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.

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.

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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 best colleges pound for pound!

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.

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25 Best Community Colleges in New York

  1. Nassau Community College
    #1

    Nassau Community College

    #2657 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Student body

    12K

    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
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. SUNY Orange
    #4

    SUNY Orange

    #7409 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Sociology
  3. Corning Community College
    #5

    Corning Community College

    #4851 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Mildred Elley
    #6

    Mildred Elley

    #7661 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    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
  5. Fulton–Montgomery Community College
    #7

    Fulton–Montgomery Community College

    #16059 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    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
    • Communications
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Onondaga Community College
    #9

    Onondaga Community College

    #4638 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Hudson Valley Community College
    #10

    Hudson Valley Community College

    #3922 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Schenectady County Community College
    #11

    Schenectady County Community College

    #7851 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    3K

    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
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
  9. North Country Community College
    #13

    North Country Community College

    #7150 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
  10. Rockland Community College
    #14

    Rockland Community College

    #5837 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    5K

    Suffern, NY

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    What is Rockland Community College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Clinton Community College
    #15

    Clinton Community College

    #8383 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    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
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Social Work
  12. Dutchess Community College
    #16

    Dutchess Community College

    #4885 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. SUNY Broome Community College
    #17

    SUNY Broome Community College

    #13399 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Tompkins Cortland Community College
    #18

    Tompkins Cortland Community College

    #5975 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Student body

    3K

    Dryden, NY

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    What is Tompkins Cortland Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
  15. Monroe Community College
    #20

    Monroe Community College

    #4068 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    10K

    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
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. Herkimer County Community College
    #21

    Herkimer County Community College

    #7656 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. SUNY Adirondack
    #22

    SUNY Adirondack

    #5242 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    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
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
  18. Westchester Community College
    #23

    Westchester Community College

    #4899 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    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
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #24

    Niagara County Community College

    #4705 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    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
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Biology
  20. Cayuga Community College
    #25

    Cayuga Community College

    #5476 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Student body

    2K

    Auburn, NY

    View profile

    What is Cayuga Community College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Photo By: Nassau Community College

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