New College of Florida
Sarasota, FL, USA

Reviews

New College of Florida
3.86 Average Rating

Rebekah from Lake Panasoffkee, FL

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
New College of Florida was founded by independent thinkers for independent thinkers. The academic program here requires a student who is capable of taking on full responsibility for his or her education. Although, NCF students are notorious for their studious natures, many are also known for their love and exercise of fun.
Tips for prospective students
Keep an open mind: don't assume that the traditional education system is the only way to go.
Remember why you're in college: it is easy to get caught up in the newness of independence and the real world.
Put forth your best effort, but don't drive yourself into an early grave: academic strife builds character and great professional resume. Just remember to schedule tranquility and fun into your life.
Academic Rigor
New College of Florida is the honors college of the state of Florida. The academics here are thereby extremely challenging. Although we don't use a grading system, delineating A, B, C etc., we do use a teacher evaluation system. Basically instead of getting a letter that tells you how you did in the class, you get a whole essay, saying what you did great, how you can improve etc. You will receive grades on tests and papers throughout the semester, just not a final grade for the class. Don't worry if you need a GPA for financial aid purposes, the school generates one for you based on your evaluations.
Dorm Life
Living in a dorm has a lot of pros and a few cons.
Pros:
- A five to ten minute walk from all your classes
- Easy access to social events
-Safety
-Already prepared food
-Pool, fitness center, sport courts
-Friends
-Not paying a lease
-Saves gas money

Cons:
-Paying room and board
-Limited ability to cook(depending on the dorm)
-Pre-assigned roommates(for Freshmen, a.k.a 1st years, unless you know who you want to live with already)
-Noisy on Friday and Saturday nights, due to Walls or a campus party in a court yard beneath a bunch of palm trees (Palm Court). The noise level varies on your room's proximity.
Food and Dining
Unfortunately, the food at this University is not gourmet. In all honesty, it is the worst thing about our small community. At first the food doesn't seem that bad, but just as in a high school cafeteria, the culinary creations become repetitive and bland.
What to do for fun
This school is located 15 minutes from the #1 rated beach in America, Siesta Key, among something like 6 other beaches. Lido Key, for example, is great for shell collectors. There are several theatres, cinemas, parks, restaurants, and shopping centers. St. Armand's Circle, for instance, is one of our classier shopping venues, where one can purchase fine works of art and clothing from designer boutiques. Of course, no one can pass up a good old fashioned game of Frisbee right here on campus, or a simple frozen yogurt from White Berry in downtown. There is no such thing as a dull moment with two mini golf parks right around the corner.
Bang for the buck
On Princeton's List of colleges that offer an ivy league education for the least amount of money, NCF ranks number 3 in all of the U.S.A. See for yourself.
http://www.princetonreview.com/best-value-colleges.aspx
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Our traditions are very secretive. Become a student so you can find them out.
Great for these types of students
Students who:
-Love learning
-Are Independent
-Prefer smaller schools
-Need financial aid
-Want to be a name and not a number
Clubs and Activities
There are several clubs on campus:
-Jesus Club
-American Sign Language Club
-YELLING CLUB
-Circus Club
-Sailing Club
-Football Club
etc.
Greek Life
We do not offer Greek life nor school sponsored sports. We of course have sports teams, soccer mostly, that compete with other teams in Sarasota, just not a collegiate competitive team like the Gators.
Campus Safety
The Campus Police are amazing, very friendly, alert, and accessible. There are blue towers all over campus that with one push of a button call to the Cop Shop (as we call it) immediately. Even if you're just feeling paranoid, the cops are more than happy to pick you up in one of their golf carts and give you a lift to your dorm. They also jump start your car when your battery dies, and provide other really nice services.
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Brianna from Port Charlotte, FL

accepted here and planning to attend soon
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
I'm so excited because everything is specialized for the individual student!
Will enjoy being here
There is going to be so much to do, and many diverse students. Small class sizes and a small campus make for close friends!
Bang for the buck
I am going almost for free!
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Stephanie from Sarasota, FL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The courses I've taken go beyond a textbook. Most professors will provide additional knowledge to facilitate your studies and research, as well as take you out into the fields for experience.
Am enjoying being here
New College has a great atmosphere for relaxed learning, casual interaction and unique outlets. The students are tolerant, the campus is beautiful and the recreational options are endless!
Bang for the buck
For being a top-ranked liberal arts college in the U.S., it is one of the most affordable public universities in the state of Florida. The school puts education before profit, forever in pursuit of generous donors who will guide the new generations into the lights of academia and stewardship. The school puts just as much effort into ensuring top-quality education!
Tips for prospective students
Your first year will be the most challenging yet most fun. As with any school, you are discovering your comfort zone and restructuring your goals. Unlike most other schools however, you will be structuring your academics towards a senior thesis. Prepare your writing skills as much as possible before entering!
Great for these types of students
Highly-motivated, active, liberal (it's okay if you're not!), tolerant, easy-going
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Lindsey from North Port, FL

