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Reed College

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Many of the other negative reviews are totallyQuite Bright
Many of the other negative reviews are totally on the money.
Academically, Reed is extremely rigorous. Professors don't hesitate to assign hundreds of pages of reading per night, required intro sciences are grueling and the math program is basically a cult. While I have definitely learned a lot, it is also extremely stressful and not conducive to career. As others have pointed out: Reed professors would rather die than give out A's to anyone.

You will not have the GPA to go into ANY prestigious career through the front door. The assumption of virtually all professors and students is that everyone will go to grad school for a Phd and become an academic, and the education is definitely tailored to this goal.

Socially, Reed is homogenous. Radical feminism is not just the norm, but the minimum for social acceptance. Students are regularly publicly shamed and excluded based on such offenses as: failing to know and accept the doctrine of cultural appropriation, and publicly having dreadlocks. One ever-popular suggestion is a public, online database of "accused sexual predators" based on anonymous accusations. Plenty of students not only publicly support this idea, but express enthusiasm for including people for such offenses as "being creepy". If that idea doesn't put fear into your heart, you might like the culture at Reed. Other required elements of Reed doctrine include: support for reparations to the entire black community, acceptance of the idea that the existence of gender is oppressive (not that we should accept transgender people, but that no one should identify with a gender), capitalism is wrong and should be abolished, and immediate expulsion of anyone accused of sexual offenses, without any investigation or tribunal process.

I am glad I attended Reed? I don't think I would have learned the shortcomings of this sort of hipster, 'socially conscious', politically correct ideology if I were somewhere more conventional. I also know that I am growing intellectually through the rigorous academics? I just wish I wouldn't be penalized for my desire to pursue them through a guaranteed abysmal GPA. Professors are generally sympathetic to the social shortcomings, and while they are unapologetic about the grading system, they are certainly excellent teachers. Overall I think that if you: don't have much interest in a typical college social life, or are a radical feminist/marxist, and are 90% or more sure that you want to enter academia, Reed is a good place for you. For those with a desire simply to attend a liberal arts college with an intellectual atmosphere, I am sure there are other places available without the extremely narrow career focus/ ruthlessly enforced radical political doctrine.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2016
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, Extracurricular Activities: D-
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It is a totalSuper BrilliantBiology
It is a total joke of a university. I wish I had attended a different university. The university is expensive, the students are stuck up rich hipsters who do too many drugs, and the academics are way too easy and professors are not helpful.
5th Year Female -- Class 2015
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Reed didn't live up to its promises forSuper BrilliantPolitical Science
Reed didn't live up to its promises for me. My humanities classes were largely unchallenging and unrigorous and included minimal focus on anything like methods. It's a fact that the science majors work a lot harder than the humanities majors. If you're in all humanities classes, it's possible to take an entire week or two at a time and not do any work at all, and as long as you show up and say one or two things each class you can avoid having your grade suffer whatsoever. Then when you have to write an essay just write it about one of the things you did read. Science is different; it actually requires you to master new material every week without which you can not understand subsequent material. Most students don't do all the reading for any of their classes and seminars vary widely in quality. Another thing they don't tell you is that you really, really have to be an extrovert to thrive in the conference setting. A lot of inquisitive and critically thinking people are attracted to liberal arts schools because of the conference-style setup, but they don't realize it only really works for critically thinking people who are stimulated and get their ideas from others rather than from independent reflection. For me, a more than usually neurotic introvert, going to conference is an emotional burden that leaves me exhausted on the best of days and a nervous mess on the worst, and most of the time does little to stimulate my thinking. I'm the last person to want to be force-fed pedagogy, but I honestly think I would've been better stimulated by lecture-style courses where I could go and reflect critically on the material on my own. My classes did expose me to texts that have improved me but the classes themselves have added only a small marginal benefit. I will say that writing a thesis was the best educational experience I've ever had, largely because it was completely independent and I blew off a lot of class to work on it. Come here if you're an extrovert who wouldn't pursue critical thinking and new ideas on your own. If you're an introvert who would explore challenging new ideas and multiple perspectives on every issue if left to your own devices, unless you really want to write a thesis, I'd give Reed a pass.
4th Year Male -- Class 2014
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: C
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