Online Colleges in New York 2021

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New York residents can broaden their horizons and refine their skills with quality online degrees offered by in-state colleges. Graduates from New York schools can compete for high-demand jobs in the state, including professional and business services, as well as education and health services. Other in-demand jobs in the Empire State include security brokerage and banking. Industries offering high wages include financial investment, securities brokerage, office administration, and software publishers.

New York online college programs provide the necessary qualifications and education to help residents train for available jobs or to improve their abilities to advance in their careers.

Top 10 Online Bachelor Colleges in New York

Rank School Location
1 Utica College Utica, NY
2 Niagara University Niagara County, NY
3 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
4 SUNY College at Oswego Oswego, NY
5 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
6 The Sage Colleges Troy, NY
7 SUNY College at Brockport Brockport, NY
8 St. Joseph's College-New York Brooklyn, NY
9 Rochester Institute of Technology-RIT Online Rochester, NY
10 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
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Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Accreditation for Schools in New York

When researching and considering schools, students must pay attention to that institution’s accreditation. An accredited institution of higher education offers the assurance of a quality education. Additionally, accredited colleges and universities receive federal and state loans and grants. This, in turn, helps students with educational costs.

Students must also pay attention to the differences between national and regional accreditation. National accreditation generally focuses on for-profit schools with vocational, career, or technical programs, as well as colleges and universities offering religious educations or degrees. Regional accrediting generally target state-owned or nonprofit colleges and universities within a geographic cluster. For example, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits most private or state-affiliated colleges and universities in New York.

Regional accreditation is more valuable and flexible because such schools accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited and nationally accredited schools. This allows greater flexibility for students who want to transfer to a different school to complete their degree. In contrast, nationally accredited schools only accept transfer credits from other nationally accredited schools. These institutions do not allow transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

What Are the Requirements for a Degree in New York?

Similar to colleges and universities in other states, a bachelor’s degree from a New York college requires a minimum of 120 credits. Beyond this minimum, degree requirements vary by institution. Some might require a capstone project or thesis for completion. Other programs might include a study abroad or community service component.

Students applying for an online degree program need a high school GPA between 2.0 and 2.35 to qualify for admission. Students must also submit SAT or ACT test scores. College or university transfer students should check with admissions departments for application requirements. In some cases, credits from community colleges, associate degrees, or even work experience could offset general education requirements in many university or college programs.

Certifications and Licensure for Students in New York

Certain careers require licensure and certification, in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Licenses and certificates allow students to demonstrate knowledge of a particular vocation or field. Employment in certain industries may also require recertification and continuing education.

Teaching Certification
To qualify as a teacher in New York public schools, students must complete a bachelor’s degree program and state certification program, along with content examinations. Students who meet these requirements may receive an initial, entry-level teaching certificate, which allows them to teach in state primary and secondary schools for up to five years. Teachers can earn an advanced certificate by gaining more classroom experience and pursuing additional continuing education courses. This certificate remains valid as long as the teacher completes professional development and continuing education courses.
CPA Certification
Undergraduate accounting majors may choose to pursue a career as a certified public accountant (CPA). To do so, students must ensure their university degrees meet New York State Board of Regents or New York State Education Department (NYSED) approval. Next, students must take and pass a four-part CPA exam, with a minimum score of 75. Finally, CPAs-in-training require one year of work experience to fulfill the New York State Board of Public Accountancy’s requirements.
Nurse Practitioner License
Certification as a nurse practitioner in New York requires a bachelor of science degree in nursing from an NYSED-approved program. Students can also obtain certification through a national certifying organization, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Board or the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Nurse practitioner applicants who are New York state-registered nurses must also complete NYSED-approved pharmacology coursework.

Professional Organizations for Students in New York

New York online programs are similar to on-campus programs in that they offer opportunities for students to join professional organizations. Such organizations provide many benefits, including network building and mentorship, ultimately leading to employment. Some organizations specifically help students, while others encourage student affiliate memberships.

  • Beta Alpha Psi

    BAP is an honor organization for financial information for students and professionals. The organization supports 300 chapters on college and university campuses nationwide, 20 of which reside in New York. Member benefits include mentorship, skills development, and career and networking opportunities.

  • American Institute of CPAs

    AICPA offers affiliate membership to full- or part-time university or college students who do not yet qualify for a CPA license. AICAP is a national organization, and New York student affiliates can benefit from scholarships, brand discounts, online mentors, and networking with 429,000 AICPA professional members.

  • Nursing Students Association of New York State

    NSANYS helps undergraduate students transition into the professional world. Nursing students in a diploma or bachelor’s program or pre-nursing students enrolled in a college or university program qualify for membership. Registered nurses with an associate degree currently enrolled in a bachelor of science in nursing program also qualify for membership. Benefits include scholarships; discounts; the potential to earn education credits; and resources, publications, and other learning opportunities.

