Swarthmore or Skidmore (possibly Vassar)

I am an athlete currently at the tail-end of the recruiting process for my sport at Swarthmore and Skidmore. I love both schools but I am leaning towards Skidmore for many reasons, but the main one is they have a Business specific major and I am almost sure that is the field I am looking to pursue. I understand the differences in “prestige” but am looking more at fit. I don’t think the high pressure environment at Swarthmore, especially since I am looking to play a varsity level sport, is a good thing for myself. And although I liked Vassar, I really wanted a Business major in a liberal arts setting. The Second reason being is simply the fact that I had a great visit and loved the school. I also did trips to Amherst and Union.

My Stats (Competitive Public High School):

GPA: 3.9 UW

ACT: 34

SAT: 1510

National Merit Semi-Finalist

I am not worried about my stats as they fit all the schools above pretty well and will be applying ED1 as a recruited athlete. Am I really going to lose that much by going to Skidmore over Swarthmore?

Looking for any input.

Choose the school for fit! If you have an injury, or a program gets cut or a season gets cancelled (like is happening now!) you need to be happy where you are and doing what you like. D20 was told Swat is a pressure cooker and she knew that wasn’t what she wanted for herself. Skidmore is a great school in a beautiful area. If that’s what makes you happy, go for it. After you get your first job, o one cares as much where you went to school.

What do your parents think? They know you best.

I do realize it’s a little late to approach a new school, but if you have it in you, what about Washington and Lee? Small liberal arts college with a business school.

Follow your gut. I’ve known recruited athletes at Swat and UChicago who went for the prestige. They got great educations, but never really found their fit outside of their teammates, especially at Swat.

Thank you everyone for your responses, it means a lot! I think I am going to verbally commit to the ED1 process at Skidmore. I will let this thread know for sure once I do for sure, just for any future students having the same debate.

But if anyone has anything else to add, please go ahead!

@cinnamon1212 Thanks you for the recommendation, but I really want to stay in the Northeast. W&L is a fantastic school though:)

Either you want Swarthmore or you don’t. If not prepared to give 100% to Swarthmore in all respects, then it can develop into an uncomfortable situation.

It seems as though you are seeking permission to turn down Swarthmore due to its status, prestige, and reputation. This is a personal decision that you and your parents must make.

Seems like you are leaning toward Skidmore College for legitimate reasons.

Do you prefer an academically intense environment or do you prefer a more relaxed experience that may be at times not be as challenging as you would like ?

I’m assuming that Skidmore, a “Hidden Ivy,” would still have strong alum connections, and a good name, correct?

I’ll be attending Skidmore next year, also a recruited student-athlete. I considered Vassar but never applied. I also visited Swarthmore on a recruit trip last year and found the environment very intense, which for me was off-putting. I was accepted to Union, F&M, Bard and Middlebury (waitlisted at Wesleyan) but decided on Skidmore. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

@Publisher I am looking for a relaxed but intellectual environment. Not that I am not ready to work hard, but I’d like to have some room to breath. I think you’re right, I just don’t want to regret anything in the future. But as you said I don’t think I am fully ready to commit to that type of environment. I guess in a way I am “seeking permission” so It’s safe to say that I will most likely stick with Skidmore.

@schoolstruggles I think it’s been named a “Hidden Ivy” as early as 2000 according to Wikipedia.

@PhoenixSS @schoolstruggles

Check out the link above.

Also Skidmore is notorious for yield protection so applying ED1 will give you a major boost, including the fact most of their classes are put together by the end of the ED1 round.

OK, Swarthmore is for a very specific type of student, and from what you wrote, that student is not you. Swarthmore attracts the life-of-the-mind, education-for-education’s-sake type of student. Students looking for a pre-professional major, as you are, would not like Swarthmore.

I would like to echo those who say to choose the school that is the best fit, not the one with higher perceived prestige, and certainly not based on rankings.

FWIW Skidmore is in the ‘Hidden Ivies’ book and although I don’t know for sure, I expect the alumni network is strong.

Good luck!

Swat is intense and doesn’t sound like what you are looking for. You will get a great education at Skidmore and it sounds as though you love it. Go and don’t look back.

I’ve spoken with the coach to let him know I am verbally committing to the ED1 process at Skidmore, thanks for the help!