The Triple Dorms at Skidmore: what percent of the freshman class is put in triple rooms?

The only downside to Skidmore appears to be the way the administration accepts more students than it has room for so “forced triples” are rumored to be common. It also appears that the administration ate into common space of the dorms to create the triples, which sounds like a terrible idea.
The website of the school shows a lot of photos of triple rooms and they look horrible, really really crowded.

Has anything changed since a few years back when this situation become the norm? What percentage of the freshman class has to live in a triple? Have they built more dorm space (not the apartments)? Have they returned or renovated the sad common spaces of the dorms used mostly by freshmen and sophomores?

I’ve heard as well that some dorms are underheated and some are overheated. Has any of that been rectified?

In all other ways Skidmore appears to be a fantastic place. I am hoping my information on the dorm situation is old.

Forgot to add that I have also heard that the rooms are filthy and not maintained well, as reported in earlier posts by others. Very disturbing. Not sure I feel like spending $60,000 plus into an administration that cannot maintain or clean the dorms, or build new ones so that triples are not required.

Further digging makes it clear to me: The Skidmore Administration is not honest or forthright about their policy of forcing freshmen to live in over-crowded triple rooms. Neither to do they have a plan to quickly alleviate the problem. It is not a one-off crisis, but a sustained one. A school that digs into common space in order to pack the students in sub-standard housing is mostly concerned about bringing in tuition dollars, not the best interests of the students.

This is silly. My kid is a freshman at Skidmore. The dorms are nice. My other son attends Bates and I found his freshman year dorm to be much worse than Skidmore’s. My Skidmore son has a double but the triples are really large rooms. The dorms are clean and my son has not complained once. Try visiting the school to see for yourself before making seemingly sweeping negative conclusions. This is a non issue.

Agreed. The triples, while not luxurious or roomy, are fine and not dirty.

FYI this is called a “forced triple” and happens in plenty other of schools besides Skidmore. Usually, the policy is that the price will drop accordingly, so you are getting a price break. Best way to avoid is to see how your school assigns housing and be at the front of the list.

For those curious, just visited, so here are frank observations. Over 70% of freshmen are put in triples. Saw three of those triple rooms, as well as the bathrooms and common spaces in two different dorm buildings… The triples were dark, tiny, depressing, poorly lit, dingy, dreary, deeply worn out and extremely overcrowded spaces. The teeny weeny “window seats” in the rooms I saw might fit one person sat cross-legged, but were instead used by the students as storage space, as there just wasn’t enough storage room for three students in those rooms. They would have been fine as doubles. All one could reasonably do in those triples is sleep. Even getting dressed is difficult, as there is not much room to even turn around in. Hallways are narrow and similar to jails. The bathrooms were worse than any motel I have been in. Public, common rooms in the dorms were small, also badly lit, poorly furnished, had all the warmth of common spaces that I have seen in the most run-down of public housing projects that I have visited as part of my job. Toured a lot of colleges with two kids, and these were among the very worst dorms. I am guessing that morale must be very low among freshmen. By contrast, juniors and seniors get terrific, livable apartments, but freshmen really get the worst housing. Skidmore administration is getting away with a lot here, given that earlier threads here suggest the problem has been going on for years. Given the reluctance to show us a dorm, I think the administration must know how bad the triple dorms are. We had connections on campus that let us see more rooms than other tours got… Skidmore should take a page from how Franklin and Marshall cleverly renovated their equally unappealing (and similarly aged) dorm buildings into places with great commons rooms for the residents - so even if the bedroom are awful, students at least have beautiful common areas to hang out in. Bland is okay, but overcrowded is not.

The dorms are fine. My son is a freshman. My other kid is at Bates and his freshman dorms were by far worse than Skidmore’s. BTW there is no “reluctance” to show a potential student the dorms. Common areas are huge and clean. Perhaps the post above wants to compare the dorms to a luxury hotel but the post makes no sense based on my direct and real experience.

@“body surfer”, are you the parent or the student?

Skidmore has a 91% retention rate, compared to the national average of 72%. I highly doubt students are leaving the school because they are being forced to live in triples their freshman year. It’s college, and if there isn’t some “adversity” (although I personally don’t think of living in a triple as adversity), then there are no stories to tell. We were there too, the rooms were fine - not luxurious, but typical dorm rooms. The campus was beautiful, the professors were engaging, the food was delicious. I think if a kid can “survive” one year in a triple they will be better prepared for life in general.

