

    To the original poster, depending on your weighting of specific characteristics, in addition to the schools already mentioned, some other schools to take a look at might be: Pitzer (part of the Claremont Consortium, which some think feels like a small university), the Johnston Center at the University of Redlands, Sarah Lawrence, Eugene Lang, Hendrix, and Bennington. Keep in mind that you will also find social pockets at many large universities that you may find are on the same continuum as Reed, even though to a casual observer, the overall university might not seem to have much in common with the Reed continuum. Examples would be the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, UC Berkeley (already mentioned), UC Santa Cruz, Syracuse University, Boston University, and NYU. Some of the honors programs at large universities might also fit an individual's definition of being "on the Reed continuum." For example, both the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara and the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University offer students a similar intellectual intensity, even though at first glance the larger university might not seem to be anywhere near the Reed Continuum.

    So, there are lots of possibilities -- my advice is to investigate and, if possible, visit the schools mentioned in this thread that sound TO YOU like they might be on YOUR personal version of the Reed Continuum, and trust your own judgement about whether their subtle and not so subtle similarities fit the characteristics you are looking for. Good luck!
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