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Best Colleges & Universities in New York
Top Consensus Ranked Schools 2018

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To identify the Best Colleges in New York for 2018 we averaged the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce a unique College Consensus rating for each school. You won’t find a more comprehensive ranking of the top colleges and universities in New York anywhere. Read more about our rankings methodology and sources at our about page.

1

Columbia University in the City of New York

79.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
84
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

2

Vassar College

79.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
78.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
79.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

3

Cornell University

79.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
79.1
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
79.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

4

Hamilton College

79.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
79.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

5

Colgate University

77.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
78.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

5

Barnard College

77.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
76.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

7

Union College (NY)

75.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
73.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

8

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

74.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
85.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

9

New York University

70.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
67.1
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

10

Skidmore College

70.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
68
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

11

SUNY College at Geneseo

70.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
65.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

12

United States Merchant Marine Academy

69.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
71.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

13

St Lawrence University

69.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
63.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

14

Ithaca College

69.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
67
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

15

Marist College

69.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
61.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

16

Sarah Lawrence College

68.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
64.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

17

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

68.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
64.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

18

St Bonaventure University

68
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
57.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

19

University of Rochester

67.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
64
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

20

Fordham University

67.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

21

Bard College

67.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
64
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

22

Syracuse University

66
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
58.2
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

23

Molloy College

65.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
59.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

24

Manhattan College

65
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
61
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

25

Nazareth College

64.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

Ranking the best colleges and universities in New York is pretty close to a fool’s errand. The fourth most-populous state in the US, and one of the densest, New York has more than 200 schools, from the renowned State University of New York (SUNY) system – quite possibly the world’s foremost public higher education system – to two Ivy League universities, Columbia and Cornell. New York’s small (and not so small) liberal arts colleges are models of the form, in many cases literally, including the first women’s college in the US (Vassar College). The Cooper Union, on the other hand, brought European-style polytechnic education to America, while also establishing itself as one of the nation’s few entirely free colleges.

Of course, New York is a center of American culture, from theater and TV to music and art, and the best colleges in New York have served as the alma mater for some of the best-educated Hollywood stars, the highest-educated comedians, the most educated rappers, and the top college bands. New York’s colleges and universities educate more CEOs, industry leaders, and billionaires than any other state; of course, the higher education system in New York gives us a disproportionate number of political figures as well. While New York’s influence may seem unstoppable, the state’s higher education helps ensure that New York continues to dominate in the next generation.

The Biggest Apples: What Makes the Best Colleges in New York

New York’s higher education excels in the areas where New York dominates. After all, students can get a degree in finance or management anywhere in the nation, but why not from Wall Street? Pioneering business and finance schools stand just blocks from the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, providing students first-hand experience, internship opportunities, and the networking necessary to go into business way ahead of the competition. Whether it’s theater, filmmaking, writing, or art, students in New York may be as little as blocks or no more than a train ride from the epicenter of the field. In fact, in many cases (like NYU’s influence on Greenwich Village), the best colleges in New York have actively pushed culture and art forward, rather than just teaching and hosting it. Law, medicine, and engineering are all critical parts of New York professional life, and some of the finest law, medical, and engineering schools are in New York City, helping to educate a professional class that can keep up with the demands of the City That Never Sleeps.

The Big Apple does not have a monopoly on the best colleges in New York, either. Upstate New York is lousy with top-tier liberal arts colleges (as a New Yorker in a 1930s gangster movie might put it), schools of a caliber that sets them alongside the top colleges in New England – names like Skidmore, Union, and Bard. These are the kinds of schools that define elite, attracting some of the most promising young people in the world with the combination of low student:faculty ratios, high-level mentorship, and connections to virtually every field. Outside of NYC, students can also find some of the top STEM research universities in the world – Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and more. The state of New York has especially made a reputation on some of the greatest regional colleges and universities in the nation – schools that, in many other states, would blow the competition away. That’s what New York does best.

Where Do the Best Colleges in New York Go From Here?

From the beautiful countryside and forests of upstate, to the Adirondacks and Catskills in the southern and western regions, to the mega-metropolis of New York City, the best colleges and universities in New York show the rest of the world how higher education is done. While other states work to bring their higher education system in line with modern changes in the workforce and economy, New York is driving those modern changes. So what can the schools of the Empire State do? Keep excelling, that’s what, with exemplary schools. That may mean building some of the best college dorms in America, That may mean taking an active role in protecting the environment, as in some of the best river and lake colleges. New York has the power to transform higher education for minority students, or to eliminate student loans. Whatever New York’s best colleges decide to do, the rest of the country will follow them there.