While its image, rigor, and philosophy don’t always reflect it, New College of Florida is a public school. This means that the bulk of funding comes from the taxpayers, providing students with an affordable education but affecting some of the aesthetic aspects of the school. Most agree, however, that the trade-off is worth it. Situated on Sarasota Bay, the campus contains two beautiful and historic mansions that once belonged to the famed Ringling circus family. Classes are still conducted in what used to be mansion bedrooms, and there are always beautiful sunsets over the water on the West Side of campus. The new academic building is LEED certified and is the most modern facility on campus.
Students rarely complain about the size of the library, but the online databases are often used more than the actual book collection. The dining hall and student center, referred to lovingly as "Ham," is like a charming, dysfunctional family living room. While New College is devoid of some of the luxuries of larger and/or private schools, it provides students with all of the necessities. What doesn’t receive direct funding can be subsidized by the Student Allocations Committee. The fitness center, pool, and athletic facilities cater to the student population who use them well enough. There is not a whole lot of equipment, but it is all fairly new. Students watch their favorite television programs on the one campus TV with cable, located in Hamilton Center. Without the constant diversion of TV, students are better able to connect with each other. Besides, many Novo Collegians consider nights at the library to be a good time.