The Best Online Colleges in New York

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Updated September 18, 2023

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New York Online Colleges

Online colleges in New York allow students in the fourth most populated state to pursue the college experience that best suits their needs.

Online colleges in New York offer affordable, flexible options for earning a bachelor's degree. Working professionals, adult learners, and first-year students alike can pursue an online degree while staying close to home.

Many online schools in New York offer specialized programs, opening up educational opportunities for students interested in fieldst previously inaccessible to them. Reciprocity agreements may provide reduced tuition for learners living in neighboring states, such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. In- and out-of-state students alike also benefit from State University of New York (SUNY) system's online offerings, which facilitate transfers between member institutions.

Featured Online Schools

Our ranking provides insight into the variety of programs offered by the best online colleges in New York. The rankings incorporate data about the quality of programs, types of courses and degrees offered, faculty highlights, tuition rates, financial aid availability, and overall reputation.

The Best Online Colleges in New York

#1 The Best Online Colleges in New York

Alfred State

  • Alfred, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

For many online degree-seekers, Alfred State is an attractive choice. Those who enroll at the public institution remotely have eight online degree opportunities to choose between at the graduate and undergraduate levels. These remote programs benefit from the school's reputation for strong academics and track record in online course offerings.

Online learners benefit from support by academic and career services offices at the school's New York campus. Degree-seekers that choose to connect with academic advisors can participate in virtual job fairs and other career-planning events. The internship program that the school offers helps many students prepare for their future careers. Completing all requirements results in graduates receiving an accredited degree.

Anyone interested in learning more about available online programs and how to apply should contact the school directly.

Alfred State at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,066

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 9%

Admission Rate: 67%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$13,965
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,780
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 The Best Online Colleges in New York

SUNY Delhi

  • Delhi, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online degree-seekers should consider SUNY Delhi. The 11 online programs offered by this public institution consist of undergraduate and graduate offerings. The school's experience with online education and strong academic reputation make it a great choice for distance learners.

The school offers additional support to online learners through the academic and career services offices at its New York campus. Programs like academic advising and virtual job fairs help degree-seekers plan for their academic and professional futures. Students also gain first-hand experience in their field through internship programs. Graduates are awarded a fully accredited degree upon completing their program.

Prospective applicants can contact the school to learn more about online program options and admission requirements.

SUNY Delhi at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,307

Online Bachelor's Programs: 8

Online Master's Programs: 2

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 17%

Admission Rate: 72%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$10,840
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,310
Out-of-state
$13,570
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
3,086
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 The Best Online Colleges in New York

SUNY Oswego

  • Oswego, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

SUNY Oswego ranks among the best online colleges. Four remote programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels are available at this public institution. The school attracts many remote learners because of its solid reputation for academics and experience in offering online education.

The school hosts academic and career service specialists at its New York campus, which online learners can also take advantage of. Degree-seekers can get help planning their academic and professional futures with offerings such as academic advising and virtual career fairs. The internship program that the school offers helps many students prepare for their future careers. Completing their academic program grants graduates an accredited degree.

Reach out to the school with any questions about what programs are available online and how to apply to them.

SUNY College at Oswego at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,986

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Online Master's Programs: 1

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 3%

Admission Rate: 54%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,310
Out-of-state
$23,100
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
7,830
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 The Best Online Colleges in New York

SUNY Canton

  • Canton, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

SUNY Canton is one of the best options available to online degree-seekers. The school, a public institution, hosts 18 for remote learners at both graduate and undergraduate levels. The school has experience facilitating online classes and a reputation for strong academics, attracting many remote students.

Career and academic service associates located at the New York campus also assist online learners. Academic advisors and virtual job fairs help set degree-seekers up for long term success. Students also gain first-hand experience in their field through internship programs. Upon completion of all program requirements, graduates are awarded an accredited degree.

Additional information about how to apply and what programs are available can be obtained by contacting the school directly.

SUNY Canton at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 2,072

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 33%

Admission Rate: 85%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$13,534
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
3,223
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 The Best Online Colleges in New York

Syracuse University

  • Syracuse, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Syracuse University is a leader in online education. Remote enrollees at this private college can choose from 40 online programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Distance learners appreciate the way the school brings its reputation for academic success to its online programming.

