A Quick Guide to New College of Florida
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Sharon Alcock, Associate Director of New Student Recruitment, in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
In this post, we discuss the New College of Florida, including its size, location, curriculum, and grading practices.
New College of Florida is the public honors college for the state of Florida. It is located in Sarasota, on the west coast of Florida, about an hour south of Tampa. Sarasota is known for its rich cultural life, including its theater, music, and art scene, all in a beautiful beachfront location that is a popular vacation spot.
New College of Florida is the smallest school in Florida’s state university system. There are about 700 students in total, with a student-faculty ratio of seven to one and an average class size of 12 students. This gives students the best of both worlds: the feel of a private college but for a public college price.
Students at New College of Florida receive a personalized, individualized education, as there is no cookie-cutter curriculum that everyone follows. Each student’s academic path is tailored to who they are and their short- and long-term goals. Students can drive their own education, working with their academic advisors to build their specific journey.
New College of Florida students receive a bachelor’s degree after their four-year honors education. There are 45 majors offered, called areas of concentration, including everything from art, music, and theater to marine biology, history, and prelaw. Many students start undeclared, which is beneficial because they’re open to taking an array of different classes on topics they’re interested in.
New College of Florida prides itself on the passion and curiosity of its students. Many go on to pursue further education after they graduate, including law school, medical school, or Ph.D. programs. Many students have gone on to become entrepreneurs, creating their own businesses thanks to the college’s forward-thinking, out-of-the-box approach.
A unique aspect of New College of Florida is that there are no grades. While quizzes and papers may receive traditional grades throughout a semester, students receive only a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” evaluation at the end of each course.
Students at New College of Florida are not chasing a certain grade or a specific GPA because that doesn’t tend to help the learning process. Instead, students meet with their academic advisors each semester to create an academic contract, which functions as a blueprint for the semester. This includes what courses they’ll be taking and their short-term and long-term goals.
This customized approach helps students frame their futures. They can take risks and enroll in classes that they would not typically take if they were worried about their GPA. Since the class sizes are so small, professors get to know students quite well and can write detailed evaluations at the end of each course.