Public Colleges in New York: Complete List

Public colleges in New York serve hundreds of thousands of students each year. Read on to discover what makes New York public colleges unique.
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Updated on November 20, 2023
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Public colleges in New York offer quality academics at an affordable price. You'll find public schools throughout the state. The State University of New York (SUNY) system alone serves over 300,000 undergraduates.

But it's not just accessibility and affordability that make public colleges in New York appealing — these schools offer standout academics while prioritizing the diversity that enriches campus cultures.

Continue reading as we showcase some popular public colleges in New York, provide a full list of public schools, and explain how much a public education costs.

5 Popular Public Colleges in New York

Here, we spotlight some popular public universities in New York you can apply to. We chose these schools based on criteria like overall academic reputation, number of applicants, and student outcomes.

1. Baruch College

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $4,991
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 19,854

Baruch College is part of the City University of New York system (CUNY) and dates back over a century when it was established as the Free Academy.

With nearly 20,000 students, Baruch is a large New York public institution that's home to three schools: the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the Zicklin School of Business.

Popular majors here include accounting, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

2. Hunter College

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $4,848
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 22,970

Established as a women's institution in 1870, Hunter College is a public New York school based in Manhattan. Over the years, the college evolved into a co-ed institution that offers a vibrant campus and diverse student body.

Hunter provides an equally diverse roster of majors, with some of the most popular options including nursing, biology, psychology, and media studies. Additionally, Hunter places a strong emphasis on innovation, providing you with valuable opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research.

3. Queens College

  • Avg. Annual Net Price $6,434
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 17,001

Established in 1937, Queens College is another CUNY public institution that serves over 18,000 students annually. Alongside the school's rich history of academic excellence, Queens has a deep commitment to social justice while fostering a community that values diversity and inclusivity.

In addition to offering 78 undergraduate majors and over 100 master's degrees, Queens runs more than 40 accelerated master's tracks. Some of the school's most popular majors include psychology, biology, business, and education.

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4. Stony Brook University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $17,213
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 25,710

Based in Long Island, Stony Brook University is part of the SUNY system and has educated both undergraduate and graduate students since 1957. The public institution is recognized for its strong emphasis on science and medicine, boasting a prestigious medical center and top-notch research facilities.

Popular majors here include biology, psychology, computer science, business, and engineering. Stony Brook counts Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners among its premier faculty.

5. University at Buffalo

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $18,524
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 32,099

The University at Buffalo (UB) is a large public research university and flagship SUNY school. The institution is home to more than a dozen colleges and schools, including standout medical, dental, and pharmacy schools.

In addition to offering quality academics and emphasizing innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration, UB boasts a diverse student body, which adds to the school's vibrant intellectual and cultural atmosphere.

List of Public Colleges in New York

Below is a complete list of all four-year public colleges in New York. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

All data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Institutions with fewer than 500 undergrads were not included in this list.

