FL choices for high stats OOS

Potato, Pahtato

How many small school cluster consortiums are there in the US out of the thousands of colleges? How many are in the OP’s area of interest? Anyone can cherry-pick examples. Most of the small colleges are…small colleges. To make a cluster the schools have to be in close proximity. It can work in Boston around Amherst but elsewhere…maybe not so much. However, I can see this growing in the near future as enrollments drop.

OP is looking at Rollins. It’s a small school but surrounded by Orlando. Metro area population is 2 million. Still a small school but surrounded my a large population. Does it fall off the OP’s list?

BTW…FSU is very walkable. Penn State not as much.

You mention Study abroad and FSU has an amazing program First semester/First Year Abroad.
They have FSU study centers in London, Florence, Valencia, and Panama City.
S21 is leaving September 1st for Florence, Italy. First Year Abroad. 61 Freshman staying for the first year another 30 something for the first semester and another 30 something non freshman and Texas A&M students.

An option for you may be Honors college acceptance with First Year abroad


New College son looked at but was too small for him. He did get a small scholarship from NCF. We are in state.
Over 80% of students at New college go to grad school and the school is set up as a pipeline to grad school. If planning Grad school you will be well prepared.
New College there are no grades you receive a written narrative from your Professor for each class. Strengths weakness etc.

Again don’t forget USF Saint Pete campus 5000 students and all the resources of USF

1 Like

Eckerd College is the youngest school to be awarded a Phi Betta Kappa chapter as well as a number of other honor societies. They have an honors program and have the largest number of Hollings Scholars in the US. Each year, there are a number of Fullbright, Goldwater, Ford Apprentice Scholars, and this year Gilman International Scholars. They are a very strong and welcoming community. The Eckerd motto is : Think outside. Last year during the pandemic, the college asked their environmental studies professors to identify outside areas where classes could be held. They identified about 28 sites that had met with certain standards for sun, wind, rain, etc. and classes resumed in September, in person. Eckerd holds their Writers in Paradise workshop every January, this was founded by Eckerd alum, Dennis Lehane: eckerd.edu/creative-writing/why-creative-writing-at-eckerd/. The professor/mentor program is well known and a big draw for those who want to attend Eckerd, students can actively become involved in research as freshman: https://www.eckerd.edu/mentoring/. Eckerd has one of the largest short term study abroad programs in the country during Winter term. I think that Eckerd offers a great number of unique opportunities for research, scholarship activities, travel and internships. These are the things on a resume that employers want to see.


My stats are about 2 years old at this writing for NCF.

New College of Florida reported a first year attrition rate of 20% and a six year graduation rate of just 60%. These numbers should cause one considering this college to research this school with caution.

US News Best Colleges ranked New College of Florida at #102 among National LACs. All 101 LACs ranked above New College of Florida had higher six year graduation rates. Isn’t the main point in attending college to earn a degree ? If so, NCF does very poorly in this respect.

1 Like

NCF this year USNWR ranked 84 Liberal Arts College. Freshman Retention rate 81%. 4 Yr Grad rate 54%. 6 Yr 63%
NCF is a very challenging school with the vast majority of students continuing on to grad school
From 2010-2019 10.9% of Grads have gone on to earn a PHD
If any kind of Grad School in plans you will be well prepared
Graduate schools most often attended by recent graduates

  • Columbia University
  • Florida State University
  • University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of South Florida
  • Washington State University
  • Washington University in St. Louis

I agree. NCF presents a program which challenges students, which asks them to be active participants in planning their learning, and which asks them to take on responsibility for their outcomes. That’s not for everyone. Some find that out after they get there. It’s a public version of Reed College, an undisputed excellent college, which for years also had graduation rates in the 60’s. They celebrated when they got to 70%. More recently they got to 80, which is still surprising for the caliber of students they attract. The approach to teaching and learning at NCF and Reed is great for those who are up to the challenge, but I agree that it’s not for everyone.

1 Like

In a way NCF reminds me of Colorado College or VMI or various co-op schools like Drexel. They’re all so different from average in their own ways that the student has to consider if it’s what they want, but each provide a college degree and successful students for those who like their concepts. Others prefer to choose more traditional options.

The key is knowing what you’re getting into and the best way to get a feel for that if the “written” version seems to appeal is to converse with current students asking about pros and cons.

1 Like

NCF is the polar opposite of Drexel, Colorado School of Mines, and VMI.

The issue with NCF is not academic rigor.

P.S. If it helps, NCF has a cloud watching club.

Admission standards are low & admission rates are high.

You likely missed what I was saying. I was saying certain colleges like those have unique aspects to them and it’s important for students to understand that going in. With NCF, the lack of traditional grades is unusual. Are there any other colleges that don’t use grades?

Drexel and some like it have co-ops, Colorado College does one course at a time (do others?), VMI and others like it are cadet based even if one is not in ROTC. They’re all different, but alike in that they have a unique aspect students have to consider.


You are thinking of Colorado College with one course at a time. Colorado school of mines is a very traditional, mostly engineering school and students take the normal 15-18 credits per semester. There are non-engineering majors, but not many non-stem majors at Mines.

1 Like

Ah, thanks! I went back and edited lest others get the wrong info. We’ve never had students from our school go to either, so I’ve only heard about both on here and evidently my brain mixed up the two. Very thankful you pointed it out!

I do agree with you that both Colorado School of Mines and Colorado College are not for everyone. Love them or hate them, they are unique in what they offer and not everyone will like the way classes are offered or the offerings.

Both schools are big enough to offer NCAA sports Mines is a state school but tuition is high (lots of FA, especially for instate). Colorado College is private but offers tuition to instate students at the same rate as instate publics (I don’t know if they use an average or if they use CU’s rate).

1 Like

It’s a nice campus in Melbourne - but heavy international - and STEM/Aviation but it’s not all STEM - they have psych, humanities, journalism, etc…yes, it won’t be their strength… Their dining is yummy too. And their scholarships are - for my son with similar- 50% tuition.

Thanks for the further explanation.

Colorado College & Cornell College (Iowa) are the only schools that I know that teach one course per 3.5 week term.

University of the Redlands and, maybe, Sarah Lawrence give narrative feedback rather than grades. Might be others as well.

1 Like

Good to know, thanks! Our school has never had anyone I recall go to or even apply to any of those schools, but I’m on CC to glean info from others about colleges I’m not familiar with just in case there’s a student someday who could be interested. Two of mine went to schools I knew nothing about prior to doing research (Eckerd was one of them). I’m glad the internet (and this site) are out there so we can all share info.


In addition to NCF, here are a few other colleges which either do not use letter grades at all or use some variation on that theme:

Sarah Lawrence
Evergreen State

Adding Bennington, Alverno, St John’s Maryland.

There are also schools, like Oberlin, where one can take a significant number of courses pass/fail, including those required for the major.


Full disclosure from a Terrier Alum and have a first year son going there, too. His list except for Florida was very similar. For him it came down to Elon, Wofford and N.C. State. We are from a very large capital city in N.C. so I know how hard it is to get into some of the state schools here.

Anyway, I think a couple of things made the decision to attend Wofford easier.

1- The kids. The tour guides and kids you run into are down to earth, don’t have it all figured out and are well “normal” college kids. They all do have a passion for Wofford, the community and preserving the academics and fun in a competitive but also supportive environment.
2- The price. Elon was much more expensive, and Wofford really threw a good package at us that competed. NC State was obviously least costly, but when adding the “touch” of accessible professors, tutors, librarians, administration you felt like there is no getting lost at Wofford and that the slight price increase was worth that insurance.

Good luck in your search- you have a lot of great schools to consider!

1 Like