New College in top 5 public liberal arts colleges in U.S. News rankings

New College of Florida claimed the No. 5 spot among public liberal arts colleges in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings and rose 11 spots in the overall ranking of national liberal arts colleges. The U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and Virginia Military Institute were the only public liberal arts colleges ranked ahead of New College this year.

“While we appreciate the recognition from U.S. News, New College is focused on providing our students with the best possible education,” says President Donal O’Shea. “As we move forward with the implementation of our strategic plan, we will remain committed to preparing intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement.”

U.S. News takes into account a variety of metrics in determining a school’s overall ranking, including graduation rate, admissions selectivity, SAT/ACT test scores, and percentage of students in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. New College experienced some improvement on all of these measures. Additionally, U.S. News recognized New College as the fourth most affordable liberal arts college in the country, based on average student debt at graduation.

“New College is able to keep student debt low thanks to our guaranteed scholarship program,” says Dean of Enrollment Management Joy Hamm. “In-state students receive between $1,000 and $3,500 per year while many out-of-state students benefit from a $15,000 Presidential Scholarship.”

This year, U.S. News placed greater emphasis on graduation and retention rates and added a social mobility measure that looks at graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients. New College achieved a six-year graduation rate of 65 percent and a first-year retention rate of 81 percent. Approximately 30 percent of New College students receive Pell Grants.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bay front campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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