New York’s Best Colleges and Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in New York. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

New York’s Best Colleges and Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in New York

On average, tuition at New York’s higher education institutes comes in well-below the national average at about $7,900. Students have nearly 80 public school options to choose from, ranging in fees from $1,000 at the United States Merchant Marine Academy up to $10,000 at the University at Buffalo, the largest public university. However, some of the state’s private schools, such as New York University (NYU), charge tuition fees at a much higher cost.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Although tuition fees at NYU average $52,000, students who attend this school have access to some of the best programs in fields like literature, business, medicine, communications, and law. The school also boasts famous alumni like Whoopi Goldberg and Jonas Salk. New York also offers close to 40 religiously affiliated schools. Students can expect to pay a wide range of tuition costs at these schools, but have the option to major in fields like social work, law, religious studies, business, and nursing.

They say New York is a place where dreams come true. Here, fashion, culture, food, business, art, and many languages comfortably coexist. While The Empire State’s metropolitan landmarks, like the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, are noteworthy, many forget New York also offers access to the Great Lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, and countless cozy cabins tucked away in the verdant Catskills Mountains. Additionally, New York is home to over 200 colleges and universities, making it easy for students to dream big while earning their degrees.

Explore some of the top programs New York higher education institutes have to offer, and make your educational and personal dreams come true.


What are New York’s Colleges & Universities?

New York’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine New York's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

25 Best Colleges & Universities in New York

Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in New York for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 121 colleges and universities in New York, 89 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the top 25 schools focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 60%.

  1. #1

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    What is Columbia University known for?

    Columbia University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    What is Cornell University known for?

    Cornell University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #5

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is Vassar College known for?

    Vassar College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #7

    Yeshiva University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    What is Yeshiva University known for?

    Yeshiva University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #8

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    What is New York University known for?

    New York University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Law
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #9

    Bard College

    Annandale-On-Hudson , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Bard College known for?

    Bard College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Economics
    • History
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #10

    The New School

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1265/27

    What is The New School known for?

    The New School’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #11

    University of Rochester

    Rochester , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/32

    What is University of Rochester known for?

    University of Rochester’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Business
    REQUEST INFO
  9. #14

    Hamilton College

    Clinton , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    What is Hamilton College known for?

    Hamilton College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/31

    What is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute known for?

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. #16

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    What is Syracuse University known for?

    Syracuse University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Law
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #18

    Stony Brook University

    Stony Brook , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/29

    What is Stony Brook University known for?

    Stony Brook University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  13. #19

    Union College

    Schenectady , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    41%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1320/29

    What is Union College known for?

    Union College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/26

    What is State University of New York at Purchase known for?

    State University of New York at Purchase’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #21

    University at Buffalo

    Buffalo , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/26

    What is University at Buffalo known for?

    University at Buffalo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Law
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. #22

    Hofstra University

    Hempstead , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    What is Hofstra University known for?

    Hofstra University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #23

    Binghamton University

    Vestal , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    43%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1360/30

    What is Binghamton University known for?

    Binghamton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Sociology
    REQUEST INFO
  18. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    16K

    What is Queens College, City University of New York known for?

    Queens College, City University of New York’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Anthropology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  19. #25

    Skidmore College

    Saratoga Springs , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1310/30

    What is Skidmore College known for?

    Skidmore College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    REQUEST INFO

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