Best Online Colleges In New York

A ranking of the best online colleges in New York. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality. 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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Best Value Online Schools in New York

Why Study Online?

Many in-demand fields require at least a bachelor's degree, including careers in business, education, and the government. Earning a bachelor's degree online helps professionals increase their earning potential in a flexible learning format.

Choosing an online program can also help students save money. Many schools offer tuition discounts for fully online students, including in-state tuition rates for out-of-state learners. Online students also save on housing, transportation, and childcare costs.

The flexibility of an online format helps working professionals maintain their careers while earning a bachelor's degree. Many online colleges in New York design their programs for working students with external obligations.

For example, some colleges in New York online offer asynchronous learning, which lets students complete coursework around their schedules by eliminating required meeting times. Many schools also offer accelerated options and self-paced study.

During an online bachelor's degree, students access coursework through a learning management system such as Blackboard or Canvas. Depending on the program, learners may watch recorded or streamed lectures, read from online textbooks, and participate in discussion boards.

Online learners can often complete internship, practicum, and clinical requirements in their local area.


Does it matter where I live if I go to an online school?Online students can attend college in any state. However, some online schools limit attendance to certain states.
Do I get in-state tuition if I go to an online school?Some online colleges in New York offer in-state tuition rates to fully online students. In addition, schools may offer a lower flat rate for online learners.
Does an online degree take the same amount of time as an on-campus one?Earning an online bachelor's degree typically takes the same amount of time as an on-campus degree. However, some online programs offer accelerated or self-paced enrollment options to shorten the length of the degree.
Can I get financial aid for online school?Yes. Students attending an accredited online college in New York qualify for federal financial aid and other forms of financial aid.

Top 10 Best Online Colleges in New York

#1 Nyack College Nyack, NY
#2 Houghton College Houghton, NY
#3 The New School New York, NY
#4 Trocaire College Buffalo, NY
#5 Davis College Johnson City, NY
#6 Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY
#7 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY
#8 Roberts Wesleyan College Rochester, NY
#9 Medaille College Buffalo, NY
#10 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY

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Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Accreditation for Online Programs

Prospective online students should always check a school's accreditation status before applying. Accreditation benefits online learners in several ways. Students at an accredited online college in New York qualify for federal financial aid, and an accredited degree meets more licensure and certification requirements. In many fields, employers prefer candidates with an accredited degree.

Colleges must undergo a rigorous inspection that reviews their student learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and faculty qualifications to earn accreditation. Regional accreditation remains the highest standard. In New York, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants regional accreditation to public and private colleges and universities.

In addition to regional accreditation, prospective students can also look for programmatic accreditation. In some fields, like social work, education, and business, students benefit from attending an accredited program. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission also grants accreditation to online schools in New York.

Learn more about why accreditation matters.


Best Value Online Schools in New York

This list ranks the best colleges in New York that offer online degrees. By choosing an affordable online program, professionals can increase their earning potential in a flexible learning environment. Prospective students can research these best value online schools to find the right fit for their career goals and budget.

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Nyack College

    Nyack, NY

    Founded in 1882, Nyack's main campus sits in Rockland County, with a satellite campus in New York City. The college affiliates with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

    One of the best online colleges in New York, Nyack offers online bachelor's degrees in psychology and organizational management. The cohort-based organizational management program follows two tracks: bachelor of professional studies or bachelor of science. Nyack allows 60-80 transferred credits of life experience, coursework, or career experience. The program offers two start dates during the year. Students can graduate in 16 months.

    Program graduates can work in healthcare, human resources, sales, or government roles. Applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a recommendation letter from a pastor. They must also schedule an admissions interview.

    Nyack College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  2. Houghton College

    Houghton, NY

    Houghton boasts one of the best colleges in New York online for bachelor's degrees, offering more than 40 programs. Degree-seekers can pursue online bachelor's degrees in areas such as criminal justice, human resources management, integrated marketing communication, and leadership development.

    Students in the 124-credit bachelor of arts in integrated marketing communication program complete eight-week, fully online courses. Learners can graduate in 18 months or less. Houghton offers asynchronous learning and allows a maximum of 87 transfer credits into the program. Some core classes include social media marketing and public relations.

    First-year applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent, a recommendation letter, standardized test scores, and a personal statement. The college provides six start dates throughout the year.

