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New York Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2017-2018

Updated on: 12/06/17

Even college students who don’t have to go through the process of moving into a dorm and getting familiar with campus still have a lot to do before starting school. Enrolling in an online college requires as much thought and preparation as starting at a traditional school, so it’s smart for online students to ask questions about the schools and degree programs on their lists before getting started. Use this guide to help find the best online college for you, answer questions about tuition and residency for online students and learn about financial aid resources and opportunities.

What students are asking:

New York’s Online College Growth

New York students will find no shortage of online degree programs. New York has a long history of providing post-secondary students with alternate ways of learning. The State University of New York (SUNY) system launched its first asynchronous learning network in 1994. By 2000, SUNY had the second-largest asynchronous learning network in the United States. Today, all 64 SUNY institutions offer online degree programs through Open SUNY. That means that students can choose from over 470 certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs.

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Grand Canyon University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Kaplan University

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Paying for School: Tuition & Financial Aid in New York

Students pursuing online degrees through SUNY can expect to pay around 15 percent less than the national average for public school tuition, but there is still a significant price difference for in-state and out-of-state students:

In-state tuition: $7,647 (public 4-year); $4,969 (public 2-year)

Out-of-state tuition: $20,305 (public 4-year); $8,756 (public 2-year) $36,361 (private 4-year, regardless of residency)

Source: U.S. Department of Education, 2017

Explore Online Degree Programs in New York

Out-of-state students who want to take advantage of in-state prices should do some planning well in advance of starting their degree program. Residency requirements for New York students can vary from school to school, but generally, students have to live in New York for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the registration deadline to qualify for in-state tuition. Prospective students should check with their institutions to get full residency details.

If I’m enrolled in an online college in New York, do I pay in-state or out-of-state tuition?

Students enrolled in online degree programs in New York are subject to the same tuition policies as traditional, on-campus students: New York residents in online programs pay in-state tuition, and non-residents pay out-of-state tuition. This also applies to students in hybrid programs.

Many states have tuition exchange or reciprocity programs that offer discounted tuition to students who live within the same geographic region as their intended college. Unfortunately, New York (along with New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia) is not part of one of these tuition break programs.

Quick summary on tuition:
  • 1.Online students are subject to the same tuition prices as their on-campus counterparts.

  • 2.New York does not participate in any regional tuition break programs, so students from neighboring states do not receive discounted tuition.

Explore Online Degree Programs in New York

What is the application process for New York financial aid?

The first step student should take in applying for financial aid is filling out the FAFSA. This free application opens on October 1st each year. Many financial aid opportunities applied for through the FAFSA are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s best to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. From there, New York residents can apply for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). After their FAFSA is processed, those who apply for TAP will be notified of any state awards and scholarships for which they are eligible. Other state financial aid opportunities outside of TAP may be available to qualifying New York residents.

Residents and non-residents alike can apply for private and institutional aid, like scholarships offered by specific academic departments at their universities. Colleges do receive copies of student FAFSA reports, but it’s always good to double check for institution- and program-based financial aid opportunities.

After applying for grants and scholarships, online students may need to apply for loans to supplement any additional costs not covered by other forms of financial aid.

Both New York residents and non-residents can and should apply for federal financial aid, but state financial aid is reserved just for residents. Online students should familiarize themselves with the following TAP requirements to see if they qualify for New York State financial aid:

  • Residency: Must be a legal resident of New York
  • School and program: Must be in an approved program of study at an approved post-secondary institution, and be in good academic standing
  • Time commitment: Aid is available for full-time and part-time students. Credit hour requirements vary depending on the type of aid sought.
  • Grades: Must maintain a “C” average
  • Financial need: Must meet income limits
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen or have an I-94 visa
  • High school education: Must have earned a high school diploma, GED or equivalent from a U.S. high school

Scholarships & Grants for Students in New York

Students enrolling in online degree programs in New York should seek out as many scholarship and grant opportunities as possible. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not need to be paid back, and they can have a wide range of qualifications. In New York, scholarships and grant awards can come from private and public sources and can range in amounts from a few hundred dollars to full tuition coverage.

What scholarships and grants are available for students in New York?

Between the public city and state college systems, CUNY and SUNY, and private institutions, online students can find many scholarship and grant opportunities in New York. TAP grants, the New York State Educational Opportunity program and the Excelsior Scholarship are just a few of the aid opportunities in New York. Prospective students can find a comprehensive list of state grants and scholarships and information on private and institutional scholarships on the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation website.

How do I complete applications for scholarships and grants in New York?

Students will automatically be considered for many scholarships and grants upon filling out the FAFSA and TAP application. When applying for institutional or private scholarships in New York, students should carefully read through the eligibility requirements and complete all components of the application. Paying mind to deadlines is essential in making sure enough time is allotted to send in complete, well-thought application packages.

