2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

Want to learn about the best colleges in New York and figure out which one supports your needs? Keep reading to find a college in New York that's right for you.
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Whether they want to earn an associate degree or doctorate, students in New York can take advantage of many different online colleges in the state that can help them meet their professional goals. With so many job openings expected in the coming years, attending one of the top online schools in the state can prepare graduates for professional success.

Keep reading to learn about the best online colleges, the most in-demand jobs for the New York, and how nearly one million New Yorkers can earn an associate or bachelor's degree for free.

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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Top Degree Programs in New York

Featured Online Programs

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

New York Employment Outlook

In the coming years, the state of New York expects to see substantial growth in a variety of industries and career paths. As the list of jobs below illustrates, many of these jobs will center in healthcare, but individuals can also find expansive growth in areas such as alternative energy and engineering careers.

The New York State Department of Labor projects that nearly 1.1 million jobs will be added to the state's economy between 2018-2028, leading to an overall growth of 10.4% for all occupations. Graduates will find a variety of growing industries and lucrative roles to choose from.

5 In-Demand New York Jobs


Solar Photovoltaic Installers

These professionals assemble and install systems used to convert sunlight into electrical energy. In addition to configuring systems based on customer needs and available spaces, PV installers also assemble structures for solar panels, install these structures and panels, and connect them to the electrical system. They also perform maintenance as needed.

  • Annual Median Salary: $50,080
  • Job Growth Projection: 68.4%

Home Health Aide

Home health aides assist individuals with daily living activities they can no longer perform due to illness and/or injury. Common tasks include helping with bathing and dressing, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping for groceries, and arranging medical and non-medical appointments.

  • Annual Median Salary: $27,080
  • Job Growth Projection: 65.9%

Physicial Assistants

Also known as PAs, these medical professionals perform many of the same duties as doctors and surgeons. In addition to examining and diagnosing patients, they also create and perform treatments - including prescribing medications as needed. Other responsibilities include ordering diagnostic tests, reviewing medical histories, educating patients on health issues, and keeping up with patient charts.

  • Annual Median Salary: $127,220
  • Job Growth Projection: 41.5%

Nurse Practitioner

A type of advanced practice registered nurse, nurse practitioners work within medical teams to assess and examine patients, create treatment plans, and prescribe medications. They also use diagnostic and medical equipment to diagnose health issues and oversee other nursing providers such as registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses.

  • U.S. Median Annual Salary: $126,540
  • Job Growth Projection: 41.3%

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Working under the supervision of occupational therapists, OTAs work with patients to complete exercises and help them figure out which activities and tasks they can currently perform and should aim for in the future. They also instruct patients on how to use medical equipment and devices, and help improve mobility.

  • U.S. Median Annual Salary: $64,730
  • Job Growth Projection: 37.8%

Popular Career Paths in New York

2022 Best Accredited Online Colleges in New York

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

#1 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $1,583-$1,683
Graduate | $1,934-$2,934

NYU, located in New York City, offers online programs that award professional degrees and certificates and offer study abroad options. Fields of study span the schools of arts and science; public health; professional studies; public service; culture, education, and human development; and business, law, and engineering.

NYU libraries feature virtual librarian services, subject and technical specialists to help with research, and electronic materials. Applicants submit an online application and self-reported academic record. Some programs also require portfolios. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,684
Out-of-state
$50,684
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
52,885
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

Stony Brook University

  • Stony Brook, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $295
Undergrad, out of state | $353
Graduate, in state | $471
Graduate, out of state | $565-$750

Stony Brook offers more than 20 online degrees and certificates, including master's and bachelor's degrees in nursing and a bachelor's in electrical engineering. Additional master's degrees include applied health informatics, business administration, higher education administration, human resource management, and liberal studies.

Stony Brook primarily features asynchronous learning. This is supported by academic advising, online bookstore and library materials, technology help, and a writing center. Remote learners apply online and should submit transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.8 GPA.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$24,740
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
26,814
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

Syracuse University

  • Syracuse, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost
Undergrad | $695/credit (part time), $55,920/year (full time)
Graduate | $31,212/year (in person), $10,404/quarter (online), $6,504/semester (online)

At Syracuse, remote learners can earn degrees from the schools of citizenship and public affairs, education, information studies, law, management, and public communications. The colleges of arts and sciences, engineering and computer science, professional studies, and sport and human dynamics also offer distance learning options.

Most courses are fully online. Some programs have brief on-campus residencies or experiential instruction. Online students can connect with alumni mentors and access advising and IT help. Application requirements and procedures are program-specific. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,616
Out-of-state
$50,616
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
22,850
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

Excelsior College

  • Albany, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $510
Graduate | $695

Albany's Excelsior is a nonprofit distance learning institution offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Excelsior confers degrees in health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, public service, and technology. Student resources include online career advising, library and bookstore services, and a writing lab.

Interested students must apply online and submit official transcripts. Some departments may require diplomas or prior degrees. Programs like nursing might call for a nursing license, a certificate, or graduation from an accredited nursing program, depending on the degree level.

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
25,245
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

Marist College

  • Poughkeepsie, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $750
Graduate | $870

Marist, based in Poughkeepsie, focuses on liberal arts and includes programs for remote learners who want to finish their bachelor's degrees, obtain professional certification, or pursue executive-level training.