The academic and career advisors located at the New York campus are also available to assist online learners. Degree-seekers connect with academic advisors and participate in virtual job fairs and career-planning events. Many students also gain hands-on field experience through the school's internship programs. Graduates of the institution's academic programs obtain a bachelor's degree with full accreditation.

For more information on how to apply and what programs are available online, contact the school directly.

Syracuse University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,353

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Online Master's Programs: 16

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 11%

Admission Rate: 44%

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$50,616
Out-of-state
$50,616
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$38,880
Out-of-state
$38,880
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
22,850
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Colleges in New York Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in New York based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Employment in New York

Education, health services, and government industries accompany information services as the largest employers in New York. The unemployment rate in New York, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), rose to 4.5% in March 2021.

Healthcare occupations dominate the top paying careers in New York, offering both high salaries and opportunities for job growth. Students in New York earning a bachelor's degree in the natural sciences establish a strong foundation for pursuing advanced degrees and becoming anesthesiologists, orthodontists, and surgeons.

Similarly, the projected job growth for healthcare occupations bodes well for students with bachelor's degrees in nursing and human services. Home health and personal care aides will see an estimated growth of more than 52% and 40%, respectively.

The cost of living in New York varies significantly by location. In New York City, the cost of living exceeds the national average by 129%, while housing costs nearly 370% above the national average. Payscale indicates that cities like Albany, Ithaca, and Buffalo are all more affordable options, with cost of living estimates at about 10% above the national average.

Highest Paying Careers
Career Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Anesthesiologists $212,730 22.1%
Orthodontists $194,590 N/A
Surgeons $230,890 19.3%
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons $230,720 21.5%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $216,760 26.4%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral
Fastest Growing Careers
Career Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Solar Photovoltaic Installer $51,330 104.8%
Home Health Aides $29,290 52.4%
Physician Assistants $123,080 43.4%
Nurse Practitioners $122,550 41.6%
Personal Care Aides $36,560 40.6%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Associate and Graduate Degrees

Individuals seeking entry-level positions in health services, public administration, tourism and hospitality, or education can earn an online associate degree by attending an online university in New York. The Open SUNY website offers comprehensive lists of associate degrees available to students online. Other public colleges and universities and private institutions similarly offer associate degrees for online students.

Individuals seeking entry-level positions in health services, public administration, tourism and hospitality, or education can earn an online associate degree by attending an online university in New York.

Online associate degrees in New York are pathways to continued study. Many community and technical colleges offer online associate degrees and maintain articulation agreements with four-year institutions. This facilitates easy transfers to bachelor's degrees for learners studying disciplines like nursing, information technology, and business.

Colleges and universities in New York also provide online programs for graduate learners, offering a flexible option for working professionals in fields like education, the sciences, and criminal justice.

Online graduate programs often mirror degrees offered on campus, although online learners often complete coursework asynchronously, meaning they don't have to log in at a set time. In an on-campus classroom, students have face-to-face interaction with classmates and instructors. In online programs, discussion forums, chats, and team assignments bring together peers and faculty alike for mentorship, collaboration, and guidance.

Popular Questions About New York Colleges

Is Online College Cheaper in New York?

With comparable tuition and fees to their counterparts around the United States, online schools in New York provide an affordable path to a postsecondary degree, eliminating many on-campus costs.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Degree in New York?

Traditional bachelor's degrees span four years, but online programs often allow students to take classes in an accelerated format, which means they can graduate in as few as three years. Part-time learners typically complete a bachelor's degree in 4-8 years.

What Is the Most Popular Degree in New York?

According to SUNY, popular degrees in New York include health and related fields, social and behavioral science, and business and management.

Does an Online Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree?

Institutions do not designate whether an earned degree was completed online or on campus when they issue degrees. Because students who attend online university in New York complete the same coursework, assessments, and activities as on-campus learners, they receive the same educational qualifications.

Is New York a Good State For Higher Education?

Government agencies are dedicated to ensuring affordable, quality programs. The Office of Higher Education oversees colleges and universities throughout the state, while the Higher Education Services Corporation is the student financial aid agency for New York.

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