  • Academy of Human Resource Development

    AHRD offers a student-member component. Any full-time student enrolled in a college or university program can apply for membership. The organization focuses on the study of human resource development theories and practices and disseminating the resulting information. Student members can access conferences, webinars, special-interest groups, networks, and members-only publications and journals.

Scholarships for Students in New York

While attending college in New York is pricey, the state offers several scholarships and grants for students to help. The New York State’s Higher Education Services Corporation offers scholarships, federal grants, and student loans to help reduce higher education costs. When applying, students should remember that award amounts could change depending on other tuition awards received, as well as the number of funds available.

  • Enhanced Tuition Awards

    Who Can Apply: The ETA program offers tuition to New York residents attending a participating private college in New York. Eligible full-time students must come from families with a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000. Those who qualify must complete at least 30 credits each year (12 credits per term), applicable to their degree program, and with no break in enrollment.

    Amount: $6,000 per year

    See Scholarship

  • New York State Part-Time Scholarship Award Program

    Who Can Apply: Students attending a State University of New York or City University of New York community college may apply for this scholarship. Applicants must enroll for a minimum of six credits and must not exceed 12 credits. To continue receiving award monies, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. Students must also not default on student loans made under any New York or federal education loan programs.

    Amount: $1,500 per term, or the cost of six credit hours (whichever is less)

    See Scholarship

  • New York State Achievement and Investment in MeritScholarship

    Who Can Apply: High school students meeting standards of academic excellence qualify for this award. Students must enroll in a New York private or state college immediately following high school graduation to receive the scholarship. The student needs a GPA of 3.3 or above and must graduate within the top 15% of their high school class. They also must graduate with honors on a New York State Regents diploma. Such a diploma demonstrates additional math, science, and language skills and requires passing specific Regents exams.

    Amount: $500 annually

    See Scholarship

  • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

    Who can Apply: The New York TAP helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in the state. Eligible applicants need to reside in New York for at least 12 continuous months. Applicants must also hold a high school diploma or its equivalency and enroll full time in a degree program (at least 12 credits per semester). Applicants must also meet income eligibility limitations and pay at least $200 in tuition per year. Students also must not be in default on any state or federal student loans.

    Amount: Up to $5,165, annually

    See Scholarship

  • New York State STEM Incentive Program

    Who Can Apply: State high school seniors or recent high school graduates can apply to this science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) incentive program. Applicants must enroll full time in a New York public or private college to qualify. They must also agree to pursue an approved two- or four-year STEM degree program. The applicant must also be ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. The student must agree to live in New York and work in a STEM field for five years following college or university graduation.

    Amount: The award amount is calculated based on the annual, in-state tuition charged by the State University of New York or by the actual tuition charged by the college or university attended, whichever is less. The maximum cost at a SUNY college is approximately $6,870 per year.

    See Scholarship

Online Colleges in New York 2021

  1. Utica College
    Location

    Utica, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in the middle of the state, Utica College is a smaller, more focused school that offers many of the benefits of a larger institution. Aside from their already prestigious on-campus courses, Utica has since expanded into the online sphere, bringing the same quality and respect that they've earned over their past 70 years to their online programs. Currently, Utica College offers 6 online programs, most of which are entirely online and are structured to be completed in the traditional 4-year period. The only exceptions to this are the bachelor's in fraud and financial crime, the RN-BSN program and the accelerated bachelor's in nursing program. Through the 2 nursing programs, students will either be required to be a registered nurse, or they will be required to partake in a hybrid program of online and on-campus courses. No matter which program students apply to, they will also be required to complete clinical hours to gain nursing certification in New York. Students should note that some of the online programs offered by the school are technically degree completion programs, such as the bachelor's in fraud and financial crime, and will require students to already have a minimum of 57 credits. Credits can be earned either through Utica's on-campus courses, through an associate degree or via transfer credits. Also, students in other programs can reduce the number of courses necessary to graduate if their credits apply. In terms of affordability, Utica College charges a flat rate per credit, making it easier for students to budget for their education.

