Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Size: 2,400 students
Percent Women: 59%
Tuition (one year): $57,926
Most Popular Majors: English, management & business, studio art, psychology, and biology
Greek Life: No
Acceptance Rate: 40%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Skidmore College’s website at www.skidmore.edu/admissions/.
Why Choose Skidmore?
"I loved the small college feel, the idea of real changing of seasons (since I'm from Florida), small class sizes, the fact that I could do everything I loved (sing, dance, play sports) and still be able to focus on my academics. I also loved the idea of 'Creative Thought Matters' [the school motto] because I thought it spoke really well of the students that came to Skidmore and was something I could relate to and be passionate about myself."
"I applied to Skidmore because after just one tour and info session, I could completely see myself on campus. I was looking for a great English department, a variety of interesting classes, nice dorms, liberal and artsy students, a fun college town, and a high study abroad rate. Skidmore fit the bill! Plus, I went to an open house when I first visited, which told me so much about the school, the people, and the kinds of opportunities available to students."
"I wanted a small school in the northeast. I liked the fact that Skidmore was located in a town with good shopping, restaurants, and a sense of history and culture."
"I applied to Skidmore because I saw something in there that I didn't see at any other colleges. After countless tours and information sessions at other colleges where all they talked about was statistics, prestige, and applications, my visit to Skidmore was refreshing. Instead of using the "you would be lucky to be here" attitude that I found on many college visits, the Skidmore admissions office felt "lucky to have you." Instead of focusing on admissions and "getting in," the tour focused on all of Skidmore's amazing qualities. I loved hearing about the diverse student body, with people interested in all kinds of things. As someone who is completely torn between the arts and sciences, I was ecstatic to hear that Skidmore is strong in both of those areas, as well as willing to let me study both."
"I applied to Skidmore because it seemed perfect for a student pursuing an undecided major. I knew I wanted a school with a strong art program because I would be taking those classes regardless, but I also loved that there were no restrictions about exploring other departments whenever you wanted. I could fall in love with chemistry and philosophy for all I knew!"
"I applied to Skidmore because I had heard it had a really good dance program, (I am now a dance minor), it was in a really good town, (I am planning on spending this summer in Saratoga Springs), and because it had a unique program I didn't see at any other schools that meant I could study abroad my first semester of freshman year (I was a London Freshman)!"
"I love that there is no typical Skidmore student. A soccer player could be an art major with a passion for DJing on the side while a biology major could be the president of the stand up comedy group. Students are so multifaceted, which makes for such a welcoming a tolerant community."
"I'm big on simplicity. I love to just spend time in the dorm with my close girl friends and talk about anything and everything. I also love how passionate and excited everyone is here. There's an upbeat, motivated pulse that courses through the school; it's almost tangible."
"I love the amount of wacky, passionate, intelligent, hardworking, ambitious students I find in my classes, running the clubs, and working in various departments on campus. We have fantastic dorms and a really, really great dining hall, but my favorite thing about Skidmore is definitely the clubs. If you branch out and really explore them, it's amazing what you can see happening on campus."
"Our dining hall has the tradition of doing some really amazing themed dinners. They go all-out with them, and the students love it. They have a Harry Potter-themed night in the fall that has lines going out the door to get in and Wafflefest every semester during finals week, free to all students regardless of meal plan. They host 'locally' themed dinners in which farmers from the community are present with samples of their locally grown products. On Earth Day they host an all-vegetarian lunch."
"I love my professors--I find that Skidmore faculty has such a distinctive way of engaging their students and communicating the essentials of whatever they are teaching. They are, for the most part, also very warm and caring individuals who want to be the most help they can while still challenging you to take your education into your own hands."
"Fun Day!! Everyone is out on south green before finals spring semester, enjoying the beautiful weather and listening to student bands. There [are] also free food and bouncy castles! What else could you ask for?!"
"Beatlemore Skidmania is such a fun event! Bands, orchestras, a-capella groups and solo artists alike perform Beatles covers and the event is finished with all the musicians doing a rendition of 'Twist and Shout.' All in all it's such a fun concert!"
