Prospies Flown to Reed
For a select number of recently accepted students, an additional treat came with their confetti and Welcome To Reed video: an invitation to stay on Reed campus for two days, eating Commons food, observing classes, and venturing out into Portland—all expenses paid by the college.
As Assistant Dean of Admissions and alumna Swati Shrestha put it, the students invited to the Fly-In are “really exceptional and great students, who are often coming from backgrounds where they cannot afford to come here.” Furthermore, Dahlia Grossman-Heinze, another Assistant Dean of Admissions and alumna, commented, “College visits can be really beneficial, especially at a school like Reed that is unique and different from many other schools… We’re hoping we can show them something special that they can connect to.”
In addition to last week’s event, another Fly-In will take place in mid-April, inviting another group of potential Reedies to campus. As another important reason for the Fly-Ins, Shrestha noted that it is an opportunity to give students from different underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to visit Reed. Shrestha noted candidly that “diversity at Reed is an issue that needs to be addressed” and that the Fly-Ins are an opportunity to work towards changing that.
Fly-Ins are not a new policy to Reed or colleges in general. Many other elite and costly schools around the country that draw many students from outside of their area employ similar practices as well.
This acceptance season has brought the usual heavy loads of students and families visiting campus to come to a final college decision, but it has also brought a bit of confusion. Rumors have been flying around campus (and on online college forums) that 10,000 students applied to Reed for this upcoming year. This number would be around a 300% increase in applicants from years past, and as Grossman-Heinze noted, would have required a doubling or more of Admission staff. This rumor, thus, is false, and as Dean of Admission Keith Todd notes on the Admissions website, 3,131 students applied this year, an increase of two percent.