2017 Best Colleges in New York

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Columbia University

    • New York, NY
    • 1,083 reviews
    Graduate Student:I am currently enrolled in graduate school at the prestigious Columbia University. I am impressed with the level of diversity at Columbia. There is a majority minority. Most of my seminars are comprised of Asian, Indian students I myself am typically the only African American student. I believe that Columbia truly wants their students to thrive. They bring in some of the best professors from the corporate world. For instances in one of my courses I have three different professors. Each have a very different perspective and method of teaching. I will say that I am disappointed that there are not more scholarships available to graduate students; I am working a full-time job in addition to taking a full course load so that I can graduate in a two year span and pay for school. Mind you I have a 3.8 G.P.A I believe that their should be some source of funding other than loans for students in my situation.
    More about Columbia University
  2. 2

    Colgate University

    • Hamilton, NY
    • 961 reviews
    Sophomore:Best college ever! I love everything about Colgate from the small class sizes to the food to the atmosphere to the people. Although, Colgate isn't every well known it shouldn't be looked over! Courses are challenging but very rewarding.
    More about Colgate University
  3. 3

    Cornell University

    • Ithaca, NY
    • 1,723 reviews
    College Junior:My experience at Cornell had been a whirlwind of endless opportunities. It has absolutely had it's ups and downs, with times where the stress and fast pace of classes seems to be unbearable, but usually when that happens a break was right around the corner and there was time to catch up. All the students at this school, from the engineers to the Hotelies, are used to being the top of their class in high school. It takes some getting used to learn that not everyone can be the best at this university.

    That being said, Cornell can offer you the change to truly impact the world in whatever field you pursue. Your plant science degree with lead to cutting edge research, your business major with give you connections others need years to build and your engineering degree will give you your choice of career straight out of college. But that diploma does not come easy, you will have to work relentlessly for four years to earn it (five years if you're studying architecture!).

    Looking back to choosing this university my senior year of high school, I wouldn't change a thing. My experience has been far from perfect: I've experienced failure just like the rest of my peers. I'm not, however, the same person I was in high school and this is a good thing. Cornell has changed me for the better and I highly recommend you let it do the same to you!
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  4. 4

    Barnard College

    • New York, NY
    • 400 reviews
    Sophomore:AMAZING school! You get best of both worlds: small, women's liberal arts college with all the resources and facilities of a large, co-ed, Ivy-League university. Plus, you get to live in NYC. You get a campus feel since it is on the Upper West Side ( residential area).

    Barnard women get degrees from Columbia University, graduate at Columbia University graduation, take classes at CU and join CU clubs/sororities/sports/ societies. Barnard women can also eat at Columbia dining halls, study in all 22 CU libraries, and use the same academic buildings. Columbia students take classes at Barnard and use Barnard libraries/cafeterias/buildings. It's a great campus environment.

    BTW, acceptance rate is 14.8% now (on Niche it still has a very old acceptance rate). Gets more competitive with each year as more people learn about it.
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  5. 5

    Hamilton College

    • Clinton, NY
    • 425 reviews
    College Freshman:I love my school. Its a lot of work. The professors demand a lot from you, because they want you to learn and do well. I was a January admit, so me and 30 other January admits had the option to take classes in London out first semester. People who are jans do many different things, from work at home to study abroad. The transition to campus has been a little tough. The academics are much more rigorous here than they were in London. People here are generally welcoming and friendly but coming in mid year is a bit tough socially because many of my classmates had already gone through the making friends and figuring out what do to stage. Commons is generally good. It does get old after awhile, but its not too bad. It is worse having to walk in the next morning and awkwardly dodge your hook up from last night. The community here is great! Everyone is very supportive of one another. Many students go and support their friends in sports, or art shows, or plays, etc. Feb fest is a fun time of the year. For a week in February the school has all sorts of activities going on. They range from Mr. Hamilton (male beauty pageant), to chocolate tasting, to black light sledding, to cheering on the hockey team.
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  6. 6

