New York Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2016

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Best Online Colleges in New York for 2015-2016

New Yorkers are busy people, which makes online education a big draw in the state. A growing number of New York students are discovering that online college and university programs offer them the convenience and flexibility they need to fit a college education into their hectic lifestyles. With the tremendous number of program options available to New York residents, finding the best online colleges can be difficult. Below is a list of those online schools with the proven excellence to be called the Best Online Colleges in New York for 2015-2016.

RANK COLLEGE Score Student-Teacher Ratio Financial Aid Cost MORE INFO
1 Fashion Institute of Technology 99.0117:169%

Fashion Institute of Technology's online degree programs are identical to those earned through traditional on-campus programs with five start times throughout the year. The school offers two online degrees: an associate in fashion merchandising management and a bachelor's in international trade marketing. Both are degree-completion programs and require that students have a minimum of 30 or 60 college credits, respectively, before applying to the online program. Courses are asynchronous, and while students can access course materials at a time convenient to them, they must meet all due dates for assignments and exams.

2 SUNY College of Technology at Delhi 96.4416:191%

Online programs at SUNY Delhi follow the traditional school year calendars, but are designed so students can work at their own pace. Most programs at the college do not require students to visit campus; however, some may require practicum or internship experience from an approved office or facility. Students can attend online college full-time or part-time, and bachelor's degrees are offered in nursing, criminal justice and hospitality management. SUNY College at Delhi also offers a master's program in nursing education. Courses are delivered using the Moodle system, where students can access course work, engage with professors and other students and complete exams.

3 SUNY College of Technology at Alfred 96.2717:194%

Four fully online degrees, two certificate programs and a large number of credit and non-credit courses are available online from Alfred State. Academic support, in the form of career counseling and online tutoring, is available to all students. Students can earn associate degrees in court and real time reporting or health information technology. Bachelor's degrees in nursing and technology management are also available fully online. Courses are delivered via the Blackboard online learning portal and students can choose to take up to five classes at a time. Credit courses are offered at five start-times throughout the year according to the school's on-campus schedule. Students can start non-credit courses at any time.

4 SUNY College at Plattsburgh 96.2716:191%

The RN to BSN program is Plattsburgh's only fully-online degree program; however, all students have access to stand-alone online classes. The courses are designed for adult learners who need flexibility as they obtain their higher education degree, and students log in to their classes using Moodle, an online course management system. A number of workshops and training programs are available to help online students maximize their education. Moodle allows students to engage with professors and other students, access and submit assignments, take exams and complete all coursework on their own schedule during each class period. 

5 SUNY College at Oswego 95.7418:191%

Multiple individual online courses are available each semester to supplement a traditional on-campus degree plans at SUNY College at Oswego. Three bachelor's degrees, three master's degrees and one post-baccalaureate certificate are offered in areas like broadcasting, business administration, health services and public justice. Classes are asynchronous with no face-to-face meetings and run 15 weeks in the fall and spring and three, six or 12 weeks in the summer. Coursework is delivered via the ANGEL online learning platform where students can access assignments, submit coursework and communicate with professors and fellow students.

6 SUNY College of Technology at Canton 95.6819:196%

Academic support services are offered to students to help them along the path to their degrees at SUNY Canton online, which offers several full degree plans in areas like legal studies, criminal justice, finance, homeland security, healthcare management and emergency management. SUNY College at Canton also offers completion degree plans in veterinary services management, dental hygiene and nursing. The school uses the Blackboard online learning portal to facilitate communication between professors and students. Students use the portal to access coursework, submit assignments, participate in group discussions and take exams.

7 New York University 95.5610:155%

The New York University School of Professional Studies has two options for online undergraduate studies and numerous options for online graduate programs. Offerings include a bachelor's degree in social sciences (concentration in organizational behavior and change) or a bachelor's in leadership and management studies, where students learn how to adapt and evolve in today's workforce. Each program has specific requirements applicants must meet to be accepted, including mathematics prerequisites. Those who want to pursue a higher degree can choose from degrees and certificates in human resources, management, writing, real estate and risk management.

