Best Online Colleges in New York

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For working adults in New York – the national center for professional life, after all – there are many flexible, highly credible, and accredited online degree programs from public and private universities and colleges that can help professionals improve their credentials, advance their careers, and move into new, exciting, and lucrative challenges.

Working adults may not have a schedule that allows them the ability to attend school in a brick-and-mortar institution. This is especially the case if individuals juggle work, children, and other responsibilities. Students who attend a New York online college can complete their assignments before or after work or even fit as much as they can into their break schedule at work. Plus, they don’t have to contend with having to fit a commute time into their schedule. 

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Ranking the Best Online Colleges in New York

The Value Colleges Best Online Colleges in New York ranking looks at the very best choices for online degree programs in the state of New York. These are all regionally accredited, highly ranked, and job-market-proven, with strong reputations based on educational excellence. No student can go wrong with VC’s Best of NY.

1. Excelsior College

Excelsior College is New York’s home for online programs. They offer programs from the liberal arts to nursing. These online programs were designed to give students a high-quality education while maintaining the flexibility that they need. This degree completion program doesn’t stop at online courses, though. Students can also take credit by exam options and earn credit for their relevant professional experience. Because of all of this flexibility, Excelsior has become one of the top online colleges in New York. 

Excelsior College isn’t just a school with online options. It’s a completely online not-for-profit school. Because online education is all that they do, the faculty at Excelsior have mastered the art and science of online teaching. Nobody will treat your classes as an afterthought to on-campus learning. You’ll get all of the quality and support that you need and deserve. 58% of Excelsior alumni reported career advancement or a pay increase after graduation. 

Number of Online Programs: 26

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2. New School

The New School’s online program lets students design their own degrees. The program starts with a liberal arts core. From there, students can customize their degrees to reflect their goals and interests. You might focus on the arts, culture, teaching, politics, or plenty of other choices. No matter their educational goals, students in this program get an excellent education with lots of flexibility and support. That makes The New School one of the best online colleges in New York for students in the arts. 

With a focus on design and the arts, The New School helps students gain more confidence in their work and abilities. Students hone their creative skills and critical thinking abilities while also gaining the practical skills that will help them succeed in the art world. This school has small classes so that students get plenty of focus and one-on-one attention, and since it’s in NYC, faculty get to stay on the pulse of art and design innovations. The New School is the #1 ranked art and design school in the US. 

Number of Online Programs: BA/BS in Liberal Arts – 26 concentrations

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3. Mercy College

Mercy College offers 17 online bachelor’s programs. Students can learn everything here from education to technology and plenty of other subjects. Mercy also offers certificate programs and opportunities to customize a degree. All possible choices come with lots of flexibility and academic excellence, making Mercy College one of the top online colleges in New York. 

Mercy College was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1950. These days, Mercy is an independent college that educates traditional and nontraditional students alike. As a matter of fact, this school has a keen focus on serving students from underrepresented backgrounds. Whether this means online students, first-generation college students, or those with extensive financial needs, Mercy College helps students reach their goals and overcome setbacks. 94% of Mercy’s undergrad classes have fewer than 30 students. Mercy is a great choice for those who learn best in smaller environments. 

Number of Online Programs: 17

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4. SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College has several online programs designed to help students reach their goals. These programs provide enough flexibility and convenience for busy adult learners to get the most out of their educations without sacrificing their work or home lives in the process. That said, the programs are also challenging, providing meaningful education. Taught by talented faculty and filled with goal-oriented students, SUNY Empire State is among the best online colleges in New York. 

SUNY Empire State was founded specifically with nontraditional students in mind. Today, most Empire State students are adult learners with busy lives. Empire State helps these students reach their goals while balancing their other responsibilities. This school provides the flexibility, customization, and support that students need to pursue the education that they deserve. ESC has several programs and options that support military members. 

Number of Online Programs: 12

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5. Dominican College

Dominican College offers seven online degree programs for people who need flexible learning. Within these 7 programs, students have access to all of the same resources that their on-campus peers receive. For example, students can take advantage of career counseling. Professors within this program have excellent teaching skills and understand how to teach effectively for online classes. Overall, Dominican College is one of the top online colleges in New York. 

