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
    College Junior:For those interested in Columbia College, not CEAS (the Engineering School): As a political science major with a German concentration (Columbia-speak for minor), I have been very satisfied with the academic resources provided by Columbia. The professors I have had in the Poli Sci department have been top in their fields, and the grad students that lead the discussion sections have been both knowledgable and helpful. The German department is very small and thus very personal. Most of the professors will know your name, and the conversation hours (complete with coffee and sometimes handmade baked goods) are really friendly ways to get to know your classmates. That being said, it is very important to read reviews of your classes online before signing up, because Columbia does have duds. Additionally, those in the hard sciences often have a much more competitive and stressful experience, both because of the nature of the major and the organization of the classes themselves. And, of course, the Core is wonderful… if that is what you are looking for. DO NOT COME HERE UNLESS YOU WANT TO SIT AROUND AND TALK ABOUT DEAD GREEK DUDES!!!!! Most of my friends loved the Core, but the few who didn't had miserable freshman and sophomore years. It is very humanities focused, and gives you a wonderful context for culture and ideas that affect every aspect of modern life. But if you hate reading, or hate humanities, or both, DO NOT APPLY. You will hate it.
    More about Columbia University
  2. 2

    Colgate University

    • Hamilton, NY
    • 958 reviews
    College Junior:I'd be lying if I said I 100% loved everything about Colgate. It definitely has its downsides and I felt very uncomfortable during orientation when stuck with a bunch of rich kids talking about their summers on "the vineyard." HOWEVER, I eventually got used to this, found my own group of friends, and learned to accept that there are a ton of rich, wealthy kids here-- and that most of them are very nice.


    The opportunities are amazing, and that's what I came here for. I go to classes with ton of smart, beautiful, interesting people. I learn from great professors and read challenging but thought-provoking books. I live on a beautiful campus, and even though there's not much to do in the surrounding area, that means that we're forced to appreciate each other and our time on campus :)

    I especially love the great offerings and opportunity to make friends within the hundreds of clubs, organizations, club sports, intramural sports, and a capella groups on campus. (Join something! Right away! Don't hesitate!) There are so many great opportunities through these clubs for fun outings (like Ski Club!) and interesting lectures (like International Relations Council!).

    I also think Colgate is the perfect size. I'm always meeting new, interesting people, but I see friends everywhere I go!

    Career Services is really helpful, and this is great considering a lot of people worry that going to a liberal arts school makes it harder to get hired. I really recommend the SophoMORE Connections event available sophomore year. It's a great way to practice networking, meet alumni, and learn about different career options. Students who are interested in an unpaid summer internship also apply for grant money-- about half of people who apply receive it and you can get over $4,000 if you need it!

    The Study Abroad offerings are amazing too! --and students on financial aid get extra grant money for that semester to help them out! (Thank god!)

    We're #1
    More about Colgate University
  3. 3

    Cornell University

    • Ithaca, NY
    • 1,717 reviews
    College Sophomore:I would definitely choose Cornell again if I had to do it over. I find myself learning an incredible amount in my classes which are challenging, yet very possible to do well in. Additionally, it is located in it's own little oasis just a bus ride away from NYC; I love going for runs on the trails around the gorges, sailing on Cayuga, eating great food on west campus, and being surrounded by such amazing people.
    More about Cornell University
  4. 4

    Barnard College

    • New York, NY
    • 395 reviews
    College Senior:Barnard is the best school in the world. I have grown so much as a person and I attribute this to the empowering all female environment that Barnard offers. I love my friends and I love New York City. I cannot have imagined a better college experience.
    More about Barnard College
  5. 5

    Hamilton College

    • Clinton, NY
    • 422 reviews
    College Freshman:I have no regrets about Hamilton. I love the small classes and sense of community on campus. The professors are great and so are the classes. As a freshman, I have had a much easier time adjusting to this school than many of my other friends at other colleges. The people are just very welcoming and friendly.
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  6. 6

    New York University

    • New York, NY
    • 4,751 reviews
    College Sophomore:I am in a campus of NYU in Shanghai, which is a new campus and is still growing. Although the courses are not a lot but the teachers and staffs are truly the best. It's an honor for me to have the chance to study with these professors.
    More about New York University
  7. 7

    University of Rochester

    • Rochester, NY
    • 1,378 reviews
    College Senior:My school is unique that there is no core curriculum. Everyone is friendly here. I feel welcomed by everyone in my freshman hall. My TAs and upperclassmen have helped me a lot with the material in my courses. Great extra-curricular activities. In addition, my professors are mostly willing to help, and they are all very knowledgeable in their field. Great academics, and overall a great school! If I could do it all over, I would choose my school again!
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  8. 8
    College Senior:RPI will never be described as easy, but one thing is that it is welcoming. Our school has a great atmosphere of acceptance and understanding. We have so many people surrounding us every day that actually know your name and care about your experience. My professors all know my name and major and what I hope to achieve. I can name almost every person I see walking through campus or will at least know there face and one random fact about them. We aren't just a campus to learn we are a family that helps its students grow every day.
    More about Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  9. 9

    Vassar College

    • Poughkeepsie, NY
    • 586 reviews
    College Freshman:There are a wide variety of courses at very with a plethora of topics. Vassar offers many courses you will not find anywhere else. Professors are very intelligent and willing to help students. Professors will know you by name, and know what you are capable of since the class size is so small.
    More about Vassar College
  10. 10

    Cooper Union

    • New York, NY
    • 75 reviews
    College Freshman:Cooper has a reputation of producing high quality engineers, artists, and architects and this comes from the amazing education you receive here.
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  11. 11