  2. Niagara University
    Location

    Niagara County, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Niagara University is a private institution that draws from the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul, an advocate of charity, teaching and service. With this in mind, Niagara has established itself as a top location for students who want to earn a degree in education, as well as a destination for students who want to partake in a service learning mission-based program. Niagara might not have the most extensive list of online opportunities, but they are all high-quality. There are currently 6 programs offered by Niagara that are entirely online, along with online courses and certificates that students can use to specialize their education. While the programs offered are entirely online, some students should expect to spend time working in-person. As an example, students studying toward a bachelor's degree in special education online will have to spend time in the field gaining clinical experience in order to become teaching certified (if that's what they are pursuing). Other programs, like their bachelor's in educational leadership, won't require students to study in-person or on-campus unless they choose to. Online education through Niagara doesn't leave students to their own devices. Working through Canvas, students will spend time learning on their own while having video conferences with other students and the professor. Online students can expect to be engaged in other ways as well, all via the internet. Aside from any scheduled meetings or video calls, students will be able to study materials at their own pace. This unique model is part of the reason why so many online Niagara students are successful after graduating.

  3. Canisius College
    Location

    Buffalo, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Canisius College is set apart from other schools because of their Jesuit tradition and their emphasis on master's level programs. That being said, the college does offer over 140 different undergraduate programs to complement their 35 graduate level degrees. Canisius offers 11 different online master's degree programs. These programs can all be completed entirely online, and some through a hybrid format if students want to combine their studies online with on-campus courses. The length of these programs can vary, and some programs may also require some in-person work to earn certification, if that's what a student is aiming for. Their Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program stretches from first-year undergraduate to an 18 credit master's certification. While some of the coursework and professional experience needs to be completed in person, parts of this comprehensive program ? such as the master's degree and the advanced certification ? can be completed online. While their TESOL program is one of their most comprehensive to be offered online, other online master's degrees are available, ranging from Catholic studies to biology.

  4. SUNY College at Oswego
    Location

    Oswego, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Part of the larger State University of New York system, SUNY College at Oswego is one of the best at offering affordable online options. Offered through Blackboard, their online school takes some of the resources offered by the SUNY system and adds some that are specific to the College at Oswego. The College at Oswego also offers internship opportunities for students in some programs, setting it apart from many other online schools. The online undergraduate programs offered by the College at Oswego are degree completion, meaning students should have some form of previous school credit before applying. School credit is accepted through either associate degrees or transfer credits. Also, different online degree completion programs will require different credits prior to entry. For example, the online bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication requires at least 60 credits prior to entry while the online bachelor's in career and & technical education requires only 30 credits. Credits earned on-campus can be used toward the degree completion programs as well. For students who don't want to apply to one of the College at Oswego's 4 degree completion programs, there are over 100 online courses that can be used to supplement a hybrid degree during traditional semesters. Students who want to earn their degree faster can access 50 online courses during the winter and 180 online courses during the summer. There are also a variety of online master's degrees and certificates for students who want to continue or specialize their education.

  5. Stony Brook University
    Location

    Stony Brook, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located not far outside of New York City, Stony Brook University is a younger school in the state, but they've made in impression in their 60 years. Known for their combination of quality education and affordability, Stony Brook has been pushing to continue improving its already impressive reputation. Their most recent push has been into distance education through their online program. Stony Brook's online school may not be as large as other institutions, but they do an excellent job of making their online programs just as rigorous and challenging as their on-campus versions, helping students get a better education and preparing them for their future professions. Of the undergraduate programs, one of the most popular is their online electrical engineering program. One of the only online electrical engineering programs in the nation, this entirely online 4-year program is designed for students who are also working full-time. The electrical engineering program is taught by faculty members from 3 different universities as well, giving students access to more resources than similar programs might offer. Unlike many other online engineering programs, this program is offered entirely online. Stony Brook also offers an online biology undergraduate degree that can be specialized with one of two majors and 8 different online master's degrees. On top of that, Stony Brook has certificates that students can earn online to specialize their degree. Courses are offered year-round, and online students have access to advisory groups and other online resources.

  6. The Sage Colleges
    Location

    Troy, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Sage Colleges are a united collection of multiple colleges scattered across New York. Their main campus, located in Troy, was founded in 1916, and is recognized for its undergraduate and graduate level liberal arts programs. One of their newest campuses is online at the Russell Sage Online school. Like most online schools, Russell Sage Online offers flexibility in scheduling. But what sets Sage apart is their option to accelerate all of their online programs. Of the 2 fully online bachelor's degrees offered, the most interesting is the bachelor's of science in information technology with a focus on cybersecurity. This 4-year program prepares students for a role in cybersecurity. To help prepare students to their job search upon graduation, the program prepares all graduates to take and pass 12 different IT certifications. Their other bachelor's degree program in business administration also takes 4-years and can be specialized with a certificate in IT. Transfer students with over 90 credit hours can likely reduce the time it takes to earn either of these degrees. The Russell Sage Online program has gained renown in New York for its affordability. Instead of charging students based on the program they study or the state they currently reside in, this program charges a flat rate per credit. Prior to beginning online classes, students will get a one-on-one meeting with a tuition counselor to completely understand the cost of an online education. Also, Sage has opted to waive the application fee for all online applicants, keeping costs low.

