Throughout its history, Reed College has been dedicated to providing a challenging education for academically gifted and motivated students. The Young Scholars program, developed in 1980, extends this opportunity to selected high-school students who are ready for part-time, rigorous college study. This highly selective scholarship program allows seniors to take one college class at Reed for the full academic year while concurrently enrolled in high school. It is open to students from the metropolitan area who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to serious study in a particular field of interest.
Taking classes at Reed showed me how much knowledge exists in the world. By my junior year of high school, I felt that classes had no more to offer me. Reed proved that feeling wrong. The political science class I took first semester was more work than all my other classes combined. But the studying I did was engaging, entertaining, and enlightening. My professor gave me or pointed me in the direction of all information I desired. I couldn't think of enough questions, but all got answers. As I pursued knowledge my own way, Reed gave me a needed perspective on what I wanted to do in college and how it could help my life.
-Thomas Craig '08 Reed B.A.
YS in political science
There is no better way to prepare for college and no better way to figure out what you want to get out of colege than the Young Scholar's program. While still in high school, you actually get to be a college student. You're in a real college class with real college students learning the exact same things they are, and having exactly the same things expected of you. It's a challenge, but if you rise to meet it, you can get a lot out of it.
-Rosie Cottingham '10 Reed B.A.
YS in mathematics
My Reed classes were slightly more challenging than I expected them to be, and I expected them to be very challenging! They were very different from most of my high school classes because they depended almost entirely on the students, as opposed to the professor. They depended on the students not only having read and understood the material, but also on our ability to question and discuss the material in depth. I felt much more involved in my Reed courses because I felt it was truly necessary for me to participate and be engaged.
-Amelia Jensen '07
YS in religion
The Young Scholars program was my saving grace. Surrounded by interesting and intelligent college students, I had no choice but to remain engaged. I would hastily complete the "busy work" required for my high school classes, so I could move on to the intellectually stimulating and challenging reading that would be discussed the following day in my first semester political philosophy class at Reed. Second semester, I would yearn to be in my Reed class, discussing constitutional law around a conference table with seven other students, guided by our professor.
-Misha Isaak '05 Reed B.A.
YS in political science
Students must be recommended to the college by their high schools and must successfully complete the admission process described below. The following qualifications are required:
- An applicant must be a high-school senior. (If spaces are available after all qualified seniors have been accommodated, junior applicants occasionally may be accepted to the program.)
- An applicant must have exhausted high-school curricula options in the subject he or she wishes to take at Reed, or have demonstrated a serious and sustained interest in a subject not offered at the high school.
- An applicant should present excellent academic and personal records.
- An applicant should be enrolled concurrently in high school.
- Matriculating students are expected to take one course for both fall and spring terms.
If accepted, the Young Scholar will meet with a faculty adviser or the director of special programs regarding course selection and placement. Most typically, students enroll in first- and second-year classes in mathematics, the sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics), foreign languages (Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish, plus Latin and ancient Greek), the arts (theatre, music, dance, and art) and the social sciences (economics and psychology). If space is available, students also may be able to take classes in political science, philosophy, and religion. While applicants may apply to more than one qualifying subject (example: physics and mathematics), Young Scholars may take only one course per semester, for which Reed College credit will be granted. Continued participation in the program for the second semester, however, is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the first.
The courses taken by Young Scholars are regular Reed College classes, taught by members of the Reed faculty for undergraduate degree students. Most Reed classes are offered as small seminars that involve a good deal of interaction, as well as extensive reading, writing, and preparation. Introductory science classes will involve large lectures, but small labs and conferences. The courses at Reed are significantly more challenging and time-consuming than high-school classes. As such, Young Scholars are advised to plan their senior year curriculum and extracurricular activities accordingly.
Please note: The Reed courses may not be used to meet high-school graduation requirements. We therefore recommend that they not be listed on the student's high-school transcript.
What does it cost?
The Young Scholars program was initially funded through the generous contributions of Jean and Howard Vollum and the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, and continues through the ongoing support of the college. The individual student is expected to contribute $100 per semester. (Some school districts may cover part or all of the student contribution. Students should consult with their school counselors about their district's policy.) Students also are responsible for the purchase of books and class materials, and for arranging transportation to and from Reed.
For Further information:
Further information on the program is available from the director of special programs, 503/777-7259. We also encourage potential applicants to visit the campus; weekday campus tours and class visits may be arranged through the admission office, 503/777-7511.
Barbara Amen, Director
Office of Special Programs