8 Roberts Wesleyan College 95.5113:1100%

The online degrees at Roberts Wesleyan College provide the same education and experiences as on-campus classes. Online bachelor's degrees at Roberts Wesleyan College include organizational management, nursing, health administration, healthcare informatics administration and special education and allow students to complete requirements on their own schedules. Roberts Wesleyan College also offers five master's level programs and three professional certificate programs. Students can log into the course management system to complete assignments, interact with instructors and participate in class discussions. Traditional undergraduate students at Roberts Wesleyan College may also take stand-alone, accelerated online classes through the Pathway Program to meet degree requirements and obtain their degrees faster.

9 Dominican College 95.1615:199%

Online programs at Dominican College of Blauvelt are accelerated and designed with busy adult learners in mind. The five bachelor's degrees and one master's degree run in six sessions throughout the year, starting every eight weeks, and students can enroll in up to two courses per session. Bachelor's degrees include social sciences, communication studies, management, criminal justice and psychology. The master's program offers a degree transitional doctor of physical therapy. All students must pass an English placement exam and some online programs at Dominican College of Blauvelt require a similar exam for mathematics. Online students have access to all traditional student services including career development, tutoring resources and personal counseling.

10 Mercy College 94.8318:195%

With more than 30 online degrees and certificates and more than 200 stand-alone classes, Mercy College has many options for distance students. Students have access to the distance courses asynchronously, from anywhere with an internet connection. All online professors have specialized training in online instruction and work only with distance learning students. Degree programs include corporate and homeland security management, computer science, organizational management, nursing and cyber security. All course work is delivered via the Blackboard online learning portal where students can access assignments, discussion groups, live chats and other class resources.

11 Syracuse University 94.1716:174%

This large private research university, located in the heart of New York State, offers a wide range of degree programs in virtually any study area, to both undergraduates and graduates. Students can earn their degree through dual enrollment, traditional on-campus courses, or through an accelerated degree format. Their interdisciplinary approach to education offers undergraduates a wide selection of over 200 majors to choose from and over 100 minors, as well as an abundance of internship, summer, community and honors programs. Online programs are offered for undergraduates to earn a BA in psychology, BS in social work or a BS in informational management and technology. Online master degree programs are also offered for accounting, computer science, information management and communication management.

12 Touro University Worldwide 93.4116:184%

This independent college for higher learning and professional education offers degree programs in every area, from liberal arts and business communications to health sciences and education. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the college consists of a dynamic collection of colleges and schools for students to earn their degree at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Online degree programs are offered through Touro University Worldwide for associate, bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Pre-professional programs are also available. The curriculum is centered on a foundation for hands-on learning, providing students with critical thinking and development skills for real-world applications.

13 Medaille College 92.2018:192%

Medaille College's 11 online degrees allow students the flexibility they need to further their educational goals in a non-traditional learning environment. Bachelor degree programs include business administration, information systems, health information management, homeland security and general studies. Medaille College also offers two associate degree and four master's degree programs online.  Counseling students can apply for the Advanced Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program for additional focused study. Online accelerated classes begin on Wednesdays and students have until the following Tuesday night to complete assignments for the week. Online students are provided the flexibility to access course materials when it's convenient for them.

14 Marist College 92.1516:188%

Through its collaborative learning environment, iLearn, Marist College offers students one online bachelor's degree completion program, six online master's degrees and a number of individual accelerated online courses for core requirements and electives. Students utilize iLearn to facilitate interactions with course and project materials, instructors and peers and class assignments and exams. Most classes are asynchronous; however, some instructors require scheduled group chats. Classes are accelerated, with a 4-week winter session and 10-week sessions in the fall, spring and summer. Degree options include liberal studies, business administration, communication and information systems.

15 Vaughn College 91.9815:194%

Designed specifically for those interested in aviation, students at Vaughn College can earn either an associate or bachelor's degree in aviation maintenance or airport management, or professional certificates in both fields. Courses are delivered through several modes, including videoconferencing, online video streaming and in a DVD format. Students also receive DVD copies of the individual classes so they can go back and refer to the information at any time. Online schedules at Vaughn College mirror the on-campus calendar, with 16-week fall and spring terms and two 6-week summer sessions.