    New York University

    • New York, NY
    • 4,765 reviews
    Freshman:Through the Global Liberal Studies program's Core Program I spent my first year abroad in Florence, Italy living on a bequeathed estate! I was accepted to this program because I showed an interest in the Humanities, and checked the box on the application rating my preferences for the global academic sites which also include Paris, London, & Washington DC. The best things I love about the campus is the Office of Student Life staff who are peppy (especially Jillian) and super helpful whenever you have a question. In addition, they also host all-expense paid trips all over Italy, so I highly recommend. Lastly, the campus has La Pietra Dialogues which hosts leading minds across a wide array of topics. Last semester I was able to meet the US diplomat to Italy, the head of Bloomberg News, and Angela Davis! Need I say more?
    More about New York University
  7. 7

    University of Rochester

    • Rochester, NY
    • 1,383 reviews
    Sophomore:The University of Rochester is excellent academically, and has a beautiful campus with generally great professors who wish to challenge their students to think and learn. Food is decent, dorm rooms are not so great. The flooring in rooms that I've seen is tile and the walls are white painted cement, but freshman housing has pretty large open doubles which can be rearranged if you don't like the set up. Singles in the upperclassmen halls are tiny, probably not recommendable for anyone who gets claustrophobic easily, though there is housing slightly off campus that has much larger rooms as well as carpet which can be used after sophomore year. Overall my experience has been generally good though. The classes have been engaging and taught by dedicated professors. The people are generally friendly and great, I've made tons of friends so far and keep making more every semester. Overall the UofR is a great school with great people.
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  8. 8
    Alum:If you are into a STEM oriented education, RPI is for you! If you graduated at the top of your class in high school, be prepared to be average because everyone else did too. This makes Rensselaer a competitive place but you will find friends that will last well after graduation. The curriculum is highly structured so don't expect to have many electives. This does assure that when you graduate you will have the knowledge and thoroughness that are expected of an RPI grad.
    More about Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  9. 9

    Vassar College

    • Poughkeepsie, NY
    • 588 reviews
    Freshman:I have had an amazing experience during my first year at Vassar. The tuition is very high, but the school offers one of the best financial aid packages in the country. The classes are very interactive, and the professors are not only helpful, but also challenge students to think beyond their limits. The students are also very involved in on campus activities, and there are a wide variety of clubs that students can participate in. The only downside to the school would have to be the food, as the "deece", the all-student dining center, is infamous for having bad food.
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  10. 10

    Cooper Union

    • New York, NY
    • 75 reviews
    College Junior:The Cooper Union is unique in that it is comprised of a small student body relative to other schools, so there is a close knit relationship among the students and faculty. Cooper used to offer all students free tuition, but has recently changed due to an unfortunate financial climate. However, the experiences with students and professors is still invaluable and the reputation gained after graduating from this school is invaluable.
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  11. 11

    Skidmore College

    • Saratoga Springs, NY
    • 565 reviews
    Freshman:Skidmore College is a small liberal arts institution in upstate New York. My experience thus far in my collegiate career has been optimistic and promising. The professors I have had so far have been a few of the best I have ever had the opportunity to engage in conversation with. All in different subject matters and all with different teaching approaches, each of these professors have had a mind that goes beyond the typical academic teacher. They inspired me to challenge myself beyond what I thought was capable and they are a large part of why my experience at Skidmore College has been positive. The friends I have made here have easily become some of the most interesting, kind and genuine people I have had the opportunity to meet. The social life at Skidmore is by no means equivalent to a large university, but it is very much so alive and exciting. I have loved my experience at Skidmore College.
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  12. 12

    St. Lawrence University

    • Canton, NY
    • 708 reviews
    Freshman:SLU is an awesome place to go to school! I am only a freshman here, but I have enjoyed by first year so much! Everyone is extremely nice, and it is easy to find a friend group! The campus community is very close, I will say that must be partly due to the fact that off of the campus there isn't much to do! St. Lawrence has great relationships with their alumni, and offers amazing help in career services! Overall, I love it here!
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  13. 13

