Eliot Circular

Class of ’19: Sharp, Diverse, and 426 Strong

View this image larger. Photo by Leah Nash

Reed welcomes biggest freshman class ever.

The competition to join Reed College—often described as one of the most intellectual colleges in the country—is getting stronger than ever.

Reed welcomed 426 new students to campus at convocation, painstakingly selected from a record 5,392 applicants. The number of applicants is up 86% over two years, and 36% over last year. With the increase in applications, Reed’s acceptance rate fell from 39% last year to 35%, making it the most selective college in the Pacific Northwest.

The incoming class had an average combined total SAT score of 2070 and an average high school GPA of 3.95, with 88% ranked in the top quarter of their high school class. Twenty-two incoming students were either valedictorians or salutatorians.

With 34% of students coming from U.S. multicultural families, the class is also the most diverse in Reed’s history.

The proportion of international students remained steady at 6.1%.

Azrah Ahmed ’19 was a top student at the Oregon Islamic Academy in Portland, where she served as student body president, was a member of the youth ambassadors club, and was active in community service. A first-generation Kashmiri-American, she hopes to work toward eliminating stereotypes about her faith, while opening discussions about other worldviews and “thus building bridges between different cultures and convictions.”

Amy Lazarte ’19 of Corpus Christi, Texas, came to Reed from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, which she attended on a full scholarship for underserved students. At Choate, she tutored Spanish, was active in theatre, and volunteered for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and the sexual minorities and straight supporters group. She spent her summer as a teaching assistant at the Smithsonian Summer Camp. Her college counselor described her as an “uncommonly authentic young intellectual.”

Reed’s need-based financial aid was instrumental in enrolling this strong and diverse class. At least 55% of the freshman class will receive financial aid, another Reed record. Reed was able to increase aid to students from middle-income families without diminishing the number of students on Pell Grants. 

Learn more about the Class of ’19.