Saint Martin's University
Lacey, WA, USA

Reviews

Saint Martin's University
3.79 Average Rating

Lyubov from Olympia, WA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Saint Martin's University is a special school in many ways. First it is a private university and that is wonderful because the classes are made up of 15 students or less. It allows one to get the help they need and also create long lasting relationships between teachers and students. All the staff and teachers are welcoming, going the extra mile for their students. Not to mention the wide variety in their programs offering lots of different classes and experiences. One can really relax, feel at home and at the same time get the education they need. In addition the university provides all the tools one needs, from the newest technology to a wide variety of books and even a workout gym. It a place of spirit, passion and education where one can really shine if they out themselves into it.
Am enjoying being here
While visiting several schools in Washington, what made Saint Martin's University stand out is it's peaceful atmosphere. The place is intimate, quiet and surrounded by 380 acres of green. One can get a blanket sit on the grass and have a picnic, study or even read a book. The church that is also on campus with the university adds even more serenity to the place because sometimes one can hear the bell, which sounds like a soundtrack added to a play to make it stand out and perfect. It's an ideal environment for studying, relaxing and basically enjoying your time.
Bang for the buck
St. Martin's being a private university is expensive though some say less expensive then other private universities. However they do try to help you a lot with the FAFSA and other scholarships. The school itself offers about 100 different types of scholarships that one can apply for or look for other sources for example loans. Not to mention their tuition management systems is helpful because you can pay the money for school monthly and not all at once. In addition the university offers a lot of jobs since 7 out of 10 students at their university has a job with the university. Overall the basic idea is that if one truly tries they can find different sources of income for their tuition while at the same time receiving a private education.
Tips for prospective students
Find out your counselor and sit down with him, talk to him, share your fears, weaknesses, ideas and they will try to help you throughout everything. Make sure you are on time and on track and everything should work out. Help can come in different ways and if one is determined to achieve the impossible then they can, because they believe that it can happen and we are powerful in our faith.
Great for these types of students
St. Martin's offers lots of choices for people interested in business, engineering, and teaching. They have lots of masters and majors in these categories. Also great for students that have lots of financial aid coming in from the government or are able to pay for their education or those with a good record on academics, leaderships, extracurricular activities or sports. Plus it is a peaceful environment where one can relax and at the same time get lots of help and things done. So if one prefers quiet and peace to noise and crowds then this is the place to be. Overall if one is interested in learning, this school provides lots of opportunity and chances for a great education that will serve really well for your future career.
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Sarah from Olympia, WA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I can definitely say that I am being challenged in ways that I never was in high school. I considered my public school education to be fairly adequate, and yet in at least one of my classes, I learned things that I SHOULD have learned in public school. This was not a remedial class or a planned lesson -- this was a digression from the topic to explain how a grammatical rule worked, because very few in the class actually knew. It is kind of embarrassing, but I am thankful that I learned sooner rather than later.

The professors here are spectacular, in my experience. They are genuinely enthusiastic about their subjects, and they encourage open discussion whenever something is either unclear or simply interesting enough that it is worth straying from the planned lecture to explore.
Am enjoying being here
As a small-town girl who grew up in a 360-degree panorama of green, I appreciate that the campus is surrounded by trees, providing a cushion from the urban sprawl outside. It is quieter and more peaceful than I thought it would be, for the middle of a city, which is very nice.

The library and Harned Hall are great haunts for studying, and the latter is popular for socializing over a cup of coffee. When the weather is nice, you can go on a long nature walk with a friend, or camp out on a bench to chat or just people-watch.

Somehow, it never becomes dull to hear the abbey church bells or to see the monks walking around on campus, either teaching or attending classes themselves.

I knocked off a star from a full score because the dorms are frequently noisy. I do not know if it depends on what RA you have, but in my experience, quiet hours are rarely enforced outside of Dead Week (before/during finals).
Bang for the buck
I am definitely getting an education worthy of the tuition. Already I can feel that my mind has been stretched to new places, to accommodate new dimensions of thinking.

However, and this may just be nitpicky, I feel like some of the commodities could be a little better. Several of the tables in Harned Hall are wobbly; a large number of computers take a long time to actually log you in, which is NOT fun in the rush to print out papers before a class in three minutes; at any given time, three of the nine washing machines in Parsons Hall (my dorm building) will be out of order or malfunctioning in some way.
Tips for prospective students
Bring earplugs! And definitely bring a foam mattress pad. You will thank me your first night.

If you are doing your laundry on campus, I recommend doing it in the mornings on the weekend before everyone else is up, or in the mornings on weekdays when everyone else is at classes.