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
NCF is highly academic and fosters intellectual growth. You are pretty much on your own when it comes to learning however--classes are not the typical spoon-fed, Power Point collection of facts. The professors tell you what to read, which can be upwards of 200 pages a week of abstracts, professional journals, etc. and it is up to you to do the reading and extract the necessary information. Not for the faint of heart.
Am enjoying being here
Hmmm. On the bay location is fantastic, and the small community is very helpful and friendly,open-minded and tolerant of (almost) anyone. Be aware that there is significant noise during weekend parties (you really can't escape the noise) and many students leave in order to get sleep and do required studying. Also, about 50% of the student body smokes and cigarette butts all over the ground are an eyesore.
Bang for the buck
Can't be beat, although tuition costs are higher than other Florida state schools. Also, MANDATORY on-campus housing (for up to age 21) is more costly than other schools, as is the meal plan. Food service is not all-you-can-eat as in other schools; it is a la carte and expensive (many organic foods). A bowl of cous cous and a Naked juice cost me almost $10-. Students provide a lot of their own meals.
Tips for prospective students
Bring earplugs, as nighttime noise can be a problem. Day people are the minority. There are no honors dorms (after all, this is an honors college) and there are no quiet hours, so noise can be heard just about anytime. Many students cook communal dinners and share potluck meals, which helps reduce food costs. Also, county bus service is free with student ID, so many students head downtown to Whole Foods to do their grocery shopping and reduce their food costs.
Great for these types of students
Intellectual,, liberal, gay. hippie (or hippie wannabe), eccentric, vegan,, oddball, misfit. At the same time, there are some Young Republicans who are at NCF for the great education and not the social life. There are no organized sports teams nor a Greek system. Be aware, the work load is heavy and the ambiguity of having no grades can be a disadvantage--you actually end up working harder!
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Maria from Cocoa, FL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This is a good environment to be in and there is plenty of opportunity. The only catch? You have to put good work in if you want awesome results out. Get ready to be pushed past limits that you have already set for yourself.
Tips for prospective students
be prepared, be willing to try new things, and be careful of who you interact with.
Academic Rigor
I am only taking three classes and though I do have free time I also have a full plate.
Dorm Life
It is pretty much hands off here; there are dorm checks and a RA and Dorm Advisor come in for some 5 seconds. They just want to make sure you aren't being super messy or destructive.
Food and Dining
...They are trying to provide different and delicious options. They are -trying-.
What to do for fun
Walls are parties that are held on Fridays and Saturdays and they aren't for everyone, including me. No one will pressure you into going, though, and some of the themes are fun. We recently had a halloween wall and this weekend there is a pokemon wall. We like dressing up here and there is always a lot of open mics and events occuring on campus.
Bang for the buck
you are going to get close, small classes and the teachers know your name. I compared my bill to UCF and it is almost identicle. Very cheap for the education you are getting (and you can almost always find your books online for free).
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Everything about New College is unusual in the best way possible.
Great for these types of students
Laid Back yet serious, Art, Balanced, Psych, Science
Clubs and Activities
We are working on getting new sports clubs up and running now, actually. We have 100+ clubs.
Greek Life
none.
Campus Safety
I have had one bad experience with one guy in my dorm, but I have went to the police and the RA and it is being taken care of. There are always cops on campus, several blue phones, and they are not looking to get you in trouble. One kid had to resist five times before he got arressted, so they are very laid back. Just listen and do as your told and they will leave you alone.
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Stella, Sarasota, FL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This is a unique school, where academic opportunities are aplenty, and independent study is highly encouraged. Being a small, liberal arts school, student to teacher ratio is very reasonable, and students forge strong bonds with professors. At a student's fourth year of study, he/she is expected to develop a Thesis on one's Area of Concentration, and reach one's full potential.
Tips for prospective students
Be open minded, and prepared to take risks.
Academic Rigor
Being an Honors College, it might get tough, but the classes never promote rote memorization for success. Instead, students are expected to reach a deeper understanding on the course material, making the rigor completely worth it.
Dorm Life
There are opportunities to live in apartment-styled housing, studio singles, etc. Events are thrown every week, and choices can be made as to how involved in said events one would like to be. There are also options for Substance free and Quiet dorms.
Food and Dining
There is a student-run Cafe here called Four Winds, along with a cafeteria called Hamilton Center. Some might say the food here isn't the best, but there are opportunities to cook in the dorm kitchens, or go elsewhere for meals.
What to do for fun
There are events planned very often. The campus is also located incredibly near to beautiful beaches, and the downtown area of the city.
Bang for the buck
The school is rated at #3 for best deal for a college or university by Princeton review. New College is often very generous with financial aid, and being a public school, the price for what is offered is fantastic. The professors are experts in their craft, and truly enjoy what they do.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Students often like to walk to the beautiful Bayfront area, located at a 10 minute walking distance.
Great for these types of students
This campus is best for those who are open-minded, and eager to learn.
Clubs and Activities
There are many clubs and activities to choose from, from things used to simple connect with other students with similar interests (i.e. Doctor Who club), brighten the day of others (i.e. Random acts of kindness club), and help the community at large (i.e. Habitat for Humanity).
Greek Life
There is no semblance of a Greek life here.
Campus Safety
I have never felt unsafe here, and the campus police are always a simple push of a button away from aiding any student who feels he/she might be in an uncomfortable situation.
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MICHAEL from Clearwater, FL

