Frequenty Asked Questions: Prospective Students
Q: Is there a way to get an idea of how much aid I might qualify for before I actually apply?
A: Yes. Your family can use the Net Price Calculator to estimate what your cost might be to attend Reed. The Net Price Calculator provides an early estimate of what a new first-year student can expect to pay to attend Reed College. It is not an official application for financial aid and is not a substitute for applying for financial aid.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
A: Reed requires two forms to apply for financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a federal application, and is required for federal assistance. In addition, the College Board CSS Profile is required to determine a student’s need and eligibility for assistance from Reed.
More specific instructions for prospective students can be found here.
Q: My parents are divorced. Are there additional forms I need to complete?
A: If your biological or adoptive parents are separated, divorced or were never married, your custodial parent (the parent with whom you live most of the time) and your stepparent (if applicable) should complete both the CSS Profile and FAFSA. Your other biological parent will also need to complete a separate Non Custodial Parent CSS Profile. Each parent’s ability to pay for college expenses will be evaluated separately when determining your eligibility for Reed’s need-based aid.
Q: Why does Reed require the CSS Profile?
A: We primarily use the College Board CSS Profile because we believe it produces a more refined and accurate assessment of a family’s need and their eligibility for funding from Reed.
Q: What are Reed’s FAFSA and CSS Profile application codes?
A: The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Code is 003217. The CSS Profile application code is 4654.
Q: What are the deadlines for applying for aid?
A: Application deadlines for prospective Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, and Transfer students can be found on our Dates and Deadlines page.
Q: Why do I have to send copies of my tax returns for Reed to IDOC and still use the IRS Data Retrieval for my FAFSA?
A: This is required because there are two separate applications for financial aid. First, to apply and qualify for institutional grant aid from Reed you need to complete the CSS Profile. To ensure accurate data is submitted, we require copies of your (and your parent's) actual tax returns. Secondly, to apply and qualify for federal student aid, the FAFSA is required. The FAFSA encourages students to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool which allows data to be drawn directly from IRS records and ensures accuracy. Unfortunately, the tax information needed to determine and verify eligibility for Reed aid, encompasses more than just the basic data elements transferred via the IRS Data Retrieval tool.
Q: Does Reed offer merit scholarships?
A: No. Reed’s financial aid program is based on need, not merit. We don’t award scholarships based on achievement in a particular arena (academic, leadership, music, etc.) We believe that every student we admit is outstanding and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the Reed community.
Q: Will Reed match the aid award offered by another college?
A: No. Financial aid at Reed is based on financial need, and will not be influenced by assistance offered by another college. However, if the differences in aid awards are due to changes in the family’s financial circumstances that were previously not communicated to Reed, the application may be reviewed again when the additional information is provided.
Q: Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
A: Yes. You can find instructions on how to reapply for financial aid as a continuing student here.
Q: Will my financial aid package change after my first year?
A: Reed is committed to being affordable and meeting the full demonstrated financial need of students for all four years of attendance. In most cases, we will attempt to keep aid awards as constant as possible in subsequent years. However, as significant changes in a family’s finances occur (both positive and negative) an aid award may also change to reflect those circumstances. Students can also expect their loan amounts to increase in subsequent years along with our cost increase. In most cases, student loans will increase by about $1,000 in each subsequent year.
Q: What happens if my parents’ financial situation changes in the middle of the year?
A: If there is a significant change in your family’s financial situation, you may submit a request for reconsideration of your new financial situation. The request must include a written explanation of specific changes that have occurred (dollar amounts, dates, etc.) along with documentation to verify the request. Contact the Financial Aid Office for further information.
Q: If I don’t qualify for need-based aid what other aid is available?
A: Even if you do not qualify for need-based aid the following may be available to help with financing Reed: Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loans), and various alternative loans. For more information visit our Parent Loan and Additional Financing Options pages.
International studentsFrequently Asked Questions for international students can be found here.