New College makes first-year housing decisions easier

Editor’s note: During the summer, New College News will feature selected student blogs that focus on the New College experience.

By Emma Sunderman

An image of the Pei housing complex at New College of Florida.
It’s time for first-year students to be finalizing their housing plans for the fall semester.

Congratulations! You’ve officially made the decision to come to the New College of Florida! Now it’s time to figure out your housing situation. This is by far one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of applying to school. When I was in your shoes, I didn’t know anybody else coming to New College, so I didn’t have a clue who my roommates would be. However, I remembered that every other first-year student was probably feeling the exact same way. Housing with new people is a great opportunity to make friends. To this day, my first-year dormmates are still some of my closest friends.

According to Mark Stier, the senior associate dean of student affairs in charge of housing and residential life, housing applications open up to incoming first-year and transfer students following Commencement. You should have received a welcome email from our Admissions Office notifying you to complete the forms with specific instructions on how to do so.

New College is different from most universities as we pair roommates using a compatibility algorithm. Your housing application student survey included questions like, “Do you listen to music loudly or softly?” and “On a scale of 1 to 5, how important is having a clean room?” The algorithm uses your responses to find between one and three roommates who share your preferences. This helps eliminate any future conflict with your roommates and ensures that you are living as comfortably as possible.

Pro-Tip: Be as honest in your student survey as possible. If you would rather watch Netflix than clean your room, say so! It’s better to be honest now than to go through the process of switching rooms later. I’ve switched rooms before and, trust me, it’s not very fun having to drag all of your belongings to another room in Florida’s summer heat.

New College starts mailing out roommate information in late June. I highly recommended that you reach out to your roommates during the summer and start getting to know them. This will make the move-in process and the first couple of nights much less awkward. By contacting them earlier, you can also decide on who will bring a mini-fridge, a microwave, a coffee-maker, and other items that take up a lot of space.

A majority of first-year students live in the Pei 3 residence hall, also called Third Court. This way, you begin to build a sense of community with other people experiencing college for the first time. However, we do encourage incoming students to look into applying to one of our Living Learning Communities (LLCs), as you can get to know students from each year with the same passions or motivations as yourself. Some of our LLCs include SuccessQuest, Pride, Sustainable Living, and the Quiet Community.

Fun Fact: Pei 3 rooms were updated very recently. This means that you’ll get the nicest bathrooms and aesthetically pleasing wood floors. The works!

Pro Tip: If you decide that having a roommate would not be beneficial to your success at New College, you can contact Mark Stier and he will do his best to house you individually.

— Emma Sunderman is a student intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing.


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 campus on Sarasota Bay 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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