Top 10 Online Schools in New York

New York is one of the most expensive states to live in. If you want to go to one of New York’s prestigious schools, the cost of living can easily double or even triple the price tag on your education. Thankfully, many of these reputable schools now offer degree programs and courses online—so you don’t have to move to a big city to benefit from a prestigious New York education.

Online schools let you work toward a new credential without uprooting your life. And the credentials they give you are usually the same as you’d earn on campus. So you’re free to pursue an education that fits with your life.

To help you sort through the top online schools in Texas, we’ve used data from The National Center for Education Statistics and ratings from school-ranking entities like TheBestSchools.org, AffordableCollegesOnline.org, BestColleges.com, OnlineColleges.net, and AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org.

We’ll show you each school’s:

  • Location
  • Tuition cost
  • Admissions rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Number of online degrees
  • Student population
  • Student to faculty ratio
  • Awards and accolades
  • Accreditation
  • Anything else we think will help you decide

Let’s find an online school you’ll love! For starters, here are some highlights:

Most affordable

A quality education doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A couple schools on this list are significantly more affordable than the rest, especially if you already live in New York. SUNY College at Oswego (#7 on our list) is about $8,000 per year for in-state students, and about $18,000 per year out-of-state. For New York residents, Stony Brook University (#1) is about $9,000 per year, but out-of-state tuition costs three times as much.

Best graduation rate

Most people go to college in the hopes of walking away with a degree. Every course has the potential to shape your career, but credentials can play a role in determining what you’re eligible for. If your main concern is graduating, New York University (#3) has an 85 percent graduation rate.

Most online degree options

Most of these schools focus on either graduate or undergraduate studies. So if you’re looking for the best selection of online degrees, it really depends on the level of degree you have in mind.

Rochester Institute of Technology (#2) offers 31 online degrees—the most of any school on this list—but 26 of them are graduate-level programs. So if you’re an undergrad, there aren’t many options for you there.

Mercy College (#4) is a close second for total online degrees (they have 30), and 13 of them are undergraduate programs. They’re your best bet for finding a subject you’ll enjoy at the bachelor level.

Best job placement rate

Most schools won’t tell you what percentage of their graduates have jobs, because they don’t have to. Only two schools on this list provided the information, but one of them was exceptional. Rochester Institute of Technology (#2) has a 95 percent job-placement rate.

Now, on to the top ten!

1. Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University campus
Image source: Stony Brook University
Location: Stoney Brook, New York
Tuition cost:

  • In-state: about $9,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $27,000 per year

Admissions rate: 41%
Graduation rate: 72%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 2
  • Graduate: 16

Student population: about 26,000
Student to faculty ratio: 17 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineColleges.net: 1
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 1
  • Rank on AffordableCollegeOnline.org: 6

Stony Brook University is one of the State University of New York’s 64 campuses. Their School of Professional Development offers graduate programs and two hybrid undergraduate/graduate programs for those looking to advance or start their careers in education.

SBU offers educators a wide range of specializations and certifications in foreign languages and science programs. They also provide a decent selection of non-credit earning courses for teachers and business professionals.

While these courses don’t all earn you new credentials or certifications, they’ll help you develop new skills and curriculum you can bring to the classroom or your career, like coding in the classroom or legal studies. They even have classes oriented around healthy living, such as their food literacy course.

Most schools give online students access to a digital library with academic resources, but Stony Brook goes the extra mile for their E-learners: dedicated librarians curate research resources for SBU’s online courses.

Fun fact: Completing certain courses can unlock digital badges which you can display on LinkedIn and other social platforms.

2. Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology campus
Image source: Rochester Institute of Technology
Location: Rochester, New York
Tuition cost: about $39,000 per year
Admissions rate: 55%
Graduation rate: 66%
Job placement rate: 95%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 5
  • Graduate: 26

Student population: about 17,000
Student to faculty ratio: 13 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 1
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 4
  • Rank on OnlineColleges.net: 5
  • Rank on AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org: 10

Rochester Institute of Technology provides degree and certificate programs in a variety of STEM-related fields, including health, engineering, technology, math, and science.

The school is nearly 200 years old, and they’ve been doing distance education for decades. Your online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus courses.

Here’s what Rochester Institute of Technology wants you to know:

“RIT Online courses and programs are built around industry standards, employer demand, and the perspectives of our global network. . . . RIT offers innovative programs that are designed to prepare you not only for today’s competitive workplace, but for the challenges you’ll face tomorrow as industries evolve and change.”

As a student at RIT, you can enroll in the School of Individualized Study to design your own program and choose a unique concentration by combining subjects from RIT’s departments.

RIT also makes an effort to digitally recreate the classroom experience, providing an “online cafe” for you to meet and collaborate with fellow students, as well as a video channel and other digital amenities.

