Best Community Colleges in New York 2022

Best Community Colleges in New York 2022

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in New York offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Key Takeaways

  • New York is home to over 400 universities and colleges, including community colleges. There are nearly 100 community colleges in New York City alone. Students shouldn’t have any problem finding the right community college for them.
  • Community colleges offer students an easy transition from high school, without the intense pressure that a traditional four-year college or university demands.
  • Attending a community college in New York can be a much more affordable and accessible option for students who want to transition to a four-year degree.

The Empire State and Its Community Colleges

In 2019, data shown by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that associate degree holders earn roughly $887 every week, while those who only have high school diplomas take home $746. This proves that an associate degree from a community college is a good investment that will provide you with a good future in the long run.

In New York City, out of the hundreds of colleges and universities, 95 institutions offer two-year associate degree programs. This confirms that community colleges are still good options for those who cannot afford to enroll in a full-time, four-year college degree.

But are community colleges worth it?

Reasons to Enroll in New York Community Colleges

The choice of what you will do after you obtain your high school diploma or go back to college may sound overwhelming. Contrary to popular misconceptions, there are several ways you can benefit by attending a community college, whether through on-campus or online programs. These schools offer basic courses and professional certificates that you can use to substitute for the first two years of college credits.

So why should you attend a community college first?

Easy Transitioning: The transition from high school to living on-campus and away from your family can significantly impact your mental well-being and overall academic performance. Going to a community college first can provide an easier transition for adjusting to college life.

Community colleges can make your college experience as enjoyable and as relaxed as possible. For example, community college can help familiarize you with essentials for academic success, including lessons on note-taking, textbook recording, peer tutoring, testing accommodations, and even educational equipment loans.

It won’t hurt your résumé: Many people believe that graduating from a community college can hamper their career prospects. Putting your experience at a community college on your résumé can be seen as a positive, especially if you have earned professional certificates. In recent years, the respect for community colleges and associate degrees has grown exponentially across all majors.

Prospective students simply need to do a school search of private and public community colleges, looking especially at majors such as criminal justice, media arts, liberal arts, legal studies, fine arts, and other related programs or certificate programs that prepare students for various entry level positions.

Community colleges cost less. Community colleges are less costly than any four-year university for so many reasons. First, most community colleges do not have on-campus dormitories. This saves students on room and board costs, which can add up to thousands after two years.

Second, community colleges have lower tuition costs. On average, those admitted to a community college pay roughly $3,700 in tuition. Compare that figure to any in-state, four-year public university, which charges $10,440 per year on average.

Although the rates for community colleges largely depend on the state or region you’re attending, even the two-year cost in the priciest state is still less than what is charged to a four-year institution.

Even better, if you do need to take out student loans, the amount you will need to pay back will be significantly lower than if you attended a traditional four-year college.

Other Advantages of Going to a Community College in New York

When choosing your education path, you might be surprised to realize the many benefits you can get from attending a community college. While some students may feel that missing out on living on campus in a dorm is a disadvantage, the cost savings are significant.

Other benefits of attending a community college include:

  • Smaller college class size
  • No ACT or SAT scores are required for admissions
  • Career-specific courses
  • A chance to explore different classes
  • Proximity to home
  • Easier transition from high school
  • Class schedule flexibility

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

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We’ve identified 36 community colleges in New York. The following list shows the best community colleges and primarily associate degree granting colleges in New York.

Best Community Colleges in New York

  1. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Bronx Community College known for?

    Bronx Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    LaGuardia Community College

    Long Island City , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    10K

  3. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    8K

  4. #4

    Nassau Community College

    Garden City , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    10K

  5. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Hudson Valley Community College known for?

    Hudson Valley Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    17K

    What is Borough of Manhattan Community College known for?

    Borough of Manhattan Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Corning Community College known for?

    Corning Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Monroe Community College

    Rochester , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    8K

  9. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    5K

  10. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Hostos Community College known for?

    Hostos Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Cayuga Community College known for?

    Cayuga Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    9K

    What is Queensborough Community College known for?

    Queensborough Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Tompkins Cortland Community College known for?

    Tompkins Cortland Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  14. #14

    Dutchess Community College

    Poughkeepsie , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Dutchess Community College known for?

    Dutchess Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Westchester Community College known for?

    Westchester Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Finger Lakes Community College known for?

    Finger Lakes Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  17. #17

    SUNY Adirondack

    Queensbury , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    What is SUNY Adirondack known for?

    SUNY Adirondack’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  18. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Jamestown Community College known for?

    Jamestown Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Rockland Community College known for?

    Rockland Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    SUNY Erie

    Buffalo , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    6K

  21. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    13K

    What is Suffolk County Community College known for?

    Suffolk County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Niagara County Community College known for?

    Niagara County Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #23

    Mildred Elley

    Albany , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Mildred Elley known for?

    Mildred Elley’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  24. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Genesee Community College known for?

    Genesee Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #25

    SUNY Orange

    Middletown , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    3K

    What is SUNY Orange known for?

    SUNY Orange’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Nassau Community College
  2. Bronx Community College
  3. LaGuardia Community College
  4. SUNY Orange
  5. Corning Community College
  6. Mildred Elley
  7. Fulton–Montgomery Community College
  8. Kingsborough Community College
  9. Onondaga Community College
  10. Hudson Valley Community College
  11. Schenectady County Community College
  12. Hostos Community College
  13. North Country Community College
  14. Rockland Community College
  15. Clinton Community College
  16. Dutchess Community College
  17. SUNY Broome Community College
  18. Tompkins Cortland Community College
  19. Queensborough Community College
  20. Monroe Community College
  21. Herkimer County Community College
  22. SUNY Adirondack
  23. Westchester Community College
  24. Niagara County Community College
  25. Cayuga Community College