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Reed College Interview

SonicFan63SonicFan63 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
So I'm very interested in applying to Reed, and scheduled an interview, and immediately after doing so began the process of stressing about it. What should I expect from it? I know the questions are "uncommon," but can anyone describe their overall experience? Casual? Somewhat more formal? Were the questions more philosophical, intellectual, nerdy, "why reed? based," downright peculiar? And most importantly, should I be stressed about it? Reed is at the top of my list, so I definitely want to go in prepared and myself, and not just some stressed out kid pretending to be exactly what the interviewers want to see. Thanks!!

Replies to: Reed College Interview

  • SonicFan63SonicFan63 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Also, any information anyone has on the interview or school itself would be great, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of information on Reed Compared with much better known schools.
  • jkeil911jkeil911 Registered User Posts: 6,009 Senior Member
    Reed's a very fine school. A friend's son was very good at math but had some learning problems, but at Reed he flourished. It was very difficult most of the time. Lots of studying, but the kids did spend some time relaxing. It has a reputation of having a lot of potheads, but whatever the truth is the kids don't have any problems doing well in college and preparing themselves for graduate school. It's one of those LACs that sends a high percentage of its students on to earn PhDs. Kinda granola, kinda birkenstock. given its liberal reputation, it has a very traditional curriculum that requires a lot of gen ed courses. There's not a lot of chance of double majoring.

    An interview with an alumnus/a is not going to make or break your application. Reed wants to see that you're one of them, whatever that is. Go to the Reed College forum here on CC and see if a Reed student or graduate comes by and can answer your questions. Oh, my friend's son graduated in math and went to work at Google. He's happy as a clam because he's already used to working long hours.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,360 Senior Member
    Interesting, I am looking at Reed for my D, as I think it will be a good fit for her. I am worried about then"pothead" image though. Even my mother, who lives in Oregon, says Reed is known for this. So,what is the truth? Anyone out there who attended/attends Reed that can weigh in on this? And how does Reed compare to Lewis and Clark?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,291 Senior Member
    @jkeil911, why would you think the interview is with an alumnus/a? My D2 interviewed with the Reed rep who visited her high school (emailed the rep and asked, and since it was the last high school visit of the day, the rep was fine with it), and I believe they offer on-campus interviews as well. Now... my D isn't the best at interviews, and she found it pretty stilted and awkward. But I am sure that was at least 50% from her side! It does sound like her interviewer didn't really put her at ease and maybe sort of rushed through the questions... I do think they are used to this type of student, and although she didn't end up applying, I am pretty sure she would have if she had applied.

    @Lindagaf, it is certainly there on campus for students who want it. There are a lot of students who don't, though. It is definitely a college you and your D should visit before deciding whether it is a fit for her. Reed is stronger academically than Lewis & Clark, definitely more intellectual, but Lewis & Clark is going to be a more mainstream atmosphere.
  • lr4550lr4550 Registered User Posts: 958 Member
    My D and I recently visited Reed and Lewis and Clark. Both schools were very impressive and so very different! I know it isn't really fair to categorize based on fleeting impressions from short term admissions visits but in general schools do have a "culture" and here are some thoughts:

    Reed struck us as intellectually intense with a more outspoken/activist vibe overall. Lots of room for quirkiness within the student body, clearly an academic and tolerant student body. Academic programs and opportunities absolutely excellent at Reed. Reed has a rigorous curriculum, we could see how so many students go on to grad school from Reed. This is definitely a school where kids immerse themselves in their academics. Also, when we walked past some of the upper class dorms (we were walking outside along the path) we definitely smelled marijuana- clearly pot has a presence on campus. I know it does at many schools across the nation, but that was the first time we have ever smelled pot during a tour!

    Lewis and Clark seemed like a more traditional liberal arts college in terms of atmosphere. Overall, students didn't seem as intellectually intense but the students were certainly engaged in their academics and passionate about their school. Great positive energy- happy students- slightly larger student body. Sports seemed to be part of the school culture, and in general students seemed to be more actively engaged in outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, etc.).

    Overall we liked both schools, education top notch at both. But they really have completely different vibes so if both schools are on a "college list", that prospective student should make the effort to visit as there isn't a ton that they have in common. I do think each school offers a much different undergrad experience. But, again, both are fabulous schools within their own right- we were impressed with each for different reasons.
  • SonicFan63SonicFan63 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    What should I wear? They don't specify, and I definitely don't want to be underdressed or overdressed.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,291 Senior Member
    Reed is a very casual place. You could honestly wear jeans and a t-shirt, and be fine. Too buttoned-down or gussied up wouldn't probably be appropriate there. If you are worried, then jeans and a non-t-shirt is okay. too. :) Wear comfy shoes if you are going on tour, too.
  • EchinacheaEchinachea Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I went to Reed years ago. Two of my favorite people where a couple who dressed in the utmost preppy style: plaid golf shorts and polo shirt for him, pearls and cardigan for her. The rest of us (the grubby jeans and t-shirt brigade) thought they were brave and hilarious. Moral: Do what you want. Reed wants people who are authentic. If you are a confident thinker, they won't care if you are wearing a burlap sack or a ball gown.
  • scubadivescubadive Registered User Posts: 793 Member
    Lewis & Clark is more laid back than Reed. A lot of Reed students seemed to try very hard to show how smart they were. Kids at Reed were known more for hard drug usage than LC students. LC had its druggies but it wasn't part of the core culture. LC was very big on learning to think and really focused on writing skills. LC students were intellectual but were not pressured to show it in every conversation. Sports were not a big deal at LC. Very few students attended sporting events although a lot did intramural activities. Both are very politically liberal and earthy. At either school you will be challenged academically and learn a lot.
  • hmandrhmandr Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    this is pretty late but i did an interview with reed last month (i guess you've already done yours though) and it went pretty well i thought. the guy i had was pretty nice and laid-back. he asked pretty much normal questions just keep your cool and answer them truthfully :-)
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,611 Senior Member
    To be honest, while Reed does have a lot of marijuana smokers, so do most LACs.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,291 Senior Member
    Ah... some at other LACs, but not a lot like at Reed.
  • zzzmmmzzzmmm Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    I agree that Reed has a lot of drugs available as do other schools. Reedies tend to be a little more self-righteous and open about experimentation. Very intellectual, very challenging. My son will apply to Reed; his father was a passionate Reedie. But I do feel like Reed could still be Reed without the emphasis on drugs. My friends have kids at both Reed and Haverford and say that Haverford has a much more low-key vibe. I feel like Reed is probably a better academic program for my son but Haverford is where he' would fit in more easily.
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