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New College of Florida appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Rankings: Best Small Colleges

30 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Florida

The New College of Florida is a fairly unique college that started life as a private school before becoming a public college. Established in 1960, the college initially had support from the United Church of Christ. A group of local men and women called for the formation of a new school that would offer opportunities for the best and brightest students living in the Sarasota area. Right around 100 students enrolled in the college's first class. Those students appreciated its programs, which focused on providing them with a solid foundation for the future while also introducing them to a liberal arts education. Facing bankruptcy and the closing of its doors, the college agreed to become part of the University of South Florida. It is now a member of the State University System of Florida,

NCF gives its students more control over their own individual studies. In addition to offering interdisciplinary study programs, it also asks that each student complete a narrative evaluation at the end of the semester. Students must explain how they felt they did in the court and evaluate their own performances. NCF does not assign letter grades or use grade point averages. Students must also sign a contract at the beginning of each semester with their advisers that lists the courses and work they will do. The college also lets students spend the entire month of January doing an independent study project before the new semester starts in February. All New College of Florida students must complete a senior thesis paper or project too.

New College of Florida Accreditation Details

The New College of Florida has regional accreditation, which is important for several reasons. This type of accreditation helps you easily transfer credits between two colleges. You can take summer classes while at home and later transfer those credits in to your NCF program. It also allows the college to award its graduates with degrees based on their studies. The regional accreditation that the college has comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It does not have any specialty accreditation like other Florida schools do.

New College of Florida Application Requirements

To apply as a new student to the New College of Florida, you must use the Common Application. The Common Application is a website that many colleges across the country use. Once you create and register an account with the site, you can view the requirements for applying to dozens of schools. You can apply to multiple schools with the same application, but you may need to pay a fee to submit each one. NCF charges a $30 nonrefundable application fee that is due when you submit your application. If you cannot afford the fee, you can request a waiver from the college or ask your guidance counselor to request a waiver on your behalf.

NCF also asks for a letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, principal or another school administrator. You can ask that individual to mail the letter to the campus, or you can submit the letter online via the Common Application website. NCF also asks for an official transcript and an official ACT or SAT score. The testing board can submit your score for you, and you can submit your transcript either online or through the mail. Mailed transcripts must come in a sealed envelope with a signature from a school administrator on the transcript itself.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The New College of Florida ranks as one of the more affordable public colleges in the state. The college charges right around $105 per semester hour, but when you factor in the cost of fees, this figure rises to around $192 per semester hour. NCF charges a higher tuition rate for students who move to Florida for school, which increases their costs to around $832 per semester hour. The college estimates that Florida residents spend less than $7,000 a year to attend and that residents of other states will pay closer to $30,000 a year. Campus housing is available for $5,000 to $8,000 a year.

If you cannot afford to attend NCF, you should fill out the FAFSA in the late winter or early spring. Around 90% of all NCF students receive some amount of financial aid every year. The FAFSA uses the income of your parents to determine how much they can help you and how much additional help you need. Most students qualify for federal loans and grants, but you may also qualify for state grants and other types of aid. All students must attend loan counseling before accepting a student loan. The college also offers exit counseling that helps you learn how to pay off your loans and budget for other bills in the future.

Gender Studies Program

The New College of Florida offers a number of interdisciplinary studies programs. These programs allow students to take classes in several different disciplines to gain a better understanding of their majors. One of the top programs of this type offered by the college is one in gender studies. Gender studies students look at how people act to those of different genders, the growing rise of transgender people, how people identify sexually and the way society treats people. Many of the courses that you might take deal with research and statistics. You'll learn how to conduct your own research and evaluate the work done by others. The program looks specifically at the history of sex and gender and requires that you take a number of courses within the history department.

As a gender studies student, you have the chance to pick and choose classes from the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences disciplines. As students pick their own classes though, you may take classes that are completely different than other students in the program take. Courses include images of women, people and cultures of the Middle East, self and identity, queer studies, literary movements, social movements and sexual identity in the modern world. You can also take classes on religion and philosophy that relate to your major. The New College of Florida encourages gender studies majors to do a new independent study project each year and to create a thesis paper or project based on their interests and pass research.

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