Best Private Colleges in New York 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in New York.

Best Private Colleges in New York 2022

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

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 80 private universities in New York. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in New York, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in New York

  1. #1

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    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:

    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    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:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    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:

    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    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:

    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Earth Sciences
    • Sociology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #8

    The New School

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    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:

    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $59K

    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
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #10

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    What is Barnard College known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #11

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    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
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #12

    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
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #13

    St. John's University

    Queens , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/26

    What is St. John's University known for?

    St. John's University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. #14

    Pace University

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/24

    What is Pace University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Law
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #15

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is Colgate University known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #16

    Bard College

    Annandale-On-Hudson , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Bard College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #17

    Union College

    Schenectady , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    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:

    • Anthropology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/29

    What is Rochester Institute of Technology known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. #19

    Long Island University

    Brookville , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/25

    What is Long Island University known for?

    Long Island University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #20

    Sarah Lawrence College

    Bronxville , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    55%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1331/29

    What is Sarah Lawrence College known for?

    Sarah Lawrence College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #21

    Adelphi University

    Garden City , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is Adelphi University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #22

    Ithaca College

    Ithaca , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Ithaca College known for?

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

    • Communications
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  20. #23

    Clarkson University

    Potsdam , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/26

    What is Clarkson University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #24

    Manhattan College

    Riverdale , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/25

    What is Manhattan College known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  22. #25

    Cooper Union

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1417/32

    What is Cooper Union known for?

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

    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #26

    New York Institute of Technology

    Old Westbury , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1182/25

    What is New York Institute of Technology known for?

    New York Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #27

    Niagara University

    Niagara University , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    What is Niagara University known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #28

    Iona College

    New Rochelle , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/23

    What is Iona College known for?

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

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • History
    • Economics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  26. Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1272/28

    What is Hobart and William Smith Colleges known for?

    Hobart and William Smith Colleges’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. #30

    Skidmore College

    Saratoga Springs , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    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:

    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

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New York’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

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 utiulized 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. Columbia University
  2. Cornell University
  3. Sarah Lawrence College
  4. Barnard College
  5. Vassar College
  6. Cooper Union
  7. Yeshiva University
  8. New York University
  9. Bard College
  10. The New School
  11. University of Rochester
  12. Colgate University
  13. Hamilton College
  14. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  15. Syracuse University
  16. Fordham University
  17. Union College
  18. Hofstra University
  19. Skidmore College
  20. Wagner College
  21. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  22. Manhattan College
  23. Clarkson University
  24. Marist College
  25. St. Lawrence University