“An Incredible Place”: From Its High Rankings to Its Unique Student Experience, New College of Florida Has Helped Alyssa Boynton Thrive

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- by Abby Weingarten

Now, as the thesis student nears the end of her education at the state’s designated honors college, she is reflecting on what made her experience so transformative.

“I chose New College over several other schools (Yale, Reed, Bryn Mawr, etc.) because there really is nothing quite like the experience we have,” said Boynton, who is studying psychology. “We have this incredible academic freedom, the wholehearted support of our faculty mentors, so many research opportunities, and a community of people who are all so passionate.”

Boynton is not alone in this perspective. Earlier this month, New College of Florida was ranked the No. 5 National Liberal Arts College (Top Public Schools) by U.S. News & World Report for the 2022-2023 school year.

The annual “Best Colleges” rankings by U.S. News, now in their 38th year, evaluate more than 1,450 colleges and universities on up to 17 measures of academic quality—helping parents and students find their ideal schools. There were 18 public national liberal arts colleges on the list this year.

“I was thrilled to see New College doing so well in the rankings. We’ve been steadily improving in them over the time I’ve been here, and it’s amazing seeing such a great program be recognized nationally,” Boynton said. “New College really is an incredible place. At so many other schools, the end goal for a course is just to finish it with an A, but New College has provided the space to move away from that, and to be motivated by learning the material and taking coursework we enjoy.”

In addition to earning the No. 5 ranking from U.S. News, New College of Florida was also ranked No. 76 for National Liberal Arts Colleges (up six positions from last year, and the highest ranking New College has ever achieved in this category), No. 52 for Social Mobility in National Liberal Arts Colleges (a 15-position increase from last year), and No. 40 for Most Innovative Schools (National Liberal Arts Colleges).

“Frankly, I think New College should be ranked even higher because this school does amazing things, so hopefully, this trend continues,” Boynton said. “It’s a hidden gem, but I hope to see it become less hidden.”

Beyond U.S. News, New College of Florida was also recently ranked among The Princeton Review’s “Best 388 Colleges” and “Best Value Colleges” in the country. And Fiske Guide recognized New College of Florida as a “Best Buy” college for 2023.

For more information on the U.S. News & World Report rankings, visit usnews.com/colleges.