    Houghton charges the same tuition for out-of-state and in-state students. The school reports that around 99% of students receive financial aid each year.

    Houghton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  3. The New School

    New York, NY

    Based in New York City, The New School features one of the best colleges in New York, enrolling around 1,000 students. The New School's online bachelor's program for adult and transfer students offers 26 choices of majors or a self-designed course of study option. Some pre-designed majors include creative writing, food studies, film and media production, and psychology.

    The self-designed program allows students to earn a bachelor of science or bachelor of liberal arts. The 120-credit liberal arts degree requires 90 credits in liberal arts courses. The 120-credit bachelor of science degree requires 60-90 credits in liberal arts courses. Students may transfer up to 84 credits.

    Applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent and standardized test scores. The New School may also require a personal interview.

    The New School is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  4. Trocaire College

    Buffalo, NY

    Located in Buffalo, Trocaire is a private Catholic junior college that enrolls around 1,300 students. Trocaire's 123-credit online bachelor's in nursing requires 63 credits of nursing courses. The RN-to-BSN program features classes such as nursing theory and practice issues; race, gender, and literature; and pharmacology for the registered nurse.

    This program requires a clinical capstone project. Applicants need an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA. Prospective learners also need a minimum "C" grade in all nursing courses and a registered nurse license. Trocaire charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Trocaire College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The bachelor's in nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  5. Davis College

    Johnson City, NY

    Davis College is a Bible college in Johnson City that offers a Christian-centered education. The school's bachelor's in religious education offers seven online concentrations, including Christian counseling, pastoral studies, and organizational leadership. Davis College uses Blackboard as its distance learning platform. Terms last eight weeks.

    The bachelor's in pastoral studies requires 120 credits and features specializations in biblical languages, Hebrew, and biblical exposition. Students must complete a pastoral internship for all specializations. Learners explore systematic theology, student ministry, former prophets, and family foundations.

    Applicants need a GED or high school diploma and a recommendation letter from a pastor. Davis College charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Davis College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

  6. Fashion Institute of Technology

    New York, NY

    Based in New York City, FIT enrolls around 8,800 students. The school's 63-credit bachelor of science in international trade and marketing requires an accredited associate degree or 60 credits from a related program for admittance. Learners can complete this program in two years. FIT requires either a senior internship or an international trade practicum. All courses run asynchronously.

    Degree-seekers take classes in import/export regulations, mathematical modeling for business applications, global sourcing, international business transactions, and global marketing.

    First-year students should first apply to FIT's associate in applied sciences before pursuing the bachelor's in international trade and marketing. FIT grants priority to applicants from its own associate program. This college charges different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Fashion Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  7. SUNY Empire State College

    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Based in Saratoga Springs, ESC participates in the 64-school partnership of public colleges in New York. ESC provides more than 400 online courses in 12 areas of study. The college recommends at least 10 hours of study time for every four credits. ESC features two online nursing degrees: a bachelor's in nursing and a bachelor's in allied health.

    Applicants must submit proof of high school completion. The RN-to-BSN program requires an associate degree from an accredited nursing program and an unencumbered registered nurse license. The bachelor's in allied health requires an associate degree in allied health or a related field and current certification in an allied health field. ESC offers transfer credit for work experience and prior learning.

    SUNY Empire State College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  8. Roberts Wesleyan College

    Rochester, NY

    Roberts is a private, Christ-centered college in Rochester that enrolls around 1,700 students. Degree-seekers can choose from three fully online bachelor's programs in organizational management, nursing, and health administration.

    The 124-credit bachelor's in health administration requires about 15 months on average to complete. Learners complete courses in adult development and lifelong learning, healthcare systems and organizations, effective interpersonal relations, and healthcare reimbursement systems.

    Students must complete an applied research project as a capstone project. This program follows a cohort model. Roberts accepts transfer credit for life experience and prior coursework. Most courses run asynchronously, with some structured participation.

    First-year applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent and standardized test scores. Roberts charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Roberts Wesleyan College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  9. Medaille College

    Buffalo, NY

    A private liberal arts college in Buffalo, Medaille enrolls more than 2,000 students and employs 85 full-time faculty members. Medaille offers online bachelor's programs in business administration, health information management, criminal justice, homeland security, and general studies.