All Public Colleges in New York
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Binghamton University 18,312 $19,535 42% 41,642
College of Staten Island CUNY 10,248 $7,217 100% N/A
CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College 19,854 $4,991 50% 25,693
CUNY Brooklyn College 14,195 $5,972 55% 28,890
CUNY City College 14,489 $5,181 67% 33,648
CUNY Hunter College 22,970 $4,848 48% 33,944
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice 13,921 $5,001 51% 18,807
CUNY Lehman College 13,015 $4,974 55% 22,455
CUNY Medgar Evers College 3,640 $8,250 88% 11,553
CUNY New York City College of Technology 13,087 $6,406 82% 21,335
CUNY Queens College 17,001 $6,434 69% 22,324
CUNY York College 6,446 $6,670 59% 16,112
Empire State University 9,407 $9,704 100% N/A
Farmingdale State College 9,314 $8,111 73% 6,426
Fashion Institute of Technology 8,125 $20,900 53% 4,669
Stony Brook University 25,710 $17,213 49% 40,513
SUNY at Albany 16,658 $17,714 68% 25,976
SUNY at Fredonia 3,491 $15,795 85% 4,597
SUNY at Purchase College 3,182 $19,434 75% 5,747
SUNY Brockport 6,424 $16,261 68% 7,683
SUNY Buffalo State University 6,445 $13,812 86% 12,292
SUNY College at Geneseo 4,184 $19,557 75% 9,069
SUNY College at Old Westbury 4,270 $12,329 92% 3,825
SUNY College at Plattsburgh 4,474 $17,625 70% 6,872
SUNY College at Potsdam 2,427 $15,310 83% 3,170
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry 1,976 $20,928 70% 2,466
SUNY College of Technology at Canton 2,836 $14,049 95% 2,280
SUNY College of Technology at Delhi 2,612 $16,314 83% 3,621
SUNY Cortland 6,690 $18,304 60% 11,711
SUNY Maritime College 1,427 $19,712 80% 1,337
SUNY New Paltz 6,964 $19,592 58% 13,228
SUNY Oneonta 5,430 $18,129 73% 9,895
SUNY Oswego 6,906 $17,376 83% 12,555
SUNY Polytechnic Institute 2,842 $13,799 82% 2,919
United States Merchant Marine Academy 943 $4,891 27% 1,532
United States Military Academy 4,393 N/A 12% 12,559
University at Buffalo 32,099 $18,524 68% 30,939
Source: NCES

Scholarships for New York Students

Paying for college can be tricky. Fortunately, New York offers many scholarships for students. Check out some of the scholarships below and see whether you qualify.

Ascend Educational Fund Scholarship

The Ascend Educational Fund Scholarship offers a generous award to graduating high school seniors. This scholarship is open to students living in one of New York's five boroughs. To apply, you must demonstrate academic achievement and proven dedication to your community. Additionally, you must be an immigrant or the child of two immigrants.

Deadline: February

Amount: $2,500-$20,000

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Tuition Assistance Program

New York State's tuition assistance program helps resident students cover the cost of college with a grant of over $5,000. Applicants must be legal residents of New York and have earned a GED certificate or high school diploma in the United States. Additionally, you must have completed at least two college semesters and maintained a "C" average.

Deadline: June

Amount: Up to $5,665

Young Women in STEM Scholarship

The Young Women in STEM award seeks to expand female representation in the historically male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. This award is open to female high school seniors and undergraduates and pays up to $5,000. In addition to majoring in a STEM field, you must provide proof of financial hardship.

Deadline: Varies

Amount: $5,000

Highest-Paying Jobs in New York

New York is home to a multitude of high-paying jobs that are ideal for college students working toward lucrative careers. Some of the best-paying industries include business management, technology, and healthcare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

While a college diploma doesn't always translate into a high salary, certain degrees can greatly enhance your earning potential. Business and finance majors, for example, can work in investment banking, while future tech entrepreneurs might hone their skills through a computer science degree.

Additionally, an advanced degree in medicine, law, or business can further expand your competitiveness and earning potential.

High-Paying Jobs in New York
Job Annual Mean Salary (May 2022) Minimum Degree Required
Pediatric Surgeons $415,810 Doctorate
Chief Executives $324,370 Bachelor's degree
Nurse Anesthetists $238,710 Master's degree
Sales Managers $231,380 Bachelor's degree
Human Resources Managers $190,340 Bachelor's degree
Public Relations Managers $183,160 Bachelor's degree
Architectural and Engineering Managers $173,350 Bachelor's degree
Postsecondary Education Administrators $168,370 Master's degree
Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges in New York

How many public colleges are in New York state?

There are over 40 four-year public colleges and universities in New York, including the SUNY and CUNY systems, according to NCES. These institutions offer an impressive array of programs and degrees, providing accessible and affordable higher education opportunities to students across the state.

What is the No. 1 public university in New York?

While the best colleges in New York typically include a list of elite private institutions, the University at Buffalo regularly ranks as the best public school in the state. As the flagship institution of the SUNY system, UB is known for its strong academic programs and research opportunities.

Is SUNY better than CUNY?

Both the SUNY and CUNY systems offer quality academics at a reasonable price. Because both higher education systems and their schools have pluses and minuses, be sure to seek out schools that align with your academic needs and professional goals before applying. 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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