New College of Florida

Kim McDonald 7:48 AM (3 hours ago) to me College Hall and Cook Hall are located on Sarasota's beautiful Bayfront.

“If you are interested in learning for the sake of learning in an honors college that has no required courses, an evaluation-based grading system, and that produces winners wholesale, try New College of Florida in Sarasota. You’ll love it.
Colleges That Change Lives

New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
⋅ 861 students
⋅ Average class size: 17
⋅ In 2016-17, students came from 38 states across the U.S. and 19 foreign countries.
⋅ 2017-18 Estimated Tuition, Room & Board (standard):
In-state – $20,650; Out-of-state – $43,678
⋅ Fall 2018 academic scholarship guarantee for incoming freshmen who complete the admission application file by April 15, 2018.
⋅ In-state scholarships $1,000-$4,000; out-of-state scholarships $15,000-$18,000.
⋅ Percentage of students receiving financial aid/scholarships: Approximately 100%

First-year students gather in a circle on the New College Bayfront during orientation.
New College students review material on a laptop for their Sensory Biology of Fishes Lab.


Dance students perform outdoors around the New College Bell Tower

Students hang out and enjoy the sunset at the New College Bayfront.

Students in the graduate program in Data Science review class material.

  • A liberal arts college founded in 1960 as a private college and later designated by the Florida legislature as a public honors college for the liberal arts and sciences
  • New College’s unique academic program allows students the flexibility to pursue their own special areas of academic interest. In addition to classroom courses and seminars, students meet individually with faculty mentors to develop tutorials, independent research and creative projects, and off-campus study experiences to further each student’s academic goals.
  • The college’s beautiful 110-acre bayfront campus lies along Sarasota Bay, adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, on the former estate of circus magnate Charles Ringling.
  • New College is located just a few minutes by bus or bicycle from downtown Sarasota, which Money magazine named one of the country’s “best places to live.” Cultural and recreational resources abound, including the Ringling Museum of Art; the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall; ballet, orchestra and opera companies; and the white sand beaches of Siesta Key, named by the Travel Channel as one of the world’s premier beach destinations.

Worth Noting
  • For a small school, New College students consistently garner a large number of top prizes and awards. As of 2017, the College had 85 Fulbright scholars — reinforcing its status as one of the nation’s leading undergraduate institutions in terms of per-capita Fulbright winners. New College students have received many other prestigious awards, including Critical Language and Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships from the U.S. Department of State; the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in mathematics and science; the Truman Scholarship for public service; the Udall Scholarship for commitment to the environment; French, Spanish and Japanese governments Teaching Assistantships; a Kremlin Fellowship; and numerous National Science Foundation “Research Experiences for Undergraduates” for funded summer research in labs across the country.
  • Faculty, too, earn top awards. In recent years, a biology professor received a five-year, $4.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation; a chemistry professor was awarded a $260,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research and a $93,0000 grant from the National Science Foundation; a classics professor was awarded a $35,000 grant by Harvard University for a book project, an English professor was awarded a visiting research fellowship to the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University; a history professor was awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize; sociology and political science professors earned Fulbright Fellowships for Mexico and New Zealand; a biology professor was designated a Fulbright Specialist; a classics professor received the Award for Excellence in Collegiate Teaching from the American Philological Association; a research scholar received a $132,000 grant from the U.S. Geological Survey; and a physics professor was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the United States government to fund her research in nanoparticles.
  • The Princeton ReviewKiplinger’s Personal Finance, and Fiske Guide to Colleges consistently rate New College among the nation’s best academic values. Princeton Review listed New College as one of the nation’s Top 50 “Colleges That Create Futures” in its 2017 guidebook. Washington Monthly named New College the No. 10 Liberal Arts College in the U.S., and the No. 1 Public Liberal Arts College in the nation in 2015.
  • Alumni have had distinguished careers in many fields. They include William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Esther Barazzone, president of Chatham University; Bill Thurston, mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal; Sharon Matola, founder of the Belize Zoo; Jose Diaz-Balart, NBC and Telemundo anchor; Lincoln Diaz-Balart, former U.S. congressman; Margee Ensign, president of Dickinson College; Nancy McEldowney, former director of the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute; Carol Flint, Emmy Award-winning producer and scriptwriter for “The West Wing,” “L.A. Law” and “ER”; Duncan Odom, genetics researcher at University of Cambridge and winner of the 2014 Francis Crick Medal; Jackson George, senior vice president of creative film services at Walt Disney Studios; and David Allen, management consultant and New York Times best-selling author of “Getting Things Done.”

