Why ED? 

What is Early Decision? 

  • Early Decision (ED) is an application round that allows you to share your excitement about Reed by telling us that, if admitted, you commit to enrolling in the fall.
  • You can apply for Early Decision by choosing an ED round in the Common, Coalition, or Reed Application and submitting an ED agreement signed by trusted advisors - a parent or guardian and your school counselor.

“Reed was my first choice, so Early Decision allowed me to express how the school's philosophy resonated with me and my own commitment to attend. It also gave me time to invest in a high-quality rain jacket!”—Nell, Class of 2020

Why apply ED?

  • Your ED application is the strongest way to indicate your interest and passion for Reed. Your enthusiasm is important to Admission professionals, and an ED application shows us you are serious about Reed. 
    • Early Decision students embody what a past student body president said about her experience at Reed: “I found a community that embraced me. I wanted to embrace it back.”
  • Complete the college application process by November 15th (ED I) or December 20th (ED II) and enjoy the remainder of your senior year with less stress.
  • If you are admitted to Reed, your ED application guarantees that you will get your first or second choice of residence halls. 
  • The admission rate of ED applicants is higher than other application rounds.
    • Why? It comes down to mutual enthusiasm. We want to bring students to Reed Reed who are excited about being part of this community. Those students tend to be highly involved on campus, furthering the vitality and culture of our community. 

“It was a relief to be able to get my college application out early and get a response to my college admission decision by December. It meant I got to relax for the rest of my senior year and not have the added stress of applying to colleges in the spring semester.”—Gabri, Class of 2021

Facts about Early Decision at Reed

  • Early Decision candidates are twice as likely to gain admission. 
  • Students admitted in the Early Decision round have the same academic preparation and qualifications as admitted students in other decision rounds. We look for the same qualities in an ED student as we would in a non-ED student when evaluating an application.
  • You are welcome to submit applications to other colleges (though you may not apply Early Decision to more than one school). If you are admitted to Reed, you are expected to withdraw your other college applications. 
  • Every year, almost 95% of admitted Early Decision students affirm their agreements and enroll at Reed. 

What about Financial Aid for ED applicants?

  • The financial aid process, from the evaluation of need to awarding of aid, is the same for Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision.
  • Reed meets 100% of the demonstrated need for all admitted students and families. Our financial aid is robust and generous.
  • Our financial aid office will work with you to make sure the information you provide is complete and accurate.
  • If you apply for financial aid and the offer is not feasible for your family, the first step is to talk to the financial aid office to ensure that the information you entered was accurate and discuss your options. You will be released from the ED agreement if the financial aid package doesn’t meet your family’s expectations. 
  • The net price calculator can give you a rough estimate of what your expected family contribution might be before you apply. 

I’m on the fence about making this decision. What are a few ways I can get more information about Reed?

  • Think about what information you need to make this critical decision.  It usually falls into three categories - academic program, community, and shared values.
  • You can learn more about academics at Reed by exploring recorded roundtable discussions with faculty, view faculty profiles to get to know the guides on your intellectual quest at Reed, or read about students’ senior theses and dream up your own thesis ideas. You can even get a head start on Humanities 110 with our recorded lectures from this spring!
  • Reed’s vibrant student life is student-built and student-governed. With an active student group scene, events and outings, traditions like Paideia, and our setting in Portland, your college experience will be shaped by the campus and the local community. Learn more by speaking with a current student.
  • Honor. Inclusivity. Intellectual inquiry. Our shared values bring Reedies together and make Reed what it is. Learn what makes a Reedie, and imagine how four years at Reed might transform you. 

What are my next steps?

  • Select Early Decision I or II as your application round in the Common, Coalition, or Reed application.
  • Submit your application by November 15th (ED I) or December 20th (ED II)
  • Early Decision I applicants will receive their decision by mid-December; Early Decision II applicants in late January.
  • Discuss your intention to apply Early Decision with your family and school counselor.
  • Submit the Early Decision Agreement through the Common, Coalition, or Reed application. Your parent or guardian and school counselor will also sign the agreement form.
  • If you intend to apply for financial aid, submit your FAFSA and CSS Profile by the Early Decision deadline.

How can I get more guidance on whether Early Decision is right for me?

  • Your admission counselor would be happy to talk with you, your family, and your counselor about applying for Early Decision. You can email to be connected with your admission counselor. You can also set up a meeting with your counselor using our virtual meeting scheduler.
  • Also connect with your family and college counselor: people who know you very well and can help you think about whether Reed and ED are a good match for what you’re looking for in college and how you want to apply.
  • If you’d like to speak with Reedies who applied to Reed Early Decision, we’ll put you in touch.  Current students can talk with you about their application and decision-making process and help you think through yours. To connect with current students about their choice to apply Early Decision (or anything else!), you can email or schedule a virtual meeting with a current student.

“I knew that Reed was my first choice not because I immediately felt like I fit in when I first visited campus, but because I saw Reed as a community I wanted to grow into.”—Duncan, Class of 2020