Colleges in Albany: All 9 Schools

Albany is home to some of the top public and private institutions in upstate New York. Learn more about degrees you can pursue from colleges in Albany.
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Updated on December 21, 2023
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As the capital of New York, Albany has a rich and unique history. Once a manufacturing powerhouse, the city is now a major academic hub and home to a vibrant industrial and business scene.

Albany offers various educational and career opportunities. The city has a number of diverse private and public colleges, including a fully online college in Excelsior University. If you're seeking a career in the region, you'll likely find a number of in-demand jobs in the healthcare, technology, and business sectors.

Read on to learn more about colleges in Albany and what you can expect to pay to attend college in New York's state capital.

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3 Popular Colleges in Albany

Whether you're seeking a small private college or a large public university, you can find an academic home in Albany. When researching colleges in Albany, be sure to check out these three popular schools.

1. SUNY at Albany

The State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany is a well-known public research institution with 68 undergraduate degree programs. The average annual net price for attendance is $17,714, and the school has a relatively high acceptance rate of 57%.

This university enrolls about 18,000 students each year and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. If you are OK with a large student body, want a diverse campus environment, or hope to do undergraduate research, SUNY at Albany might be a school for you to consider.

2. Skidmore College

If you want to apply to a relatively selective school, you can set your sights on Skidmore College. Although this school may not be the hardest New York college to get into, Skidmore College has an acceptance rate of 26%.

As a private school, Skidmore College has an average yearly net price of $33,389. However, with a small enrollment of about 3,000 and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 8-to-1, you may decide that the educational experience is worth the price.

3. Excelsior University

One of the few fully online colleges in New York, Excelsior University is a private institution that offers online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some areas of study you can choose from include business, health sciences, nursing, and technology.

As a fully online school, Excelsior provides important resources, like the Online Writing Lab and Career Readiness Center. High-performing students regularly receive invitations to join one of five honor societies that recognize their achievements. New course registration occurs every eight weeks.

List of All Colleges in Albany

We've created a complete list of all four-year, nonprofit colleges in Albany. You can use the table below to compare data on the student population and the average net cost.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All data is from 2021-2022. Note that colleges with a total student enrollment of 500 or fewer were not considered for this list.

All 9 Colleges in Albany
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate
Empire State University 9,407 $9,704 100%
Excelsior University 15,833 N/A 100%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 6,968 $39,127 65%
Russell Sage College 2,159 $22,456 74%
Siena College 3,648 $30,842 80%
Skidmore College 2,758 $33,389 26%
SUNY at Albany 16,658 $17,714 68%
The College of Saint Rose 2,786 $23,294 78%
Union College 2,107 $41,136 47%
Source: NCES

How Much Is College in Albany?

Tuition and fees vary greatly among colleges in Albany. The average cost for public colleges is just under $15,000, while the average cost for private colleges is over $30,000. This is why deciding whether to attend a private or public school is often the biggest consideration when it comes to the cost of your college education.

And keep in mind there are other costs outside of tuition and fees, including housing, books, transportation, and other living expenses.

Cost of College in Albany (2022)
Institution Type Average Annual Net Price
Public 4-Year (In-state) $13,709
Private 4-Year $31,707
Source: NCES

What About Colleges in Upstate New York?

There are hundreds of colleges in New York, which is why we have dedicated resource pages for different parts of the state. For this page, we're only focusing on colleges in or in very close proximity to Albany (within a 30-mile radius of the city).

If you want to venture a little farther away from Albany, you might consider SUNY New Paltz or the Culinary Institute of America, both within an hour's distance of the state capital. Be sure to check out our other resource pages if you're interested in looking beyond Albany at other colleges in upstate New York.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in Albany

What is the cheapest college in Albany?

If you're studying in New York and funding your housing and education on a budget, consider Empire State University. Part of the SUNY system, Empire State University has an average annual net price of just under $10,000. You may also look into Excelsior University. This online institution charges $510 per undergraduate credit hour.

How many colleges are in Albany?

There are nine accredited, four-year institutions located in Albany. These schools include private and public colleges and universities, varying in size and cost. Many students choose to study in Albany because of its diverse population and various educational and employment opportunities.

What is the biggest college in Albany?

Both SUNY at Albany and Excelsior University have total student enrollments that exceed 15,000. SUNY at Albany is well-known for its research and development, while Excelsior University is known for its fully online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 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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