New York, also known by the nickname, the “Big Apple,” is indeed a big, juicy place to go. You have the potential to enjoy some of the best years of your life. New York offers limitless possibilities and can help international students achieve their dreams and big career goals. Studying here increases one’s chances of having great connections. New York is a very demanding but also very rewarding environment. The average tuition cost in New York universities is slightly higher than out-of-state equivalents. However, both New York City and the state of New York offer a wide variety of universities, colleges, and schools in offline and online forms. Want to know what are the best of the best colleges and universities in New York for international students? Read this article and find the list of the best places for international students to study in New York.
Further in the article:
Why Choose New York for Studying?
- Big-city lifestyle. If you grew up in a small town, one that’s always felt too small to contain your ambitions, attending university in New York City might be a great option for you. You’ll need some acclimatization for the high-demanding environment. But it’s better to get used to New York City while studying than to move there and look for a job straight off the bat. Colleges and schools for international students are the places where you’ll meet people facing some of the same struggles as you. And experiencing New York from the perspective of a student can be quite exciting and fascinating.
- Scholarship support. Although the tuition is pricey, especially in private universities in New York, many offer financial aid. For instance, Columbia College currently distributes international financial aid amounting to $17 million. Moreover, there are a couple of services that support international students in NYC. You can contact the Office of Global Services (OGS) and the Center for Student Life (CSL) to learn about available resources as well as social and academic options. Colleges and universities in New York are often targeted by international students, so if you’re experiencing difficulties, you’re likely not the first to do so.
- Diversity and entertainment. Attending a university in New York is sort of like winning the lottery for a bright and vibrant life. Both universities and colleges for international students care about offering their students fulfilling free time when they’re not hitting the books.
Best Colleges in New York City. Private Edition
Columbia, Cornell, and New York University colleges are always the headliners on the top charts in the list of colleges and universities in New York. For instance, in 2022, Columbia University was #5 on the Forbes version of America’s Top Colleges List. Cornell University was in the sixteenth position, and New York University was ranked #60 on the list out of 498 universities in the U.S.
- Columbia College is one of eight Ivy League colleges and one of New York City’s best. The curriculum here has more than one hundred major proposals besides interdisciplinary options and joint programs. The college is a good choice because of its variety. You can choose to study Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture or Chemistry and Astronomy. Whatever it is, you’re likely to find courses in your interest at Columbia College.
- Cornell Colleges operate under the administration of Cornell University and include Cornell Tech College, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Weill Cornell School of Medical Sciences. Official data on the Cornell Tech page states that 14% of college graduates end up running a startup, and 86% end up having a full-time job in tech after graduation. Along with other college departments in Ithaca and Qatar, Cornell is one of the best colleges in New York City for education and community.
- New York University hosts and manages eleven schools and colleges in New York City, including the College of Dentistry and NYU College of Arts & Science. The main locations are in exciting neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Each college offers advanced degree programs. For example, at NYU College of Dentistry, students can pursue DDS, MS, BS, AND AAS degrees.
|College||Annual student enrollment||Admission rate||Tuition*|
|Columbia College||947||86, 8%||$24,806|
|Cornell College||1074||81%||$48, 514|
|NYU College of Art & Science||2680||4%||$60,438|
*The tuition cost depends on many factors, such as full or part-time study or the cost for resident/non-resident students. Accurate information is to be found on the official website; the data in the table is the average tuition cost for full-time undergraduate students. Available annual student enrolment and admission rate indexes for each college vary based on the year of data collection.
Do you want to study in the state of New York but you don’t necessarily need to study at one of the colleges in New York City? Consider the University of Rochester or the Itacha Department of Cornell University. A few more good colleges in New York State include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and Hamilton College in Clinton.
Top Colleges in New York for International Students. Public Edition
Public colleges and universities in New York usually have great reputations and long histories. For instance, the three best colleges on our recommendations list, City College of New York, Brooklyn College, and Baruch College, were founded in 1847, 1930, and 1919, respectively. These are the best colleges in New York for international students if you’re looking for affordability while also seeking a high-quality education.
- At City College of New York, students can choose from a broad list of courses. The official website currently shows 75 different courses, all categorized into eight schools and divisions. Full-time tuition for residential students costs $3,465 per semester and $620 per credit for non-resident students*. Available financial aid includes grants from New York State Awards, Federal Awards, Merit-based scholarships, and aids for vulnerable groups of students, such as international students or Native Americans.
- Brooklyn College has 5 major schools: Business, Education, Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Visual, Media & Performing Arts. Murray Koppelman School of Business is one of the top business schools in New York. It joined the prestigious international Beta Gamma Sigma honor society for AACSB -accredited schools. The college is genuinely open to international students, as currently, it is an alma mater for students from almost 140 countries*. The college also has five different types of financial aid – application forms included.
- Baruch College has a long story of delivering the highest quality education to the underserved. The origin of this institution dates back to the foundation of the Free Academy in 1847, the first place of free public education in the U.S. The college has three major schools to choose from: the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the Zicklin School of Business. For the undergraduate degree programs, there are 90 majors and minors. As for affordability, Forbes ranked Baruch a #1 public college in the U.S. for the lowest student debt after graduation*.