Keep an eye and ear out for scholarships and work-study/job opportunities -- going to this school is expensive, and every little bit helps! You might have to network with the people on campus to actually find anything, though.
Great for these types of students
Students who like to take life at a slower pace -- this is not Seattle, here -- and who appreciate being surrounded by nature.
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Megan from Lacey, WA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I learn a tremendous amount every day from everyone at SMU. Not only are the teachers teaching and taking an interest in their students, many of the office workers, monks, and other staff are involved too! I really feel like I'm learning to be a well-rounded, confident, and accomplished person. I'm also being supported by a small, friendly community that creates an ideal learning environment.
Am enjoying being here
There are so many fun things to do on campus. There are sports to go watch, trails to hike, and cozy hidden study locals for those cold winter days. Anyone can come hang out in Campus Ministry and enjoy the snacks there.
Bang for the buck
It is quite expensive to go here, but if you work hard, you can get a lot of money in scholarships that the school approves you for. There's also plenty of student jobs available. When I look at the price and then I look at how many things we get that we don't have to pay out of pocket for (because it's already been paid for by tuition), I think it's worth it.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared to work hard! For most teachers, A's are not easily granted. But if you work hard, they'll respect you and help you out all they can.
Take some time out for yourself. Go see some friends or check out an event before you put your nose to the grindstone. And check out great relaxation activities around finals week.
Great for these types of students
Great for self-motivated and inquisitive students who really love learning about...well, everything!
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Samuel from Granger, WA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Saint Martin's is a very peaceful, beautiful campus. It has a welcoming environment with great staff. A campus I recommend to others.
Tips for prospective students
Don't feel too uneasy when visiting a campus. Apply to many open houses as possible.
Academic Rigor
they have 12-1 classes, with the instructors knowing your name.
Dorm Life
Amazing huge dorms. One of the biggest dorms in the nation. beautiful community kitchen and living room for students to watch the big Sunday football games or to go and socialize with others.
Food and Dining
Great food they serve with welcoming food staff.
What to do for fun
They have several activities and many clubs to join to be involved.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is a Catholic church in the campus where students go to pray and participate. However, the church is overwhelmingly packed when it's finals week.
Great for these types of students
Great for all students. Especially students who love to socialize.
Clubs and Activities
They have many clubs and activities for all students to join. The more the better. It helps the students feel more at home.
Campus Safety
Police and security in the campus.
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Antoinette from Aberdeen, WA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Busy, Intense, cheap
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared, things move really fast and you'll be pretty busy most of the time
Academic Rigor
The teachers are usually very kind with their grading, but they do expect you to come prepared and to fail a little. One teacher explained to me that he likes to teach so he doesn't care if you don't know all of the answers
Food and Dining
It's hard finding gluten free options on-campus and a lot of the prices are super-inflated for the amount of food you're getting. Still, a lot of on-campus activities offer free food, once a month there's a free lunch for commuter students and the monks never hesitate to give you food.
What to do for fun
Go to down town Olympia
Bang for the buck
You get a lot of free things from the school, they're very serious about getting their students into a job as soon as they graduate and giving a big financial aid package
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There's a monastery on-campus, a pond, the Lacey library is more-or-less in the back-yard as are the Lacey police and there's a huge forest you can hike through
Great for these types of students
Friendly people seem to congregate here ad students aren't afraid of a little hard-work
Clubs and Activities
There's a lot of things to get involved with, it's just tough to find the time to do all of them!
Campus Safety
Very safe
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Anonymous

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
SMU is a small, liberal arts university with dynamic, enthusiastic and talented faculty. It's a fun and welcoming community that is easy to join. There are many opportunities to join clubs and get involved on campus.
Tips for prospective students
The dorm rooms are HUGE and like a hotel (unless you're in Baran, which is the oldest res hall). So bring whatever you think you'll need. It will most likely fit into your room.

If you have a strict sleep schedule, then bring a noisemaker to block out the noise. Like most res halls, the ones at SMU have thin walls that don't really block out the noise. Baran is especially loud, since it has concrete walls that make it like an echo chamber.

