of the negative reviews posted here are unrealistic, in my
humble opinion. No one would deny that Skidmore, by
and large, has a wealthy student population (though there are
certainly many students on scholarship). And yes, most students
came from good private schools. As a result, yes,
the student body is not the most diverse.
is comparable to all liberal arts colleges and many larger,
private universities.* Anyone applying here should understand this dynamic.
Expecting a school with a 50k per year price
tag not to have a wealthy student population is kind
All that being said, Skidmore has been an
excellent academic and social experience for me. I came
from a small private school, much smaller than Skidmore so
the student body here felt large (as strange as that
may sound to some of you). I found students
to be friendly, hardworking and well-rounded (most students here seem
artistically inclined in some way). While I mentioned that
the school is not the most diverse, it is making
progress and I can honestly say that I felt a
positive shift in the school's dynamic between my freshmen and
senior years. The school is also becoming increasingly competitive
to get into, so I would not be surprised if
it made a substantial jump in the college rankings within
the next 10 years.
I'm not sure how
anyone could say that the academics here were not stimulating.
If you're doing the reading and work outside of
class, which is substantial (trust me, reading Henry James at
Harvard and reading Henry James at Skidmore is still, well,
Henry James), you should be well-suited to engage the brilliant,
renowned faculty, many of whom are nationally famous for their
research, scholarship and writings. The faculty is quite accessible,
so anyone who does not feel challenged is probably not
doing their job as a student or is simply a
genius. This is not to say that every class
is stellar, but Skidmore, by and large, is academically robust.
And, please, there is plenty to do on campus (student
clubs, performance groups, chamber music ensembles, intramural sports). There
are many great musical opportunities to pursue as Skidmore has
a new world-class recital hall and attracts jazz and classical
greats from around the world (think Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman,
Garrick Ohlsson, and Marc-Andr? Hamelin).
Speaking of famous guest, people
like Junot Diaz, Don Delillo, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and John
Ashcroft have also been on campus giving talks, so I'd
be skeptical of anyone who tells you that its a
marginal visiting cast here.
Saratoga is a nice, upscale community
in upstate NY. There is good dining, some nightlife,
and beautiful parks. It's ideally situated between NYC and
Montreal. It is not, however, a major city.
Once again though, anyone applying here would presumably understand that
Saratoga is NYC or Boston. Of course, Saratoga is
a step up from a lot of so-called “college towns”
surrounding liberal arts schools (many of which are in the
middle of nowhere).
There's much more to say, but let
me end by saying that there are plenty of opportunities
here for personal and intellectual growth (don't forget about study
abroad—quite popular here!), but like any school, your experience is
what you make of it. No one should be
shocked that Skimore is a small, wealthy school with a
strong emphasis on programs in the arts and humanities.