"Since there is only one dining hall, it is impossible to go in without seeing someone you know. It is a great feeling to walk around and say "hi" to many people as you pass them. I love feeling like an important part of the Skidmore community. There are enough people that you don't know everyone, but you will know (and love) a significant amount."
"A downside is that it is so small that sometimes it feels like high school. Also, it gets really cold in the winter, so the period of time from December to March is kind of miserable in terms of the weather."
"Coming from Florida, I love the change of seasons, but I HATE the cold. Ironic, I know, but this is my first time living in the north. It is absolutely bearable and everyone is extremely helpful with what to wear and do in the most frigid of months. It's definitely a change of pace from wearing shorts and flip flops all year round, but even though I hate the idea of wearing warm clothes all the time, it's not hard to deal with at all."
"I think one of the downfalls of Skidmore is that the winter is LONG and COLD!"
"The Skidmore Bubble. It's really easy to get sucked into it and not pay attention to the outside world... Don't give into it!!"
"It is not an entirely bike-friendly campus, but the president is aware of this and wants to eventually change this. It can be hard for people from different departments to meet each other, but that can be easily remedied by attending different clubs. Smoking is quite popular, but I believe the administration is planning to phase out smoking on campus within the next five years or so."
"I wanted to go to school on a small campus--I didn't want to be in a city as an undergrad--but when I became an upperclassman I realized that this can be limiting at times. For instance, students in cities can participate in semester-long internships to get work experience in just about anything, while it can be harder out to find an internship you're interested in out here. We compensate by doing summer internships, but it's not the same."
"I don't like that the dorms are so spread out, even within each building. It can become lonely and feels a bit untraditional."
"Since the campus is so small, I find myself complaining about having to walk anywhere that is more than five minutes away. We should be grateful for our small, easily accessible campus. I don't like when students are ungrateful because they forget that life could be so much worse at other schools."
New Collegiette on Campus
"I participated in a hiking, canoeing, and camping pre-orientation trip. It was so much fun. It was only three days long, but my group and I became extremely close. We had a lot of laughs and bonded a lot over personal experiences as well as the trip itself. My peer mentor (upperclassman supervisor) helped me out so much even when we got back to school. I still talk with her. Our group would get together and go do fun things even when we got back to campus. Even if you don't participate in a pre-orientation trip, all freshman show up to campus a few days earlier than the rest of the students and your peer advisor for your freshman seminar (that you chose--[they] are FANTASTIC!) help you out with everything. They're like your eyes and ears for the first week or so and help you out even after the first semester is over."
"Since I was a London Freshman, [my] orientation consisted of three days on Skidmore's campus with only the students going to London and some upperclassmen who had been London freshmen themselves. It was a great way to get to know the campus and the town and prepare for London without the intimidation of other students on campus. I have heard that there are many fun options like hiking and rafting for regular pre-orientation trips."
"Skidmore does not emphasize the differences between different class years, and because of that, it is very easy to interact with other students who both are and are not first-years. The dorms are not exclusive to first-year students, so it is a great way to automatically feeling like a part of the whole Skidmore community."
"First-years are generally housed with members of their Scribner Seminar, a class they all chose based on their interests. This provides easy bonding for first-years with common interests to form strong friendships, but also allows for interactions with upperclassmen who live in the dorms with them and eat in the same dining hall. Again, the best way to meet upperclassmen is to get involved in a sport or a club on campus."
"Having [upperclassmen as] suitemates gives each freshman a resource--outside of the Resident Assistants, peer mentors, and Peer Health Educators--to ask questions. The transition to Skidmore was a million times easier than I was expecting it to be. The upperclassmen played a huge role in making us feel comfortable at school and ready for college life."
"I'm going to be totally honest: being a first-year student is hard. You're living on your own with a bunch of people you don't know, you have no idea how the campus works or what life is like here, you have little to no friends and you're learning about an entirely different way of living from high school. That being said, after a few rough first weeks, you get to know people, get in the groove of things and really come into your own. Skidmore does a really great job of helping out first-year students."
"Being a freshman was great! You get to do new things, meet new people, and are surrounded by a great community."
