CTCL College Profiles – Part 1

This is the first of four posts with profiles of schools included in the book and organization Colleges That Change Lives.  This post highlights New College of Florida and the College of Wooster.

New College of Florida 

New College of Florida, located in Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf (west) coast, is one of the few public colleges within the CTCL family.  With fewer than a thousand students, NCF is designated as Florida’s Honors College for the Liberal Arts.  NCF grants ALL out-of-state admitted students a $15,000 scholarship, bringing the out-of-state tuition price down to about $28,000 (including room and board) – less than a UC school – and that’s before need-based aid is awarded.

As with many smaller liberal arts colleges, NCF students collaborate closely with faculty.  Smart, self-motivated students with lots of initiative succeed best at this school, which encourages research in a number of scientific areas.  New College Director of Enrollment Mitch Finer says that NCF’s comprehensive senior thesis is kind of like “a graduate school for undergraduates.”  Finer also notes that NCF is a “liberal arts and sciences” school.  “I always add the science,” he says, “since there is such a misconception of the liberal arts and we have pretty amazing science opportunities.”  Biology, psychology, anthropology and marine biology are strong subjects at New Colleges, and students receive written evaluations instead of grades.  A list of their “Areas of Concentration” (majors) is here.

With an average SAT score for accepted students of about 1940, New College ranks high on lists that rate value and public liberal arts colleges. About 80% of students are from Florida; 20% are out-of-state.  The campus is the former estate of circus magnate Charles Ringling!  You can learn more about New College of Florida here.

College of Wooster

At Wooster, “we’re not looking for a finished product,” says Associate Director of Admissions Charlie Laube (the admissions liaison for Southern California students).  “We expect growth and change.”

Wooster is a community of about 2,000 students in Wooster, Ohio, about an hour south of Cleveland.  Wooster “creates an atmosphere of collaboration rather than competition,” says Laube, also a Wooster alumnus.

Wooster is a great place for a quirky, intellectual student who is involved and curious.  Students are heavily involved in theatre, musical ensembles, varsity sports and other extra-curricular activities.  [The College’s mascot is the Fighting Scots – and there are scholarships available for bagpipers!]  On the academic side, research opportunities in all of the disciplines (click here to see the list of available majors) abound – in fact, students are required to do a year-long independent research project their senior year, supervised by a professor.  The entire campus celebrates when seniors complete their projects; students present presentations, panels and poster boards at a symposium.  This video shows students talking about what “mentored undergraduate research” really means to them:


Standout academic programs include International Relations and Political Science (Wooster’s moot court and Model UN team are ranked nationally), Geology, History and Music Education.  Internships are popular; Folger’s Coffee, Smuckers and Rubbermaid are headquartered nearby, providing jobs and internships for students.

Wooster is very generous with financial aid; more than 75% of students receive some form of financial aid and the average package is high. The College guarantees that they will meet 100% of each accepted student’s demonstrated need (the CSS Profile form is required).  Talent scholarships are awarded for music, theatre and dance, even for students who don’t major in these areas!  The average GPA for admitted students is about 3.66 and SAT scores range from 540 to 660 in all three sections, but Wooster recognizes that sometimes really smart students don’t always show up at the top of the class! For more information about the College of Wooster, click here.

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