Explore Online Degree Programs in New York

New York’s Top Online Colleges: 2018

Choosing the right online college can seem like a daunting task, but prospective students can ease the process of comparing schools across New York by using these rankings tools to help them find schools that meet their needs. The following rankings are determined by evaluating factors that comprise high-quality, well-balanced online colleges, like number of available courses and programs, affordability and student support. Prospective students should check out the best accredited online colleges in New York and the best affordable online colleges in New York to help them determine the right school for them.

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Methodology
  • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution

  • At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)

  • At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)

Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:

  • Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates

  • Count and breadth of online programs available

  • Student-teacher ratio

  • 6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)

  • % of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college

  • Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college

  • Availability of academic/career counseling services

  • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates

  • 3-year loan default rate

  • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

  • *PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree.

Our college rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.

  • Most recent “Final Release” data available as of October 2017

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY 100.00 $17,166 35 86% 17:1 35% yes yes yes
2 Nyack College Nyack, NY 99.72 $23,500 4 100% 12:1 42% yes yes yes
3 SUNY College at Oswego Oswego, NY 98.93 $6,170 5 91% 17:1 58% yes yes yes
4 SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome Utica, NY 98.71 $6,170 9 84% 17:1 48% yes yes yes
5 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 98.30 $6,170 14 63% 17:1 66% no yes yes
6 SUNY College of Technology at Canton Canton, NY 98.16 $6,170 9 86% 17:1 29% yes yes yes
7 Saint Joseph's College-New York Brooklyn, NY 96.69 $22,200 7 94% 11:1 72% yes no yes
8 Metropolitan College of New York New York, NY 96.04 $17,280 8 76% 10:1 19% yes yes yes
9 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY 95.87 $6,170 15 77% 15:1 16% yes no yes
10 SUNY at Albany Albany, NY 95.03 $6,170 4 58% 18:1 66% no no yes
11 CUNY Graduate School and University Center New York, NY 92.45 $6,030 7 N/A 8:1 N/A no yes yes
Explore Online Degree Programs in New York

2-Year Best College Rankings

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Jamestown Community College Jamestown, NY 100.00 $4,410 12 14% 17:1 N/A yes yes yes
2 Jefferson Community College Watertown, NY 98.58 $3,984 4 13% 18:1 N/A yes yes yes
3 Genesee Community College Batavia, NY 98.19 $3,850 13 12% 16:1 N/A yes yes yes
4 Hudson Valley Community College Troy, NY 97.99 $3,980 23 7% 20:1 N/A yes yes yes
5 Monroe Community College Rochester, NY 97.74 $3,416 4 7% 22:1 N/A yes yes yes
6 Tompkins Cortland Community College Dryden, NY 97.17 $4,500 9 8% 19:1 N/A yes yes yes
7 Niagara County Community College Sanborn, NY 97.12 $3,888 7 3% 16:1 N/A yes yes yes
8 Cayuga County Community College Auburn, NY 97.01 $4,200 8 15% 20:1 N/A no yes yes
9 Erie Community College Buffalo, NY 96.85 $4,295 13 7% 18:1 N/A yes yes yes
10 Clinton Community College Plattsburgh, NY 96.77 $4,060 4 13% 16:1 N/A yes no yes
11 Herkimer County Community College Herkimer, NY 95.48 $3,840 6 7% 26:1 N/A no yes yes
12 Mohawk Valley Community College Utica, NY 94.83 $3,810 7 N/A 18:1 N/A yes yes yes

Online Colleges in New York: Finding the Best Option

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right online college, and sometimes all that information can get confusing. Below are the questions most commonly asked by students preparing for online degree programs in New York, along with answers to help them make the right college decision.

Which colleges in New York accept transfer credits and work/life experience?

Most colleges in New York accept transfer credits. Students transferring between schools within the SUNY and CUNY systems will find transferring credits to be particularly easy and can check their course equivalencies online. Other students should send transcripts from their previous institutions to their intended New York college’s registrar to determine which credits will transfer. SUNY and CUNY colleges also may accept relevant work and life experience for credit. Students should meet with an academic advisor to determine their eligibility. New York schools outside of SUNY and CUNY have varying experience credit policies, so students and should check with advisors and the school registrar for details.

I live in New York. Do I have to enroll in an online college in my state?

One of the benefits of online learning is the ability to earn a degree from anywhere. New York residents do not have to limit themselves to online colleges in New York, but doing so will mean paying in-state tuition, which is significantly lower than out-of-state, and qualifying for state financial aid. New York has an extensive network of online schools and tons of state financial aid opportunities, so while it is not necessary, New York students might want to consider sticking to schools within the state.

With so many options available, how do I choose an online college in New York?

Having options is great, but with as many as are available in New York, deciding on a college can be overwhelming. Students can start by researching which schools offer online programs in their intended field of study by searching a program database, like Open SUNY’s, or conducting a basic search online.