See what students say:


New College of Florida, a uniquely small and unconventional public institution, “provides challenging courses for highly self-motivated students who want a large amount of control over their academic choices.” It’s all about “self-directed learning” here (working closely with faculty advisers, “the student decides what he or she is going to learn and how she is going to learn it”). Those who can balance the intellectual freedom New College offers with the academic accountability it demands, wind up with “a rounded education that enables them to critically and pragmatically examine and understand the world in which we live.” The academics “are undeniably awesome” at New College, while the small-school setting and the student body “encourage a love of learning, whether it be academic, political, or hobby-related.” It’s the sort of school where “it is very popular for groups of students to get together to talk about class readings outside of the classroom.” New College undergrads receive “narrative evaluations instead of grades. These evaluations give advice and help us to become better students.” Many here “love having written evaluations in which our process and progress are documented, not only the final outcome. The evaluations force students to fully participate and the professors to pay close attention.” All students must write a senior thesis to graduate; reports one undergrad, “recently we had a survey…on which one of the sections dealt with the possibility of making the senior thesis optional. There was an overwhelming response that this was unacceptable. I think that says a lot about how proud we are of our academic standards.”

Student Body

New College students share “a few things in common: Most…are friendly, passionate about the things they believe in, very hard workers, liberal, and most of all, try to be open to new experiences.” Thirty percent of the population are students of color. You’ll find that students on campus are “largely...liberal.” There are of course exceptions, but the school is rather small and there is “a fairly strong [LGBTQ] community here, and many transgendered people who have decided to make New College their coming-out grounds. The student body is generally aware of gender issues and respectful of {LGBTQ] people of all types.”

Campus Life

Having fun “in a glorified retirement community requires ingenuity of the New College student population,” but “thankfully, most grew up in suburban Florida” and so are used to a slower pace. It helps that the campus is near Lido and Siesta Beaches, “where [students] enjoy unlimited swimming, sunning, and Frisbee playing,” and that “downtown Sarasota isn’t that bad either,” since it’s home to a number of “ethnic eateries. Thai food, in particular, seems to have a cult following on campus—with constant debate as to which restaurant is the best or most authentic and student events that advertise Thai food are bound to pull in dozens of followers.” On campus, students enjoy everything “from club meetings to public speakers to ‘hip’ bands playing shows. There’s usually something to do and usually free food to be found!” There are also “school-wide parties...in a courtyard outside of the dorms. Different students get to decide the theme of each dance party and the music to be played. Most on-campus students never leave campus during the weekend because of these dance parties.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Cliff Lundin
Associate Director of Admissions

New College Admissions
5800 Bay Shore Rd
Sarasota, FL 34243-210



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center
College Hall (Charles Ringling's mansion)
Bayfront behind College Hall - sunset watching
Caples Fine Arts Complex - concerts and exhibits
Heiser Natural Sciences Building - newly renovated including the Nano Lab

Most Popular Places Off Campus
The Ringling Museum and Asolo Theater
Mote Marine Laboratory and Marine Mammal Hospital
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Siesta Key and Lido Key beaches
Sarasota Highliand Games/Celtic Festival (Jan.) Suncoast Blues Festival (Jan.) Sarasota Festival of the Arts (Feb.) Sarasota Medieval Fair (Nov.)

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3pm
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
SRQ (Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport) borders New College of Florida, taxis, buses, hotel shuttles

Driving Instructions to Campus
Just off University Parkway. Closest Highway is I-75

Local Accommodations


Applicants: 1,830
Acceptance Rate: 75%
Average HS GPA: 4.03



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

Articles & Advice