Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Find Schools Near

2023 Best Colleges in New York

143 Colleges
$69,998 Avg Salary*
72% 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 Colleges ranking is part of that endeavor.

Our analysis looked at 143 schools in New York to determine which ones 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.

Get more details on 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

Our 2023 rankings named Cornell University the best school in New York in terms of overall quality for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Cornell is located in Ithaca, New York and has a large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 7,952 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 4-year graduation rate is 88%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Cornell make an average of $91,176 a year.

Read More…

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Columbia University in the City of New York helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in New York. Columbia University in the City of New York is a large private not-for-profit school located in New York, New York that handed out 13,952 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 95%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $89,871 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Columbia University in the City of New York

#3

New York University

New York, New York

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend New York University. The school came in at #3 in New York on this year’s overall quality ranking.New York, New York is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 17,605 students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from NYU is $76,040 during the early years of their career.

Full New York University Report

#4

Colgate University

Hamilton, New York

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges in New York list means Colgate University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree.Hamilton, New York is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 899 students in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 0.7% 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% During the early years of their career, graduates from Colgate make an average of $76,267 a year.

Read More…

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Teachers College at Columbia University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in New York. Located in New York, New York, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 1,995 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.1%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%

Read More…

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Located in Troy, New York, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 2,179 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.3%, 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 RPI is $93,416 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

#7

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York

University of Rochester came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking. University of Rochester is a private not-for-profit institution located in Rochester, New York. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 4,070 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The 4-year grad rate at the school is 78%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 33%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from University of Rochester make an average of $68,335 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of Rochester

#8

Barnard College

New York, New York

Barnard College landed the #8 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York ranking. Barnard is located in New York, New York and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 676 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The low student loan default rate of 0.9% 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% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Barnard make an average of $71,678 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Barnard College Report

#9

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

With a ranking of #9, Syracuse University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York list. Located in Syracuse, New York, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 7,630 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse make an average of $71,470 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Syracuse University Report

#10

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York, New York

Fashion Institute of Technology came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking.New York, New York is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,706 students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.0%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from FIT SUNY is $60,037 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#11

Hamilton College

Clinton, New York

Hamilton College did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in New York ranking, coming in at #11. Hamilton is a private not-for-profit institution located in Clinton, New York. The school has a small population, and it awarded 597 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 92%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Hamilton make an average of $74,340 a year.

Read More…

#12

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, New York

Vassar College ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Vassar is a private not-for-profit institution located in Poughkeepsie, New York. The school has a small population, and it awarded 682 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

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 $62,332 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Vassar College

#13

The Graduate Center, CUNY

New York, New York

With a ranking of #13, The Graduate Center, CUNY did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York list. The Graduate Center is a medium-sized public school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 2,885 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 3.9% 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 The Graduate Center is $58,746 during the early years of their career.

Full The Graduate Center, CUNY Report

#14

Fordham University

Bronx, New York

Fordham University did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in New York ranking, coming in at #14.Bronx, New York is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 5,683 students in 2020-2021.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 79%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Fordham U make an average of $74,578 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Fordham University Report

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking. Located in Syracuse, New York, the small public school handed out 552 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 86%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $52,901 during the early years of their career..

Full SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Report

#16

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, New York

Rochester Institute of Technology ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Located in Rochester, New York, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 4,000 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% During the early years of their career, graduates from RIT make an average of $66,280 a year.

Read More…

#17

Ithaca College

Ithaca, New York

Ithaca College came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking. Located in Ithaca, New York, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 1,621 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

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. During the early years of their career, graduates from Ithaca make an average of $62,146 a year.

Read full report on Ithaca College

#18

Binghamton University

Vestal, New York

With a ranking of #18, Binghamton University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York list. This fairly large public school is located in Vestal, New York, and it awarded 5,586 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.9%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University make an average of $72,980 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#19

Excelsior University

Albany, New York

Excelsior University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in New York ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Albany, New York, and it awarded 5,868 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 3.7% 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% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Excelsior University make an average of $75,846 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#20

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

University at Buffalo ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Located in Buffalo, New York, the large public school awarded 9,304 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. During the early years of their career, graduates from University at Buffalo make an average of $62,022 a year.

Full University at Buffalo Report

#21

The New School

New York, New York

With a ranking of #21, The New School did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York list. New School University is located in New York, New York and has a fairly large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 2,719 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $53,981 during the early years of their career..

Full The New School Report

#22

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

Stony Brook University ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Located in Stony Brook, New York, the large public school awarded 8,678 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook make an average of $66,678 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Stony Brook University Report

Hobart and William Smith Colleges landed the #23 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York ranking. Located in Geneva, New York, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 648 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from The Colleges go into careers with an average salary of $62,980 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#24

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, New York

With a ranking of #24, Marist College did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in New York list. Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 1,826 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 4-year graduation rate is 76%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 33%. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Marist make an average of $71,226 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#25

Yeshiva University

New York, New York

Yeshiva University ranked #25 on this year’s Best Colleges in New York list. Located in New York, New York, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 2,133 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 4-year graduation rate is 80%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 33%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva go into careers with an average salary of $64,628 during the early years of their career.

Full Yeshiva University Report

View Best Colleges Nationwide >

All Majors and Fields of Study >

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges ranking:

Rank College Location
26 John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY
27 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
28 Clarkson University Potsdam, NY
29 Bard College Annandale-On-Hudson, 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.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You