NEED HELP! Grinnell vs Reed

College Choices

Hi Guys,

I am an Asian int female high school graduate, and I have just been admitted by Grinnell College through another program and have committed to this college. I am also waitlisted at Reed College. Due to some complications in the visa process, I cannot go to Grinnell this year and have to defer my admission to next year. If Reed admits me this year and offers me a good financial aid package, I may have to reconsider my college choice. Reed might be a better choice for me in terms of financial aid. Also, if being admitted, I can go to college this year. However, I am intending to pursue CS major and Econ minor in college, and I think that Grinnell might be much better than Reed in terms of CS. Which college should I choose if I am admitted by Reed? The reason why I have to put this forward is that Reed’s waitlist decision date is so close to school year opening day, which is August 1st, so if anyone has any helpful advice about this, please comment below. Thank you so much.

Reed’s CS major is fine, and reed places many alum in tech.

I can’t help you decide which school would be better for you and it seems you don’t yet know Reed’s FA offer, which is a critical part of the puzzle.

What program did you apply thru for Grinnell? Did you apply ED?

How is it that your visa could work out if you attend Reed, but not Grinnell?

I joined Grinnell through another program that requires me to travel to another country, but my homecountry does not allow entry from the outside now due to covid, so I cannot get the visa. That’s why I cannot go to Grinnell this year, they required me to go through this program if wanting to attend Grinnell this academic year. For more specific information, excuse me for not going further. But yes, if I am admitted by Reed this year, going to America is a easier route.

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P/s: Can you tell me more about the CS program at Reed? I have been looking it up and seeing many people say that it is not that strong due to its immaturity, compared to other schools. I would like to major in CS and minor in Econ, intending to get a management-business-finance job in some big tech companies, or at most software developer, not going further to be a software engineer type.

I don’t know more details than what would be on the website…look at the professors and course offerings. Yes, it is a newer program…but Reed does have good placement into tech, and hence many alum in tech. Perhaps reach out to the career center and ask what types of companies are recruiting CS majors and such.

Good luck.

It sounds a bit late for Reed, especially if you haven’t heard back from FA, since the visa application process takes at least a month.
When will you know?

As for Reed, It’s very academically rigorous and very politically active. You have to be ready for that.


If you are looking for a “mainstream” college experience, Reed is probably not the place for you. It’s a very different type of liberal arts college than the “norm” and has no sports teams. My friend’s daughter - a friendly, well-adjusted, mainstream, artsy student - had trouble finding her tribe at Reed among all the non-traditional students. Make sure to read up on Reed to make sure it’s a fit for you. I know my kid would be much happier at a place like Grinnell. Good luck.


Reed classes start August 30, so that’s cutting it close, but might still be do-able.

It is definitely an unusual vibe college that’s not for everyone.

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Are you a current student at Reed ?

Nope. My D21 toured and considered it, and we go to Portland quite often due to friends in the area.

Do you have any suggestion for the CS program at Reed ? I am still very hesitant about it.

I don’t know anything about their CS program. Sorry.

The issue isn’t their CS program. You have to WANT the highly intellectual and politically charged environment.