Fun fact: You can see how many students are currently enrolled in RIT courses without being a student.

3. New York University

New York University campus
Image source: Common App
Location: New York, New York
Tuition cost: about $41,000 per year
Admissions rate: 32%
Graduation rate: 85%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 2
  • Graduate: 4

Student population: 50,000+
Student to faculty ratio: 10 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineColleges.net: 2
  • Rank on AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org: 2
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 2
  • Rank on AffordableCollegeOnline.org:

New York University offers a handful on online degrees in business-related subjects. Additionally, there are almost 200 online courses you can enroll in to learn particular skills (such as Adobe InDesign) or study a specific topic.

The undergraduate programs at NYU are technically degree-completion programs, but you don’t need many credits to qualify. One requires you to have previously completed two math courses, the other requires a minimum of 30 credits from another school.

One of NYU’s more unique online offerings is a master of science in translation program. It prepares students to become professional translators, focusing on legal and financial translation, as well as software localization.

Online students at NYU have access to the school’s center for career development, which allows you to meet with a career development coach, get resume help, and find jobs and internship opportunities.

Like Stony Brook University, NYU also allows students to earn digital badges for completing particular courses.

4. Mercy College

Mercy College campus
Image source: Mercy College
Location: Dobbs Ferry, New York
Tuition cost: about $18,000 per year
Admissions rate: 78%
Graduation rate: 39%
Employment rate: 91.2%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 13
  • Graduate: 17

Student population: 10,000+
Student to faculty ratio: 17 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on AffordableCollegeOnline.org: 1
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 4

Mercy College has online degree programs covering a range of subjects, plus over 200 courses available à la carte. While 30 degree programs are available online, the vast majority are just partially online. Only five programs offer 50 percent or more of their courses online, and not all “online” courses are entirely online.

Mercy’s students have been recognized for their commitment to community service. The college says:

“Mercy is committed to connecting students with the world. The College has a rich tradition of community service through the “Mercy Gives Back” initiative, which encourages students to participate in, and lead, service-learning opportunities. This is a reflection of Mercy’s history and the values contained in the Mercy College seal (Inserviendo Consumere, consumed in service). On-campus events and international travel experiences help students discover and appreciate cultures far from home. Our graduates are engaged citizens.”

5. St. Joseph’s College-New York

St. Joseph's College campus
Image source: St. Joseph’s College
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Tuition cost: about $62,000 total
Admissions rate: 67%
Graduation rate: 72%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 9
  • Graduate: 9

Student population: 5,000+
Student to faculty ratio: 14 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 5
  • Rank on OnlineColleges.net: 6
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 6

St. Joseph’s University offers fully online degree programs in several subjects, including:

  • Business
  • Criminal justice
  • General studies
  • Health administration
  • Human resources
  • Human services

They also have certificate programs in additional subjects, and you can supplement your major with one of five minors.

Students can transfer up to 90 credits to SJC from another accredited school. You can even transfer up to 64 credits from classes where you received a D. (Although graduate students can only transfer 6 credits.)

You’ll engage with fellow classmates through:

  • Online discussions
  • Debates
  • Collaborative learning
  • Simulations

Learn more about SJC online in this video:

6. Syracuse University

Syracuse University campus
Image source: Syracuse University
Location: Syracuse, New York
Tuition cost: about $45,000 per year
Admissions rate: 52%
Graduation rate: 82%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 2
  • Graduate: 11

Student population: about 22,000
Student to faculty ratio: 15 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineColleges.net: 3
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 3
  • Rank on AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org: 4

Syracuse University mostly offers STEM-related graduate degrees online. Their two online undergraduate degrees are business-related programs. They also have several online certificate programs and a variety of online courses.

All online degree programs at Syracuse University require at least some time on campus.

As an online student at SU, you’ll become part of a rich history that stretches back more than a century:

“Syracuse University was founded in 1870 as a private coeducational institution. It has 12 schools and colleges, with undergraduate and graduate students representing all 50 U.S. states and 124 countries. . . . Syracuse University is a world-class institution with an international reputation and alumni in every corner of the globe.”

7. SUNY College at Oswego

SUNY College at Oswego campus
Image source: The State University of New York
Location: Oswego, New York
Tuition cost:

  • In-state: about $8,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $18,000 per year

Admissions rate: 55%
Graduation rate: 66%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 3
  • Graduate: 2

Student population: 8,000+
Student to faculty ratio: 17 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on AffordableCollegeOnline.org: 3
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 6
  • Rank on OnlineColleges.net: 8

SUNY College at Oswego only has a few online degree programs, but depending on the term, they may have as many as 180 online courses for you to choose from.