Dominican College is an independent institution that holds onto many of its Catholic traditions. For example, Dominican College remains dedicated to quality, fulfilling education with a focus on service. This school turns students into leaders who actively work to improve the world around them. Here, students are both challenged and supported in their educational pursuits. Dominican College has been named a Military Friendly school. 

Number of Online Programs: 7

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6. SUNY College at Oswego

SUNY College at Oswego’s online programs let students balance their lives while earning an education. Students work with a cohort and interact closely with their teachers, so they don’t miss out on the personal relationships that come from on-campus learning. These programs are designed to maintain academic challenge and support while also providing flexibility and convenience. Overall, it’s one of the best online colleges in New York. 

SUNY Oswego is committed to pushing boundaries in education. Known for its innovation, SUNY Oswego provides education for all different students and learning styles. That’s why its online program does so well. At SUNY Oswego, students get all of the benefits of the SUNY system. They get quality education, plenty of learning resources, and support as they work toward their goals. At SUNY Oswego, 88% of full-time faculty have the highest possible degrees in their field. 

Number of Online Programs: 6

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7. SUNY Alfred State College of Technology

Alfred State College has five online programs that help students succeed. These degrees help students earn a competitive edge in their fields without hurting their current work lives. Alfred State faculty have more than 30 years of experience in distance education, which means that they know the unique needs and struggles of online students. These programs were designed to help students become leaders and experts in their fields. As a result, Alfred State is one of the top online colleges in New York. 

Alfred State is an exciting university that prepares students for career success. Degrees here are designed to get real-world results. Students here move on to gain a competitive edge in their fields.. Affordable and sustainable, this school provides students with what they need while maintaining responsibility to the community. Alfred State was ranked the #3 best college for veterans among northern universities. 

Number of Online Programs: 5

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8. SUNY Delhi

SUNY Delhi has several online programs. Students can complete their degrees either part-time or full-time, but there is no residency requirement either way. This approach provides flexibility for those who need it most. The Hotel and Restaurant Management degree option is a choice that you won’t find in many other places. This program provides students with the support and convenience that they need, making Delhi one of the best online colleges in New York. 

SUNY Delhi is a close-knit community with a commitment to learning. This school prides itself on creating flexible pathways to help students meet their goals. It also focuses on the whole person, not just academics. This approach instills confidence in students, allowing them to make the most of their potential and take advantage of opportunities when they see them. US News has ranked Delhi as one of the best online Bachelor program providers. 

Number of Online Programs: 5

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9. Molloy College

Molloy College offers online and hybrid degree completion programs. 25% of Molloy students complete some or all of their education online. As a result, this school has honed the practice of online education. These programs provide students with exactly what they need to succeed in a flexible environment. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, online students get the personalized approach that they need to make the educational process work for them. That’s why Molloy ranks among the top online colleges in New York. 

Molloy College is committed to providing top-quality education at an affordable rate. Molloy’s approach helps students become competitive in today’s job market. It blends academic and practical knowledge so that students get the best of all worlds. Molloy’s student retention rate is the highest in Long Island. 

Number of Online Programs: 3

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10. Vaughn College

Vaughn College offers three online degree options in aviation. These degree programs are accelerated, flexible, and let students balance their academic lives with their home and work lives. Students have several options for their distance learning format. For example, they may view lectures via online streaming, or they might watch lectures in DVD format. These choices set Vaughn apart from other schools, making it one of the best online colleges in New York. 

Vaughn College specializes in engineering, technology, management, and aviation. Those who want a tech-based education would be hard-pressed to find a more focused school. Faculty and staff here have tons of professional experience in their fields, meaning that students learn from those who can provide the most valuable education. This empowering school helps students reach their goals with confidence and skill. Vaughn College is ranked #1 in upward mobility in the United States. 

Number of Online Programs: 3

school website

What is the Value of Online Colleges in New York?

On average, a college graduate earns around $48,000 in their first year after college, and this figure is expected to rise over time. However, some individuals like working adults, single parents, and those wanting to change their degree and enhance their earning potential. They may feel like they’re stuck in a dead-end job, but an Internet search for “online college NYC” can change that.

A New York online college can also benefit nontraditional students like single parents or parents in general. A parent can attend school while their kids complete their homework, play, sleep, or are at school. Life doesn’t always go as planned. Unfortunately, an individual may decide they want to change careers. Some people may decide they want to enhance their education to further their growth potential. For these individuals, searching “online college NYC” can give them options for earning an education on a schedule that works for them. 

