Culture and Campus Life at New College of Florida
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Sharon Alcock, Associate Director of New Student Recruitment at New College of Florida, in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Overview of New College of Florida
New College of Florida is unique in many ways. Located about 15 minutes away from the beach in sunny Sarasota, New College combines work and play perfectly. The college uses a unique evaluation, or “contract” system, that prioritizes exploration and creativity over letter grades.
Despite its tempting location, New College students work hard and tend to be incredibly curious and passionate about learning. The students want to do good in the world and often seek out ways to innovatively apply their passions and interests to improve the world around them. Graduates go on to have successful careers in many spaces, from nonprofits to startups.
One notable alumnus is a corporate lawyer whose work was featured in the film, Dark Waters. It follows his time representing a community in West Virginia that was being poisoned by the company DuPont. He spent 10 years fighting with DuPont about the toxic chemicals that it continued to dump into the waters there. His work enabled him to protect lives, bring about justice, and be involved in a case with widespread environmental repercussions.
These are the kind of people who come to New College. They pursue meaningful opportunities, do good, and lead successful careers.
Student Life at New College
Student Housing and Residential Life
New College is a residential campus with about 75% of its student body living on campus during the year. There are many types of dorms from which students can choose. For first-year students, the typical dorm room is large enough to accommodate two to three students and has access to a shared bathroom. There are also suite-style dorms where you have your own room, but you share a common space with other students in the suite.
You also have the opportunity to live in one of the learning communities, which are themed housing. So, if you’re interested in certain types of activities, such as outdoor adventures or music performances, you can live in themed housing with other students with similar interests and participate in themed programming and events.
Some students also choose to live off-campus, renting small houses or apartments during the academic year.
Dining Options at New College
On campus, you’ll have access to a wide range of food options based on your preferences and dietary restrictions. The college has everything from vegan and vegetarian to gluten-free food options, based on student needs and ongoing feedback.
There’s a delicatessen next to the cafeteria, where you can order sandwiches, and a small cafe on the bay side of campus is where students, faculty, and staff can grab a bite to eat and hang out. The cafe serves coffee and various snack options.
Getting Involved On and Off Campus
The college is home to numerous clubs and student organizations, including preprofessional clubs, community service groups, and social justice groups. Students can also join one of several club sports or participate in numerous recreational outdoor activities. The college has a large boat house where you can borrow sailing equipment, paddleboards, and kayaks for use on Sarasota Bay.
While Sarasota is considered a small city, there is much for students to do off campus. The city is culturally rich, with plenty of different restaurants, international foods, festivals, and events for students to take advantage of throughout the year.