4 out of 5 Stars
New College doesn't force you to take all the "Core" classes other schools do. For instance, if you are a history major and have good enough SAT scores you don't need to take any Math classes. However, almost every major requires one science, and there are special science classes for non majors. However, New College wants you to master your field. Therefore, the lack of an extremely strict core class system is replaced w/ heavy classes in your field from day one. By the end you will be conducting independent research in your field similar or better than what you will do in a Masters program (My masters was a joke compared to New College).
Day one you will be assigned an academic advisor, you will have meetings w them at the beginning of each semester. You can make appointments w them regularly as they have and advising schedule for appointments every week.
More than 90 percent of classes are 15 people or less. The biggest classes are Natural Sciences where it is not unusual to see 30 people in a class. However, all professors are highly accessible they are willing to help. Nevertheless, they need to see your desire to create and work for your own opportunities.
Very competitive academics but not in a traditional head to head w other students. What matters here is that you learn and take up on challenges from your professors.
Work load is heavy but not unmanageable. For a Social Science student it is not uncommon to read between 200-400 pages a week per class. But trust me...it is all very fun.Quality of Life
Cost of housing is fair, first year accommodations are not great but very cheap, cost of living in Sarasota is low (specially considering how wealthy and nice it is), campus is beautiful, facilities are good and getting better, library is excellent (especially for a small school), on campus dinning is...(kinda gross) and a little expensive, but the cafeteria really makes an effort to make great food, they just can't seem to keep up w the demands from the students (Vegan, Vegetarian, Carnivore food is served for almost every meal). The neighborhood surrounding New College is nice in one side....the other is ugh...New Town (just don't walk through the neighborhood). College has good relations in the community. Very low crime, most of it is petty (bikes stolen etc), it is very safe. Campus is truly extremely happy.Admissions
Two essays encouraged, Interviews encouraged and considered in admission process. Generous scholarship opportunities. Apply early, even though the process is highly competitive it still remains very friendly. Don't be afraid to call and inquire in regards to your application.
This school is mostly attended by middle high class white students, make sure you note what makes you different, how are you unique. New College truly fosters individuality, don't be afraid to show yours. No topic...except illegal ones(even those might find friendly ears) is out of line. Just be yourself show that you work hard, are independently motivated, and can deal w a diversity of situations. If that doesn't sound like you or you truly don't have an open mind this is not the school for you. Having said that you can be of any political affiliation, personal orientation, religion, or walk of life and will be respected as long as you respect as well.Graduation Year
New College has very small class sizes and very dedicated faculty. Students are interested in their academic work. Outside of class, on the residential college campus, academic topics are a frequent part of social conversation. Students often undertake independent research projects. Undergraduate students create many long papers and a senior thesis, a significant work usually about 100 pages in length.
New College is a liberal arts college and is strongest in core, fundamental disciplines: economics, pure math, political theory, classics, philosophy, sociology, and social theory. New College also has a strong marine science program, a product of its access to Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and its partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory.Quality of Life
New College's student life is centered on its residential campus, where 80 percent of students live. There is a vibrant social life on campus, drawing on a student-run coffeeshop that is open late into the evening, and on a largely student-driven music scene.Graduation Year
Small classes (I've even had a one-on-one class), great opportunities to design and participate in unique tutorials for credit, great openness to studying abroad, good financial assistance for academic projects. Professors are incredibly accessible and understanding. Many experts in their fields. I love the narrative evaluation system, which is competitive, fair, and very unique.Quality of Life
Low crime rates. Slightly high costs for living & eating on campus. Great library, incredible sense of community, beautiful surroundings. Dining is expensive & usually bad-quality, though. Although the student-run cafe, The Four Winds, is incredible!Admissions
Common Application was (I believe) used. There were also unique essay questions and an optional interview in which I did not participate. New College has rolling admission & so they were the first school I was accepted to-- very quick decision, which is very appreciated.Level
Rather than annoying required classes, New College only asks that you take one class in each of the three major areas of study (Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences). After that, you can focus on your concentration (major). Each student has an academic adviser, generally based on your area of study. If you change what you're studying, you can also change your adviser to someone more relevant and potentially helpful to you. Class sizes can range from one person to about 40. You can create classes, called tutorials, with professors if something you're interested in isn't offered as a course. Professors in general are incredibly accessible, and will readily agree to meet with you. New College is competitive as a college, since it is so challenging academically. Within the college, however, there is not much of a sense of competitiveness. This is because we do not have grades. Instead, we receive written evaluations from our professors, which describe not only how well we did in the class, but how much effort we put forth, as well as our class participation. No one is competing to receive the highest A, we're all just trying to learn and pass the class. Though New College courses are pass/fail, they are not any easy because of that. The workload is high, and students must be prepared to manage their time well in order to be able to complete all of their work.
