1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Top New York Colleges

12 of the Top Colleges in New York State

By

Top Ranked Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

New York State has some of the best colleges in the country. The State University of New York system is strong, and New York has both strong liberal arts colleges and large research universities. The 12 top New York State colleges listed below vary so much in size and type of school that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. The colleges were chosen based on 4- and 6-year graduation rates, retention rates, value, and academic strengths and innovations.

Compare top New York Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Barnard College

Barnard College Milbank Hall
Shintashi / Wikimedia Commons

Binghamton University

Binghamton University
unforth / Flickr

Colgate University

James B. Colgate Hall
bronayur / Flickr
  • Location: Hamilton, New York
  • Enrollment: 2,841 (2,831 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: high ranking liberal arts college; picturesque location; high graduation rate; high percentage of students go on to graduate school; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; NCAA Division I athletics in the Patriot League
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Colgate University profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Colgate

Columbia University

Photo of Columbia University in Spring by Yandi at Flickr
Yandi / Flickr

Cooper Union

Cooper Union
moacirpdsp / Flickr
  • Location: Manhattan, New York
  • Enrollment: 957 (906 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: small engineering and art school
  • Distinctions: specialized curriculum in engineering and art; historic building where Abraham Lincoln gave a famous speech on limiting slavery; Manhattan location provides students with many cultural and educational opportunities; highly ranked engineering program; free tuition for all students
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Cooper Union profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Cooper Union

Cornell University

Cornell University Sage Hall
Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Hamilton College

Hamilton College
EAWB / Flickr
  • Location: Clinton, New York
  • Enrollment: 1,842 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: highly ranked liberal arts college; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; emphasis on individualized instruction and independent research; picturesque location in upstate, New York
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Hamilton College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Hamilton

New York University (NYU)

New York University Bobst Library
davidsilver / Flickr

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

RPI - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
DannoHung / Flickr
  • Location: Troy, New York
  • Enrollment: 6,566 (5,164 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: technology-focused private university
  • Distinctions: engineering school with a strong undergraduate focus; near the state capital in Albany; good financial aid; competitive Division I hockey team
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the RPI profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for RPI

SUNY Geneseo

SUNY Geneseo
bdesham / Flickr
  • Location: Geneseo, New York
  • Enrollment: 5,548 (5,395 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: good value for both in-state and out-of-state students; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; located on the western edge of the Finger Lakes region
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the SUNY Geneseo profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Geneseo

University of Rochester

University of Rochester
daniel.green / Flickr

Vassar College

Vassar College
samuenzinger / Flickr
  • Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Enrollment: 2,451 (2,450 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 9 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; 1,000-acre campus includes over 100 buildings, picturesque gardens and a farm; located 75 miles from NYC in the Hudson Valley
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Vassar College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Vassar
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. College Admissions
  4. College Rankings
  5. Top New York State Colleges - 12 Top Ranked Schools

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.