16 Rochester Institute of Technology 91.5914:195%

Rochester Institute of Technology online offers one bachelor's degree in applied arts and science, 14 master's degrees and a handful of certificate programs fully online. Topics of study include organizational learning, business administration, information sciences, engineering, health sciences, science, education and design. Classes meet in a virtual classroom, where students log in when it's convenient for them. Some professors may require synchronous chats or video conferencing, but most classes operate asynchronously to provide additional freedom to online students. Online students are provided with access to support services such as library resources, career advice and academic support.

17 D’Youville College 91.4210:1100%

Students at D'Youville College can earn an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing completely online, with no travel requirements. Students who already have a bachelor's in nursing can pursue a master's or doctorate, and prospective students do not need to have prior work experience. Clinical training can be completed near each student's individual location. The 2-year program includes courses in religion and responsibility, ethics, a variety of humanities electives and core nursing classes. Students must have completed their RN degree at another institution before applying to D'Youville College.

18 Mount Saint Mary College 90.0214:199%

Practicing registered nurses can earn an online bachelor of science in nursing at Mount Saint Mary College. Students can complete coursework completely online, with the exception of a brief physical assessment session in the summer offered at the Mount Saint Mary College campus. Mount Saint Mary College's learning management software uses a modified Moodle platform called e-Class and grants students access to coursework, instructors and an online library. The Office of Online Learning supports MSMC students and instructors through a learner-centered methodology and collaboration in all coursework. Hybrid courses and classes in other programs are also available online.

19 Trocaire College 89.4511:198%

This private Roman Catholic college provides students of higher learning with a liberal arts education through a career-oriented curriculum. The institute specializes in preparing students interested in working in the healthcare or medical research field with professional skills needed for leadership positions. With small classes offered in both the traditional and online learning formats, they offer three Bachelor of Science degrees, 12 associate degrees some with two-year programs and seven certificate academic programs. Undergraduates can earn their degree in healthcare informatics entirely online, as well as radiologic technology. A nursing degree can also be earned online, with a program available to study in conjunction with radiologic technology.

20 The Sage Colleges 88.8511:198%

Online programs at Russell Sage Online offer a multidisciplinary approach to curriculum with the flexibility of working students in mind. Online bachelor's degrees are available in business administration, accounting, information technology and cyber security. Students pursuing a master's can choose from applied nutrition, applied behavior analysis and autism, business administration, health services administration, and organization management. Some programs at Russell Sage Online have the option of accelerated schedules, so students can earn their degrees quickly without disrupting their personal or professional lives. All online coursework is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

21 The New School 87.2610:195%

The New School provides online learning options to adult learners and students who do not wish to peruse their degrees in a traditional on-campus setting. The New School offers two associate degrees, one bachelor's degree, four master's degrees and five certificate programs. Classes meet asynchronously, and students can access reading materials, participate in discussions and submit coursework when it's convenient for them. Classes are delivered via Blackboard, an online course management system used by the college. In addition to full degree programs, a number of stand-alone online courses are also available for students who wish to take some courses online to supplement an on-campus degree.

22 Saint Joseph’s College-New York 87.1912:196%

St Joseph's College's online programs are designed for working adults who choose to pursue degrees in business, management, organizational behavior and human resources at the undergraduate and graduate level. Students can complete the programs completely online from a computer or mobile device. A bachelor's degree in organizational management and a master's degree in business, plus professional certificates in human resources, leadership and human services are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. All coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning system and courses are asynchronous so that students can have flexibility in course participation.

23 St John’s University-New York 86.7217:198%

Three online bachelor's degrees are available at St. John's University. Support services like advisement, online registration, library resources and campus ministry are available for students. All online programs provide the same instruction and experience as their on-campus counterparts. Bachelor's degree programs include administrative studies, criminal justice, liberal studies and business administration. St. John's University also provides online associate degrees in liberal arts, business and criminal justice and graduate programs in taxation, library science, accounting and social justice. Multiple advanced degree certifications are also available for online students. All online courses are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

24 Pace University-New York 86.6916:199%

Pace University's iPace bachelor's degree completion program is designed for students who already have completed college-level courses at another institution and want to complete their degree in a flexible, online environment. Except for some in-person clinical experience required of students in a few degree plans, all coursework is completely online. All classes are asynchronous so students can access coursework at their own pace. Bachelor's degrees are available in business studies, nursing, professional communication studies and professional technology studies. Students without college credit can earn an online associate degree in arts and sciences and students who already have a bachelor's degree can study graduate-level programs in business, nursing, professional studies, publishing, finance and information technology.

