Special Circumstances

Early Admission

Students who wish to enter Reed College before completing high school may apply for Early Admission. Early Admission applicants follow the same application procedures as first-year applicants, with the following additional requirements:

  • Outstanding high school record (which makes clear the applicant has exhausted the educational opportunities available at their high school)
  • Application to Reed under the Regular Decision plan (Early Admission applicants are not eligible to apply Early Decision)
  • Letter from a high school counselor or principal supporting the plan to leave high school early to enter college
  • Interview with a Reed representative

Early Admission applicants who intend to apply for financial aid should note the federal regulations require that students receive a high school diploma, a GED, or a state certification in order to be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds.

Home-Schooled Applicants

Applicants enrolled in home-school programs follow the same application procedures as first-year or transfer applicants, with the following additional requirements:

  • School Report Form completed by the applicant’s parents or the home-school facilitator and submitted with the application
  • Comprehensive list of the books and texts read over the four years of high school, including novels, textbooks, and other resources
  • At least one letter of recommendation from a tutor, evaluator, or teacher who is not a family member

In addition, Reed recommends the following:

  • Interview with a Reed representative
  • Two—rather than one—academic recommendations (the second letter may come from an employer, supervisor, or nonfamily member who can address important personal qualities such as responsibility, creativity, discipline, and initiative)

Home-schooled applicants who intend to apply for financial aid should note that federal regulations require that students receive a high school diploma, a GED, or a state certification in order to be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds.

Waitlisted Applicants

If you have been offered a spot on Reeds waitlist, you will receive an email with a link to a Waitlist Reply Form where you can indicate your interest in remaining on the waitlist. You can also access the form from the Reed Application Portal. We ask that you submit the form within three weeks of receiving the waitlist notification email.

See below for frequently asked questions about Reeds waitlist process.

Waitlist FAQ

When is my Waitlist Reply Form due?

We ask that you submit a Waitlist Reply Form within three weeks of receiving the waitlist notification email. When submitting the form, you will be asked to provide a brief statement of intent that gives some context for your decision to remain on the waitlist. This statement is required and will be read by your admission counselor and considered as part of your larger application.

May I send supplementary materials?

Yes! You may send us more information to increase your chances for consideration. Additional materials should be sent as soon as possible for highest consideration.

In addition to a statement of intent indicating your continued interest in attending Reed, you may also submit supplementary materials to strengthen your application:

  • A copy of your most recent grades (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • An additional essay that highlights your fit and interest in Reed (500 words maximum)
  • Any awards or distinctions you’ve earned since submitting your application
  • An additional teacher or supplemental recommendation
    • Note: This recommendation must be sent by the recommender to admission@reed.edu. Peer recommendations are not allowed.
  • An analytical or creative essay that you wrote for a class and that you feel highlights your academic writing skill

Waitlist materials (pdf, jpeg, docx) should be submitted via the self-service upload tool located at the bottom of the Reed Application Portal. If you have questions, please contact your admission counselor by email or by phone (800-547-4750).

Would it be helpful to visit campus and have an interview?

You are welcome to visit campus for an information session and campus tour. Interviews are not required, but you may schedule a time to connect with your admission counselor virtually or by phone.

Is the waitlist ranked?

No. As each application was evaluated, the admission committee made notes and recommendations. If space is available in the class after May 1, all students who remain on the waitlist will be reconsidered for admission. Students who submit supplementary material will receive highest consideration.

When will I know more?

You will hear from us as soon as April or as late as August 1. We endeavor to provide you with an update regarding your admission status as soon as possible. We will notify you if we are not able to grant you a place in the incoming class.

Should I pay a deposit at another college?

We suggest you proceed as you would if you were not admitted to Reed. Because we cannot guarantee you a place in the incoming class, it is incumbent on you to make alternative plans; our highest priority is that you attend college in the fall.

What if I need financial aid?

If you are admitted from the waitlist and apply and qualify for financial aid, you will receive a financial aid package from Reed. Reed is committed to meeting full demonstrated need.

I have more questions.

Contact your admission counselor by email or by phone (800-547-4750).

Deferred Admission

Information for students who would like to request deferred admission:

  • Admitted first-year students may request to defer entrance for one year once they have made their first $400 non-refundable enrollment deposit.
  • Students who wish to request deferred admission must send a written plan outlining how they will spend their deferral year to the Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid via email to admission@reed.edu by May 15. 
  • Students are required to submit the second enrollment deposit by June 1.
  • Once the deferral request is approved, the submitted enrollment deposits will reserve a place in the following year's entering class and will be applied toward the student's first-semester tuition at Reed.
  • Students granted a deferral year may not enroll at another college or university as full-time or part-time students and may not apply to other colleges or universities.
  • Students granted a deferral year will be asked to confirm their intent to enroll by submitting a $400 confirmation deposit to the Office of Admission by January 10 of the deferral year. Like the two enrollment deposits, the confirmation deposit will be applied towards the student's first-semester tuition at Reed.
  • Transfer students are not eligible for deferred entrance except in the case of military or religious service or medical necessity (documentation may be required).

Reapplying to Reed

Students who applied to Reed and did not enroll may reapply by following the same application procedures and deadlines for the type of admission they have been approved to apply for (First-Year or Transfer), with some additional requirements:

  • A new Application with a new personal essay.
  • Reapply Statement: Check the box identifying that you previously applied to Reed to College. This will cause the required Reapply Statement prompt to appear for you to answer
  • Official high school transcript, showing all final grades and date of graduation
  • College Transcripts for all completed college coursework
  • One new teacher evaluation, from a teacher who did not submit previously (College Instructor for applicants reapplying as transfers).

Reapplying students are responsible for submitting any application requirements that weren't included in their original application to Reed in order to complete the reapplication process.

Please note that a reapplying student who was originally placed on the waitlist or denied will be allowed to reapply to Reed as a transfer applicant only after completing at least one semester of college coursework (or the equivalent of four Reed units). More than one semester of college coursework will significantly increase the likelihood of admission.

A student will not be allowed to reapply more than two times.


Older Students

As one of the most intellectual colleges in the country, Reed offers an environment of serious learning that is well suited for the mature student who plans to pursue a full-time program. Reed’s re-entry scholarships, endowed by the Bernard Osher Foundation, provide funds to qualifying students between the ages of 25 and 50 who are returning to four-year institutions after a significant break from their studies.

Auditing Students

Individuals not enrolled at Reed may apply to audit courses but are restricted to auditing no more than two courses in any academic year. Applications to audit are available from the admission office during the week immediately prior to each semester.

Visiting Students

Students who wish to spend a semester or year at Reed while working toward a degree from another college or university may follow the application procedure and requirements for transfer students. Applications should be filed by March 1 for fall entrance and by November 15 for spring entrance. It is advisable to have plans approved by the student’s home institution. Visiting students are not eligible for financial aid and pay the same tuition and enrollment fees as a regular transfer student.

Non-Degree Students

Students who wish to take one or more courses at Reed for credit but who do not wish to work toward a Reed degree may apply for admission as special, non-degree students. Special students are not eligible for financial aid and pay tuition on a per-unit basis. The application deadline is June 1 for the fall semester and November 15 for the Spring Semester. Application requirements include the following:

  • Special Student Application, available through Reed’s admission office
  • Essay—limit 500 words—describing why you want to attend Reed as a non-degree student and how the courses will help you meet your educational objectives
  • Either official high school transcript, sent directly from your school, GED scores, or state high school certification
  • Official college transcript from every college or university attended