    Clarkson University

    • Potsdam, NY
    • 607 reviews
    Alum:I studied mechanical engineering at Clarkson University, where with the help my my peers and professors I excelled at learning the curriculum. I loved my time at Clarkson, but balancing a social life and school work was a challenge. Overall I really enjoyed my time there and I am contemplating going back for a masters!
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  14. 14

    Syracuse University

    • Syracuse, NY
    • 3,099 reviews
    Junior:Syracuse Architecture is a truly exemplary program and my overall experience with Syracuse University has been a positive one. The breadth of subject areas allowed me to take a diverse course load and dabble in interesting topics outside of my major. The School of Architecture itself has a great mix of professors with varying interests, giving a dynamic learning experience from semester to semester as their personal research goals drive various distinct studios and improve the overall experience within the program. I feel progressively closer to becoming successful in the professional world upon graduation.
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  15. 15

    Union College - New York

    • Schenectady, NY
    • 511 reviews
    Senior:Review Continued: The social scene is Greek dominated; the Minerva system is an absolute joke. Parties are moving off campus. The administration is cracking down on Greek life HARD! On campus parties are no longer the same, and are pretty much used as pre games for the off campus parties, Wednesdays nights are practically nonexistent compared to what it was when I was a freshman thanks to the cops and administration (more of a small gathering night for upperclassmen), and Thursday AD dinner parties (which is a frat known for hosting the spot to be on a Thursday night) no longer exist due to the administration. Spring term at Union is still pretty lit though, given that we have ReUnion weekend, Lobster Fest, and Spring Fest. The social scene for the most part, given that Greek life makes up 70% of the student body (Union butchers this statistic as it includes freshman, even though you can't pledge until sophomore year) is getting blackout and going to an off campus party nowadays.
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  16. 16

    Yeshiva University

    • New York, NY
    • 250 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love my teachers and the classroom buildings. The school has incredible security and is well kept. The quality of life on campus is excellent and active. The food could be better, but the dinning rooms themselves are very nice. The class sizes are small which is fantastic. The teachers really make it a priority to get to know their students and create relationships with their students. I feel like a real person and not just another face in the crowd or number on a list of hundreds.
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  17. 17

    University at Buffalo, SUNY

    • Buffalo, NY
    • 2,525 reviews
    Freshman:The university has a long list of programs so it is easy to find clubs, activities, and academic programs that apply to your individual interests and needs. It is easy to become involved on campus and there are a lot of networking opportunities. The staff engages with their students very well for such a large school, and the university does a great job at getting information out to its students. The dorms are nice and a good size for the amount of people they hold. The food is very good and the meal plans are sensible. University at Buffalo has a lot to offer its students academically and socially. There are plenty of on campus events to entertain the students and the staff does a good job at making students feel at home. There is also work study available for students that may need assistance in paying for college and school related expenses. This school has so much to offer and can really lead to a successful career!
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  18. 18

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    • Rochester, NY
    • 2,261 reviews
    Sophomore:I absolutely love RIT! I transferred in last semester after receiving my Associate degree at a community college. They had a great orientation program and a separate one for the transfers. There are so many great employment opportunities, co-ops, and internships. The deaf community on campus is great and its really cool how the deaf and hearing integrate on campus and interact with one another. Also, greek life on campus is very different from other schools (the only reason why i considered and actually did join a sorority) Everyone is very academically focused because RIT is such a nerdy tech school. The only thing that i hate is its FREAZING (and i'm from New England, i know cold). Currently there its 9 degrees and the winter just barely started. If you're thinking about going there, dress warm.
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  19. 19