    The 120-credit bachelor's in homeland security requires about two years to complete. Students take 1-2 courses for each seven-week term. Graduates pursue careers in customs and border protection, cybersecurity, or law enforcement.

    Applicants need proof of high school completion. Medaille allows up to 90 transfer credits from four-year regionally accredited institutions and 72 credits from two-year institutions. Medaille requires a minimum "C" grade. Military experience can also count as transferred credit. Medaille charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. Active-duty military students receive discounted tuition.

    Medaille College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  10. Rochester Institute of Technology

    Rochester, NY

    Founded in 1829, RIT is a private research institution that reports that 95% of graduates enter the workforce or pursue further education. RIT's 120-credit online bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences requires four years to complete full time. Students can customize their degree, choosing a singular area of focus or a multidisciplinary approach.

    Degree-seekers take courses in health systems administration, web design and development, women and gender studies, organizational change and leadership, and technical communications.

    RIT offers rolling admissions and recommends application submission at least six weeks before the intended start date. First-year applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Transfer students need at least 30 college-level credits.

    Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Career and Salary Outlook for Graduates

Earning a bachelor's degree improves career and salary prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professionals with a bachelor's degree earn higher salaries and benefit from lower unemployment rates than professionals with an associate degree or high school diploma.

BLS data shows that professionals with a bachelor's degree earn nearly $1,250 per week, while those with an associate degree earn under $900 per week. Professionals with a high school diploma earn around $750 per week.

As such, each year, professionals with a bachelor's degree earn over $18,500 more than those with an associate degree and more than $26,000 more than those with a high school diploma. In addition, professionals with a bachelor's degree faced a 2.2% unemployment rate, compared with a 2.7% unemployment rate for people with an associate degree and a 3.7% unemployment rate for high school graduates.

Financial Aid for New York Students

New York students qualify for several forms of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and loans. Learners attending an accredited online college in New York can apply for the federal student aid program. 

To qualify for federal financial aid, students must submit the FAFSA every year. The FAFSA asks for financial information to determine the student's educational expenses, their expected contribution, and their financial need.

The federal student aid program grants subsidized and unsubsidized loans to college students. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while recipients attend college. Students who receive an unsubsidized loan must pay back interest accrued during their degree. 

In addition to federal financial aid, students can also apply for private loans through banks and other lending institutions. Many colleges offer financial aid packages, including grants and fellowships that students do not need to pay back. Working students may also qualify for employer tuition reimbursement programs through their workplace.

Scholarships for New York Students

Students attending an online college in New York qualify for multiple scholarship opportunities to cover the cost of their degree. In addition to the following scholarships, online learners can also research scholarships within their major and financial support offered by their institution.

AEF Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Ascend Educational Fund grants scholarships to immigrant students and the children of immigrants who graduate from a New York City high school. Applicants submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, two letters of recommendation, and two essays.
Amount: Up to $20,000

Bentley-Faucette-Miles Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, this scholarship prefers applicants from New York. Recipients must demonstrate direct descendance from a Confederate soldier.
Amount: $1,000

New York State Tuition Assistance Program

Who Can Apply: Legal residents of New York can receive tuition assistance when attending an approved New York college or university. The grant includes income limits.
Amount: Up to $5,165

Vincent Bennett, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Incoming freshmen with a parent in law enforcement or firefighting who lost their life or experienced a permanent disability in the line of duty qualify for this award. The scholarship considers financial need, academic achievement, and community service.
Amount: $20,000

Joseph H. and Mildred C. McManus Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Graduating seniors or recent graduates from high schools in Dutchess County qualify for this award. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $1,500


Tuition is often the largest cost when earning a bachelor's degree online. However, tuition costs can vary widely depending on the school and program.

In general, in-state public schools charge the lowest tuition rates, followed by out-of-state public schools and private schools. To receive in-state tuition rates in New York, students must demonstrate at least 12 months of residency in the state. Learners must also demonstrate financial independence from parents living in another state.

Online tuition often differs from on-campus tuition rates. Many colleges in New York with online programs charge online learners a flat rate regardless of residency.

When comparing costs at online colleges in New York, prospective students should research tuition and any additional fees. Some online colleges charge a distance learning fee or additional expenses that can add up.

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