Skidmore - Experiences thus far from a freshman parent

Hi. I found CC so helpful in the college search that I wanted to share what my freshman daughter’s experiences have been thus far at Skidmore. Of course it’s early in the school year so many things we are still learning about, but thought I’d still share!

  1. THE FRESHMEN TRIPLE SITUATION!! OK, this may be one of my biggest beefs with Skidmore. Skidmore typically has put a large majority of freshman in forced triples. Last year with Covid they did not use triples. This year at their student accepted days they very clearly stated no triples for freshman again this year. (We went to multiple events and they said the same thing each time.) But then after everyone has committed, they changed this and said oh so sorry but there was more interest in on campus housing from the upper classmen then they expected and triples will be needed for freshmen. They did offer financial offers, and doubled the amount they normally give, to compensate for this and in the beginning asked for volunteers who would be interested in the incentive. However, there still were not enough volunteers and it seems like most freshmen are in triples. I found this really deceptive and it still really bugs me, and not the best way to start our experience with Skidmore.

So what are the triples like? They are tight for sure. There are pics on the website that give you a sense of them. I will say there seems to be enough room for all my daughter’s stuff and most will say the same thing. The beds are lofted 30 inches (this is the highest they go and there are no bunk beds) and it’s enough room for the dresser and bookcase that Skidmore provides plus extra room for more storage stuff to store under there. The closets are a decent size (all rooms have 3 closets so there is no sharing) and the desk has good storage. There is little room for anything else and just feels tight. There is a possibility if you are lucky you will get a double and if that is the case the room size is generous for a double, but just tight for a triple.

The DORMS – My daughter lives on the North part of campus and I think those dorms are the better ones. The best part is her dorm (Howe-Rounds) has a/c and has amazing 3 large windows with a very long, nice window bench. The views are amazing!! The dorms on the South part of campus have one long window and a smaller window bench and no a/c. Those rooms seem to be long and narrow. You can not choose which dorm you would like freshman year. ALL OF THE DORMS ARE OLD AND DATED. It strikes you as soon as you walk in. The bathrooms are also very dated and look like they haven’t been renovated in decades. It’s definitely time they are updated. But I will say they are kept clean and my daughter really has no complaints about them. Other parents have complained about some maintenance issues but we didn’t encounter any. I think students adjust to the outdated feel of the dorms and I think this is just what you encounter on so many college campuses. But you should know this-- If you are looking for updated, modern dorms your freshmen and sophomore years it will not happen at Skidmore. However, the on campus apartments for juniors and seniors are much newer and look amazing!

CLASSES - Thus far my daughter seems happy with all of her classes, likes her professors, has small class sizes, finds the workload reasonable. There seems like a lot of academic supports in place for students. The only surprise came when registering for classes. The first half of the alphabet registers first and then it swaps the second semester. She got to register in the first group and did get all the classes she needed. However, kids in the second group found a lot of classes were full and did not get the classes they wanted. I was surprised that even intro classes meant for freshmen had a lot of the classes already filled by upperclassmen. People say there is a chance to get in with the waiting lists. Daughter is a Bio major and needed to take bio and chem with 2 labs, each 3 hours, it was very challenging to come up with a schedule that would work for her. In the end it did come together ok. She also would like to minor in art but art classes are longer and it was impossible to coordinate the art class with 2 science classes plus labs. We are hoping next semester that will be easier to coordinate this, but it was a surprise.

STUDENT BODY - Daughter has found the students to be nice, welcoming, so far not a lot of cliques. She is not an athlete and has friends that are and are not athletes. Highly recommend Skidmore’s pre-orientation programs to make friends. This helped my daughter a lot. She is just starting to participate in clubs.

THE FOOD - Skidmore has a reputation of good food as far as college campuses go. My daughter has always been a selective eater and may not be the best judge of the food. She is struggling a bit with the food but normally can find something she can eat. The menus are posted on line and you can get the sense of them. At first glance they look pretty good, but it seems pretty repetitive too. Again we might not be the best to comment on food as daughter is picky in general.

THE CAMPUS and AREA - The campus is pretty, feels very safe and the downtown area fun for students. Although the downtown stores and restaurants seem more upscale and pricey for college students, given the touristy nature for the area in the summer months. The free bus seems to work well for students. My daughter has yet to explore a lot of the bus system but it seems good and a lot of big box stores and chains not far on the bus, just D is yet to fully explore.

In summary, so far it feels like D is off to a good start at Skidmore! I am happy to answer any questions. Good luck in your college search!