<p>I recognize that admissions at Reed are holistic and by no means entirely based on stats. But do you guys think I have a fighting chance?</p>

<p>GPA: 3.65
SAT: 2050 (750 CR, 720 W, 580 M)
ACT: 30 (26 M, 26 S, 35 E, 34 W)
AP: 4(WH), 5(Land/Comp), Lit, GOPO, Stats
Will graduate HS with 57 college credits from the local community college
Rank: top 11th percentile
ECs: Lots of theatre experience as an actor, writer, costumer, and director
Involvement in choir and jazz choir
Private voice lessons
NHS + community service
Part-time job
Teacher Recs: From my AP Lang/Comp, AP Lit, and AP Stats teachers. The first two stress my critical thinking and open-mindedness, and the last talks about how I make the most of a subject that isn't my forte (math).
"Why Reed?" Essay: I wrote it on the values of thinking critically and acting deliberately that I feel like I share with Reed. I talked about how the values were manifested in the Honor Principle, as well as the respect and openness found both inside and outside the classroom. I also spoke to the visceral sensation of belonging that overcame me on my visit.
Other schools: I'm also applying to Oberlin, Pitzer, Hampshire, Willamette, Lewis & Clark, and Evergreen. I've already been accepted to Willamette with a merit scholarship. Reed is my first choice. </p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>Reed is not a good place for performing artists, not really. You won’t have time, and the dialectical-materialist irony and general aggressiveness of the place tend to demand of you that place where the freedom of the performative esthetic used to live in your soul. Academic hard-hitters and performing artists take different paths as they develop. Where do your achievements fit into your plans? Oberlin might be better, if you are applying to to the Conservatory. Try Lawrence University, and perhaps Millikin as well? And there are surely other places, too. Pitzer is a good, underrated school. Hampshire is for very free spirits. Lewis & Clark is more than decent. But again, what do you really want in a school, and what do you want to develop/accomplish there? </p>

<p>Frankly, I think you’d get beaten up academically and spiritually at Reed. You have a good background and a hopeful, impressionistic sense of the place, but you would be limited to a major in literature there, maybe creative writing or theatre. The boundaries of these disciplines are clearly drawn at Reed. You have so much more potential than that. I hope this doesn’t seem to denigrate you and how you have lived your life so far. I mean no disrespect. I have a feeling you have esthetic and personal resources that would be wasted at Reed, which would be a real shame.</p>

<p>Are you female? Consider Smith, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, etc. Literary/performing interests are taken quite seriously at these schools.</p>

<p>I’m not going to chance you because I really have no way of knowing whether or not you’d get in. You seem like an average candidate that’s stronger in lit/humanities than math/sciences. </p>

<p>Are you planning to major in theatre, or is that just a hobby? If you’re planning to major in it, I would agree with Prairie that the theatre dept isn’t as good as it should be (though they are in the process of expanding it and that could be exciting) and that Reed demands a lot so you don’t have as much free time to pursue extracurricular activities (i.e. being involved with plays 24/7), though they do exist and people make time for them. And there are student-initiated productions but perhaps not as many as at other schools with better performing arts programs. Skidmore and Vassar are two east-coast LACs that have strong theatre programs that you might want to consider, if that is indeed what you are interested in. It seems like the majority of theatre kids at Reed tend to be Lit-Theatre or Theatre-Dance interdisciplinary majors, rather than strictly theatre.</p>

<p>The other thing I wanted to mention was your 57 college credits. Reed won’t count them if they went towards meeting high school graduation requirements (they call it “double-dipping”), so make sure it’s apparent on your transcript which classes counted towards meeting requirements at your school (if any) and which ones didn’t. The ones that could count at Reed might be used to fulfill some of the group requirements, but a lot of departments (esp. sciences) are picky about what they’ll accept. So basically, don’t assume that you will enter Reed with sophomore status or have completed certain prerequisites because of your community college classes. If you were counting on that, you should probably have a long conversation with Beth Barteletti (transfer coordinator) about how your credits will transfer in.</p>

<p>Thank you both for your thoughts—they are much more valuable than the chance-ing that I had requested. </p>

<p>I do not see myself majoring in or pursuing theatre as a career. I do not identify as being a performing artist, although I do spend a great deal of time being one, I suppose. Performing holds no intrinsic value to me. </p>

<p>That being said, theatre is a language that I speak, and I am very glad that I do. Theatre is a form of communication to me, wherein an author can present an imagined scenario to prove a point or ask a question. What makes plays unique, however, is their openness to interpretation, done by directors, designers, actors, and audiences alike.</p>

<p>That interpretation is what gets me excited. I like analyzing literature and discovering symbols and double-meanings and structural components and underlying truths. I have found that my mind whirrs in the same way as many people who are moved to string together words into plays and novels. </p>

<p>I might want to major in English, but I am still exploring. </p>

<p>Prarie: Thank you for your honesty and your eloquence. I did not feel denigrated whatsoever by your post. You identified my biggest fear about Reed: potential academic and spiritual battery. I am at once afraid of the minds and culture at Reed and immensely attracted to them. </p>

