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Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in New York. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. 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 like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

We included only accredited colleges to ensure they meet high quality standards. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is the accrediting organization for most of the New York colleges on our list. It aims to ensure accredited institutions employ accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, and innovation to provide quality higher education.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated 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 Online Colleges in New York

Best Online Colleges in New York Badge

New York University

Syracuse University

Stony Brook University

Marist College

SUNY Empire State College

Rochester Institute of Technology

Excelsior University

Pace University

St John's University

The New School

Alliance University

SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Columbia University in the City of New York

Touro University

Fordham University

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

SUNY College at Oswego

Mercy College

Houghton University

CUNY Lehman College

SUNY at Albany

SUNY College at Brockport

Roberts Wesleyan University

Medaille University

St. Joseph's University - Long Island

Utica University

New York Institute of Technology

Adelphi University

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

St. John Fisher University

SUNY College of Technology at Canton

University of Rochester

St. Bonaventure University

Hofstra University

Dominican University

University at Buffalo

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Alfred University

Canisius College

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in New York

Does New York have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Online Bachelor’s in Applied Arts and Sciences. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in New York to complete a master’s degree while you work in one of the state’s many growing fields, such as healthcare. New York is rich in online graduate school options, like Fordham University’s Master’s in Finance and the University at Albany’s Master’s in Public Health.

It’s also worth mentioning that we selected the CUNY School of Professional Studies as one of the 30 best universities in the entire United States for distance education. For more information, check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges. In addition to showing you the top options in the country for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in New York cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. New York became a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2016. This means that out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from New York schools without incurring additional fees.

Why should you choose New York for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to religious institutions to top public research universities, New York offers something for every type of online college student. One option that stands out as particularly appealing is the State University of New York (SUNY) system, which boasts 750 online degrees via its participating colleges and universities. Most of the undergraduate SUNY Online programs are a flat rate of $295 per credit for in-state residents and $353 for out-of-state residents.

The Cost of Online College in New York

How much does an online degree in New York cost?

The cost of an online degree in New York depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you decide to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses like transportation, parking, and housing by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in New York below:

Most affordable online college in New York: CUNY School of Professional Studies, $350 per credit

Most expensive online college in New York: St. John’s University, $1,541 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in New York to get in-state tuition rates?

Typically, you will be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you have lived in New York for 12 consecutive months. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and graduate fellows, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in New York?

Since 2017, New York state has offered the Excelsior Scholarship, which provides free tuition to New York state residents and their families who make $125,000 or less per year. You must attend a State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) school, complete 30 credits per year toward your program, and plan to live and work in New York following graduation for the length of time you participated in the scholarship program.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in New York

If you don’t qualify for New York’s Excelsior Scholarship, there are many other sources of financial support available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on income, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

New York Water Environment Association Scholarships

This nonprofit educational organization promotes sustainable and clean water quality management through science, education, and training. It awards over $50,000 in scholarships annually to incoming freshmen and current undergraduates studying in the science, engineering, or public service fields who are New York State residents.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, each scholarship has specific requirements that can be found on the organization’s main scholarship page.

Contact information: [email protected] | 315-422-7811

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Horatio Alger State Scholarship

This national scholarship program is named after American author Horatio Alger; in New York, it’s funded by Gibson Dunn and Lenard B. Tesller. It’s offered to students who exhibit integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Recipients may begin their studies at a two-year institution and later transfer to a four-year institution.

Who’s eligible? High school juniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and New York residency.

Contact information: [email protected] | 844-422-4200

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New York Women in Communications Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to women majoring (or planning to major) in a communications-related field at an accredited U.S. college/university. Acceptable fields include advertising, broadcasting, communications, digital media, English, film, journalism, marketing, public relations, or publishing. U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are not from New York, but are enrolled in a communications program at a college/university in the state, may also apply.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants should have an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher and be able to participate in an online interview.

Contact information:  [email protected] | 212-251-7255

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Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarships

These scholarships are for full-time undergraduate and graduate students who possess fine character, academic excellence, financial need, compassion, a history of volunteerism, and a goal that will benefit humankind. Recipients must attend a college or university in the state of New York.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants must be under the age of 30 and maintain at least a 3.3 GPA. A personal interview in New York City is required.

Contact information: 212-692-0191

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Industries in New York

If you still don’t know where you’ll attend college, it’s possible you also don’t know your major yet. In that case, one of the most important factors you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in New York — this will make it easier to find a job, and more demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By examining the New York State Department of Labor’s Long-Term Industry Employment Projections (2020–2030), we’ve determined that the following five industries will have particularly high growth rates in the Empire State.

Personal Care and Service

The personal care and service industry is a broad sector that mostly focuses on consumer quality-of-life services throughout the lifespan. In New York, the most common occupations in this sector are child care workers, hairdressers, and recreation workers. Other occupations include funeral attendants, makeup artists, animal trainers, and gambling service workers. Jobs in this industry have an average salary of $35,790 in New York.

  • Growth: 49.3%
  • Degree options: Associate in Cosmetology, Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor’s in Recreation and Leisure, Bachelor’s in Funeral Service Management, Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior, Master’s in Leadership, Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology

Healthcare Support

Driving the demand for healthcare support workers in New York is the state’s aging population, especially as more baby boomers reach retirement age. Within this sector, the most common occupations are home health and personal care aides, nursing assistants, and medical assistants. Other occupations include psychiatric aides, physical therapy assistants, veterinary assistants, massage therapists, and pharmacy aides. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $38,442.

  • Growth: 34.6%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Technology, Associate in Nursing, Associate in Dental Assisting, Associate in Clinical Laboratory Technician, Bachelor’s in Health Administration, Bachelor’s in Health and Human Services, Bachelor’s in Pre-Occupational Therapy

Community and Social Service

With its large population, there are many job openings in New York for professionals in the mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorder fields. Within this sector, the average salary in New York is $58,885, with the most common occupations being educational, guidance, and career counselors, as well as child, family, and school social workers. Many occupations in this sector do not require a graduate degree, such as community health workers and human service assistants.

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

New York has the fourth largest population in the United States and the most populous city in the nation, both factors that contribute to its robust healthcare practitioner job market. Within this sector, the most common occupations in New York are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and emergency medical technicians. Other occupations include dental hygienists, physicians, speech-language pathologists, and athletic trainers. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $83,286.

  • Growth: 19.8%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Medicine, Bachelor’s in Nursing, Bachelor’s in Recreational Therapy, Bachelor’s in Audiology, Master’s in Genetic Counseling, Master’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Doctor of Medicine

Life, Physical, and Social Science

New York is rich in natural resources, with over 3 million acres of forests, 7,600 freshwater lakes (including two Great Lakes), and 70,000 miles of rivers. It also has an abundance of Tier 1 research institutions, including Columbia University, Cornell University, and the University of Rochester. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see that the life, physical, and social science industry is one of the strongest in the state. Jobs include soil and plant scientists, foresters, chemists, biological technicians, and epidemiologists. In New York, the average salary for jobs in this sector is $80,951.

  • Growth: 17.5%
  • Degree options: Associate in Food Science, Bachelor’s in Archaeology, Bachelor’s in Geography, Bachelor’s in Economics, Bachelor’s in Hydrology, Master’s in Political Science, Master of Forestry, Ph.D. in Urban Planning

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