Search Accredited Online Colleges in New York

Selecting the right online college and degree or certificate program is serious business. It requires consideration of a whole slew of issues, including school cost, time investment, individual lifestyle, work and family commitments and career goals. Achieving the proper balance of these factors is different for each individual. The search tool below is designed to help students quickly narrow down the choices of online schools and programs to those that match their unique needs and preferences.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
80 results TUITION ACCEPTANCE RATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE
New York University New York, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 26% STUDENT POPULATION 44,599 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Leadership And Management Studies With A Concentration in International Business, Human Resource Management, Or Organizational Management And Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences With A Concentration in Organizational Behavior And Change
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Management And Development
  • Master of Science in Management And Systems
  • Master of Science in Professional Writing
  • Master of Science in Translation
Suffolk County Community College Selden, New York 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 26,711 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 39% STUDENT POPULATION 24,143 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Management
  • Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Syracuse University Syracuse, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 49% STUDENT POPULATION 21,267 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Creative Leadership
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Knowledge Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Communication And Rhetorical Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Management & Technology
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Information Management For Executives
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Telecommunications And Network Management
  • Master of Science in Information Management
St John's University-New York Queens, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 53% STUDENT POPULATION 20,729 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • AS Business Administration
  • AS Criminal Justice
  • AA Liberal Arts
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science
  • Liberal Studies, Bachelor of Arts
  • Administrative Studies, Bachelor of Science
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Accounting, Master of Science
  • School Building Leadership, Master of Science in Education
  • Taxation, Master of Science
  • Global Development and Social Justice, Master of Arts
  • Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education, Master of Science in Education
  • TESOL, Master of Science in Education
  • Library and Information Science, Master of Science
SUNY at Albany Albany, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 55% STUDENT POPULATION 17,338 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Childhood Education
  • Master of Science in Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology
  • Master of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Science in Reading
  • Master of Public Health
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 60% STUDENT POPULATION 16,583 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate in Applied Arts And Science
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Arts And Science
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Facility Management
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Development
  • Master of Science in Manufacturing Leadership
  • Master of Science in Product Development
  • Master of Science in Service Leadership And Innovation
  • Masters of Business Administration - Online Executive
  • Master of Engineering in Microelectronics Manufacturing Engineering
  • Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction
  • Master of Science in Networking & System Administration
  • Master of Science in Environmental, Health And Safety Management
  • Master of Science in Health Systems Administration
  • Master of Science in Imaging Science
  • Master of Science in Applied Statistics
  • Master of Science in Professional Studies
Touro College New York, New York Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 59% STUDENT POPULATION 13,868 SCHOOL
TYPE
Private
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science Business Administration And Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Marriage And Family Therapy
  • Master of Arts in Industrial And Organizational Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Psychology in Human And Organizational Psychology
SUNY Westchester Community College Valhalla, New York 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 13,781 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts And Humanities - Social Science
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts And Sciences - Humanities
  • Associate of Science in Environmental Science
  • Associate of Science in Individual Studies
  • Associate of Science in Liberal Arts And Sciences - Math And Science
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New York Online Colleges Spotlight

Online Departments in New York

Maria College of Albany

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The key aspect to Maria College’s online learning approach is having instructors who are certified in a ten week Blackboard training program that requires them to create an online course while also participating in one. This certification contributes to student success in an online environment. All online courses at Maria College are designed and built on a foundation of best practices in online course content and pedagogy.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Maria College’s mission and values are integrated into each online course. Online courses are individually created providing students with the same warm and caring environment that they experience in face-to-face courses. Each online course is developed so students feel like they are part of the Maria College community. The online course offerings are designed following best practices in both online course design and delivery.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

In the next five years, the goal at Maria College is to double the course offerings in both online and hybrid formats. Plus, develop online degree programs. Long-term objectives are to continuously adapt to technological and programmatic advancements, as the college implements additional online offerings, thus enabling students to have instruction uniquely tailored to their needs.

Mercy College

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Mercy's approach to online learning is based on flexibility and access. Mercy is committed to offering quality programs that meet student's needs and interests.

