Tiny Florida college gets big props from 'Forbes'
New College, the public liberal arts institution in Sarasota, is the tiniest of Florida's 11 state universities with fewer than 1,000 students. But for the second year in a row, Forbes has ranked New College among the top five public colleges in America. In its annual report on America’s Best Colleges, Forbes.com also dubbed New College the second “best college buy” in the country among all public and private colleges.
New College came in No. 5 on a list of the top 100 public colleges and universities in the United States. Only one other nonmilitary school made the top five – the College of William and Mary in Virginia, at No. 4. Among all public colleges, the University of Florida was ranked No. 21, and Florida State University came in at No. 33.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and The Princeton Review/USA Today also have cited New College as a great bargain for a strong liberal arts education.
According to Forbes, for the rankings, 25 percent was based on 4 million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25 percent was based on postgraduate success, equally determined by enrollment-adjusted entries in Who’s Who in America and by the average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com. Twenty percent was based on the estimated average student debt after four years. One-sixth was based on a formula reflecting four-year college graduation rates.
The last component was the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes. New College has graduated one Rhodes Scholar and has one of the highest per capita rates of Fulbright scholars among all colleges and universities. New College had a record eight Fulbright scholars in 2009.