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Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, the four-year colleges in New York include 46 public and 194 private non-profit options.


    For the 2022-23 school year, the average in-state tuition for public four-year colleges in New York is $8,556, according to College Board.


    In the U.S., full-time undergraduate students attending college in 2021-22 received an average of $15,330 per year in financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar colleges in New York. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) — this organization examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of postsecondary education programs in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission standards, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the resources and services provided for on-campus students. Then, we used this information to calculate the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Colleges in New York

Best Colleges In New York

University of Rochester

Vassar College

United States Military Academy at West Point

Skidmore College

Stony Brook University

Syracuse University

Yeshiva University

University at Buffalo

St. Lawrence University

The New School

St. Bonaventure University

SUNY Geneseo

SUNY at Albany

SUNY at Oswego

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in New York

When considering where you’ll attend college, it’s important to know your career options before you arrive. As of May 2022, the five largest industries in New York are office and administrative support occupations, sales, business and financial operations, healthcare support occupations, and educational instruction and library occupations.

For New Yorkers who have earned their bachelor’s degrees, the top five fastest-growing careers are agents and talent managers, directors of religious activities, clergy, fundraisers, and museum technicians and conservators.

To get an even better sense of the employment opportunities available to college graduates, here are some of the largest employers in New York: Cornell University, Merrill Lynch, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Nielsen, and CBS.

What’s Next?

When researching colleges in New York, it’s important to understand your financial aid options. The following resources will help you find grants, scholarships, and other opportunities available to undergraduate students in New York:

  • New York State Education Department. This agency provides information about state-administered financial aid via the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) as well as state scholarships and loan programs.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Provided by the U.S. Department of Education, FAFSA is the main form students use to apply for financial aid for college. To determine if you’re eligible for aid, submit a completed FAFSA form online.
  • CareerOneStop Scholarship Finder. This tool will show you available scholarships, grants, and loans and can be filtered by state and degree type. It includes information such as dollar amounts, how to apply, qualifications, deadlines, and contact details.

Colleges by State

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