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Overall School Rating
80 Ratings

4 out of 5 Stars

16
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2 Stars
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1 Star
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58 Student Reviews (4 star). See all 80 reviews.

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2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

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

1

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The requirements are reasonable and allow room for specialization according to your interests. The small size of the school limits the amount of classes offered, but there is a good variety, for the size. Advising is great, the professors are very helpful and involved in helping you figure out your course of study. Class sizes are very small (mine have been 7-20 kids each). Professors are incredibly accessible. The classes aren't competitive, it is more like students help each other out and learn from each other. The work load is pretty big, but manageable. The faculty are all great, all PhDs with a lot of research experience and published materials.

Quality of Life

Housing is decent. The first year dorms are pretty terrible, but the apartments are pretty okay. We have water outages and stuff like that every now and then, and the housing department charges exorbitantly for non-existent "room damages." The dorms are very expensive, and they let very few students live off campus. The food is pretty terrible, but there's vegan options, at least. Campus is very safe, the police look out for us. Living on campus has its drawbacks, but I enjoy it overall.

Admissions

Common application. Interviews are optional. There is early decision. Awesome scholarships (I got National Merit, which covers most of my out-of-state tuition).

Level

3

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

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

2

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

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

2011

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

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

4

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

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

3

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

There are no core classes, just liberal arts credits (LAC) that are required. This allows you to really specialize in your fields of interest, especially because if you take AP classes in high school they will usually qualify as LAC credits. The courses are difficult, but you really learn the material being covered. The grading system is a bit different at NCF, there are no grades. Instead everyone gets written evaluations. The evaluations mean that your professors really have to get to know you so that they can give and insightful evaluation of your progress in their course. Class sizes are generally small, I think the biggest classes are the basic natural science courses such as general chemistry, and those are generally less then 60 people. Once you get past the general courses the classes generally drop down to 20 people or less, depending on the course. The school is not traditionally competitive because there are no GPAs so students cannot compare themselves to one another. What really drives the students is a desire to excel in their courses and to do well because they want to. This means you have to be relatively driven in order to succeed at NCF. In order to graduate you have to complete a senior thesis as well as 3 independent study projects, so there is plenty of opportunities for students to work on their own research or to assist other students with their research. Many of the students participate in the study abroad program. The school is a part of the National Student Exchange program, as well as a few other programs concerning study abroad. The Study Abroad office is very good about helping students. The workload depends on what classes you take and how many. Some students take only 3 classes a semester, while others will take six. There is a contract system. Every student makes one contract a semester with their student advisor outlining what classes they are taking, how many classes they have to pass to satisfactorily complete the contract, and their goals for the semester. Each contract is worth 18 credits. That means that taking more classes does not necessarily give you more credits, but many students take more than the minimum three courses.

Quality of Life

Depending on the type of housing you prefer the experience you have could be different, overall they are relatively nice. The oldest dorms are being updated so they should all be very nice by 2013. The cost of living in the area is about average I would guess, depending on where you go it can be higher or lower. The facilities are what would be expected for such a small school. The gym is small, but nice with all new machines. The pool is not heated, but it is generally warm enough out that it is not a problem. The library is very nice, with plenty of online resources. The food service is terrible. It does have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, but they are generally not delicious. The student run cafes are very good though, and there is a sub shop that is open until 5pm that is usually pretty good. One major complaint on campus is that after 10:30pm nothing is open, which limits late night snacking for those of us who run on a late night schedule. The students have a pretty close knit community, which is inevitable at a school of 800 kids. By the time you graduate you know almost everyone's face, even if you don't actually know them. There is minimal crime and the campus cops are generally pretty understanding and do not hassle students unless they are endangering themselves or others. If you are type of student who belongs at New College you will love it, but for people who aren't good matches for the school tend to realize that fact pretty quickly and tend to transfer out within their first year.

Admissions

The application was the common application, the main emphasis when you are applying is on the personal statement. I have heard of a number of people who had less than ideal grades in school that were still accepted because they wrote an amazing personal essay. It used to be that interviews were recommended, but I do not think that is still true. When I was applying I had scheduled a phone interview and instead of having an interview I was informed I had already been accepted. The school looks favorably on students who come to visit the school and go on a tour, so if you can make it to the campus you should really stop by for a tour and schedule a lunch meeting with one of the student admissions representatives.

Level

3

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

no

Admissions

no

Level

2

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

rigorous, pass fail system, large work load

Quality of Life

very small student body in a town that is very small with not much to do. Feels too small fairly quickly

Admissions

Common App

Graduation Year

2011

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Academics at New College can be rigorous and very rewarding. Expect to right lots and lots of papers. Since there are no core classes you can really explore your interests, which makes the workload easier since there is usually a personal investment in each class. Class sizes are generally small and if you set up tutorials you can easily get lots of one on one time with the great professors. No grades, means a greater level of camaraderie between students since there is no competition for GPA. If you're in state study abroad is a breeze through NSE and even if you're out of state (like me) its easy to find a program and get credit.

Quality of Life

The dorms are some of the nicest (at least size and space wise) that I have been in, although the housing prices and processes can be maddening. The campus has nice facilities for a school of our size, although the main food on campus is generally unpleasant. Luckily there is a student run cafe that caters to vegetarians and vegan diets. New College is not especially involved with the community, although many students choose to be involved on their own. The campus is safe and there is little crime except for frequent bike theft.

Level

4

Graduation Year

2012

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