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2022 Best Colleges in New York

160 Colleges
$61,283 Avg Salary*
74% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Top New York Schools ranking is part of that endeavor.

We analyzed 160 colleges and universities across New York to determine which were the best in terms of overall quality. Our ranking is based on over 20 objective factors, including post graduate earnings, freshman retention, and graduation rate. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges in New York

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

Cornell University tops this year’s ranking as the best school in New York for overall quality. This large private not-for-profit school is located in Ithaca, New York, and it awarded 8,245 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.1%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Cornell is $77,200 during the early years of their career.

Full Cornell University Report

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges in New York list means Columbia University in the City of New York is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Columbia is located in New York, New York and has a large student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 13,628 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 89%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $83,300 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

#3

Colgate University

Hamilton, New York

A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges in New York list means Colgate University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Hamilton, New York, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 908 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 86%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Colgate go into careers with an average salary of $63,600 during the early years of their career.

Full Colgate University Report

#4

Barnard College

New York, New York

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges in New York list means Barnard College is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Barnard is a private not-for-profit institution located in New York, New York. The school has a small population, and it awarded 777 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Barnard is $57,900 during the early years of their career.

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#5

Hamilton College

Clinton, New York

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Hamilton College. The school came in at #5 in New York on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in Clinton, New York, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 597 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton is $60,200 during the early years of their career.

Full Hamilton College Report

With a ranking of #6, Teachers College at Columbia University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in New York, New York, and it awarded 1,879 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Teachers College is $73,400 during the early years of their career.

Full Teachers College at Columbia University Report

#7

New York University

New York, New York

New York University ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Located in New York, New York, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 18,334 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $61,900 during the early years of their career..

Full New York University Report

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Troy, New York, and it awarded 2,093 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from RPI is $82,000 during the early years of their career.

Full Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Report

#9

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, New York

Vassar College landed the #9 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking. Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 760 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

The student-to-faculty rate of 8 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Vassar is $54,600 during the early years of their career.

Full Vassar College Report

#10

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York

University of Rochester landed the #10 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking. University of Rochester is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Rochester, New York that handed out 3,869 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $61,200 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

#11

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York, New York

With a ranking of #11, Fashion Institute of Technology did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York list. FIT SUNY is a public institution located in New York, New York. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 3,766 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 3.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from FIT SUNY is $48,900 during the early years of their career.

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Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art landed the #12 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking.New York, New York is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 238 students in 2019-2020.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 8 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. During the early years of their career, graduates from Cooper Union make an average of $64,900 a year.

Read full report on Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Hobart and William Smith Colleges came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking. Located in Geneva, New York, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 587 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $53,500 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Hobart and William Smith Colleges

#14

Excelsior College

Albany, New York

Excelsior College landed the #14 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking. Excelsior College is a large private not-for-profit school located in Albany, New York that handed out 5,019 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Read full report on Excelsior College

#15

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking.Syracuse, New York is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 7,498 students in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 3.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse is $62,100 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Syracuse University

#16

Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, New York

Skidmore College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking. Skidmore is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Saratoga Springs, New York. It awarded 768 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student loan default rate at the school is 0.6%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore make an average of $49,700 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Skidmore College

#17

Union College New York

Schenectady, New York

Union College New York landed the #17 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Schenectady, New York, and it awarded 567 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 4-year graduation rate is 82%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Union College make an average of $65,400 a year.

Read full report on Union College New York

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry landed the #18 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking.Syracuse, New York is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 638 students in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 2.5% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from ESF is $45,600 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

#19

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, New York

Marist College ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Marist is a private not-for-profit institution located in Poughkeepsie, New York. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,710 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Marist is $56,900 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#20

Ithaca College

Ithaca, New York

With a ranking of #20, Ithaca College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York list.Ithaca, New York is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,663 students in 2019-2020.

With a freshman retention rate of 87%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca is $52,300 during the early years of their career.

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#21

Binghamton University

Vestal, New York

With a ranking of #21, Binghamton University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York list. Binghamton University is a fairly large public school located in Vestal, New York that handed out 5,296 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University is $61,600 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#22

Clarkson University

Potsdam, New York

With a ranking of #22, Clarkson University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York list. Clarkson is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Potsdam, New York. It awarded 1,178 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Clarkson go into careers with an average salary of $72,000 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#23

Fordham University

Bronx, New York

With a ranking of #23, Fordham University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in New York list. Fordham U is a private not-for-profit institution located in Bronx, New York. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 5,726 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Fordham U make an average of $59,200 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Fordham University

#24

Nassau Community College

Garden City, New York

Nassau Community College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in New York ranking, coming in at #24. Located in Garden City, New York, the fairly large public school handed out 2,760 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Nassau Community College make an average of $38,400 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#25

Manhattan College

Riverdale, New York

Manhattan College ranked #25 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Manhattan is located in Riverdale, New York and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 1,119 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan make an average of $65,000 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Manhattan College

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Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges ranking:

Rank College Location
26 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
27 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
28 SUNY Cortland Cortland, NY
29 Siena College Loudonville, NY
30 Wagner College Staten Island, NY
31 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
32 Baruch College New York, NY
33 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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