Established in 1960, New College of Florida was the brainchild of a group of prominent Florida residents. Those residents wanted to create a good school for the best students in the state that would keep them from leaving Florida and from attending lesser acclaimed schools in the state. Those founders created programs that emphasized liberal arts education and introduced new teaching methods into college classrooms. When the college first opened, it had around 100 students, but its population climbed to more than 500 students within a few short years. Financial problems led to the school forming a partnership with the University of South Florida, but the New College later ended that arrangement and became part of the Florida State University School System.
Also known by the names NCF and New College, the college emphasizes independent thought and learning. All students spend the entire month of January working on independent study projects before classes resume in February. Students must also sign contracts with their advisers that they will take a specific number of courses each semester, and they must agree to not drop any of those classes. New College is also unique because it requires that all undergraduate students complete some type of thesis project during their senior year. U.S. News and World Report called NCF one of the best value liberal arts schools and one of the top 100 liberal arts schools in the entire country.
New College of Florida Accreditation Details
Many students require some form of financial aid when attending college. The U.S. Department of Education now requires that anyone seeking financial aid attend an accredited college. Accreditation is also important for students who want to attend graduate school or continue their studies later because many schools will only accept those who graduated from an accredited university or college. The New College of Florida has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which is one of the main accrediting organizations in the United States today. Though the college does not have program accreditation, it does have membership in some prominent organizations that offer additional opportunities for students.
New College of Florida Application Requirements
The Common Application is a relatively new website designed to help students more easily apply to colleges. NCF is just one of hundreds of schools across the country that now use this site. Instead of printing out or requesting a paper application from the college, students can visit the official website of the Common Application and create an account. They can then select NCF as one of the schools they want to apply to and add any other schools as well. Though each university has different requirements, students can view a complete list of those requirements and even answer essay questions through this site. While NCF charges an application fee of $30, it offers fee waivers too. Students can print a copy of this waiver, complete it and mail it to the college to avoid paying the fee.
In addition to the application, students must submit one letter of recommendation from someone familiar with their schoolwork. NCF also ask for an official score from the ACT or the SAT, and students must submit their scores on the writing portion of one of those tests as well. Those who apply will also need to submit an official high school transcript that includes their overall grade point average, class ranking and types of classes they took in high school. NCF requires proof that a student has a GED in lieu of a high school transcript.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The New College of Florida tells prospective students that it gives them an Ivy League experience at a more affordable price, but not all students will find that they can afford the cost of this college. Tuition costs for Florida residents comes in at around $7,000 a year, but the tuition costs for out of state students is just under $30,000 a year. NCF estimates that between room and board, the cost of textbooks and other expenses, students will pay around $20,000 a year as a resident or around $43,000 a year as an out of state student.
Though the price may seem high, more than 90% of those who attend NCF receive some type of financial aid. After looking over the FAFSA that a student submits, financial aid advisers will decide on how much help a student needs and build a financial aid package around that need. Direct loans, direct PLUS loans, alternative loans, grants and work-study programs are all available. Students can also visit the NCF website to learn more about scholarship opportunities. Various scholarships are available to in state, out of state residents and students from select foreign territories. Some of these scholarships cover the entire cost of a student’s tuition.
New College offers undergraduate degree programs in more than 40 subject areas and concentrations in some of those areas as well. For example, those who declare a major in biology may select a concentration in marine biology or neurobiology. International and Area Studies is a newer program that looks at topics relating to parts of Europe and East Asia. Some of the programs the college offers require that students take classes in multiple fields of study too. Its Urban Studies program asks that students take sociology and economics classes that teach them more about how and why people act in certain ways and how changes in the economic structure can impact people.
The College is also one of the only in the state that has a degree program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Unlike other schools that only offer this subject at the graduate level, undergraduates can enroll in this program at NCF. They take classes on history, sociology, religion, psychology, literature and other topics. Some of the students who graduated from this program now teach at major colleges around the world, and others continued their studies at renowned schools like Oxford.
Regardless of the program they choose, all students must take part in an independent study project each year and create a thesis project that they work on as seniors. The New College of Florida believes that these requirements teach students how to do independent research and think for themselves.