StudentsReview :: The Saint Marys College of California - Comments and Student Experiences
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The Saint Marys College of California

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I've met some great people at SMC (mostlyQuite BrightOther
I've met some great people at SMC (mostly professors), but I still would not come here if I could do it over again. I am a student who is top 7% of my class and am involved in extracurriculars. For anyone who is considering this school, please do not for the following reasons:

The housing is horrible, with water heater issues, no working AC for freshman/sophomore dorms, required $5k+ meal plans for disgusting Sodexo food, mold and recurring pests. The housing department is incredibly unhelpful. In the past year, a gas line was struck and everyone lost hot water for days. Hot showers had to be taken in the Rec Center, which if you live in sophomore housing, is incredibly inconvenient. Keep in mind that we pay $10k+ for housing and yet can't have a living space with hot water, AC, no mold, and no bugs, or receive help from the housing office.

As for the academics here, I do love my professors and think they deserve better salaries and treatment from the school. It is seriously criminal how much faculty makes at this school. Outside of one's major, the Core, is unnecessary and a burden if you want to have space to take electives actually related to your major. Saint Mary's prides itself on a Seminar program that is meant to teach students critical thinking and is meant to reinforce Lasallian principles, however Saint Mary's is still as corrupt as they come.

And just a tip for any high achievers: if you take AP Lit and AP Lang and score 5s on both AP tests, you will still be required to take English 5 Honors here, which is basically a pathetic rehash of 9th grade Lit and Composition. Why? Probably to keep you at this school for longer or make you overload courses later on which will cost you even more.

The school is dead on weekends as people leave to go home. You want to have a club on campus? Good luck because no one at the school will be enthusiastic enough to join. Any efforts that you make to foster community on this campus are futile--you can even ask Saint Mary's about that, as they recently built The 1928, an on-campus pub that cost $1 million, and yet no one ever goes there.

If you're from out-of-state like I am, you're better off staying in your home state because everything is so spread out in the Lamorinda area. Everyone is from California here and you will be an outlier unless you can find a group of friends quickly. If you're from in-state, do yourself a favor and attend a UC or even Santa Clara if you want a degree worth any value. Saint Mary's is now at an acceptance of 100% if you might not have known already, because they are desperate to pay off debts from failed ventures like Brousseau Hall, the Rec Center, and other investments into athletic facilities as athletics are the biggest source of tourism for the school.

Like any other college, you will find that the athletes are favored here despite most of them not being exceptionally good. You will also find that freshman are now being accepted in large numbers to the point that the lack of housing for the new 100% acceptance rate forced 9 boys in Assumption hall to sleep in the lounge for weeks. I've heard similar instances happening in De La Salle and Augustine Hall as well but cannot confirm.

I have known multiple people who have been accepted to this school and have dropped out because they could not afford it. In fact, if you are an over qualified student like myself, you will only have 1/3 of your tuition covered. It is not worth it as this is not a "world class education" and people are never smiling like the advertisements on BART and Broadway Plaza show. Students here are arrogant, stuck up, and unfriendly. Most come from sheltered private Catholic school upbringings and are narrow minded. If you're into partying, any party here is basically a bunch of sad Catholic school children defying mommy and daddy and their repressive Catholic school upbringings. Point is, do not let any smiles fool you, this place reeks of depression.

And lastly, though the school claims to be progressive and all about the students' safety, however they have not addressed for ~10 years a former President of the school who was publicized to have sexually assaulted multiple people, or a former student who recently was found to have child pornography on multiple devices, or other rapists on certain profitable athletic teams here that remain a threat and have gone unacknowledged by the current President. Yet I know people who have gotten caught drinking on campus and they've gone through a lengthy process of having hearings and doing presentations a presentation on why alcohol is dangerous. In summary, Saint Mary's will choose to be involved and apprehend those when 'illegal activity' does not benefit them, but will continue endorse corruption when it's in their best interest.

I anticipate Saint Mary's to take this review down, or to apprehend me, but in any case that this review can help one person not come here, I am going to take that chance. There is proof for most of these events, of course not on the campus tours, but just try talking to a student who will be honest with you and tell you the truth about this institution. There is also financial records that can be found online, that shows Saint Mary's debts and their lines of credit. Do yourself a huge favor and stay away from this school.

2nd Year Female -- Class 1920
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Useful Schoolwork: F
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The students are cliquish and it feels likeNot so brightPolitical Science
The students are cliquish and it feels like a prep school. It is hard to find friends without joining clubs and some of the clubs don't meet or have events very often. Academics are ok. Campus is pretty but in the middle of nowhere and the campus is pretty empty on weekends cause people go home. If you are not from a wealthy family and you are not going to SMC with your cath school friends, be prepared to feel like an outsider. It is not impossible to make friends but it is definitely hard. Not as welcoming as it seemed.
1st Year Male -- Class 1921
Campus Aesthetics: A, Social Life: F
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I think Saint Mary's is one of theQuite BrightPolitical Science
I think Saint Mary's is one of the top programs in the Bay Area and very progressive in its teaching style. It's Seminar program isn't just part of Seminar but bleeds into your major classes. Classes are taught by the knowledge of the student and guided by the training of the professor. It's an education all deserve.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2015
Innovation: A+, Useful Schoolwork: C+
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