researching this school
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
All I can say is WOW! From the minute I stepped on campus into the pink marble College Hall that reminded me of Newport mansions..to the library and dorms I was excited. And the freedom of the feet... people who know will know what I mean.
Tips for prospective students
Do yourself a favor and DO NOT miss the opportunity to do a tour and info session at this school.
Academic Rigor
There wasn't any con in the info session about the way they do academics here.
Dorm Life
Spacious rooms. Bright and clean. From the limited part I saw on my tour..I liked it. And hammocks...
Food and Dining
The main dining hall has a Boars Head. Bonus!!! And the 4 Winds will not disappoint even if your not vegan/vegetarian.
What to do for fun
Lots of clubs to join and check out. Sit by the bay..Enjoy the library... Join a Pokemon tournament...
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Caitlin from Deltona, FL

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
New College is a fun and interesting place. The school is small and the community is close. The classes are fun, interesting, and directed towards your individual learning.
Tips for prospective students
Apply early. Always a good start. Be ready to experience new ways of thinking, learning, and opening up. New College is filled with people who want to learn, have fun, and help the community. But, you have to be open minded and ready to experience a new way of living.
Academic Rigor
Classes are all about your individual effort. The teachers here are as different as the students. They teach in interesting ways, but almost all of it pivots on your interest and desire to succeed. New College has no grades, it is a pass fail system. But, the narrative evaluation at the end really enlightens you as to your weak points and strong points. It lets you know how you, as a student, are viewed. It is challenging, but well worth it.
Dorm Life
Not going to lie, the first year dorms are a little rough. The rooms are secure though, and everyone is really close to everyone else. (That may or may not be a good thing to you, I have no problem with it.) You can make the dorms pretty comfy though, so definitely not the worst set up. I can't speak to the upper class dorms, I've never lived in one. I hear they are nice.
Food and Dining
Definitely not going to lie about this. The food here is really rough. It is all industrial bland food made by a company who feeds people in prison. Not to say that it is utterly terrible, but I wouldn't mind it being better. This school is a small school, not too many companies think New College is worth the money. Food might be an issue if you are a picky eater.
What to do for fun
There are a few things to do on campus. Normally there is a party or a club or a random get together where you can go hang out with interesting people and do any given thing. There is also the museum, The Ringling Museum, we get into for free. The beach is not but 10 minutes away (walking). You can always start up a club or a get together.
Bang for the buck
You probably can't find a better place to learn. They encourage taking many different types of classes and independent study. You write and defend a thesis all before you get into graduate school. This is a college that can show graduate college that you can do things on your own. Not just have a degree but have skills and knowledge that you crafted yourself.
Great for these types of students
People who are self motivated and very driven. This school takes your effort to do well. Because there are no grades it makes it a little harder to put the extra effort in because there is no difference between passing with a C and passing with an A. You have to put in the time for your teachers to notice what a good student you are.
Clubs and Activities
There are tons ranging over all different tastes. There is fencing, DnD, dancing of all types, martial arts, volunteering, activist committees, student government, music, etc. Pretty much anything you can think of, we have a club or committee for.
Greek Life
There are no fraternities or sororities here at this time.
Campus Safety
Cops are always on duty, there are blue emergency stations visible from almost any point on campus, and the cops are almost always visible on campus. The only thing that I find slightly uncomfortable is the fact that the campus is open to anyone. It isn't a huge campus, but it is still spacious and open to anyone who wants to walk in. It hasn't ever been an issue, but it can be disconcerting.
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