Key Questions, Financial Aid and the Best Universities in New York State
The state of New York has 271 institutions of higher education, with a majority part of the state system, city system or independent. The State University of New York (SUNY) operates 34 campuses statewide, serving nearly 222,000 students in fall 2010. The sheer size of New York college enrollment has made blended and online learning a major benefit for both the schools and the students. For schools, it’s an affordable way to scale enrollment, and for students, it’s a flexible way to earn a degree. Learn more about online colleges and universities in New York, and how these schools and students are taking advantage of fast-growing learning model.
For this year’s college rankings, our analysts carefully reviewed statistical data from multiple sources for more than 7,500 postsecondary institutions so that you could easily evaluate schools based on what matters most to you. For each school, we applied the eligibility criteria outlined below, then ranked schools and programs based on four ranking factors.
Eligibility Criteria for All Postsecondary Institutions:
Must be a not-for-profit institution
Must be regionally or nationally accredited
Must offer at least one online program1
Must be located in a state (schools in US territories and Washington DC were not considered)
Dozens of data points were used to calculate a weighted score for four ranking factors: quality, affordability, flexibility and program (in order of significance). To determine quality, which was the most important consideration for all AS Online rankings, the most impactful data points were acceptance and graduation rates; for affordability, tuition2 and grants; for flexibility, part-time enrollment offerings; and for program, degrees conferred in that program area.
Some of our nursing program rankings used exam pass rates from NCLEX
How to Read Our Rankings Tool:
A dash indicates IPEDS data was not available
Annual in-state tuition is displayed unless stated otherwise
1 Our Best Vocational Programs rankings included data for both online and campus programs.
2 Both annual in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our Rankings Tool currently only displays annual in-state rates.
With one of the largest student bodies in the U.S., New York has a higher education landscape prime for online learning growth. In 2012, just 9 percent of college students in the state took an online class. However, more and more New York online schools are adding blended and online programs and classes to their curricula, giving students the chance to earn credits in a more flexible setting. But which of these schools have the top programs? Which have affordable tuition, regional accreditation, faculty trained in online delivery and tech platforms that facilitate collaboration between cohorts? We profile the online colleges in New York stand out in 2018 below.
Which online schools in New York will accept my transfer credits or work/life experience?
Most online programs in New York accept course credits earned at other accredited schools. To get credit for a course already taken, acquire your transcript. To obtain credit for skills and knowledge learned from work, take a College-Level Examination Program computer-based test, which costs $65. The test center may also require a separate, non-refundable administration fee, usually $15.
Institutions vary on the number of credits they accept, so check with a transfer adviser at the schools in which you’re interested to maximize the time and money you’ve already invested in your education. An online search might also reveal policies on transfer credits at different New York colleges and universities.
How Much More Do College Grads in New York Make?
Everyone has heard that a college degree can boost earnings power, and that holds true for professionals in New York. Let’s see how salaries look for occupations based on their minimum degree requirement.
Mean Annual Salary for All Occupations in New York, by Degree Level:
The data shows a clear monetary benefit when it comes to higher education. A bachelor’s degree means a fairly substantial increase in salary for those who hold the credential. However, it’s important to note that CEOs and other executives may only have a bachelor’s degree, but they’ve built their salaries on years of management and leadership experience. Still, the four-year degree was a great starting point, allowing them to build their careers with a stable foundation.
The Impact of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in New York
Whether studying online, on campus or with a combination of both, accreditation is the key to ensuring you’re getting a quality, affordable education. Proper accreditation shows prospective students that a school and its programs have been vetted by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. But what does proper accreditation mean? It’s not as straightforward as you might think—learn more about how accreditation really works.
Regional accreditation is the only school-wide stamp of approval that matters. The Department of Education recognizes six regional accrediting bodies, each of which cover their own group of states. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education covers all colleges and universities in New York. If you’re looking at schools in New York state, make sure each candidate has Middle States accreditation.
Paying for Online College in New York: Tuition & Financial Aid
Tuition rates have continued to rise in New York, which can be difficult considering the power of a degree in earning a higher salary. While online programs may have similar costs to campus-based programs, students can save money on things like room, board, parking and more. In some cases, this can make online colleges in New York a more affordable learning option. Here’s a quick look at in-state tuition in New York, followed by some important FAQs on paying for online college.
In-State Tuition, Public Colleges & Universities:$7,647
What are New York’s requirements to qualify for in-state university tuition?
Pursuing an online degree can provide significant savings if you live in or out of the state. Many institutions in New York provide one flat rate for online students, whether you are an in-state resident or not. For example, the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Professional Studies charges all online students in-state tuition of $295 per credit hour, compared with an on-campus non-resident’s rate of $600 per credit hour.
Are online credits more affordable in New York than other places?
The best thing to do is decide which programs you are interested in and compare them to find the most affordable one for your budget.
How can I get help paying for online college in New York?
Financial aid is a great way to pay for online college in New York. Scholarships and grants also help students tackle tuition and work toward their degrees. Take a look at a few of the top scholarship opportunities in the state.
The most notable award is the Excelsior Scholarship Program, which in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows New Yorkers to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. It is the nation’s first attempt at providing students with free college. To be eligible for up to $5,500 per year, you must have a combined federal income of $110,000 or less, enroll in at least 12 credit hours per semester, complete at least 30 credits successively each year towards a degree, and promise to live in New York for the length of time the award is received.
Additionally, New York schools offer their own scholarships, which can be found at the schools’ financial aid offices. Check with each institution for need- and merit-based aid forms. Finally, U.S. citizens can also apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by at least March 15 of the year before you plan to attend college.
Most applications for aid have strict deadlines and require proof of residency or citizenship as well as transcripts. Some will also require an essay and others a recommendation.
Online Education & Adult Education in New York
Enrolling in adult education programs can be the first step towards a college degree for many New York students. These programs are designed to prepare students for the academic and technical rigors of college life, whether attending an online program or taking classes on-campus. Often, these students have jobs and veer towards more flexible means of learning such as night, weekend, and online programs, providing a perfect segue into earning an online college degree.
Here are some ways adult learners can prepare for college through adult education in New York:
Literacy and language assistance Learning or brushing up on basic literacy and comprehension skills can be essential for adults who haven’t been in the classroom for a long time, or those who are non-native English speakers learning a new language.
High school equivalency testing In New York, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) is replacing more commonly known GED programs for earning a high school diploma. Operation Recognition is a Veteran-specific program offered to help credit those who served in WWII, Korea and the Vietnam war.