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in New York?

Online degrees in New York give individuals a variety of options. A prospective pupil may choose between online degrees in New York, including associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorates.

The major’s students have to choose from range from criminal justice to healthcare administration to accounting to cybersecurity. For instance, online degree programs in New York for associate’s degrees include early childhood learning, business management, computer engineering, and psychology. 

Bachelor’s degree options include business management, business administration, criminal justice, computer science, human resource management, information systems, and nursing programs (BSN). Sometimes, a degree program is only available on a bachelor’s degree level. For instance, the online degree programs in New York for bachelor’s degrees in nursing are only for students who already possess an RN or LPN. 

As mentioned, online degree programs in New York are also available as master’s degree programs. A potential student can become a nurse practitioner, earn an advanced cybersecurity degree, specialize in an area of psychology, or earn a master’s degree in business with a focus on marketing, among other options.

Doctorate-level online degree programs in New York allow people to achieve the highest level of education possible. Students may earn a doctorate in psychology, educational administration, and naturopathic medicine, among others. 

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in New York?

It’s a familiar complaint – nothing in New York is affordable. That’s not true of a college degree though; plenty of top-tier colleges in the SUNY and CUNY systems have low tuitions and strong reputations for excellence, while other private universities offer strong financial aid packages and incredible ROIs that make their tuition a great value at any price.

It’s possible to decrease the amount of money a person spends on an online degree in New York. For instance, certain schools classify as cheap online colleges in NY. A person can search for different schools that offer online degrees that are inexpensive when compared to other options. One factor to consider when coming to cheap online colleges in NY is if the school is public or private. Typically, earning an online education in New York from a public school is cheaper than a private school. Students may want to consider going to a regional location as opposed to the main branch.  

It’s important for a student who has limited savings for school to apply for financial aid from both the state and federal governments. Both the state and federal governments offer grants based on a student’s financial need. A prospective pupil may also find financial aid opportunities for people looking to enter into a nursing or education career path. 

Another option is to start at online community colleges in New York. Earning an online associate in New York is less expensive than earning a degree from a major university. When a person searches “online community college NYC,” they’ll notice they have options for degree paths in healthcare, business, and more. The options for online community college NYC are reputable but less costly. Getting a degree from one of the online community colleges in New York is ideal to earn general credits or an associate’s degree. Credits are transferable from online community colleges in New York and can provide a high level of online education in New York. 

Another way to make an online education in New York cheaper is through an employer reimbursement program. This option gives a student money in exchange for working for the company for a designated amount of time. An online bachelor’s degree makes you more valuable to them, especially from a prestigious school like Syracuse University or Columbia University.

Of course, in-state tuition rates are much more affordable than out-of-state, especially in a state with a high cost of living. The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics finds that tuition rates are going up everywhere, but academic programs have lower graduation rates. Online enrollment helps students save money and be more successful in the long run. Any bachelor’s degree is more valuable on the job market than a high school diploma.

Plus, by choosing affordable education programs, you leave more money for graduate-level studies. Many New York colleges also offer online graduate degrees. The coursework in graduate programs like the MBA, computer science, and more can often be completed completely online.

Why Choose an Online Public University in New York? 

An online public university in New York is a typically more cost-efficient. Generally, New York online college courses are less expensive than ones available through a private school. New York online college courses offer students the same high level of education as a private school. At the end of a public university program, a student is adequately prepared for his or her education. 

When searching through New York online colleges and universities, a student will notice there are plenty of options for degree paths. Additionally, students benefit from the same high level of education they would receive in a standard degree program. 

Some of the best schools in the US are in Albany, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Saratoga Springs, Rochester, and the heart of New York City, but wherever you’re coming from, online schools offer higher education opportunities second to none. However, make sure the school you’re considering is accredited; the Middle States Commission on Higher Education covers regional accreditation for New York four-year schools, including online learning.

One example of online public education courses is SUNY online degrees. The State University of New York (SUNY) is one of the largest school networks in the U.S. SUNY online degrees range in subject, and students can choose between a certificate, associate, bachelor, master, or doctorate degrees.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college 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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