All About Academics
"The workload isn't bad, you just have to learn how to time-manage and plan ahead. Seriously. Procrastination is your worst enemy in college. You might have been able to get away with it in high school, but college is far less forgiving in that department. Trust me."
"The most popular majors that I know of are business, psychology, and studio art. Most majors, if not all, are required to either write a senior thesis or do a Capstone Project. There are many opportunities to work with faculty members on research (at Skidmore this is possible as early as second semester of freshman year). The workload varies depending on department, but it definitely increases every year. The 300-levels are tough and rewarding. Some professors take it upon themselves to make the 200-levels equally tough and equally rewarding."
"The most popular majors are probably management & business, English, and psychology. The workload can be tough, but it is definitely manageable. The teachers want you to do well and they are not out to trick you. For the American Studies major you have to write a senior thesis."
"[The] workload is definitely heavier than high school; [it] takes getting used to, but the environment is not competitive like, say, an Ivy League. [It's] more collaborative. Art majors have a mandatory final project. In some majors a thesis is optional, some not."
"Study is pretty much split between 'dorm studiers' and 'library studiers.' The library is very popular. [It has] lots of nooks and quiet study spaces but also a social scene with the first floor being louder and more group project-friendly."
"I find the workload to be a lot less than I expected--certainly less than I had in high school."
"Your freshman seminar teacher is your advisor until you declare your major before the end of sophomore year. At that point you choose an advisor in your major. Meet with them before registration each semester (or more frequently) to make sure you're on track for graduation, etc. Registration is split up by classes; seniors choose first, freshman last. I've never had a problem with classes. Maybe I didn't get into one I wanted, but I always had a back-up plan and could maybe take that class another semester."
"Course registration can be quite restrictive and daunting at times. If you ever get into a rut just email the professor or chair of the department of the class you're taking; you usually get your class in the end."
Learn from the Best
"Students at Skidmore have very personal relationships with their professors. Most classes are kept small, giving students opportunities to create good relationships with [them]. Office hours are very popular to go to and most students are very comfortable emailing their professors and meeting with them for extra help. Professors often eat in the dining hall and walk around campus, so it is common to see them outside of class and say hello. Most people's favorite professors are their freshman seminar professors because that professor is also their advisor [at first]. Freshmen spend a lot of time getting to know their seminar professor and establish a great, long-term relationship with them."
"Sheldon Solomon is one of the most popular professors. He is brilliant but also hilarious, and you will never be bored in one of his classes. I've loved my French classes, and yeah, people definitely go to office hours."
"Erica Bastress-Dukehart in the history department is incredible. She specializes in medieval and early modern Europe, and she is so knowledgeable and engaging in her classes that I'm now taking a 300-level with her despite not even being a history minor. She's funny and genuinely cares about what students have to contribute; it challenges you to think critically in a way that's kind of daunting but also exciting."
"Professors are SO accessible and are always available to talk. 'Open-door policy' means students can walk in and chat whenever the office door's open."
"Professor Seyb is one of my favorites. He is a government professor, and he happens to be one of the funniest people I have ever met. Professors are definitely accessible and open to meet for office hours."
"SHELDON SOLOMON!!! (Psych. department.)"
"My favorite class so far was a science class I was required to take for my major but dreaded because I did not consider my self a 'science person' in high school. It turns out, I AM a science person when it is related to my major, because I am genuinely interested in all the applications of what we are learning! We did lake sampling, soil sampling, and watershed assessment. My favorite part was stream bioassessment in which we wore waders and collected insects from two local tributaries. Thankfully, I had the Writing Center to assist me in my lab reports, since I had not written one since junior year of high school. The two female professors who taught the class were smart, kind, and engaging. They had high standards for students but made themselves very available to help us."
"Two words: Steven. Millhauser. If you're interested in the fiction writing concentration, look him up now."
"I have yet to have a popular professor. Yet if you're ever required to take a class within the math department, take a class with Professor Vella. Within comp. sci., take a class with Professor Portor or O'Connell."