Mercy College currently supports nearly 3,700 unique students (these are students who are taking one or more fully online course(s) and nearly 1,400 students who are taking all their courses fully online. We trained over 500 Faculty and Adjuncts (teaching fully online, blended or web-enhanced courses) on our Blackboard Learning Management.

New areas of growth are blended, "flipped" and web-enhanced courses. Mercy Online supports the expanding number of blended courses (for example, the entire School of Education now offers only blended courses, and other areas of the College offer many blended courses).

Top Online Programs:

  • Master’s Degree in English Literature
  • Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Master’s Degree in School Building Leadership
  • Master’s Degree in Counseling
  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science
  • Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Mercy Online Learning mirrors the same academic support and college services for online students as we do for our traditional on-site students. Mercy Online provides the following college services tailored to distance learners:

  • Dedicated online learning academic advisor
  • Dedicated online learning student support/tech support
  • Virtual Librarian
  • Online Tutoring Services
  • Online Career Services
  • Online Counseling Services

Mercy's online students are set up for success with a Blackboard Learning Management System Orientation video and follow-up Readiness Quiz. The Mercy Online staff monitors the quiz results and reaches out to students that may need additional assistance.

Mercy Online students receive a comprehensive targeted "Welcome" email communication that provides important links, contact information, instructions and an animated tutorial to ensure a successful semester start. Blackboard 101 workshops and drop-in clinics are offered virtually and at all campuses.

Mercy Online has partnered with the College's Vitale Center for Academic Excellence and Innovation to provide online students access to a virtual learning center that includes a Virtual Writing Tutor who works with students remotely with a web-conferencing tool, providing the same support as the traditional face-to-face learning center model. Mercy College plans to expand these tutoring services to Math and Science.

Mercy Online allows students the ease, flexibility and affordability to complete their degree fully online. Mercy Online provides the personalized support, guidance, information and attention to ensure a successful online experience.

Mercy College offers 40 online programs, representing every school.

  • 20 bachelor’s degrees
  • 19 master’s degrees
  • One advanced certificate

Click here to view the online degrees offered.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Mercy expects to grow the number of online courses and programs and increase student support services. Credit for prior learning will become a more integral part of our programs. The College is a national leader in adopting free or low cost online textbooks and learning resources to reduce the costs for our students. We will be integrating new forms of instruction into our programs including game based learning and other interactive models.

A Guide to New York Colleges Online

The online education movement — in New York and beyond — has traditionally been spearheaded by private, for-profit institutions. Today, many public and private nonprofit colleges and universities offer online courses and certificate or degree programs, making higher education accessible to even the busiest New Yorkers. There are nearly 200 colleges and universities of every size and type offering distance education degree programs, certificate programs and/or individual courses. Included are prestigious public universities and private colleges, two-year community colleges and even a number of schools specializing in vocational trades and the arts. Online degree programs of note include the engineering programs at Columbia University and Cornell University, the education program at SUNY Buffalo and the criminal justice program at Pace University. Pace is also recognized for the excellence of its entire online bachelor’s degree program.

New York City is not only the cultural and business center of the state, but also the cultural and business center of the nation. It is also New York state’s higher education hub. The following two segments focus on New York City’s college and university offerings, both on-site and online.

College Focus on New York City

New York City has more than 100 higher education institutions serving half a million students. The U.S. Census reports that 34 percent of city residents over the age of 25 hold at least a bachelor’s degree. City University of New York is the largest school, with seven 4-year colleges and seven community colleges. It holds the distinction of having the largest number of Nobel laureates in the country. Manhattan’s Barnard College, meanwhile, was ranked 32nd by U.S. News & World Report among national liberal arts colleges in 2014. Legendary city schools include the Joffrey Ballet School, Parsons-The New School for Design, Columbia University, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and the Juilliard School. Two of the nation’s largest Catholic schools serve the city: St. John’s University and Fordham University.

New York City Schools and Online Learning

Students who prefer completing associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees online in New York City have a wide selection of schools to choose from. The Open Education Database lists more than 180 accredited colleges and universities in New York offering online degrees, many with distinction. For example, U.S. News & World Report placed Hofstra University among the schools with the best online graduate business and online education programs. City University of New York provides undergraduate online degree programs in business, sociology, communications and health information management. Not to be outdone, State University of New York has launched the Open SUNY initiative to increase its number of online degrees by 25 percent in hopes of enrolling some 100,000 new students.

