The Best Online Colleges in New York | TheBestSchools

by TBS Staff

Updated August 23, 2022 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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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. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

    Alfred, NY



    Alfred State ranked as the number one State University of New York in 2021 by U.S. News and World Report and boasts a 17-to-1 student to teacher ratio.

    Students can choose from a total of 10 online major paths offered through the online College of Technology. Areas of study include construction management, court reporting, healthcare information, and individual studies at a cost of under $300 per credit. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, with other criteria evaluated on an individual basis.

  2. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

    Delhi, NY



    Founded in 1913 in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, SUNY Delhi currently serves over 3,000 students annually and boasts a 15-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

    The institution offers 10 bachelor's and master's programs completely online, including bachelor of science in criminal justice, bachelor of business administration in business and technology management, and bachelor of business administration in hotel and restaurant management.

    Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent and any collegiate transcripts for transfer students. Standardized test scores fall under SUNY Delhi's test-optional policy.

  3. SUNY College at Oswego

    Oswego, NY



    Founded in 1861 on the banks of Lake Ontario, SUNY Oswego currently serves about 8,000 students annually with a 17-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

    Online baccalaureate offerings include bachelor of science in business administration, bachelor of arts in criminal justice, bachelor of science in wellness management, and bachelor of arts in public relations. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent and a minimum GPA. Online program availability spans all four terms (spring, summer, fall, and winter).

  4. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

    Canton, NY



    Founded in 1906, SUNY Canton currently serves over 3,000 undergraduate students annually and boasts a 17-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.

    SUNY Canton offers 22 majors completely online, including bachelor of science in crime analysis, bachelor of business administration in e-sports management, bachelor of science in applied psychology, and bachelor of science in emergency management.

    Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, while standardized test scores are optional. Cost of attendance for in-state students runs about $300 per credit, while out-of-state students pay about $350 per credit.

  5. Syracuse University

    Syracuse, NY

    Syracuse was founded in 1870 and currently supports over 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degrees across 13 schools and colleges. Almost 23,000 students attend Syracuse annually.

    Syracuse offers seven undergraduate bachelor and associate degrees completely online, including bachelor of professional studies in computer programming, bachelor of arts in liberal studies, and bachelor of professional studies in cybersecurity administration.

    Admission requirements include completion of or enrollment in secondary school, two academic recommendations, and counselor evaluation. Syracuse currently operates under a test-optional policy regarding standardized test scores.

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, 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, 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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