My D was in the dorms for her first two years and was tripled her first semester. Her dorm room was huge by comparison to all the other schools we visited (and we visited dozens). The “suite” style dorms have a fantastic layout with a 10’ window seat either overlooking the mountains or the centered green space in each double and a 4’ window seat in the single. Each suite has two doubles (one ends up being a triple for the freshman in most cases) and one single with the five or six students sharing a large bathroom with double sinks and private shower and private toilet area. Each suite also has a huge shared hall closet. No one likes being tripled but its generally only the first semester if you request a move the second semester. As for cleanliness, we never had an issue either with the dorm rooms, the bathrooms or the common areas.

My son lived in the Tower his freshman year. The dorms are fine - quite roomy actually. They were better than Northeastern, Providence College, Syracuse, BU (Urban campuses). They were on par with Marist, Cornell, Brown, Ithaca College, RPI, Barnard, Trinity, Stonehill, etc.

KeyDad, I don’t know why you were not shown a dorm room - I saw one on our tour.

So much of what you posted is so incorrect.

The window seats are 4’ wide (about 20" off the floor and the glass window goes to the ceiling so and it’s more like like a bay window with seating).

I don’t know where you get the 70% are in forced triples number. That number seems very high. I’m guessing it’s more like 25% or less.

My son’s double room had 3 closets, each 30" - 36" wide so there would be ample space for 3 people with regard to closet space.

Hallways are standard width - similar to dorms in other colleges (I’ve toured 20 from urban campuses to rural, Ivy to small local colleges). So were the common areas - maybe even slightly above average.

I would say, based on my visits, Skidmore dorms are slightly above average to on the higher end.

Skidmore has pictures of their typical triples on line. You can judge the window seat and amount of room for personal items (laundry, sports equipment, mini-fridge, backpacks, etc.).

Uh oh…Been following this thread as we are planning to visit Skidmore soon. D20 may have an accommodation needed for a single room for social anxiety. Thinking this won’t be an option here with the housing shortage. Even if she is accommodated, she’d be the only one with a single room, which would be weird. Wonder if we should take it off the list? Fits all her interests.

@cakeisgreat If Skidmore will make that accommodation for her, its actually a great set-up. My D had a single her second semester d/t roommate issues. It appears that not all the dorms are like this but in the building my D lived there are suites with two doubles and one single,all sharing one bathroom and large hall closet. So, instead of being i a single in a hallway dorm with little chance to mingle, she would be part of the “suite” even in a single. I can’t remember the name of D’s building but it was the substance free housing choice. Good luck.

@NEPatsGirl Thank you so much for letting me know. The suite will definitely work…actually perfectly - she is a social person but just needs a place to get away from the social from time to time as dealing with it all the time (even successfully) is exhausting. My confidence is restored by your post and some PMs. I really like Skidmore for D20 and looking forward to visiting in May (booked!). Everything I have researched/read points to this being a great fit.

We just visited Skidmore last Friday and the room we were shown was one of the largest dorm rooms we’ve seen on any tour, and we’ve toured about 12 schools (though we didn’t see an actual room at Barnard, Vassar, or Dickinson; just the common area and will have to look online for those). It was only a double but a lot of us thought the window seat was another bed because it really was that long, seriously. I know not all of them are that long but this one was. If another set of furniture had been brought in it would have been fine as a triple. Of course that’s just one room and one example but we were told it was a first year dorm.

Our tour guide was up front about the triple issue and there was no attempt to hide it. She told us that she started in a triple in the fall but both of her roommates moved out (I think she said one to a single and the other to a double that had opened) so now she’s by herself in a big room.

I don’t want to pick on any other schools here but will say that we’ve seen some much dirtier and older looking dorm rooms than what we saw at Skidmore. My D thought the room and bathroom were just fine but getting through the hall seemed a bit like a maze. Would probably be better once you know where you’re going. She really liked the school!

We toured Skidmore over the summer. Just to echo others, they were upfront that most freshmen are in triples. However they were not forced. Room was kind of long and narrow and had enough floor space for all the beds and furniture. I thought the closet space was nice. Had a small window bench. If you are on the beginning of your college search, it might seem kind of shocking but definitely have seen far worse dorm rooms at other schools. We were not shown the bathroom which seems typical but still annoying.