Undergraduates can complete online degrees in management or professional studies. Graduate-level topics include business administration, business analytics, public administration, information systems, and integrated marketing communications. 

Learners can order textbooks online and contact instructors through virtual office hours and discussion boards. Applicants submit an online application, transcripts, and a personal essay.

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,925
Out-of-state
$39,925
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
6,738
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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.

#6 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

SUNY Empire State College

  • Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $295
Undergrad, out of state | $353
Graduate, in state | $471-$625
Graduate, out of state | $565-$750

Part of a statewide systems of colleges in New York, ESC delivers more than 110 online degree programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and nursing and allied health enrollees. Fields of study include arts and humanities, business, education, human services, and science, math, and technology. 

ESC offers electronic library materials and technology resources. Online workshops teach students academic skills and how to balance school, work, and family. Prospective learners must complete an online application and a personal essay and provide transcripts.   

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,440
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Rochester, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $513-$1,163
Graduate, in state | $1,286

RIT, based in Rochester, provides mostly asynchronous learning opportunities, including success coaching. RIT serves working professionals pursuing their master's and students who are interested in finishing their undergraduate degrees.

Degree areas include applied statistics, architecture, arts and science, business and leadership, health systems, construction management, and technology and computer science. 

Depending on the program, admission may require transcripts, personal statements, writing samples, and test scores. Graduate entry requires a bachelor's degree. Credits for work experience and certifications may count toward a degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$44,049
Out-of-state
$44,049
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
16,254
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

St. Joseph's College-Long Island

  • Patchogue, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $655
Graduate | $712

Located in Brooklyn and Long Island, SJCNY offers online degrees and certificates. Enrollees can complete bachelor's degrees  in criminal justice, general studies, health administration, human resources, human services, or organizational management. Graduate programs award MBAs and MS degrees in business and healthcare management.

SJCNY provides online career services, advising, tutoring, and technology support. Undergraduate applicants submit transcripts and evidence of a minimum 2.0 college GPA. Graduate applicants need a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA.

Average Tuition
In-state
$28,590
Out-of-state
$28,590
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
3,959
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

St John's University-New York

  • Queens, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad | $1,482
Graduate | $1,345-$1,360

A Catholic university established in 1870, St. John's is headquartered in Jamaica, New York. Online programs at the university confer bachelor's degrees in business, doctorates in homeland security and literacy, and master's degrees in a variety of fields, including accounting and theology.  

Students access advising, technical support, video courses with tips for distance learning, and an orientation to the virtual instructional platform. Prospective learners must complete online applications and submit transcripts. Admission is a test-optional process requesting personal essays, recommendations, and resumes.  

Average Tuition
In-state
$41,378
Out-of-state
$41,378
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
21,718
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 2022 Best Online Colleges in New York

The New School

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost
Undergrad | $1,619/credit
Graduate | $1,962/credit
Certificates |  $100-$6,760/program

The New School, a college in New York City, offers self-paced, online certificates in areas like digital marketing, English language teaching, fashion design, human-centered healthcare, and web design. Learners can also pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctorates, in a variety of subject areas.

For certificate students, hybrid executive education programs lead to credentials in global leadership, fashion and social media, and luxury market management. Certificates primarily serve students with professional experience, with some suitable for motivated career changers. Executive education programs look for applicants with mid- to senior-level executive experience. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$49,770
Out-of-state
$49,770
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
10,432
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in New York

Does New York have good online colleges?

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Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that more than 51% of students in New York are currently enrolled exclusively in online colleges in New York, making it a popular option for learners in the Empire State.To meet this large and expanding need for distance learning, New York is home to a wide variety of online colleges. Students can choose from both public and private institutions, depending on their budgets. They can also find online programs dotted across the state, from Buffalo to Binghamton and Syracuse to Saugerties.

How much does it cost to go to college online in New York?

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The cost of tuition and expenses for online colleges in New York can vary significantly, especially when comparing public and private institutions. College Board reports that in-state learners at public schools paid an average of $10,740 during the 2021-2022 school year, while those at private universities paid an average of $38,070.Before committing to any online program, students must take time to understand the true program cost. Aside from tuition, they need to factor in things like fees, textbooks, and any other costs. Picking one of the most affordable online colleges in New York can dramatically help lower expenses.

What is the cheapest online college in New York?

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The cheapest online college in New York will depend on several factors specific to the student. Those who qualify for grants, scholarships, and work-study programs through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can drastically reduce the cost of their education and, in some cases, avoid student loan debt.When looking for a program with lower tuition, students should make sure they qualify for in-state tuition. Out-of-state tuition often costs substantially more, so those who recently moved to New York may need to meet certain residency requirements to get lower rates.

Who qualifies for free college in New York?

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The New York State Department of Education provides the Excelsior Scholarship for middle-class families and individuals who make $125,000 or less per year. Under this provision, individuals can attend any two-year or four-year program provided by the City University of New York (CUNY) or State University of New York (SUNY) systems for free.To qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship, applicants must be New York State residents, attend a SUNY or CUNY program, complete at least 30 credits per year, and live and work in the state after graduation for the length of time they received scholarship funding.

Feature Image: Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

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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