    Skidmore College

    • Saratoga Springs, NY
    • 562 reviews
    College Senior:Skidmore is known for its somewhat alternative student body, which is often defined as artsy hipsters. While there is definitely a presence for artsy hipsters, every other type of student diversity can also be found there. I am so happy with my choice to attend Skidmore. I have made the most amazing friends and have made memories I know will last a lifetime. Skidmore has opened my eyes to so many possibilities and truly opened doors for my future.
    More about Skidmore College
  12. 12

    St. Lawrence University

    • Canton, NY
    • 705 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love St. Lawrence University. It is by far one of my favorite places on Earth. The north country people are so very nice and the environment feels perfect for me. I've had so many wonderful experiences here that it is hard to choose one. However, if I had to talk about one, I would say every weekend when me and my friends get together to have burritos and watch movies. My school is unique because there is so much more to being here than just being a student. You are part of the community. If I could choose to come here again I would do it without a doubt.
    More about St. Lawrence University
  13. 13

    Clarkson University

    • Potsdam, NY
    • 604 reviews
    College Sophomore:I would choose this school again because all of the people are great and the community is very strong. The people are supportive and admissions is flexible with circumstances.
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  14. 14

    Syracuse University

    • Syracuse, NY
    • 3,086 reviews
    College Senior:It is pricey but if you talk to the right people and keep asking for aid they find ways to make it work for you. Based on this and the experience you gain plus the overall atmosphere it becomes a very beneficial environment to grow up and learn in.
    More about Syracuse University
  15. 15

    Union College - New York

    • Schenectady, NY
    • 509 reviews
    College Freshman:I'm a biochemistry major (Pre-med) and in the scholars program and these programs are all great. The biochem program is tough but it is very good here at Union. Additionally the Scholars Program allows me to expand my horizons by taking extra classes and taking advantage of everything Union has to offer. The pre-med program is superb and is there with you every step of the way.
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  16. 16

    Yeshiva University

    • New York, NY
    • 250 reviews
    College Sophomore:The teachers and classes that are offered are very interesting and engaging. I feel like i'm getting my moneys worth out of being in college here.
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  17. 17

    University at Buffalo, SUNY

    • Buffalo, NY
    • 2,514 reviews
    College Sophomore:Its good, It was a bit hard at first being an international student and being the only one from my school but eventually I found friends and started participating with clubs and I enjoy being here even though UB was never my first choice
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  18. 18

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    • Rochester, NY
    • 2,245 reviews
    College Senior:I never realized how amazing RIT was until I transferred and immiediately had to transfer back. The small class sizes and personalized approach to each students education within a larger school gives you the best of both a small and large school. There are thousands of clubs and literally everyone on campus is accepting and loving of everyone's query traits so whether you want to go into Greek life or join the electronic gaming society there is a place for you to call home at RIT!
    More about Rochester Institute of Technology
  19. 19

    Binghamton University, SUNY

    • Vestal, NY
    • 2,090 reviews
    College Sophomore:There is a variety of subjects to take at Binghamton. The school also offers a lot of majors so students are not restricted to a few. Although work load can get tough, students can get through classes and do well by learning how to time manage and study efficiently.
    More about Binghamton University, SUNY
  20. 20

    Manhattan College

    • Riverdale, NY
    • 734 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love it here. I strongly dislike the college I originally went to and I knew the moment I stepped on campus that this was the place I was going to finish out my degree. The people here are so nice, it's unimaginable. The professor's really go out of their way to help you.
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  21. 21

    The New School

    • New York, NY
    • 515 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely hate the administration at this school, but the classes and professors really do make the experience worthwhile. Classes are small and really focused on discussion. Professors will encourage you to think in different ways and understand things from new and educated perspective. Midterms and Finals usually don't involve tests but essays and creative projects. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and get involved in their field.
    More about The New School
  22. 22

    Ithaca College

    • Ithaca, NY
    • 1,798 reviews
    College Sophomore:Your college experience depends on what you put into it. If you just sit in your room and wait for opportunities to come to you, then you will end up wanting to transfer. However, if you make an effort to meet new people, join clubs, and go out on the weekends (if thats what you like to do) then you will end up being surprised at how much you are actually enjoying yourself. I have loved my time here! I play for the club basketball team, joined an unofficial fraternity, run a film production group, and met more people and gained more friends than I could have wished for. The professor are top notch, and you will get from your education as much as you seek to. If you make an effort to connect and communicate with them, then you will have it reciprocated.
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  23. 23
    College Sophomore:I love how the school practices what it teaches. It is environmentally friendly, all the students and professors are friendly and you feel like you fit right in. This school is the perfect fit for me. Being so close to Syracuse University, you get to experience the best of both schools and integrate with SU students as well. Some classes are actually on the SU campus, as well as the dining halls. I would choose SUNY ESF again.
    More about SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
  24. 24

    SUNY Geneseo

    • Geneseo, NY
    • 834 reviews
    College Senior:Incredible. Amazing alumni relations, great student life involvement. Highly suggest getting involved in Greek life, there are great leadership opportunities and post grad opportunities. Couldn't have asked for a better college experience feel fully complete by all that is offered here. Expansion is happening in great places too such as the school of business and athletics.
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  25. 25

    Hobart & William Smith Colleges

    • Geneva, NY
    • 553 reviews
    College Sophomore:I'm so glad I found HWS and i couldn't be any happier there. It's challenging, but not too hard, it pushes me to my limits but not over them. I've found a great group of friends and even though its cold and not in a big city, we make our own fun and always find something to do. I found it through sailing, and even though I decided not to join the team I'm so glad the sport I love allowed me to find the perfect school for me.
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