Best colleges in New York

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New York plays host to big dreamers at top-notch schools

New York is clearly a popular tourist destination, with everything from financial monuments to Broadway shows to explore. Going to college in the Big Apple provides you with plenty of options. Just one of the college systems offer 11 senior colleges, 7 community colleges, an honors college, and 5 graduate and professional schools throughout New York City. There are also 2 federal service academies. African-American Studies and Biology are two popular majors in New York, as well as the obvious Arts and Design. New York students go on to work at prestigious places like ABC, Goldman Sachs, and Simon & Schuster after graduation. and the starving artist persona is just a myth. Head out of the city to cities like Albany, Ithica, and Poughkeepsie for lower-than-average unemployment rates and less traffic.

Of course, in your non-academic hours, there are endless things to do in the Empire State. Take in a live show, peruse a museum or pay your respects at the 9/11 memorial. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, visit the Brooklyn Bridge, or get active in the NYC Marathon. Find a friend to share a sandwich at Carnegie Deli, learn the public transportation system, and pick up a new accent. Wherever you choose to spend your downtime, there is always plenty to do in the state that never stops moving, shaking, and learning.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics *www.highered.nysed.gov *Wikipedia, "List of colleges and universities in New York", "List of companies based in New York City" *www.nycgo.com

Best Four Year Universities in New York

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Cornell University is a private land-grant research university that was founded in 1865 in the suburban college town of Ithaca, New York by Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 15,000 students who attend classes on a campus that covers over 4,000 acres. Cornell is on a semester-based academic calendar with tuition and fees for both in-state students and out-of-state students that exceeds $55,000, though financial aid is available. 

Cornell University is made up of seven colleges and seven graduate divisions, including competitive hospitality and business programs. The school is known for its robust international network that is fostered in part by two satellite campuses in New York City and Education City, Qatar. 

Cornell University is part of the Ivy League and has affiliations with some of the top academic scholars of the last century. In addition to its strong scholastic traditions, the school is known for its Botanic Gardens and a large portfolio of university-owned and operated land in New York City. Notable alumni include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, television star Bill Nye, and Christopher Reeve, who was known for being the first actor to play Superman.

Image by @dp_photos_ny

Columbia University was founded in 1754 and was known as King’s College through a royal charter from King George II before being renamed after the Revolutionary War. Columbia has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 30,000 and is located in a dense urban setting in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan just east of the Hudson River. The university boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1 and charges a lower tuition rate than Ivy League counterparts Harvard and Yale. 

Columbia is at the scholastic epicenter of New York City and plays host to research institutions like the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and historic physics forums like the Manhattan Project. The school has a range of academic offerings for students to choose from through over 15 competitive colleges like the Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Climate School. Students at Columbia have the option to attend study-abroad programs at partner schools such as the London School of Economics, the University of Oxford, and Pantheon-Sorbonne University. 

Beyond academics, students at Columbia can enjoy iconic museums like the MOMA, take their lunch in Central Park, or head to Yankee Stadium. Notable alumni include former President Barack Obama, investor tycoon Warren Buffet, and writer Isaac Asimov. Columbia has an extensive alumni network that includes MLB Hall of Famers, Nobel Laureates, and Justices of the United States Supreme Court.

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Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY

Vassar College offers 49 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 627 students graduated with students earning 627 Bachelor's degrees.

University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

University of Rochester offers 277 degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 3,426 students graduated with students earning 1,567 Bachelor's degrees, 1,368 Master's degrees, 351 Doctoral degrees, and 140 Certificates.

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

Colgate University offers 65 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a faraway town. In 2019, 747 students graduated with students earning 742 Bachelor's degrees, and 5 Master's degrees.

Barnard College
New York, NY

Barnard College offers 69 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 680 students graduated with students earning 680 Bachelor's degrees.

Hamilton College
Clinton, NY

Hamilton College offers 42 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize suburb. In 2019, 493 students graduated with students earning 493 Bachelor's degrees.

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers 12 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 221 students graduated with students earning 180 Bachelor's degrees, and 41 Master's degrees.