*All data comes from the colleges’ official websites.
|College||Annual student enrollment*||Admission Rate*||Tuition*|
|City College of New York||About 17,000||60%||$3,465 per semester|
|Brooklyn College||15,938||51%||$3,465 per semester|
|Baruch College||15,859||51%||$3,465 per semester|
*The tuition cost depends on many factors, such as full or part-time study or the cost for resident/non-resident students. Accurate information is to be found on the official website. The data in the table is the average tuition cost for full-time undergraduate students. Available annual student enrolment and admission rate indexes for each college vary in the year of data collection.
The Best Universities in New York for International Students. Private Edition
Naturally, the list of top colleges in New York must include Cornell, Columbia, and New York University. They are some of the best in many regards. But there are other top universities in New York City to consider.
- Yeshiva University is an Orthodox Jewish institution with over 65 majors and minors. The university has four campuses in New York City and is proud to have a 70,000+ worldwide alumni community and student body representatives from 25+ countries. As a partly religious organization, Yeshiva University encourages students to learn more about Jewish studies, but the major areas of study include liberal arts, science, humanities, and social sciences. The university has broad financial aid and academic scholarship support programs. It certainly has a place as one of the best New York universities, as Yeshiva University was ranked #67 out of 443 universities across the U.S.
An important note about the top universities in New York is that most of them are under the heading of the State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY). Most SUNY and CUNY schools offer students an excellent education.
- Pace University certainly impresses with its list of more than 200 undergraduate majors, minors, and combined degree programs. The main locations are in Westchester and New York City, but many programs are available online. The University’s international alumni community now has over 1,960 students. Moreover, Pace University is one of the best universities in New York with regard to diversity and equality. The organization has an LGBTQA+ center, policies for interpersonal student well-being, and Veteran financial aid. Finally, Pace is among the few New York Universities offering an extensive internship program.
600+ employers recruited graduates directly from the walls of Pace University in 2018-2019, and 87% of international students have been part of Pace’s internship programs.
- As an international student, you may have intended to travel the world and see as much as possible before loading yourself up with all sorts of responsibilities. If this is you, Syracuse University may be your match. Among universities in New York City and the whole country, Syracuse has one of the largest study-abroad programs. You can choose from semester, summer, and academic break programs. About six hundred undergraduate programs are laid out for potential applicants, presented in online, offline, and blended forms. A nice bonus is the variability of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, student employment, graduate student aid, and summer aid.
Syracuse University is the best option for those looking for the best University in New York State, not New York City. The main structure of the university is located in Syracuse, but there is a consolidated academic campus in NYC called Fisher Center.
The Best Public Universities in New York State
Similar to the list of private universities in New York for international students, the list of public ones also includes academic institutions that will provide you with a rich and rewarding education. New York colleges and universities usually have variable and flexible programs for all academic levels, starting from associate and ending with master’s and Ph.D. degrees. However, check the top 5 universities in New York State below if you’re looking to live in the state of New York but not into the fast-paced of New York City:
1. United States Merchant Marine Academy
As the official website states, the academy’s mission is to prepare leaders for the faithful and loyal serving of the nation’s “security, marine transportation, and economic needs”. Completing the academy’s program results in receiving three credentials: Bachelor or Science degree, a U.S. Coast Guard license, and an officer’s commission in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Location: Kings Point, New York
Annual student enrollment: 1,006 (fall 2021)
Admission rate: 25 %
Tuition: $1,200.00 per credit
2. SUNY Polytechnic Institute
SUNY Polytechnic Institute delivers a high-quality education in Business, Computer Science, Engineering, and Nursing. SUNY Poly has been accredited by AACSB, which is an acknowledgment of academic excellence and high standards of teaching. Along with these indexes, SUNY Polytechnic Institute is one of the universities in New York with high acceptance rates.
Location: Utica, NY
Annual student enrollment: 3,002 (2019-2020)
Admission rate: 77,3%
Tuition: $8,548 for New York residents and $19,338 for out-of-state students
3. Stony Brook University
Forbes’ ranking of America’s Top Colleges named Stony Brook University one of the top 35 best universities. The institution also got a #1 ranking in the list of public universities in New York by U.S. News & World Report. The universities focus on providing a diverse student body with upward mobility and affordable education is certainly one of the reasons for its consistently high ranking.
Location: Stony Brook
Annual student enrollment: 53 216 (2021)
Admission rate: 48,1%
Tuition: $7 070 (2021)
4. West Point Military Academy
West Point is one of the best military academies in the world. For those who see their future in the proud ranks of the U.S. military, it’s an excellent place to study. West Point’s majors and minors include Aeronautical, Chemical, and Civil Engineering, Applied Statistics, Defense & Strategic Studies, Cyber Security, and more. Cadets can receive annual salaries, housing, and medical care here.
Location: West Point, NY
Annual student enrollment: 9 188 (2021)
Admission rate: 10,7%
Tuition: no tuition
5. Binghamton University
The University structure consists of six schools. Here you can focus on Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, Public Affairs, Pharmaceuticals, or Management. The university is famous for having one of the highest 4-year graduation rates, ultimately saving students money and time.
Location: Binghamton, NY
Annual student enrollment: 4300 (undergraduate students)
Admission rate: 44%
Tuition: $10,390 for in-state and $28,230 for out-of-state students
If you’re feeling stressed about your future career and university in New York, don’t forget to breathe! There are plenty of excellent options waiting for you there, even ones that we haven’t listed here. Carefully consider your priorities, prepare your applications, and get ready to be part of a big family in the Big Apple! See you soon on the other side of the university application process!