    Binghamton University, SUNY

    • Vestal, NY
    • 2,095 reviews
    Sophomore:Binghamton University is a school with strong academics, and a nice campus. The university is a great place to find your academic and extracurricular interests. The intro classes can be very difficult, but these courses just test your ability to study. The professors can sometimes be difficult to understand, but there are tutors readily available at the tutor center. Overall, the students at Binghamton have a passion for what they study and in turn this creates an atmosphere that encourages creative thinking and collaborative learning. Go bearcats!
    More about Binghamton University, SUNY
  20. 20

    Manhattan College

    • Riverdale, NY
    • 737 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:I'm currently doing my Masters in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) at Manhattan College; about to graduate in a month! It's been a long and hard journey juggling a full time job and a tough, yet reasonable, work load from the MSOL program. Overall, I've grown a lot from the guided learning. I chose the program in which we are required to physically come to class at Manhattan College; I'm so happy I chose this path since I enjoyed the in-person learning, made great friends, and life-long connections. The class size was excellent, 12:1, it's the perfect ratio for students to engage in fulfilling discussion, and get the attention we need from the professor. I could see that the program did their best to select faculty members that come from the best of the best in their field, I genuinely learned a lot and had a great experience. It's been my privilege to attend this gorgeous campus and learn from the faculty.
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  21. 21

    The New School

    • New York, NY
    • 517 reviews
    Freshman:The New School has accessible, clean, and aesthetically pleasing facilities. What's more is that the school meets their pillars of sustainable design; They consider their social, economic, and environmental impact. Educationally, the professors are impressive, experienced, and helpful. A typical class size of 15 students in a conference-room setting propels intellectual discussions & collaborative efforts. The reason I refrained from a fifth star is because of the lack of sports teams, athletic activities, and student life. There's little noise from school clubs and, while I'm not one for parties, it seems students rarely engage on campus. The dorms aren't anything spectacular either.
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  22. 22

    Ithaca College

    • Ithaca, NY
    • 1,812 reviews
    Freshman:Even though I've only been at IC for one semester, I already know I want to be here for the next seven. I love Ithaca and everything it has to offer! The professors want to see you succeed and are great resources for your academic life and future life in your career. I've already learned a lot and I'm constantly surrounded by different people from different backgrounds who have different perspectives. It was undoubtedly the best decision of my life to attend Ithaca College.
    The campus food is better than most, especially with three dining hall options. The party scene is average concerning on-campus apartments and nearby off-campus housing, but luckily Cornell is in the same town.
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  23. 23
    Junior:SUNY ESF is overall a great school. Everyone is generally enthusiastic and the atmosphere is always optimistic. It lacks in diversity, but this is slowly changing (SLOWLY). Administration actually listens to students and genuinely tries to improve things. Campus is small and can be cliquey, but not competitive. Students are always willing to help one another. The school has a good reputation in the science community; some majors are definitely more difficult than others.
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  24. 24

    SUNY Geneseo

    • Geneseo, NY
    • 837 reviews
    Alum:SUNY Geneseo is a school of 5000 set in a rural part of Western New York. The college is vibrant and filled with activities. The school is called "Harvard on the Hill" and for good reason. The Honors college of the SUNY system, Geneseo is populated by some of the brightest students in New York State. Future artists, athletes, and scientists all found their way here and mixed working hard with playing hard--and not just in the typical college party culture. It was easy to maintain a clean lifestyle, as everyone was incredibly accepting and there were always things to do.
    However, the college has made some choices without consulting the student body regarding funding and program changes, which has left many students feeling frustrated and ignored. If the communication between students and administrators had been stronger, my experience would have been close to perfect.
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  25. 25

    Hobart & William Smith Colleges

    • Geneva, NY
    • 556 reviews
    College Sophomore:Professors are knowledgeable in what they teach and are passionate about it. They typically require interesting and relevant material. Class sizes are small so you really get to know your professor. Class styles vary, from lectures to more hands-on activities (really depends on the professor). Depending on your major, there can be great variety of courses you can take to fulfill your major, others might be more limited (such as an International Relations major versus an Economics major).
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