Interests & Involvement
"Clubs are easy to find. Every semester the school hosts a Club Fair and everyone turns up to sign up for email lists and get free candy. Some of the most popular clubs are the Outing Club, BARE, Space Cadets, and performance groups like a capella, Skidaiko, Circus Club, and comedy groups. The comedy groups and theater shows on campus are very popular and heavily attended."
"I found out about [clubs] through friends and mostly Club Fair. The most popular are the performance-style clubs: a capella, drumming, etc. I participate in Yoga Club. We have our own private yoga instructor and meet [three times per] week. I love the relationships you build. They become like family."
"I like being a member of Her Campus Skidmore, because it gives me an opportunity to write and express myself creatively, and I also like spending time together as a club and just hanging out. I also love being a big sister with Saratoga Springs Big Brother Big Sister, because it is extremely rewarding."
"Join Breakbeats if you like to hip hop dance/breakdance or if you want to start! (No auditions.) Breakbeats helped me find myself and make more friends across social groups and grades."
"Skidmore has a club for just about everything. From Japanese drumming (Skidaiko), to mental health awareness (Active Minds), to the Environmental Action Club (EAC), to conflict resolution (FightClub), to a gospel choir, to a literary magazine (Folio), to Quidditch, to outdoor adventures (Outing Club), to an economics-themed club (SkidMarket), to polo (Polo Club), to a sex-themed student publication (BARE)... the list goes on and on and eventually, you'd get tired of reading it."
"I am on the e-board [executive board] of two clubs on campus. Starting a club is not difficult, but it does require a level of devotion to the club goals. Since there are so many clubs on campus, it is not hard to secure a leadership position in a club, which is a great way to prepare for life after Skidmore and leadership positions in the workplace!"
"Skidmore has amazing study abroad options. Over 60% of students at Skidmore study abroad, which is an incredible percentage. I honestly didn't study abroad because I couldn't leave Skidmore... corny but completely true."
"I think Skidmore creates small communities through clubs on campus, but it also creates them through study abroad experiences off campus (for a semester, year, or even two-week travel seminar). When I went abroad I was able to become friends with a bunch of students in my own grade I had never even seen before, and when I traveled across Europe with them I met even more Skiddies in different cities. Once you come back, you have an automatic understanding--and talking points--with basically anyone who studied abroad (or wants to), no matter where they went."
"Not many people go to sporting events, but you will not be alone if you choose to attend! The athletes don't really have their own culture as the school is pretty small."
"Sporting events are popular, although I have not attended many personally. Because we are Division 3, many students are able to participate in sports. We emphasize the 'scholar athlete' at Skidmore. Since we don't have Greek life, the only thing really separate about the 'athlete' culture is the fact that most athletes sit on the blue side of the dining hall by the pasta."
"Yes, the red side/blue side of the Dining Hall [divides]. [Red side attracts more students interested in the arts, blue side attracts more students interested in sports.] [There is also] the separation of the sports house parties."
"Hardcore athletes are not well accepted at Skidmore. There is a strong divide between those on athletic teams and the rest of campus."
"Yeah, [games are] definitely not well attended. And the athlete culture is definitely separate."
"About 3/4 of the student body play on a sport of some kind, whether that be varsity, intramural, or club. There is an athlete culture but it's not exclusive/only athletes, etc. Students participate in so many things that it would be impossible to create a line between athletes and other students."
"If you're looking for tailgates and two-tone school color ensembles on Saturdays, this isn't the school for you. We don't have much team spirit. There is definitely an us/them mentality in the minds of many students (artsy/sporty, for instance), including me, but for the most part athletes and non-athletes are friends and go to a lot of the same parties. We're well known for our field hockey, polo, crew, riding, tennis, and hockey, and basketball teams."
"Yes it is quite popular [to go to games]. Field hockey and basketball are ones I've gone to. I'd love to go to a hockey game next! [Athletes] definitely [have] a separtate athletic culture but many are happy to gain more friends."
"Being a woman at Skidmore is great! It used to be an all-female college, so it is a school accustomed to advocating for women. There are many inspirational female professors and a lot of discussion around gender bias and breaking down gender norms. We have [an] interdisciplinary gender studies major and minor. There are more women than men on campus, and some female students complain that 'straight, dateable men' are hard to find, but that's what you join the clubs and engage in classes for! The culture is also very receptive to gay women."