New York University
New York, NY

New York University, or NYU, is a private university that was chartered in 1831 by the New York State Legislature in an effort led by Alber Gallatin, with a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 25,000. NYU is situated in an urban setting on a campus that takes up over 171 buildings in the vibrant city of New York. NYU receives the most applications of any private institution in the United States and can be very difficult to get into given the competition. The school’s colors are violet and white, which lends itself to their nickname “The Violets.” 

Located in the heart of Manhattan, NYU is made up of ten schools and prestigious programs including the nationally-ranked Stern School of Business and the Silver School of Social Work. Students take classes on a semester-based academic calendar and NYU tends to offer intimate undergraduate classes of 20 students or fewer, which can be perfect for students that prefer small group learning over the traditional large lecture format. 

NYU has produced many successful alumni, including current U.S. Senators, former Federal Reserve Chairmen, and even Academy Award winners. NYU’s urban location on Washington Square and Greenwich Village has been a cultural hub for over a century, with famous artists in residence including Edward Hopper and Bob Dylan. Noble alumni at NYU include film director Martin Scorsese, fashion icon Tom Ford, and former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

Union College
Schenectady, NY

Union College offers 47 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 514 students graduated with students earning 514 Bachelor's degrees.

Best Community Colleges in New York

American Academy of Dramatic Arts-New York offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 161 students graduated with students earning 137 Associate's degrees, and 24 Certificates.

St. Joseph's College of Nursing offers 1 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 152 students graduated with students earning 152 Associate's degrees.

Island Drafting and Technical Institute offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 36 students graduated with students earning 36 Associate's degrees.

Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a small city. In 2019, 59 students graduated with students earning 50 Associate's degrees, and 9 Certificates.

Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital offers 1 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 102 students graduated with students earning 102 Associate's degrees.

Elim Bible Institute and College offers 3 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a outlying town. In 2019, 71 students graduated with students earning 36 Certificates, and 35 Associate's degrees.

New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 108 students graduated with students earning 108 Associate's degrees.

Elyon College
Brooklyn, NY

Elyon College offers 4 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 49 students graduated with students earning 47 Associate's degrees, and 2 Certificates.

CUNY Stella and Charles Guttman Community College offers 8 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 221 students graduated with students earning 221 Associate's degrees.

Seminar L'moros Bais Yaakov offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 251 students graduated with students earning 215 Certificates, and 36 Associate's degrees.

List of all colleges in New York

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Cornell University Logo Cornell University Ithaca, NY
5/5
13 : 1 24,027
Columbia University in the City of New York Logo Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
5/5
19 : 1 31,456
Vassar College Logo Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
5/5
8 : 1 2,439
University of Rochester Logo University of Rochester Rochester, NY
5/5
16 : 1 12,233
Colgate University Logo Colgate University Hamilton, NY
5/5
9 : 1 2,992
Barnard College Logo Barnard College New York, NY
5/5
10 : 1 2,631
Hamilton College Logo Hamilton College Clinton, NY
5/5
10 : 1 2,012
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Logo Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art New York, NY
5/5
18 : 1 952
New York University Logo New York University New York, NY
5/5
17 : 1 52,885
Union College Logo Union College Schenectady, NY
5/5
10 : 1 2,189
Skidmore College Logo Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
5/5
9 : 1 2,663
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Logo Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
5/5
16 : 1 7,528
The Juilliard School Logo The Juilliard School New York, NY
5/5
7 : 1 960
Syracuse University Logo Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
5/5
20 : 1 22,850
St Lawrence University Logo St Lawrence University Canton, NY
5/5
13 : 1 2,434
Webb Institute Logo Webb Institute Glen Cove, NY
5/5
11 : 1 102
United States Military Academy Logo United States Military Academy West Point, NY   17 : 1 4,457
Fordham University Logo Fordham University Bronx, NY
5/5
23 : 1 16,972
Stony Brook University Logo Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
3/5
28 : 1 26,814
Yeshiva University Logo Yeshiva University New York, NY
5/5
16 : 1 5,357