New York’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

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.

New York’s Best Community Colleges 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.

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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


There are 36 community colleges in New York. The following list shows the 25 best community colleges in the state.

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How do we determine New York's best community colleges?

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.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

25 Best Community Colleges in New York

  1. #1

    Nassau Community College

    #2630 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    11K

    Garden City, NY

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    What is Nassau Community College known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Bronx Community College

    #2536 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    6K

    Bronx, NY

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    What is Bronx Community College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
  3. #3

    LaGuardia Community College

    #3064 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    11K

    Long Island City, NY

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    What is LaGuardia Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Nursing
  4. #4

    SUNY Orange

    #6363 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    Middletown, NY

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    What is SUNY Orange known for?

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

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
  5. #5

    Corning Community College

    #4394 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    2K

    Corning, NY

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    What is Corning Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Mildred Elley

    #7919 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    <1K

    Albany, NY

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    What is Mildred Elley known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
  7. #7

    Fulton–Montgomery Community College

    #15363 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    1K

    Johnstown, NY

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    What is Fulton–Montgomery Community College known for?

    Fulton–Montgomery Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Kingsborough Community College

    #2826 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    9K

    Brooklyn, NY

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    What is Kingsborough Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
  9. #9

    Onondaga Community College

    #4376 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    6K

    Syracuse, NY

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    What is Onondaga Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Hudson Valley Community College

    #3804 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    7K

    Troy, NY

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    What is Hudson Valley Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Schenectady County Community College

    #6768 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    2K

    Schenectady, NY

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    What is Schenectady County Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
  12. #12

    Hostos Community College

    #4848 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    5K

    Bronx, NY

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    What is Hostos Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
  13. #13

    North Country Community College

    #6036 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    Saranac Lake, NY

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    What is North Country Community College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
  14. #14

    Rockland Community College

    #4646 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    4K

    Suffern, NY

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    What is Rockland Community College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    Clinton Community College

    #8311 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    <1K

    Plattsburgh, NY

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    What is Clinton Community College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Social Work
  16. #16

    Dutchess Community College

    #4798 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    5K

    Poughkeepsie, NY

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    What is Dutchess Community College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    SUNY Broome Community College

    #14116 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    4K

    Binghamton, NY

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    What is SUNY Broome Community College known for?

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

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Tompkins Cortland Community College

    #5224 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    3K

    Dryden, NY

    View profile

    What is Tompkins Cortland Community College known for?

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

    • Business
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
  19. #19

    Queensborough Community College

    #3845 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    9K

    Bayside, NY

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    What is Queensborough Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
  20. #20

    Monroe Community College

    #3623 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    9K

    Rochester, NY

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    What is Monroe Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    Herkimer County Community College

    #6234 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    2K

    Herkimer, NY

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    What is Herkimer County Community College known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #22

    SUNY Adirondack

    #5339 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    2K

    Queensbury, NY

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    What is SUNY Adirondack known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
  23. #23

    Westchester Community College

    #4615 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    8K

    Valhalla, NY

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    What is Westchester Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    Niagara County Community College

    #5024 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    Sanborn, NY

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    What is Niagara County Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry
  25. #25

    Cayuga Community College

    #5285 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Auburn, NY

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    What is Cayuga Community College known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

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Photo By: Nassau Community College