Paying for Higher Education in New York

Higher education is an investment of both time and money. Some students attending New York colleges seek financial support through scholarships, grants and other aid programs, as described below. It is helpful for future students to know just how much their education could cost. Tuition is a college’s price tag for providing education, and it varies from one institution and program to the next. Some colleges, particularly public schools, charge New York residents less. In 2012, New York student residents paid an average of $15,127 per year in tuition. Nonresidents who wish to attend New York colleges can contact admissions officers to clarify residency requirements. Students may even delay enrollment until they are established residents, reducing the tuition burden.

Tuition may be college students’ most basic expense, but it is far from the only one. Most colleges and universities charge other fees for parking or access to technology resources and certain student services, such as gyms and recreational centers. In 2012, New York colleges charged an average of $1,175 in fees. Combined with tuition, that brings the total average cost of attending New York colleges and universities to $16,201 for in-state students.

Another key item for a college budget in New York is basic living expenses. Some students live in dorms, while others live off campus. Either way, they need to pay for room and board, and in a state like New York, these expenses can add up quickly: The cost of living in New York is about 26 percent above the national average. Prices vary across the state, however. This chart compares the cost of living for several major New York metropolitan regions to the national average:

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Buffalo -4.2% -2.6% -8.2% 15.6% 4.8% -8.0% -12.4%
Binghamton -1.6% -7.4% -7.6% 12.8% 4.4% 14.3% -2.3%
Rochester 0.0% -5.8% -5.4% 14.4% 8.7% -0.3% 0.2%
Farmington -3.0% -2.9% 1.8% -12.9% -3.6% -1.4% -1.8%
Plattsburgh 0.1% -4.9% -1.1% 19.4% 5.5% 13.0% -4.1%
Syracuse 1.5% -8.6% -1.4% 18.4% 8.3% -2.2% 4.8%
Ithaca 2.8% 4.4% 2.9% 10.4% 4.7% 6.6% -1.9%
Albany 8.1% 12.6% 5.0% 1.0% 2.8% 11.7% 8.6%
Glens Falls 12.3% 5.9% 5.4% 28.0% 7.0% -2.7% 19.3%
Dutchess County 20.4% 41.3% 9.8% 18.8% 9.3% 10.4% 11.1%
Nassau County 45.7% 106.7% 23.0% 40.7% 13.1% 19.7% 15.3%
New York (Queens) 59.0% 130.8% 28.3% 72.0% 8.8% 18.0% 23.9%
New York (Brooklyn) 81.7% 217.8% 30.6% 65.0% 3.0% 11.5% 19.5%
New York (Manhattan) 116.7% 286.7% 54.3% 69.6% 20.3% 30.2% 45.7%

Tuition and fees make up a majority of the academic costs, but what about after graduation? Will the money you spend on higher education at a college be worth it? This question should enter every student’s mind as they evaluate colleges. The following New York schools have the highest returns on investment (lifetime earnings minus total cost of attendance) for degree holders:

  1. Polytechnic Institute of New York University
  2. SUNY – Maritime College
  3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  4. Manhattan College
  5. Columbia University

Accreditation for Online Colleges in New York

Prospective students in New York should keep in mind that they must usually attend accredited colleges in order to qualify for any type of financial aid. Accreditation verifies that a school meets certain quality standards set by various regional or national accrediting agencies. Accrediting agencies for New York state include the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission. In addition, degree-granting colleges with a physical presence in New York must be authorized to operate by the New York Board of Regents and the New York Education Department.

Institutions can also seek programmatic accreditation for select programs, departments or colleges. At New York University, for example, the school’s journalism and mass communication program has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, while all of its College of Dentistry programs maintain accreditation from the American Dental Association.

Great Resources for Online Students in New York

Distance learning presents a bundle of benefits and challenges to the online novice. Fortunately, there are countless software programs, websites and applications — many designed specifically for college students — that make the acclimation process to online learning much easier. They include library resources, knowledge databases, subject-specific reference materials, time management apps and mind-mapping programs. The following list serves as a primer to the wide variety of online tools and resources available to new and experienced students alike.