<p>racheljps: I am aware of Reed’s double-dipping policy—it seems to be pretty standard as far as LACs go. I take college courses because they are more diverse, specific, and faster-paced than those offered at my high school. Do you think that it would be in one’s best interest to transfer in credits, whether from community college courses or AP exams, or is it not worth the trouble?</p>

<p>Ok, well the English department is good. And Creative Writing is pretty kick ass as well.</p>

<p>Have you visited? You would probably get a pretty good sense of whether Reed is or isn’t a good fit for you from an overnight or two. You could also talk with English professors/students and see what you make of the program, if it would be too narrow or overly theoretical or would beat you up, etc. Reed certainly isn’t for everyone, but between self-selecting applicants and a fairly intuitive admissions committee, usually the right people end up here.</p>

<p>I was scared and intimidated going into it as well, wondering if I could really handle it, if they make a fluke in accepting me. It took at least a semester for that feeling to wear off (though some of the intimidation of the astounding intelligence of my peers and professors still hasn’t worn off).</p>

<p>As far as the college credits go, I think you should absolutely try to transfer in whatever you can, it can only help, and they are likely to take <em>something</em>. Maybe at the end of the day it won’t end up mattering, but hey, maybe you’ll get lucky and get out of the science requirement or something (which is brutal and doesn’t sound like your forte). I took PSEO courses too because my high school sucked at math and science, but none of those classes counted here. However, my French did and met a foreign language requirement I needed for my division, and I got credit for PE! So it can be beneficial and is worth the very little trouble it takes to order a transcript. I just wasn’t sure if you were counting on them to transfer in (so you could graduate in less time or something, like you can at several other schools that are less picky about community college and AP credits).</p>

<p>Also, there are a good number of non-theatre students who are active participants in the theatre department and mainstage or thesis productions. You won’t have to sacrifice all of your interests to the academic gods, but will probably have to reprioritize a little and decide what is important enough for you to continue pursuing.</p>

<p>Don’t fear the climate of intellectuality at Reed, or any of the “minds” there. Based on your test scores and your writing here, I think you are at least equal to what you would find there in verbal-dominated areas. At this high level, ranking becomes irrelevant. Just about everyone is expert in their language and engaged in some way with its associated processes. That’s the starting point. What happens next is the issue here. Would you be able to pursue your goals at Reed? I recommend that you investigate before you decide to attend. Your strength (and your vulnerability) is that you actually love language. You have the potential to find your own genius, but you run the same risk as anyone who leads in life with what they love. Bear in mind, too, that there is a fair amount of intellectual fire-breathing at Reed, and some outright braggadocio. No one will tell you not to fear them intellectually; you have to establish and develop your own boundaries and forces. If you don’t, there is a strong possibility you will get humiliated and alienated, your time and talent wasted and misused.</p>

<p>racheljps: I have visited–twice, actually. Spending time on campus got me even more excited about the environment there, but at the same time made me think really hard about whether or not I want to be working that close to capacity all the time. I’m still weighing that. </p>

<p>What does a typical day as a Reedie look like time-wise for you? </p>

<p>Thanks for the advice concerning PSEO courses and credit. You’re right–it certainly couldn’t hurt to send in a transcript. Do they also request to review syllabuses? </p>

<p>Prarie: Well put. Baring my love of language is scary, and honestly not something that I do often. I tend to hold it close, perhaps in fear that those who don’t understand it will cause me to lose my excitement in it. Baring it could be productive and exhilarating–I would finally be among peers who understand; or entirely humiliating–I would find my overprotection to have bred fragility. In the past, I have found both exhilaration and humiliation in leading with my love among the (what I would consider to be) true peers I have found in writing groups. </p>

<p>I think I want to put it out there, though; I want to be challenged and I want to grow. But then again, I don’t want to be shattered, and am all too aware of my vulnerability. When you talk about “boundaries” and “forces” are you talking about confidence? About using discretion about what is to be shared? About being able to deflect certain things?</p>

<p>My opinion isn’t important here as a fellow applicant but you strike me as a fairly average applicant based off of your stats. That’s all I can offer that isn’t conjecture.</p>

<p>If you have found your true peers in writing groups, then find the best possible place for you to pursue that. Reed or elsewhere. Do your best; try not to be distracted by life. Treat others the same way you like to be treated. The rest is commentary.</p>

<p>A Typical Tuesday (as a senior):</p>

<p>Earlier in the semester:
Wake up 9ish, do whatever reading I didn’t get done the night before, shower, class from 10:30-12, do last minute homework 12-1, class from 1-2:30, homework/thesis/scrounge/hang out 3-6, go home and have dinner and unwind 6/7 - 9/10, do more homework if necessary 9:30-12, go to bed.</p>

<p>Later in the semester:
Wake up and read from 8:30/9- 9:30/10, shower or throw on some clothes, class from 10:30-12, do homework 12-1, class from 1-2:30, meet with tutor 3-4, work on homework or dick around 4-7, eat 7-8, work on thesis 8-2, go to bed.</p>

<p>P.S. Syllabuses- Adcom doesn’t request them. If on the fence, sometimes specific departments will want to see them to determine if a certain class will “count.”</p>