Office of Admission COVID-19 Response

This page is a resource for families to gain information about adjustments that have been made to the admission process as a result of COVID-19. We will continue to make updates to this page as they are available.

Learning in Earth, Wind, and Fire

At Reed, students follow their inquisitive instincts to explore ideas and create new knowledge. This year, it just happened to take place in our new outdoor learning tents. Watch how the outdoor space helped students and faculty move forward.

Living and Learning at Reed

Reed is thriving thanks to a well-thought-out plan that involves deliberate choices from our community.

The Return to Reed

The Reed community has come together on campus once again. Thanks to a great deal of dedication and care from each and every student, staff, and faculty member, Reed is thriving.

On this page:

Other resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students & Families

How can I learn more about Reed from afar during this time?
We would love to speak with you. Set up a virtual meeting with a current student, an admission counselor, financial aid counselor or other Reed community member.

You can join an online information session, take a live virtual tour with a student, sit in on a virtual class, join us for special programming, or watch some of our recorded sessions here.

Finally, spend some time on our website or join one of the events scheduled for the campus community.

Can I visit campus in person?
On-campus visits are available for students who have submitted the application.

In order to support the health of our campus community and visitors, we invite interested students who have submitted their applications to schedule on-campus visits online.

My grades were impacted by the pandemic. How can I communicate that to colleges?
In addition to the information we receive from high schools, students may provide information on how the pandemic impacted them in the Community Disruption field of the application. Students may also contact their admission counselors.

Will Reed’s SAT/ACT testing requirement change?
Reed is now test-blind, meaning we will neither require nor use testing results from the SAT or ACT in our admission review for the fall 2021 and fall 2022 cycles. We invite students to report or self-report completed test scores for the sake of future evaluation. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Will I be at a disadvantage in the admission process if I’m unable to sit for AP or IB exams?
No, AP and IB scores are a welcome part of the application process, but not required.


Admitted Students & Families

What are the plans for the Fall 2020 semester?
This brief video details our return to campus.

Reed has adopted a hybrid approach to classes this year. Half of our classes are offered in person, half online. Components of some in-person classes can be taken online, and components of some online classes can be taken in-person.

Density has been reduced, all students in all years were invited to apply for on-campus housing. About half of the student body lives on campus in single occupancy spaces, including almost all of our first-year students. Many of the remaining students decided to live in the Portland area.

Comprehensive information about safety measures can be found online

Where can I find information about Orientation?
Visit the New Students page to learn about Orientation, Academic Planning, and Pre-orientation Experiences. 

When is the deposit deadline?
The first deposit of $400 is due by May 1. This deposit ensures your place in the class and will enable you to register for housing and classes on time. If you have questions or concerns about the May 1 deposit deadline, please contact

Can I defer my admission?
Admitted first-year students may request to defer entrance for one year once they have paid their first $400 non-refundable enrollment deposit.

Students who wish to request deferred entrance must send a written detailed plan for the deferral year to the Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid by email ( by May 15th. Deferral requests will not be considered without an enrollment deposit.

Approximately 50 percent of deferral requests are granted. Transfer students and students admitted from the Wait List are not eligible for deferral except under certain circumstances.

My family’s financial situation has changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Am I able to get more financial aid?
Please contact to learn more about the financial aid appeal process. You may also register for a virtual meeting with a financial aid counselor.

If you do not see your questions listed here, please contact the Admission Office or the Financial Aid Office.

Communications Timeline

In February 2020, Reed College announced a task force to guide the college through the unprecedented events of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Since that time, the admission office has followed the lead of the task force to promote the health and safety of the Reed community and ensure the safety of our visitors and prospective students.

In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have transferred all admission programming to online and virtual formats. We understand the importance of making an informed college decision and we’re doing everything we can to support students and families this spring. The following timeline records our communications about adjustments, events, and new resources.

January 25 - First day of spring semester classes in person.

January 16 - Paideia classes begin online.

December 7 - Last day of fall semester classes.

November 30 - Classes resume online after Thanksgiving break.

October 13 - The admission office welcomes its first in-person visitor to campus.

October 2 - Twice weekly rapid testing for on-campus (residential) students begins.

Late September - Admission counselors begin virtually visiting high schools across the United States and abroad.

September 14 - Epidemiologist starts as full-time COVID-19 Response Coordinator.

August 31 - Hybrid classes begin.

August 4 - First day of regular, campus-wide COVID-19 testing, with results in 2 to 3 days.

July 2 - The admission office adopts the new test-blind policy.

June 30 - Reed President Audrey Bilger announces plans for students to return to campus in the fall. 

“I am pleased to share that we are returning to campus in the fall with a measured and flexible approach that provides a mix of in-person and online education. . . . our return to campus will require every community member to diligently follow new protocols to keep each other safe. The plan we have set forth incorporates public health regulations that we all must adhere to.” - Audrey Bilger, President

June 15-19 - The admission office hosts the first virtual College Application Workshop Week, hosting hundreds of students to do interactive workshops on everything from Acing the Interview to Finding a College Virtually. 

April 25 - Audrey Bilger communicates with families about plans for the fall semester. 

The admission office announces a second live, virtual conversation with Audrey, a second panel with Reed's Institutional Diversity and Student Life team, as well as continuing events with Reed faculty.

The office also extends the deadline for deferral requests from May 15 to June 15. 

April 24 - The admission office creates the opportunity for students and families to submit questions to Reed faculty and alumni.

April 17 - The admission office announces several new virtual offerings:

  • A Conversation with President Audrey Bilger
  • Student Life Virtual Panel
  • Academics at Reed Virtual Panel
  • Parent Q&A with the Dean and Director of Admission
  • Reedies Virtual Panel
  • Admitted Student Hangouts with Current Reedies

April 9 - The admission office launches one-on-one meetings for admitted and prospective students to meet with current Reedies.

Admission representatives co-host the first virtual roundtable discussion with Reed faculty for admitted and prospective students.

April 8 - The financial aid office debuts one-on-one meetings for admitted students and a financial aid counselor.

April 3 - The admission office co-hosts the first faculty office hours event for prospective and admitted students.

March 30 - The admission office hosts the first virtual information session for transfer students.

March 27 - The admission office launches one-on-one virtual meetings between admission counselors and prospective and admitted students.

March 24 - The admission office hosts the first virtual information session.

March 21 - The admission office announces virtual information sessions for prospective and admitted students and their families as well as forthcoming virtual offerings.

March 15 - President Audrey Bilger announces that classes will be held online for the remainder of the semester following spring break. Students are asked to depart campus beginning on Wednesday, March 18, and to leave no later than March 27. Students with special circumstances are invited to petition to stay on campus as needed.

March 13 - The admission office postpones Reed Admitted Days I and II, Junior Visit Day III, admitted student receptions, and junior scholars visits to campus and cancels all overnight visits to campus and outgoing spring travel. The office also suspends prospective student visits to campus for the remainder of the spring term beginning on March 23

March 3 - Reed College establishes a COVID-19 task force charged with implementing recommendations made by government and public health authorities—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oregon Health Authority, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), and Multnomah County Health—and responding to situations that may be unique to Reed.