Skidmore: What's the deal!

I’ve been looking around at selective/semi-elite LAC’s, and I recently stumbled across Skidmore. For me, it has one of the best locations, my academics line up (at least according to Naviance), and I love snow, so it looks like a good fit!

However, I noticed that it’s acceptance rate dropped from around 37% to 29% or so in 2016. This isn’t bad at all, actually, but would one consider Skidmore to be on the same level as say Bucknell, Oberlin, Richmond, etc.? I would think so, and it seems that Skidmore is really kicking it up a notch (I consider anything with an acceptance rate around or below 30% somewhat elite). I know I’m asking this on the Skidmore forum, but is Skidmore really kicking it up a notch? It also seems that it’s getting a bit of an edge on Union and Dickinson- although they are “peer schools.”

I would love to know, as Bucknell and Skidmore are in my ideal locations for a college, and I thought my only selective college options up in NY/Vermont/New Hampshire were Dartmouth and Midd. Well, and the Maine 3, but still. Thanks.

I guess what I’m trying to ask, really, is what is Skidmore’s reputation nowadays? In the only other threads I could find, from a few years ago, they would always mention how Skidmore is not as selective and prestigious as other colleges- even Bucknell. Is this true nowadays?

If you are interested and I’m assuming you will be applying for the next cycle, just apply. Covid19 has the next cycle or two in jam.

It is JMHO, but I don’t think Skidmore is on the same level as the schools you mentioned Personally I take many school’s acceptance rates with a grain of salt. Many manipulate them is subtle ways (Colby, Siena…many more).

The rankings outside the top tier…who knows. Just strive for fit.

I also don’t think that Skidmore is comparable to Richmond (the others I don’t know enough about). But don’t worry about rankings and acceptance rates, find the school that is a great fit for you apply. We didn’t visit but it was on the list. Seems to have a lot going for it for kids that are, stat wise, a step down from the 4.0+GPA super high test scores. Maybe Skidmore is more of a safety for you, but the goal (IMO) is to choose a school that you love, not to choose the school that is the most selective that you get admitted to.

Skidmore is definitely a hot School right now. Applications have been on the rise for a number of years and for several reasons:

  1. Skidmore has always been a quality LAC with strong academics, recognized as a “hidden ivy” in Greene’s Guide as far back as 2000. For all the reasons you’ve already mentioned, it rates highly in quality of life measures. So, for both of these reasons Skidmore had a strong foundation on which to build. And build they have.
  2. With the arrival of a new president, they began an ambitious new development (i.e. fundraising) campaign back in 2006. By 2010 they had raised $200 million. Even as they continued to raise new funding, they began investing these funds back into the college.
  3. Today Skidmore has a number of new dorms, a new Music Center, and a new 100,000 sq ft STEM complex with state of the art facilities currently under construction. This Center for Integrated Sciences is scheduled to open later this year.
  4. Skidmore has made a commitment to sustainability in a number of ways. Most promininent has been the conversion of most buildings to geothermal heating. While this is impressive for any institution, I think it helps to market a college to an educated, forward looking clientele with an interest in science, hence contributing to the boost in applicants’ interest.
  5. Skidmore became test optional 4 years ago. They were already a school on the rise and I think this helped to give them an added boost.

Saratoga is one of the great small towns in America and has been recognized as such in books and magazines. It has access to the spectacular Adirondack Park to the north with opportunities for skiing, canoeing, rafting, and wilderness hiking. To the south is the state capitol of the fourth most populous state in the country. The capitol region is loaded with terrific colleges to enhance the opportunities for socializing beyond the Skidmore campus (SUNY Albany, RPI, Union, Siena, Russell Sage, St Rose, Albany Law).

IMO, your interest in Skidmore is justified in many ways. I wouldn’t have the slightest hesitation in exploring that interest further.


I agree with @S1040 about putting rankings aside and focus on schools that you feel are right for you. I chose Bucknell over Colgate even though Colgate was “more selective” and I couldn’t be happier.