Faculty & Academics
  • All classes are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants.
  • 97% of full-time, tenure-track faculty hold a Ph.D. or highest degree in field.
  • Student-faculty ratio is 10:1.
  • New College emphasizes collaborative learning and student research. January is designated as the Independent Study Period, a time to complete a faculty-sponsored project that pursues a particular interest in depth. Students may take on an internship, work on a play or other creative project, and/or do intensive field, lab, or library research.
  • Because New College believes that learning should be a highly personalized and individual experience, students receive detailed narrative evaluations rather than grades from their professors at the end of every course. Students also work one-on-one with faculty to research and write a senior thesis, the culmination of their academic program.
  • The campus includes a mixture of historic buildings — many still in use for classrooms — and state-of-the-art science and research facilities, including the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center and R.V. Heiser Natural Sciences Complex. In 2017, a new wing of the Heiser Complex opened, increasing laboratory and classroom space by 50 percent.
  • A new 33,000-square-foot center for academic life at New College opened in fall 2011. The LEED-certified building is home to 10 classrooms, a computer lab, 45 faculty offices and a lushly landscaped central plaza connecting to the adjacent library.

Areas of Study
For the most current listings, please check the college website.

Applied Mathematics
Art History
Chinese Language & Culture
Computer Science
Environmental Studies
Gender Studies
General Studies
German Studies/German Language and Literature
International & Area Studies (including East Asian Studies and European Studies)
Marine Biology
Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Natural Sciences
Political Science
Pre Business
Pre Law
Pre Medicine
Pre Veterinary
Public Policy
Russian Language & Literature
Social Sciences
Spanish Language, Literature & Culture
Urban Studies

Campus Life
  • Students can join 75 ever-changing and evolving organizations on campus, with interests ranging from politics and religion to languages, sports, academics, hobbies, social activism, and food. New College’s Sailing Team launches from the campus bayfront and competes in regattas across the southeast. Students can borrow and take lessons on sailboats, kayaks and canoes.
  • Long-running music groups for students include the New Cats Jazz Band, the New College Chorus and Acapellago, an a capella group.
  • Students run an award-winning weekly newspaper, The Catalyst, and work at a college-affiliated community radio station (WSLR-FM).
  • Diverse guest lectures, theater and dance performances, art exhibitions, and musical events are regularly held on campus, including a cutting-edge contemporary music series, New Music New College, in which students collaborate each year.
  • The Four Winds Café and student “walls” (parties) offer informal opportunities for students to get together, dance, talk and play music.
  • The New College Student Alliance, based on a “town meeting” model, is the student governing body and represents an active form of direct democracy.
  • About 78% of students live on campus. Five new state-of-the art “green dorms” feature apartment-style living, high-ceilinged common spaces and fully equipped community kitchens.
  • Students can choose to live in dorms designated as a themed “living-learning community,” including the International Village, Wellness Village and Academic Intensive Community.
  • More than 80% of students perform community service before they graduate, averaging over 5,000 hours of volunteer work at more than 100 local and national organizations each year. Many do so through Alternative Fall and Spring Break, a growing movement that involves students in community organizing.
  • Students are actively involved in volunteer outreach in the local community as well as nationwide through Alternative Fall and Spring Break, a growing movement among colleges to involve students in community organizing.
  • New College is one of the few campuses nationwide with a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program.
  • In 2012 New College’s beautiful outdoor spaces were enhanced by restoration of 1,000 feet of Sarasota Bay shoreline, including a historically accurate balustrade, lighted paved esplanade and seating, and an inter-tidal lagoon, returning the shoreline to a more natural condition and serving as a laboratory for student research.
  • In 2013 New College dedicated a modernist bell tower in the plaza outside the school’s library, with carillon bells, made in a famous French foundry, which can be programmed by the college’s music students.

Varsity Sports

New College is a regular member of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association and offers sailing as a club sport. There are also a variety of active athletic recreation programs and club sports including:

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Flag football
Scuba diving
Ultimate Frisbee
Water sports
Weight lifting

Life After College
  • Eighty percent of New College of Florida graduates eventually go on to graduate or professional school. Acceptance rates for grad school are very high. From 2004 to 2008, for example, 87% of New College students who applied to a Masters/Ph.D. program were accepted, and 85% were accepted into law school. The prestigious Wall Street Journal has ranked New College the nation’s No. 2 public feeder school for elite law, medical and business schools, and U.S. News & World Report ranked New College sixth in the nation for the percentage of students attending graduate school within a year of graduation. The top graduate or professional schools attended by recent New College graduates included the University of Florida, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, American University, Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University and the New School for Social Research.
  • New College has produced 85 Fulbright Scholars (including 50 in the last 10 years), 24 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows, 19 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winners, six Goldwater Scholars, two Truman Scholars, two Frost Scholars, one Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar, one Rhodes Scholar, one Marshall Scholar, one Gates Cambridge Scholar and several Critical Language Scholars.
  • The New College Alumnae/i Association recently profiled its database of over 2,500 alums who had graduated since 1967. The most common fields they work in are Education, Business/Finance, Legal, Medical, Research/Science/Conservation, and Technology.
  • To read more about New College graduates, please visit this page.

Academic Profile of Entering Class
  • Middle 50% GPA: 3.76-4.35 (weighted)
  • Middle 50% SAT range (Evidence-based Reading/Writing and Math): 1230-1400
  • Middle 50% ACT composite scores: 25-30
  • 38% of those with class rank placed in top 10% of high school class;
    60% of those with class rank placed in top 20%.
  • 33% are students from under-represented populations.