New College Moves Up in U.S. News Rankings

U.S. News & World Report ranks New College of Florida the No. 4 public liberal arts college in the nation, up one position from last year. The rankings, part of the “Best Colleges 2016” edition, were released Sept. 10 on the magazine’s website.

The ranking marks the 11th consecutive year New College has been listed in the top six public liberal arts colleges nationwide. New College trails only the nation’s three major military service academies in the category.

New College also ranked 15th nationwide for “Least Debt” among all liberal arts colleges. New College’s 2014 graduates owed just $17,553 on average.

“New College provides a tremendous and affordable education that transforms students and gives them the abilities to achieve great things, be it in arts or sciences, private industry or public service,” said New College President Don O’Shea. “We’re thrilled that the work of our students, faculty and staff are recognized in U.S. News & World Report.”

The magazine’s statistics pointed to several reasons for New College’s strong and improving showing.

  • Top-performing students. Nearly half of incoming freshmen (45 percent) were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.
  • Small classes. Three-quarters of its classes (75 percent) have 20 or fewer students; just 1 percent has 50 or more students.
  • Affordability. Better than six out of 10 New College students (62 percent) graduate with no debt at all, also 15th in the country.

New College also moved up five places in the overall rankings, to 82nd place among of the 245 national liberal arts colleges, most of which are private institutions.

U.S. News also noted New College’s strong reputation among high school guidance counselors (57th place nationally) and named it a “Best College for Veterans” (60th place nationally) for the College’s participation in programs that assist veterans in paying for college.

The rankings arrive as New College continues to build on its successes.

In August, the College welcomed the largest incoming class in its history, following on last year’s record-setting class. Among the newcomers are four women from the Middle East, attending on full scholarships through a partnership with the Daughters for Life Foundation. They join the four women from last year’s inaugural class of Daughters for Life Scholars.

This summer, the state of Florida approved funding for New College’s expansion of its Heiser Natural Sciences Complex. The project will add about 50 percent more space for biology, chemistry and physics labs and classrooms, as well as accommodations for a new program in computer science.

Rankings lists from U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2016” guidebook are available today at The print edition of the guidebook can be purchased online today and at newsstands this month.