1 Like

When my daughter was looking at colleges, we looked at our high school’s Naviance grid. We noticed that Skidmore accepted kids in the 25-28 ACT range, but rejected kids in the 29+ range. The students had similar GPAs. If anything, accepted students had, on average, slightly lower GPAs than the rejected students.

It was a very odd grid compared with most other similar schools that Naviance had data for. It’s almost as if they don’t expect the top students to attend. This led me to conclude that they are very conscious of their yield rate.

We also knew a few of the accepted students. They were wealthy. Skidmore is need aware, so no surprise there. The students tend to be artsy types too. The students at nearby Siena were, on average, kids interested in business. At Union, the kids from her high school were more science, math, and engineering type kids. U Albany had a mix of types. I’m sure there are different types at all these colleges. This is what we noticed.

1 Like

My son will be attending Skidmore this Fall where he will plans to study business. He wanted a quirky liberal arts vibe and business curriculum and found it at Skidmore. Bucknell was in the running too but the fit wasn’t there. They have completely different cultures. There’s no escape the influence of Greek life at Bucknell. Lewisburg is small and the surrounding area is predominantly rural. Saratoga Springs is a more vibrant small city. No Greek life at Skidmore. Skidmore is more artsy and eclectic; Bucknell - preppy and sport-centric.

As far as acceptance rate and standardized test scores, grades – Skidmore has no interest in being a safety school. They want students who want them.

Hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to visit both schools. Fit is important.


I appreciate the other opinions about this school Be sure to check it out before committing however. On paper it sounds great. I looked at it for two of my kids. And a neighbor also looked at it. So from NYC driving anywhere is complicated as most of us don’t have cars. To see Skidmore we (two kids) and another family on THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS / three separate trips, went to see Skidmore and we had similar results. Kid 1 walked out of the massive presentation after 1) they touted that they were doing a campus-wide reading and the book they chose was … Maya Angelou? No. Shakespeare? Not on your life. T-Nehisi Cotes? Not a chance. It was a book that was written and self-published by a trustee of the school who had become a big businessman. That same presentation they made a big deal about “taking the students to NYC” once. And didn’t read that half of the audience was from NYC already. That didn’t play well. It’s like they didn’t realize that the audience was more sophisticated already than the school was prepared for. Kid 2 different occasion, left the school’s presentation when the presenter went on and on about “Making sure that your child is out of bed and going to classes.” Kid 2 felt that they were beyond needing this sort of support. Child 3 went up to the college with family and looked at the school and said , “No blanking way.” and refused to take a look–that was not my child but a friend’s. The point of this is NOT that they’re right, but don’t go by whatever the crowd is saying. I keep suggesting it to my kids because it’s a pretty good school, cute enough town–it’s a pretty good school that’s gotten hot for some reason. I am not sure why. To my mind it seems to be short of substance and on style–not a great combo.

1 Like

Dusty feathers, that was a great post!

Saratoga will not have racing season this summer. Expect to see a huge downturn in the city/town. Many businesses will close. If racing can open the summer of 2021 recovery will begin but this is an enormous hit to the area.

Right now I am deciding between staying committed to Skidmore or using my waitlist acceptance from Colgate…I am so conflicted

1 Like

beegrace2 : where did you end up deciding to go? I am a highschool senior and highly considering Skidmore.

I know this thread is old, but I thought I would add, I’ve met many people at Skidmore who also got into Richmond (someone I talked to liked Skidmore’s liberal-leaning environment), Bucknell, and Oberlin. It is all about fit for anyone looking at this for future reference.

1 Like

Saratoga Springs fared pretty well. There is always a lot going on there. Racing is important but Saratoga is a national draw. It’s not a a run of the mill upstate town.

Unless you have evidence, it’s somewhat irresponsible to imply that Skidmore College is fudging its numbers. There are a lot of smart and accomplished kids there and it’s a stretch to say it’s not on B, O or R “level”, whatever that means.

Maybe RPI is fudging its numbers too.