New College is a very challenging, but also very rewarding, school that caters to the needs of each individual.Quality of Life
The dorms on campus are in general much larger than those you will find at most other colleges. They are all nice places to live, and the older dorms are even being renovated. Unless you're an out-of-state student, New College overall is very affordable. Dorm-side of campus isn't the prettiest (if you don't like the color beige, as I don't) but it does the job and it's certainly not a bad place to be. I'm very happy to be living on campus for the third year in a row. The academic side of campus is much prettier, and is situated on Sarasota Bay. The facilities in general are very nice, as is the library, and with the 50th anniversary of the school having just passed, many renovations are going to on as well. I feel very safe on campus; New College, being so small, is like a family, and we recognize when there are outsiders. New College is a great place to live.Admissions
The most important part of New College admissions is the personal essay.Level
A very unique program with lots of freedom. Definitely not for everyone, only self-driven and motivated students succed at New College. The pass or fail system relieves the stress of the grade system and allows for true learning to take place. You learn from your peers as well as your professors.Quality of Life
The dorms are very nice, but the Residential life staff are horrible. The campus is just gorgeous!!!! Living on Sarasota Bay is a treat. The campus police are friendly and helpful. The library is an incredible resource. The surrounding nieghborhood is not the best- but the college is fairly insulated from it. Overall I enjoyed an excellent quality of life.Admissions
Must have high GPA and test scores. Personal essay is very important. Common app used. Good financial aid and lots of scholarships.Graduation Year
Available professors, small class sizesAdmissions
Rolling admissions, emphasis on "Fit"Graduation Year
There are no general requirements at New College. Students have the chance to create their own course of study if that which they desire is not offered. All students have an adviser with whom they can discuss their coursework. Class size was small. Some of my classes had only 6 students. My largest class had about 60. The professors are fabulous and opportunities for research abound. All students are required to write an undergraduate thesis.
I did not find students to be competitive with one another. In lieu of grades, New College has written evaluations which provide more to the student. It is easier to determine as a student where you are doing well or poorly because your professors tell you clearly and in some detail how you are doing.Quality of Life
The housing is the best I have ever seen at a university. The main dining facility is a little lackluster but has been improving. The student-run cafe on campus is fabulous. The campus is beautiful.
I always felt comfortable on campus because of the close community and the good relationship with the campus police.Graduation Year
The Liberal Arts Curriculum is a very broad and expansive set of criteria that enabled me to study what I was really interested in. For example, I took Environmental Studies, the Norman Conquest of the Medieval World, Political Science, Religion and LGBT rights courses all in my first year! The class sizes are very small with my biggest at maybe 15 students. The professors are brilliant and encourage you to meet with them and offer a whole range of great resources. Grading is a lot more personal as the A, B, C system has been thrown out. It gives you a lot more feedback then a simple "A". Getting the "Strongly Satisfactory" at the end of a class is the best feeling in the world as you know you and the professor have really worked together.Quality of Life
Housing is relatively nice, living off campus isn't really necessary and costs can be quite low. The campus is beautiful, the bay front is a great place for just about anything and the facilities of the campus are great for the student population size. The campus is really closely-nit and quite safe while dining is better than I ever had in elementary, middle, or high school.Admissions
The essay questions were pretty unique and really got me thinking about what I wanted out of life and what I had so far. I was pretty set on going to New College and they provided me with suitable financial aid when I told them that I'd be going.Level
New College operates on a pass/fail (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) system on a class-by-class basis, but overall success or failure is gauged on a 'contract' system negotiated with your academic adviser. One might sign up for four classes and have a 'three out of four' contract - satisfactory marks in three classes will satisfy the requirements of your contract (seven of which are needed to graduate). This allows students to push their boundaries without fearing failure.
The school is more cooperative than competitive and class sizes are small. Professors are incredibly accessible and it's rare that one forgets your name. Workload can be tough, but it's almost always fair.Quality of Life
Housing is great - most rooms are suites with three to four individual rooms inside. New College is fairly self-contained, so the community off-campus isn't that strong (the downtown area is great, though, and standard shopping isn't far away). Crime is also very low. The library is very good for such a small school. Food service is so-so, but we have a student-run cafe that's great (if a bit slow).Admissions
I used the Common Application and applied early. I automatically received two scholarships for academic excellence and my IB Diploma.Level
How the fact that every professor at New College has their terminal degree in their field has managed to mostly escape national attention is beyond me. As a freshman, I took a class with only fourteen other people taught by a professor with a PhD from Harvard. How many other college students in the country can say that? Probably fourteen. For all of this that is given, though, much is expected. Twenty-page term papers are fairly standard in the humanities and social sciences departments. Though the professors are kind and understanding, do no expect exceptions to be made.Quality of Life
Housing is ridiculously expensive, and though novo collegians love to complain about things like how expensive housing is, the facilities are really nice. Most freshmen live in the Pei dorms, which are very spacious and well air conditioned. Many rooms have balconies, and all rooms have their own bathroom, including a shower. Older students can get apartment-style housing with individual bedrooms and their own kitchens. Other facilities on campus also make you feel like you're home, or better than at home: We have a year-round outdoor pool, hammocks swath many of the palm trees, and word has it that it isn't too difficult to climb on top of the student center to watch the sunrise.
New College has one of the safest campuses I've ever been on. As a female student, I have no fear walking at night anywhere on campus by myself, even on the weekends. One major plus of the campus being so small is that it's very obvious if someone is on campus who doesn't belong there, and these people are quickly reported to the campus police who escort them off campus.
That being said, one major downside to having small campus is the lack of food options. We have one cafeteria that has ludicrous hours (4:45-5:45 for dinner? Really?) and is supplied by the same food company that serves many of the nation's prison's. That should tell you something. Some people complain about the large amount of meal points freshman are required to purchase, but if you're like me and don't have a car your first year, you'll go through them all easily enough.Admissions
By all accounts, more emphasis is placed on the essay than at other schools. New College is definitely a place that appreciates individuals, so it pays to show your true inner freak - so long as you have the grades to back it up.Level