Spangler is BY FAR the nicest res hall. It's for upperclassmen, except for the first floor, which is called the Norcia Leaders Floor. It's a leadership floor for freshmen. You have to apply to be part of it. Definitely consider this. Parsons (the freshmen hall) is okay. It's the newest res hall on campus, but since it's a freshmen hall I think it will be trashed the fastest by the students.
Academic Rigor
I was surprised by the academic rigor at this school, honestly. Though some classes you can just blow off, many of the classes are a challenge. The profs are always available to help and many are willing to meet with you outside of office hours, if your schedules don't match up. Very friendly and approachable faculty.
Dorm Life
The dorm life is awesome! SMU is such a small community that you know everyone or have at least seen them around campus, so everyone looks out for each other. There are some homeless people who live in the woods near campus and there were a few incidents with a homeless guy with a knife who wandered onto campus. When those events happened, students looked out for each other. It's a very close community. There aren't really cliques. It's so small that everyone interacts with each other and different groups of friends interact a lot.
Food and Dining
The food is organic and healthy, for the most part. I personally don't like how oily and greasy the food is and how there's so much emphasis on foreign food (especially Asian food, for the international students). I'd just as soon have more American food, but I guess that can't really be helped. Things are overpriced in the cafeteria and the small, one-room student store, but I ended up having a lot of money left over in my account because you don't always eat school food. Sometimes you go to the grocery store or you go out with friends for meals.
What to do for fun
The Olympia/Lacey area is a lot of suburbs. The local color and adventures are in Olympia. It's fun to explore the shops, walk by capitol lake or go to the many events in Olympia. It's a pretty vibrant, active community. Lacey is pretty quiet. It has a lot of retail--Kohl's, Target, Costco, Fred Meyer, Shopko--and a movie theater. There's also a laser tag place close to campus. There's much more to do on-campus than off, I think. We have comedy nights, dances, craft nights, guest speakers, musicians, open mics and hypnotists. There's also floor events put on by res life and some academic events put on by the departments.
Bang for the buck
SMU gives a TON of scholarship money. Compared to the other small private schools in WA that I considered, SMU gave me the most in scholarships by far. Plus, its tuition is lower than the other private schools. Most of the people I know at SMU are here because they received so much scholarship money.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Old Main is rumored to be haunted by ghosts. There's a little tower at the top of the library that everyone wants to go up to, but it's off-limits to students. There's a graveyard for the monks who have passed away that people sometimes visit at night (but do so in groups, there are homeless people about at night). There are many monks who you will see around campus--they might look scary at first, but they're really nice and caring. It's fun to go to prayer with the monks or to eat with them in their dining room. Some of the monks have huge, fun personalities!
Great for these types of students
Students who want a holistic experience in college--it's not all about academics or all about sports or all about dorm life. It's very balanced. Also, students who want a close community of professors and students who care about them. If you would rather have personal relationships with your teachers and be in class with 10-30 students instead of a lecture hall with 300+, then SMU is a good option!
Clubs and Activities
There are many clubs and activities at SMU, ranging from academic honor societies and cultural clubs to a Snowboarding/Ski club and a Gaming Club. New ones are started every year. If you don't see one you like, then grab 2 other friends and submit an application to student government. There are also some unofficial student groups, like an ongoing Magic tournament and an all-female a cappella group.
Campus Safety
Our campus is pretty safe. I think campus safety could do a better job at responding to incidents among students, but overall our campus is fine. It's well-lit, so I'm not afraid to walk alone at night. It's also just very small, so there's hardly anywhere you can walk at night without someone probably seeing you (unless you go into the woods, which is just creepy). There are homeless people who live near campus, but they are harmless and they stay away from students. There is one homeless guy who has a knife and he's been on campus a few times, but the Lacey Police Dept. is next-door to our campus, literally, and they handled that situation quickly and without any trouble. The Lacey Police Dept. drives around our campus at least once each night, as a courtesy.
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Kelseyy from Lacey , WA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Saint Martin's University has a positive and interactive atmosphere. it provides great education with a variety of major and grad programs. It is a campus where I feel comfortable and where I am also fully supported my professors.
Tips for prospective students
For future students make sure you go to the orientations weather you are a new freshmen or a transfer student, I did not attend and I struggled in my 1st semester finding resources and things like that. Also, get to know your professors, they are all here to help you.
Academic Rigor
Saint Martin's University challenges students to push themselves and succeed. I appreciate this in a school because I want to be the best that I can be and Saint Martin's helps me do this.
Dorm Life
I have not personally lived in the dorms but I have friends that do and I have spent time in them. The doors have been recently built and are in great condition!
Food and Dining
The food here is great! There are plenty of places on campus that have food and all that I have tried taste great!
What to do for fun
Saint Martin's University hosts a lot of great community events. We have a pavilion in campus it seems atleast once a week on average. There are also always sports games going on to attend. We also have a recreational center that is great!
Bang for the buck
Saint martins can be expensive but the education is great!! And scholarships are easy to find.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Saint Martin's University is a catholic school so we do have religious events and some of the professors are monks but what I love is that they never pressure you to be religious.
Great for these types of students
Catholic, who strive for good grades, enthudiastic learners, athletes.
Clubs and Activities
There is a large variet of clubs and activies daily on campus.
Greek Life
No knowledge of Greek life
Campus Safety
Campus security is great, most are students and are approachable and willing to help anyone. There had been no real dangerous events on this campus. We do have night classes and security is always around, they ate even willing to walk you to your car of you would like, just ask.
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