"BEING A WOMAN FEELS GOOD. Everyone has the freedom to be themselves. There is tons of support to dress, act, and study whatever you want. I mean, we are smarter than all the men, right?"
"There's nothing not to love about being a woman at Skidmore, where you can express yourself however you want and make your voice heard. Lots of clubs on campus deal specifically with sex, sexuality, and gender, so there's an open dialogue. We're a very LGBTQ-friendly campus as well."
"Skidmore is an incredible place to be a woman because of the completely accepting culture and attitudes on campus about all different types of people. Man or woman, black or white, Skidmore students don't base their judgements off these traits. But, specifically for women, there are tons of clubs that are just for us. Clubs like Her Campus Skidmore are devoted to giving fun-loving college girls an outlet to relay their everyday experiences and hone their writing skills for a nation-wide audience, and Women In Business examines and teaches how to get the best out of being a woman in a male-dominated field."
"Many women are frustrated by the gender ratio, less boys etc., but it's honestly just something that bonds us further. [There are] lots of women clubs and the gender studies major is very popular."
"The male/female ratio is a huge downer when it comes to dating, but hook-ups are common (if you're looking for them) and plenty of people date seriously. Disclaimer: prepare for at least a little friend-cest, i.e., hooking up with or dating someone a friend or acquaintance has been with before you."
"Being a woman here is better than being a woman in the real world. The ratio and awareness of gender studies creates a false sense of security. Women tend to dress up for class (sweats are uncommon) but you should dress however you feel comfortable--I sure do!"
"Girls here are very trendy. Wearing sweats to class doesn't really happen much. There are clubs like Her Campus and Women in Business that specifically attend to women's interests but allow everyone to be a part of them. The gender ratio is definitely present on campus but it's not a huge problem."
"Our fashion sense is quite comfortable yet fashionable. We're constantly studying and running on lack of sleep so getting dressed must always be quick/comfortable."
Food & Drink
"Skidmore has one AMAZING dining hall. If you live in the dorm buildings, an unlimited meal plan is required (the most beautiful gift there is). Once you move to an on-campus apartment, etc., you choose a package of 'dining bucks.' Food is incredible. [The dishes at] each station in the dining hall change throughout the week so there is never the 'standard college fare.' We are so spoiled!"
"Having one dining hall makes it the most social place on campus. Even students who no longer live in the dorms come to the dining hall a few days a week to eat with underclassman friends or just to have some of the delicious food. It is impossible to have a favorite food because there are always new, delicious meals to try. Often there is watermelon in the fruit bar at breakfast. It makes me irrationally excited."
"Chicken Finger Friday is great, and I am also a big fan of the make-your-own-pasta station."
"Chicken Finger Friday is amazing!"
"The most exciting thing about the dining hall is the themed dinners like Harry Potter night, Wafflefest, Earth Day, and Hawaiian night. As a vegetarian, I personally love Emily's Garden, which serves entirely vegetarian and vegan foods, and Global, which serves non-western cuisine (and occasionally makes delicious tofu dishes!)."
"I would say on average people go [to the majorly big dining hall] for three years, maybe two and a half. The food is good, but after a while you tend to see the same meals and it can get boring. I love burritos and salmon!"
"Even though we only have one dining hall, we also have one on-campus café called Burgess, a convenience store/snack shop/coffee stop called Atrium Cafe, and a much larger pay-as-you-go (either with real money or dining bucks) eatery called the Spa. Spa has a diner-style grill, a salad bar, an impressive sandwich station, and some snacks. It's where most upperclassmen eat during the day, but it's open to anyone. The menu doesn't change much, but it's a nice alternative to D-Hall. It also opens for Late Night on weekends for the perfect midnight snack! (Dining Hall also does an earlier Late Night on weekdays, luckily.)
"Skidmore has the most inclusive people I have ever met. Everyone is so warm and welcoming. It is easy to meet and become close with people. It is also easy to branch out and continue to be friends with your close-knit group."
