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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Reed College receives record number of applications for the Class of 2008

Applications to the acclaimed private liberal arts and sciences college have grown nearly 10% since last year and over 43% in three years

PORTLAND, OR (April 1, 2004) - Reed College, one of the nation's pre-eminent institutions of the liberal arts and sciences, is riding a crest of popularity with freshman college applicants. For the 335 spaces available in the Class of 2008, Reed has received 2,483 applications, a record 8.7% increase over last year's total of 2,282. This is the second year in a row that a record number of freshman applications has been set, with a 43% overall increase in applications since 2001.

"Over the past two years, Reed has undertaken new intensive efforts focused on prospects already interested in the college," says Paul Marthers, Dean of Admissions. The current application increase, he explains, is the result of this concentrated outreach to prospects in an effort to provide them with the information that will convince them to apply to Reed.

Of the current applicants, Reed has offered admission to 1,160 academically accomplished and intellectually curious students, including 128 admitted through the college's early decision program. This amounts to an overall admit rate of 47%.

"The admitted group is also more diverse than in the past," comments Marthers. "26% of those admitted are from ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented at Reed, up from last year's diversity percentage of 23%. We hope this will translate into an equally diverse group of enrollees."

The numbers of international students admitted has also increased. In addition to perennially strong candidates from Europe, India, and Asia, Marthers said several highly qualified African and South American students were admitted. Altogether there are 42 international admits from 33 different nations, or roughly 4% of the class. Students from the United States are drawn from all 50 states.

The mean SAT (1393) and ACT (30) are consistent with 2003. The average GPA of 3.95 is slightly higher and reflects the fact that large numbers of students have weighted grade point averages higher than 4.0. Ninety percent of the admitted applicants rank in the top 20% of their class, while 75% rank in the top 10% - both are higher percentages than in the past. Seventy-five of the admitted students are valedictorians. Amongst all the near and above 4.0 GPA applicants admitted are numerous students with less stellar GPA's, but whose talents, interests, and passion for learning are ideally matched to Reed.

Following the March 26 mailing date, the college will host hundreds of visitors to campus and hold receptions for admitted students in Portland, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Reed Activity Days in April will showcase the college to visiting students and parents needing a first or last look before the May 1 candidate's reply date.

Reed College
Since its founding in 1908 as an independent undergraduate institution, Reed College has remained steadfast to one central commitment: to provide a balanced, comprehensive education in liberal arts and sciences, fulfilling the highest standards of intellectual excellence. Reed provides one of the nation's most intellectually rigorous undergraduate experiences, with a highly structured academic program balancing broad distribution requirements and in-depth study in a chosen academic discipline.

The distinctive Reed experience includes a challenging curriculum involving wide reading, conference and laboratory-based teaching in small groups, and a student body motivated by enthusiasm for serious intellectual work. Reed offers a B.A. in one of 22 major fields and numerous interdisciplinary fields, as well as a master of arts in liberal studies degree.

With an enrollment today of about 1,360 students, Reed has produced the second highest number of Rhodes scholars (31), for any liberal arts college, as well as over 50 Fulbright Scholars, over 60 Watson Fellows, and two MacArthur ("Genius") Award winners. A very high proportion of Reed graduates go on to earn PhDs, particularly in the sciences, history, political science, and philosophy. Reed is third in percentage of its graduates who go on to earn PhDs in all disciplines, after only CalTech and Harvey Mudd. Reed is first in this percentage in biology. Visit for further information.

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