Easy Colleges to Get Into in New York

Colleges with a high admission rate can help you advance your education and career. Learn more about easy colleges to get into in New York.
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The New York State Education Department reports that 45% of high school seniors in 2022 graduated with honors. Many well-qualified college applicants can make getting accepted to a top New York college difficult for in-state and out-of-state prospective students.

Fortunately, many easy colleges to get into in New York exist. The City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) systems have some of the best and easiest schools to get into in the state. Enrolling in one may save you money on a degree and let you transfer to a more competitive four-year school in 1-2 years.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

List of the Easiest New York Colleges to Get Into

Most of the easiest colleges to get into in New York feature an acceptance rate above 90%. So whether you've lived in New York your whole life or are ready to make the move to the big city, these colleges have got you covered.

The 2022 data in the table below comes directly from the National Council for Education Statistics (NCES).

Easiest New York Colleges to Get Into
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
College of Staten Island CUNY 10,248 $7,217 100% N/A
Empire State University 9,407 $9,704 100% N/A
Excelsior University 15,833 N/A 100% N/A
Roberts Wesleyan University 1,573 $23,341 100% 1,006
Elmira College 657 $24,040 96% 1,456
Iona University 3,621 $28,827 96% 6,228
Culinary Institute of America 3,124 $33,499 95% 1,887
Hilbert College 877 $16,930 95% 1,354
SUNY College of Technology at Canton 2,836 $14,049 95% 2,280
Keuka College 1,250 $28,397 93% 1,734
Long Island University 15,737 $25,802 93% 14,332
SUNY College at Old Westbury 4,270 $12,329 92% 3,825
Niagara University 3,858 $18,165 90% 3,836
College of Mount Saint Vincent 2,877 $17,084 89% 3,465
Dominican University New York 1,407 $23,747 89% 1,614
St. Thomas Aquinas College 2,033 $21,745 89% 1,861
CUNY Medgar Evers College 3,640 $8,250 88% 11,553
Mount Saint Mary College 1,918 $23,439 88% 2,604
Mercy University 8,615 $15,879 86% 7,891
Source: NCES

10 Colleges in New York With the Highest Acceptance Rates

The following New York colleges hold proper accreditation and are relatively easy to get into. Visit their websites for the latest information on application requirements and enrollment.

College of Staten Island CUNY

Acceptance Rate: 100%

CSI offers dozens of online and on-campus undergraduate degrees, including American studies, biology, and computer science. Summer and winter sessions can help you complete your degree in fewer than four years.

You need only a high school or GED diploma to apply. CSI plans to remain test-optional through spring 2025.

Empire State University

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Located in Saratoga Springs, ESU lets you choose from six undergraduate schools, including business, human services, and mathematics and technology.

ESU requires proof of high school completion, such as official transcripts or a GED diploma. The university also accepts transfer credit reflecting at least a C- grade.

Excelsior University

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Consider Excelsior if you're returning to school, as the university's generous transfer credit policy helps many learners graduate in 12 months or fewer.

Submit your high school or GED diploma to apply to one of Excelsior's liberal arts programs. The university restricts some health sciences degrees to prospective students in specific states.

Roberts Wesleyan University

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Consider Roberts if you want a Christ-centered education, small class sizes, and more than 60 undergraduate majors from which to choose.

You need only to submit the official application and high school transcripts to apply. However, Roberts uses a 2.8 high school GPA cutoff.

Elmira College

Acceptance Rate: 96%

Elmira's 35 undergraduate majors can help you prepare for a career or graduate school. The college requires only high school transcripts and one recommendation letter. Elmira does not use a GPA cutoff, and a dedicated admissions counselor can help you with the application process.

Iona University

Acceptance Rate: 96%

A Catholic university located in New Rochelle and Bronxville, Iona features undergraduate programs in over 100 subjects. Application requirements include official transcripts, a recommendation letter, and an interview. Ionia does not use a GPA cutoff for allow transfer credits.

Culinary Institute of America

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Situated in Hyde Park, CIA helps you train for a career as a chef or food services manager. You can apply by submitting official high school transcripts, an essay, and a recommendation letter.

Hilbert College

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Hilbert College offers over a dozen undergraduate degrees, and many of the programs let you earn a master's with only one extra year of study. You submit your high school or GED transcripts to apply. Advanced Placement and other standardized test scores may help your application or earn you college credit.

SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Acceptance Rate: 95%

SUNY Canton offers bachelor's programs as well as career-aligned associate degree programs, such as HVAC trades, nursing, and veterinary science technology.

You can apply using Apply SUNY or the Common App. Both require an essay. SUNY Canton recommends but does not require standardized test scores.

Keuka College

Acceptance Rate: 93%

Keuka College offers over two dozen undergraduate majors and lets you customize your education with a minor. The school's emphasis on experiential learning can help you develop in-demand skills.

Keuka College requires the Common App or Keuka College Express App. Although you don't need to submit standardized test scores, they may help your application.

What Is an Open Admissions College?

Open admissions enroll all learners who meet basic application requirements. These requirements may include a high school or GED diploma. However, unlike other four-year colleges, they do not require or recommend standardized test scores, interviews, or recommendation letters. Many of New York's easiest colleges to get into utilize an open admissions policy.

Not all colleges advertising a 100% acceptance rate use an open admissions policy. Always check schools' application requirements closely and contact admissions advisors to answer your questions.

Fortunately, one of the easiest colleges to get into in New York offers open admissions: Excelsior University.

Your local community or junior college may also offer open admissions. Starting your education at one of these schools can help you save money on a four-year degree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in New York

What college in New York has the highest acceptance rate?

Four schools tie for New York's highest acceptance rate: CSI, ESU, Excelsior, and Roberts. Although they use slightly different admission requirements, each school accepts 100% of applicants.

What's the easiest CUNY college to get into?

With a 100% admission rate, CSI ranks as the easiest CUNY college to get into. Even so, you still need a high school or GED diploma to apply. The school's Adult Literacy and Language Program can help you prepare to take the GED and excel in a college environment.

Which SUNY colleges have the highest acceptance rates?

Old Westbury and SUNY Canton feature an acceptance rate above 90%. You can apply to both with just one application.

SUNY institutions offer New York residents the most affordable per-credit tuition rate. Other advantages of attending a SUNY school with a high acceptance rate include the ability to transfer credits between them easily.

Page last reviewed November 13, 2023

BestColleges.com 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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