Alumni Programs

Alumni Fundraising for Reed COVID-19 Resources for Volunteers

As of June 18, 2020

How is Reed handling COVID-19?

Reed’s response to COVID-19 may be found online in a comprehensive set of FAQ’s.

What unexpected costs has the college incurred due to COVID-19?

Unexpected costs the college has incurred to date total more than $4 million. The college moved quickly to refund room and board fees for students who left campus, supported travel and other expenses for students completing their coursework off campus, and provided full payments to students who anticipated and relied on work-study funds. Other special funding was needed to support the transition to online learning and to provide full food service for the 140 or so students who remain on campus. 

Reed also created the category of "COVID-19 pay" for employees who are unable to complete their full work schedules due to illness or family care needs, or whose work doesn't lend itself to being performed full-time off campus. This essentially expands employee benefits to protect workers from using up sick and vacation time and/or going unpaid due to the pandemic.

In addition, the college anticipates extraordinary financial aid expenses in the coming year. Reed meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students for all four years, and will fund additional aid as needed. We are seeking to raise $2 million for current-use financial aid, an increase from the $1 million we typically raise for this purpose, to cover changes in students’ financial situations in the coming year. 

How is Reed accommodating students financially during this time?

  • Student Emergency Funds may be available to support students who have short-term or one-time needs due to disruptions caused by the pandemic. 

  • Reed compensated student workers on Federal Work Study as if they were still performing their campus jobs through the end of the semester, May 14.

Can you tell me more about the Student Emergency Fund?

The economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected Reed students; many have found themselves in need of plane tickets, gas, hotel stays, meals, transit passes, emergency housing, and medical expenses that were not in their budgets. Through the Student Emergency Fund, the college helped students purchase plane tickets to return home, ship belongings across the country, repair their computers, ensure reliable internet access, and more.

Staff working directly with students typically make use of around $10,000 a year through the Student Emergency Fund and respond to approximately two dozen requests. In March and April alone, the college spent close to three times that amount to fill more than 90 requests. 

In addition to providing direct financial assistance, the Student Emergency Fund often enables students to access other available resources at Reed. In some cases, after reviewing an Emergency Fund request, Reed staff have determined that a financial aid appeal is in order; in others, students have received help securing health insurance through the college after a family member has lost their job and their insurance. Supervisors across campus worked to provide students with tools to satisfy work-study requirements remotely. After exhausting these institutional resources, the college turns to Emergency Fund donations from alumni, parents, and friends to ensure the security and well-being of Reed students.

How is Reed accommodating students academically during this time?

  • Students could opt to take most spring term classes for Cr/NCr; the exceptions were thesis and yearlong classes. Cr/NCr grades do not affect a student’s GPA.

  • Sophomores are able to declare their majors remotely. 

  • Juniors and seniors needing PE credit to graduate are able to do remote PE, which is exercising for 45 minutes twice a week for the rest of the semester.

  • In the transition to online learning, some students lost access to course materials that they previously shared with classmates or instructors or accessed through the library. The Reed Bookstore partnered with VitalSource, a digital course materials provider, and other publishers to launch VitalSource Helps, a program that provided access to e-books for Reed students and faculty through May 25. 

How is Reed helping students beyond academic and financial needs?

The Reed Care Team, through the Student Life Office, recruited 96 staff volunteers to reach out to students and offer support, encouragement, and resource information. The initiative started as a way to stay in touch with first year students, but grew to include sophomores and juniors, with a total of 1,071 students contacted! 

How is COVID-19 impacting the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund helps Reed cover everyday expenses, through the use of unrestricted funds that can be applied to general operations. Gifts to the Annual Fund are used immediately. The COVID-19 crisis has put unprecedented pressure on our Annual Fund mostly through an increased need for financial aid. We expect to need to raise an additional $1 million to cover changes to students’ changing financial needs. 

Is Reed reopening in the fall? 

Our hope is that we will be back on campus in the fall. President Bilger has announced her intention to make a decision by June 30. 

How many students are still on campus? 

Around 140 students stayed on campus through the spring semester. 

Has Reed issued refunds to students for room, board, and/or tuition? 

Yes, refunds have been issued on a prorated basis for room and board. Tuition is not being refunded as the college is still operating and classes are still in session remotely. 

How much? 

Refunds for room and board totaled $2.7 million. This is a big part of the $4 million in unexpected costs to date. 

Has Reed taken away financial aid from students since they are not on campus? 

No, financial aid awards have not been affected. Reed has not and will not “take away” financial aid from students due to COVID-19. (Due to the extraordinary nature of the current situation and as a way to further assist students, the college made a one-time exception to policy and will not reduce financial aid due to changes in living arrangements this semester. Normally, financial aid is reduced if a student moves off campus.)

What are we fundraising for and how will those funds be used? 

Social Justice Research and Education Fund: The Social Justice Research and Education Fund supports paid student internships that focus on civic engagement and social justice research and education (in collaboration with college offices), paid summer research positions on topics related to power and privilege, equity, critical race theory, and/or social justice (in collaboration with Reed professors), paid external summer internship and career development opportunities for Reed students (with a particular emphasis on students from historically underrepresented groups), and additional Peer Mentor Program resources focused on the needs of entering students from historically underrepresented groups.

Area of Greatest Need: As we adapt to this unexpected situation, unexpected costs arise. Unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund offer the college optimal flexibility and enable it to be nimble in putting out fires that pop up. Annual Fund giving supports:

  • Financial Aid—in the form of need-based scholarships. Reed meets 100% of the demonstrated need of all admitted students for all four years. We expect to need an additional $1 million to cover changes in students’ financial situations in the coming year.

  • Faculty and Instruction—including technology, library books, and faculty salaries.

  • Administration—including Institutional Research, Office for Inclusive Community, and Community Safety.

  • Campus Facilities and Public Service—building and grounds maintenance, canyon care, and alumni programs.

  • Student Services—career advising, health services, outdoor programs, student activities, residence life, and more.

Student Emergency Fund: This fund supports students experiencing a wide range of unanticipated needs, including medical expenses, food and supplies, rent and housing security affected by COVID-19 disruptions, and more.

Financial Aid: Although covered through gifts to the Annual Fund, alumni may designate their gift directly to Financial Aid. Financial Aid is given in the form of need-based scholarships. Reed meets 100% of demonstrated need of all admitted students. We expect to need an additional $1 million to cover changes in students’ financial situations in the coming year.

What are other ways to give besides the Annual Fund? 

You can always designate your Annual Fund gift to the Area of Greatest Need, Financial Aid, Student Support, or Faculty Support. You may also designate your gift to other areas, including the Student Emergency Fund, Reed Community Pantry, Social Justice Research and Education Fund, Career Advancement Fund, Legal Education Access Fund, Reed Canyon, and Library. Find out more here.