Colleges in Rochester, NY: All 6 Schools

Considering colleges in Rochester? Learn about the most popular Rochester colleges, high-paying jobs, and the cost of living.
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An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D., has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a writer and consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern...
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Margaret Weinhold is an associate editor for BestColleges, where she focuses on core content. She is passionate about increasing visibility and accessibility around higher education. Margaret holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia....
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Rochester, New York, is known for its scenic views of Lake Ontario, industrial history, and snowy winters. And Rochester is also a great place to earn a college degree.

The Empire State boasts many great colleges and universities. But the thought of paying New York prices can worry cost-conscious college students. There’s good news — Rochester is one of the most affordable cities in New York State.

Learning more about Rochester colleges can help you find the best fit for your budget, interests, and career goals.

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3 Popular Colleges in Rochester

Looking for colleges in Rochester? New York has great public universities and private colleges. Here are some of the most popular colleges in Rochester, NY.

1. University of Rochester

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $39,775
  • Acceptance Rate: 39%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 12,197

Rochester’s most selective college is the University of Rochester. The private research university dates back to 1850 and enrolls over 12,000 students. Three in four undergrads conduct research, and the flexible curriculum only includes one required general education class.

The riverfront campus hosts over 900 concerts every year. Most students live on campus, where they can join 275 clubs and organizations. Or earn your degree online with programs in nursing, education, and business.

2. Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $39,600
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 16,615

Rochester’s largest college is the Rochester Institute of Technology. The private institution offers degrees in art and design, business, STEM, health sciences, and liberal arts. Undergrads collectively receive over $400 million in financial aid, with 100% of first-year and transfer students receiving aid.

In addition to the Rochester campus, you can earn an online degree in statistics, business analytics, computer science, or data science. The university’s online programs also include master’s programs in project management, product development, and manufacturing leadership.

3. SUNY Brockport

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $16,261
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 6,424

Located less than 20 miles west of Rochester, SUNY Brockport is the most affordable college in the Rochester area. New York residents pay around $7,000 per year at the public institution. And you can qualify for hundreds of scholarships offered by the school. New York’s Excelsior Scholarship also provides full tuition to public colleges for middle-class New York residents.

Choose from on-campus or online programs, with online options in business, nursing, public administration, and school counseling.

List of All Colleges in Rochester

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

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All data is from 2022. Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates were not included in this list.

All Colleges in Rochester, NY
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Nazareth College 2,522 $31,620 84% 3,911
Roberts Wesleyan University 1,573 $23,341 100% 1,006
Rochester Institute of Technology 16,615 $39,600 67% 23,976
St. John Fisher University 3,621 $28,312 73% 4,200
SUNY Brockport 6,424 $16,261 68% 7,683
University of Rochester 12,197 $39,775 39% 19,966
Source: NCES

5 Highest-Paying Jobs in Rochester

Earning a bachelor’s degree can boost your earning potential and qualify you for many New York jobs. Many of the highest-paying jobs in Rochester require a college degree. The following table includes some of the highest-paying careers that require a bachelor’s degree.

Highest-Paying Jobs in Rochester
Career Mean Annual Salary (May 2022)
Sales Manager $174,420
Fundraising Manager $163,760
Actuary $142,500
Commercial Pilots $130,570
Database Architects $123,250
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Cost of Living in Rochester?

It’s no secret that studying in New York can be expensive. New York City has one of the highest costs of living in the country. But there’s good news for Rochester college students. This upstate New York city has a lower-than-average cost of living.

According to Payscale, living in Rochester costs 1% less than the national average. Even better, housing costs are 5% lower, while utilities are 10% lower. You’ll also find that groceries are cheaper than average in Rochester.

While Rochester reports a median rent price of $1,300, college students can save money by living with roommates. Taking advantage of student discounts and financial aid can also help college students afford their degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in Rochester

How many colleges are in Rochester?

The Rochester area is home to six colleges. The city’s largest college, Rochester Institute of Technology, brings over 16,500 students to the city, while the University of Rochester enrolls over 12,000. The area’s largest public university, SUNY Brockport, is the most affordable college in the area.

What is the cheapest college in Rochester?

The cheapest college in Rochester is SUNY Brockport, which is located less than 20 miles west of Rochester. A public institution, SUNY Brockport charges New York residents around $7,000 per year in tuition. Students can expect a net price of around $16,000 at the college.

Why should you live and study in Rochester?

Rochester, New York is a great place to earn a degree or launch a career. Located in scenic upstate New York, Rochester boasts many high-paying jobs that require a college degree. Rochester is also home to six colleges and universities, including an affordable public university. 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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