New College welcomes its largest first-year class to date

Photo courtesy of New College Fact Book 2014-2015
New College’s fall term enrollment head count has grown progressively since 2005, except for in 2010 and 2013, and continued to increase in both the 2014 and 2015 fall terms.

This year’s incoming first-years made up the largest and least diverse class New College has ever seen. The first-year class consists of 293 students, 27 of which are transfers. Although 25 states and five countries are represented, 81 percent of the new students are from Florida. A full 63 percent identify as female and 37 percent identify as male. According to collegedata.com, out of the 1,376 applications received, 61 percent of students were accepted.

The three most important factors in admission to New College were: rigor of secondary school record, academic GPA and application essay. More than 50 percent of the admitted first-years were in the top 10 percent of their class in high school. According to collegedata.com, the average SAT scores were 628, 670 and 635; the average GPA was 3.98, and the average ACT score was 29 for the incoming class.

Demographics

New College’s undergraduate program consists of 834 students. In-state students make up 79 percent, with the largest number of students coming from Miami-Dade, Broward and Hillsborough counties. Out-of-state students make up 19 percent of the school, with the majority hailing from the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states, and 1 percent coming from outside the U.S.

A total of 74 percent of the students identify as white, 14.5 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino, 2.7 percent identify as black or African American, 2.9 percent identify as Asian, 0.1 percent identify as Alaskan native or American Indian, 3.8 percent identify as two or more races, and 2 percent identify as an unknown race or ethnicity.

Orientation Week

Orientation took place the week prior to the first day of classes, with first-years participating in a variety of activities designed to introduce them to the New College environment and give them information about student culture, residential life and academic expectations.

“I connected with some of the people in my group, and with my orientation leader very well,” first-year Jackie Scholl said. “I expected it to be more filled with stuff, it wasn’t as busy as I expected. It was definitely different when the upper years got here, but it wasn’t like a misrepresentation”

First-year Sophia Eury said, “It kind of felt like a summer camp almost, we weren’t taking classes and we were just all living together.”

Academic Life

New College’s small class sizes, discussion-based learning style, and contract-based evaluation system provide students with unique academic opportunities. For many in the incoming class, academic life was a major factor in their decision to come to New College.

“The price was really good, it was a small school with small classes, the computer science program was focused on software engineering as opposed to more theoretical stuff and it was a growing program, and also the community here just seemed so fantastic,” Scholl said.

The biggest concern, for first-years especially, is the possibility of being capped out of a class.

“There’s definitely a lot of fear of like being capped out of classes, especially in that first week,” Eury said. “It is cool that it is smaller classes and that you can have more discussions, but I was capped out of one class.”

Scholl added, “Getting into classes was more of a process than I expected, but it wasn’t awful. For one or two classes there were prerequisites that weren’t listed on the course list, so I had to move stuff around a lot.”

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