"People tend to stick with a core friend group of a few best friends but then have a wider group of people in their major, club, team, etc. Friend groups are overlapping and expanding all the time, and being [at] a small school you recognize people and thus meet people faster and easier."
"Skidmore is decently cliquey, buuuut people often have friends all over the place too."
"Many upperclassmen (or students of age) go downtown on the weekends at night to the many bars in Saratoga. Off-campus houses also host parties throughout the week, often sports teams' houses. A free bus takes students downtown and off campus every half hour and there are also tons of taxis that students can call."
"I would be lying if I called Skidmore a party school. If you're looking for parties, you will find them. But if you're not, it's easy to stay out of the scene. There are some people who party during the week, but it's not common. There are bars downtown that people take an easily accessible bus to. Parties happen every weekend both on and off campus. But if you're looking to chug beer out of a funnel or play Edward 40 Hands, you're going to have to look very hard."
"Weed is huge on campus. There is a lot of encouragement to try it when you first come to school. But, if you don't want to smoke, your friends will probably be more than happy keeping all the weed to themselves."
"Since it's a college, there is obviously alcohol use and marijuana use. There is definitely not a pressure to do so--I spent my freshman year watching movies with friends in my dorm room haha. I think some of that is due to the fact that we don't have Greek life. On the weekend there are tons of campus events such as plays, performances, night games, dances, DJs... There is ALWAYS something to do and something to miss by choosing one over the other."
"The dorms are in the most perfect spots on campus. The dining hall is located right in the middle of the two groups of residence halls, giving everyone living in dorms easy access to their food."
"We have really nice dorms. They require a 'swipe in' by someone who carries a Skidmore ID and lives in that particular dorm to access it. They are all located more or less around the dining hall, with the exception of the upperclassmen housing apartments, which have their own kitchens. Almost every dorm room has a window seat. While some upperclassmen live off campus, most choose to stay in the apartments, since they are conveniently located and many of them are brand new."
"It is not very popular to live off campus because it is difficult to find houses as nice as the on-campus upperclassman housing."
"Dorms are incredible. Each has its own window seat and [is] fully carpeted! Each dorm floor has an RA [Resident Assistant] who is required to put on a certain amount of floor programs a year designed to get students out of their rooms and meet the people on their floor."
"Safe, typical dorms. Suite-style co-ed dorm. There aren't any real dorm bonding activities though."
"The dorms are average. They are located around the academic buildings, and are very easy/convenient."
"We have brand new upperclassman apartments. In Northwoods, typically where seniors live, each apartment has four single bedrooms with full-sized beds, a full kitchen, and a living/dining room. About 10% of students live off campus, but it's still nice in order to be closer to downtown Saratoga."
Exploring Saratoga Springs
"Saratoga Springs is the perfect college town. It has a complete life of its own and doesn't rely on the population of the college to keep it running. In the summer the population triples due to the thoroughbred race track season. We have the second highest number of bars per capita in the nation behind San Francisco! So many restaurants and cute boutiques."
"I really enjoy Saratoga Springs, however sometimes it gets quite boring and there is not much to do. There are many nightlife options as well."
"I love Saratoga Springs! It’s a small city with cute boutiques and AMAZING restaurants, even though you sometimes need a parent to visit to afford some of them. Everything is so close to campus, plus it has great transportation and the most bars per capita other than San Francisco, which means nightlife is shockingly fun for upstate New York. It always feels like there’s something going on—the Victorian Streetwalk at Christmas, Chowderfest in February, the horse races and Shakespeare in the park in the summer."
"Saratoga Springs is a fantastic place to be close to. Downtown is about a 10 minute walk away and offers extensive nightlife and restaurant options."
"A lot of students stay at Skidmore--or off campus--for a summer just to experience Saratoga Springs. The town is so fun and it attracts people from all over during the race season. Plus, it's close to Lake George and the Hudson River, so there are a lot of swimming/rope-swinging/sunbathing trips in the summer and towards the beginning and end of the academic year. Obviously, the warm weather doesn't last too long..."
"I love Saratoga Springs. The town is great. The only downside is the weather in the winter. It can also be expensive and very tempting to spend money in town."
HC's Complete College Guide: Skidmore College
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