The school is part of Open SUNY, a program which unifies all SUNY campuses for online students. Here’s what they say about it:

“At SUNY, we are transforming the landscape of online learning. Drawing on our rich history of innovation, we’re placing the outstanding educational opportunities and talented faculty from our 64 campuses at your fingertips. Open SUNY is the latest step in our long-standing tradition of doing things bigger and better. No other institution has brought together an online learning environment to serve students at this scale and breadth. Once again, we are taking the lead.”

Their degree programs are mostly business related, but they offer bachelor’s degrees in public justice and vocational teaching as well.

8. St. John’s University

St. John's University campus
Image source: St. John’s University
Location: Queens, New York
Tuition cost: about $40,000 per year
Admissions rate: 62.5%
Graduation rate: 41%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 0
  • Graduate: 15

Student population: 20,000+
Student to faculty ratio: 17 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 2

St. John’s University only offers graduate degree programs online. In addition to master’s and doctorate level programs, they also have several advanced certificate programs. These programs are primarily in education, business, and homeland security.

One online student had this to say about her e-learning experience:

“These classes have improved my ability to conduct research, communicate with my peers through a virtual environment, and explore the ways I learn best. Every professor has been supportive in providing constructive feedback and timely email responses. They really engage students in collaborative discussions.”

In this video, the staff at St. John’s provide some basic tips to help you prepare for their online courses:

9. The Sage Colleges

The Sage Colleges campus
Image source: The Sage Colleges
Location: Troy, New York
Tuition cost: about $71,000 total
Admissions rate: 58%
Graduation rate: 58%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 2
  • Graduate: 5

Student population: about 3,000
Student to faculty ratio: 11 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 9
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 10

The Sage Colleges offer online degree programs in business, cybersecurity, and health. They also offer online graduate certificate programs in education, IT, and nutrition.

Some online programs offer an accelerated track that lets students complete their degrees faster.

The school was founded more than 100 years ago as a school for women, but the first men attended during World War II. It’s now more evenly split between male and female students (about 40% men and 60% women). Since The Sage Colleges began awarding degrees in 1995, they have focused primarily on education, health, and management.

Students can transfer up to 90 credits from another school, and you do not need to provide standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT) to be admitted.

10. Roberts Wesleyan College

Roberts Wesleyan College campus
Image source: Roberts Wesleyan College
Location: Rochester, New York
Tuition cost: about $30,000 per year
Admissions rate: 65%
Graduation rate: 59%
Number of online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 3
  • Graduate: 8

Student population: 1,500+
Student to faculty ratio: 13 to 1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 3
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 10

Roberts Wesleyan College offers online bachelor’s degree completion programs and master’s degree programs. So while they have undergraduate programs, they’re only available to students who started their studies elsewhere (or started at RWC on-campus).

The school was founded as a seminary in 1866, and has undergone several name changes over the decades. They have broadened the scope of their teachings to include more subjects, but RWC remains committed to their Christian roots.

Here’s what they have to say about their education philosophy:

“At Roberts, we believe the best education addresses the person in his or her entirety—as a physical, psychological, social, rational, and spiritual being. A Roberts education presupposes both the complexity of the world and the diversity of human nature. It is one in which the students investigate the aesthetic, historic, philosophic, scientific and professional disciplines.  No one method of inquiry or verification is regarded as the sole route to knowledge, nor does one set of skills provide sufficiently for a life of service and achievement. Thanks to a rich Christian heritage and a dedication to ‘education for character,’ Roberts remains committed to integrating a Christian worldview and learning into everyday life and work.”

A quick note on transferring schools

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, more than one-third of all college students transfer schools before graduating. In order to transfer your credits from one school to another, the two schools usually have to be accredited by the same organizations.

Thankfully, all of these schools are regionally-accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. That means you should be able to transfer between them pretty easily.

Should I go to an online school in New York?

These are the top online schools in New York. And none of them made the cut for our list of the best online schools in the country. Unless you’re really attached to one of these schools because you grew up rooting for their teams, or someone you know went there, I’d recommend broadening your search.

If you’re looking at in-state schools because you heard out-of-state schools cost more, you should know: that doesn’t apply to a lot of online schools. Notice how some of the colleges on this list don’t separate in-state and out-of-state tuition? Many schools have one tuition rate for all online students, regardless of where they live. And since you won’t have to move anyways (you’re an online student, after all), it certainly can’t hurt to look.

The most undergraduate degrees offered by any of these schools is 31. Most offer a lot fewer than that. But some schools in other parts of the country offer well over 100 fully online degree options. Check it out.

The best school is really up to you

Honestly, we can’t tell you which online college is the best choice for you—and you shouldn’t let anyone else do that, either. You have to weigh the factors that are most important to you and let that guide your decision. Choosing a school is a huge investment—both in terms of what it immediately costs you and how it affects your life. So take your time.

We hope this list has helped make the decision a little easier for you. Good luck in your future studies!

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