  7. SUNY College at Brockport
    Location

    Brockport, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Among the top public schools in New York, SUNY College at Brockport has built a school culture of engagement, both in and out of the classroom. College at Brockport students have access to opportunities outside of school, giving them a more rounded education and helping them stand out against the competition when applying for jobs. Also helpful is the College at Brockport's extensive alumni network that reaches around the world, although many grads remain in New York. The College at Brockport currently has one main undergraduate program offered fully online: their RN-BSN fast track program. In this program, students will take courses online whenever they choose ? but they will be required to spend time in-person for clinical experience, as is required for certification. For students who prefer a hybrid option, the RN-BSN fast track program has that available as well. The length of the program depends on how many credits students come in with. The College at Brockport currently only allows up to 64 transferrable credits for the program. Along with their undergraduate program, there are also a variety of graduate degrees available entirely online, particularly through their school of education & human development. Aside from online degree programs, the College at Brockport offers a variety of online courses, so students can easily earn a degree through a combination of online and on-campus courses. Online courses are taken through the Blackboard Learning Management System, and students can access their coursework as long as they have a computer and internet access.

  8. St. Joseph's College-New York
    Location

    Brooklyn, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    St. Joseph's College is a New York based institution that has three main campuses: Brooklyn, Long Island and online. They offer a slew of undergraduate options, including dual degree and accelerated degree programs, as well as opportunities to gain professional experience while in school. Currently, St. Joseph's College offers over 20 online programs, 6 of which are at the undergraduate level. The bachelor's degrees offered are available entirely online, but students are allowed to study in a hybrid of online and on-campus for some courses. There are no online minors available, but St. Joes has 4 certificates designed specifically for undergraduate students. These are useful for supplementing a student's education while giving them extra skills and experience when they look for a job in their new field. To keep the cost of education lower for online students, St. Joseph's charges a flat rate per credit. Because this is lower than the cost of attending the school in a traditional way, they don't provide any additional financial support; however, many students earn state and federal grants to further reduce their tuition costs. Many of the students that apply to St. Joseph's online are new to college, but some will come in with credit from other schools. If students have already earned 24 transferable college credits, they won't have to supply as much information during the application process. Also, this will speed up the timeline for graduation, reducing the total cost of the program.

  9. Rochester Institute of Technology-RIT Online
    Location

    Rochester, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    With 5 campuses scattered across the globe, Rochester Institute of Technology is no stranger to non-traditional education. Based primarily out of Rochester, New York, RIT has grown into a 9 college university with over 15,000 students. But not all students are able to study in the traditional, on-campus format. To help, RIT created their online school, building off their decades of experience with distance education. While RIT does offer different undergraduate and graduate level programs that can be completed entirely online, they set themselves apart through the additional benefits offered through their online school. Job placement is an emphasis for RIT, and they pride themselves on helping place online students with jobs around the world. To make sure that students do end up in the role they want, RIT also gives online students access to advisors to help steer their education toward their career goals. Students with previous credits from another institution can transfer their credits toward their degree, and some credits can be awarded through work experience. Students who do choose to study online also receive a financial benefit. RIT discounts their traditional part-time undergraduate tuition rate by 36% for all new online students, keeping education affordable. Combined with other forms of financial aid, studying online can be much more affordable than earning an education the traditional way. Also, RIT's online school doesn't' follow the traditional semester or quarter systems. Courses start at 5 different points each year, allowing students to jump in whenever they're ready.

  10. Marist College
    Location

    Poughkeepsie, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Whether students are looking to finish their education or are just starting out, the online school at Marist College offers several opportunities. Like many online schools, Marist has structured their 10 bachelor's degree programs to fit the busy schedules of non-traditional students, allowing them to study at their own pace but still complete a degree in 4 years. However, Marist College separates itself by offering a unique accelerated online course option. The online accelerated courses are for undergraduate students only, and they satisfy the core courses needed to graduate. Accelerated courses last 8 weeks in the spring, summer and fall and last only 4 weeks in the winter. The current bachelor's degree programs are actually meant to be degree completion programs, meaning Marist expects that many of their online students will come in with previous school credit. Students are not required to have previous credit upon applying, though. All of the degrees currently offered are available entirely online, but students are allowed to study in a hybrid format of online and on-campus, giving students flexibility to study in whatever way works best for them. Because Marist's online degrees are also designed for degree completion, transfer students are more than welcome to apply, and their previously earned credit can go toward completing their online degree. All tuition and fees are the same for students regardless of which state they live in and whether they are studying in an entirely online or hybrid format.

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