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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Reed College admits Class of 2009

For the third year in a row, the college receives a record number of applications, over a quarter of which came from minority students

PORTLAND, OR (March 31, 2005) - Reed College, one of the nation's pre-eminent institutions of the liberal arts and sciences , has admitted its class of 2009. The 2,643 applications represent a new record for the college, breaking the previous record of 2,483 it set last year. The rise, a 6.4% increase from last year's total and nearly a 53% increase since 2001, means that the college has seen record numbers of applications for three consecutive years. The record number also includes 209 applicants for Reed via the college's early decision options.

Of the 1,173 students admitted, 311, or 26.5%, self-identify as members of an ethnic minority group, a record for the college. Additionally, 742 students identify as Caucasian and 120 students declined to indicate an ethnicity. Paul Marthers, dean of admission at Reed, believes the increase in student acceptance, especially minority acceptance, is due to the college's ongoing efforts to attract qualified students from all ethnic backgrounds.  

"Over the past two years," Marthers says, "Reed has intensified its focus on prospects already interested in the college. 26.5% of those admitted are from ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented at Reed, up from a diversity percentage of 23% two years ago. We hope this will translate into an equally diverse group of enrollees."

Within the United States, Reed admitted students from 47 states and the District of Columbia. The highest number of admitted students from a single state is 315, from California. Beyond the United States, including admitted students and those living abroad, Reed admitted students from 36 countries, including multiple European, African, and Asian nations. In all, 46 international students were admitted to Reed, representing 3.9% of the incoming class.

The average SAT (1408) and ACT (31) scores of the admitted class rose slightly from last year's scores. The average GPA of 3.974 of incoming students is also slightly higher than last year's average GPA, and reflects that many students have weighted grade point averages higher than 4.0. Of students choosing to report class rank, over 90% were amongst the top 20% of their class, while 71.8% of the students come from the top 10%. 104 students, or 16.6% of the incoming class, were their school's Valedictorian--a rise of 29 students from last year's total. Amongst all the near and above 4.0 GPA applicants admitted are numerous students with less stellar GPA's, but whose talents, interests, and desire to learn are ideally matched to Reed. Marthers believes that a student's test scores and GPA are not the sole indicators in Reed's admissions process, and notes that the college actively seeks students with a passion for learning.

"Reed takes a holistic approach to admission," Marthers states, "looking for evidence of that passion for learning and the ability to navigate a rigorous curriculum. We don't simply do admission by the numbers. But, when all is said and done, Reed's admission numbers are strong--in part, because the college attracts a self-selected pool of high achievers looking for a place where love of learning is prized."

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 the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd. Reed is first in this percentage in biology. Visit for further information.