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Online Colleges in New York

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Top New York Cities
   Page Contents

Open SUNY, the State University of New York's online learning initiative, offers thousands of online courses along with more than 300 online degree programs. As the largest online distance learning initiative in the U.S., Open SUNY hopes to enroll as many as 100,000 students by 2017.

Online learning is a big part of the efforts by New York's public universities and colleges, which fall under the umbrella of the City University of New York (CUNY) or the State University of New York (SUNY). Both of these systems operate numerous community colleges and four-year schools around the state.

Many national colleges also offer online programs to students in New York. In many cases, these colleges and universities have been in the business of higher education for many years but chose to add online courses and degree programs in order to meet consumer demand. With programs offered in everything from fashion to technology and degree levels from associate to doctorate programs, it is not difficult for students to find an online degree program in New York that meets their needs. Here's a bird's eye view of the opportunities in New York:

Degree LevelNumber of Online ProgramsNumber of Colleges
Associate14840
Bachelor's8440
Master's6440

Many students, both in New York and around the world, are flocking to these online programs in an effort to get better jobs and to get ahead in their current careers. Online learning allows these students to remain in the workforce; they can study in the evenings or whenever it's convenient, allowing them to keep their jobs, complete their military service or continue to spend time with their families.

Many can also expect to earn more with a degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New Yorkers with a bachelor's degree earned a median annual income of $54,107 in 2014, while those with just a high school diploma earned $30,050. Also in 2014, the bureau reported that those with a graduate or professional degree earned a median salary of $71,351 in New York.

The truth is many job seekers in New York will need a college degree in order to keep up with others seeking jobs in the state. The Census Bureau reported in 2014 that 19.1 percent of the state's residents who are age 25 or older have earned a bachelor's degree and 14.6 percent have earned a graduate or professional degree. Some 46.2 percent of adults ages 18 to 24 have some college or an associate degree.

Most Affordable Online Colleges in New York

The following list ranks schools in New York that offer degree programs at the lowest tuition costs. The schools are ranked based on their affordability by comparing the in-state, campus-based tuition they reported to Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. If any schools offered the same tuition cost and therefore tied in the ranking, the schools’ overall score from the Top Colleges tool was used to break the tie.

While these rankings are based on affordability, the Top Colleges tool ranks colleges in New York based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students, such as the number of degree programs that are taught online and the student services offered to online students. Feel free to visit that page if you would like to see New York schools ranked by quality instead of affordability.

Below is a breakdown of the most affordable two-year and four-year schools in the state.

Most Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in New York

Many students who are interested in pursuing a degree start out earning an associate degree. Many students, including those interested in medical technology and more hands-on work, decide that a two-year degree is all the training they need for a lucrative career. Others continue on to a four-year school to earn a bachelor's degree. The following is a list of the top two-year schools in New York.

1

Dutchess Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,200
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
4.73%
Institution Type
Public

About

Dutchess Community College offers dozens of academic programs, from art and architecture to fire science, engineering science and nursing. Many of the courses required for these degree programs are offered in the online format. Courses are offered in healthcare, business, information technology, media and design, skilled trades and sustainable energy. They typically consist of 12 online lessons spread out over six weeks. The classes, offered through Open SUNY, are only available to students who have completed at least 12 credits and have a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.

School Website: 
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2

Monroe Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,416
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20.59%
Institution Type
Public

About

In addition to the five degree programs offered completely online by Monroe Community College, the school offers 13 degree programs that can be completed 75 percent online. The school also offers 25 other programs in which half of the classes required can be completed online. The fully online programs include business, dental assisting, general studies, mathematics and sports management. Additional programs that can be partially completed online run the gamut from adolescent education to fire protection technology. In addition to fully online courses, many other subjects are taught through web-enhanced classes and hybrid classes, which combine online learning with occasional face-to-face sessions.

School Website: 
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3

Schenectady County Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,456
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
15.27%
Institution Type
Public

About

Schenectady County Community College doesn't offer any degree programs entirely online, but it does offer dozens of online courses in a variety of fields. Using the ANGEL learning management system, Schenectady County Community College offers online courses in everything from business and business law to statistics, marketing and sociology. The learning system allows students to download syllabuses, post comments to discussion forums, submit assignments and collaborate with fellow students. The school, based in Schenectady, New York, also offers web-enhanced, on-campus courses and hybrid classes. The courses are all fully transferrable for students who go on to four-year colleges.

School Website: 
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4

Fulton-Montgomery Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,648
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11.01%
Institution Type
Public

About

Fulton-Montgomery Community College's online degree programs include an Associate of Arts in General Studies, an Associate of Science in Business Administration and an Associate of Arts and Science in Business Administration. In addition, a number of additional online classes are offered in other fields. Fulton-Montgomery Community College even offers a 1-credit class that teaches you to be a better online student. There is even online tutoring available to students. The general studies and business administration degrees are all designed for students who plan to transfer to a 4-year college, although many students enter the business world immediately after graduating.

School Website: 
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5

Mohawk Valley Community College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,810
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20.04%
Institution Type
Public

About

Mohawk Valley Community College offers dozens of degree programs, and many of them include online classes designed for busy students who have to work or care for family members and can't always get to campus for classes. At Mohawk Valley Community College, student can access their online courses at any time of the day. They can also expect the same kind of rigorous academic demands of face-to-face classes, including probing questions from professors and challenging classroom discussions through online forums. Mohawk Valley Community College's only fully online degree program is an associate degree program in school facilities management, where students take courses in heating and cooling, electricity, management and budgeting.

School Website: 
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Most Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in New York

Below are profiles of the top five most affordable universities in New York. These five schools are among the 124 total four-year schools that were ranked as part of the study.

1

CUNY Lehman College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,030
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37.31%
Institution Type
Public

About

CUNY Lehman College is a part of the City University of New York system, and it is located in the Bronx. This school offers numerous online classes in several subjects, including business, history, writing, journalism and general studies. Fully online or hybrid programs include business administration and nursing, as well as some professional development certificates. The nursing program is a fully online bridge program designed to help registered nurses earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

School Website: 
GO
2

CUNY Medgar Evers College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,030
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
16.13%
Institution Type
Public

About

Medgar Evers offers one associate and three bachelor's degree programs that allow students to complete all or most of their degrees through online classes. Some classes are hybrid, which require some face-to-face sessions on campus. In addition to an associate degree program in nursing, bachelor's degree programs are offered online in nursing, biology and accounting. Medgar Evers College, the newest of the four-year senior colleges in the City University of New York system, was launched in the early 1960's after the Central Brooklyn community of New York expressed a desire for a local public college.

School Website: 
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3

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,030
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
17.29%
Institution Type
Public

About

John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers four online master’s degree programs: public administration in inspection and oversight, healthcare specialization, public policy and administration, and security management. The school is well known for its noncredit, massive open online course, "Literature & Law of American Slavery." John Jay College of Criminal Justice also offers more than 100 individual courses for undergraduate and graduate students in the online format. You can also earn an online certificate in terrorism studies from John Jay College.

School Website: 
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4

College of Staten Island CUNY

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,030
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
12.05%
Institution Type
Public

About

Many of the online programs at College of Staten Island CUNY are career-oriented training programs. For instance, some of the offered online programs include administrative dental assistant, pharmacy technician, physical therapy aid and administrative medical specialist. These programs are offered through the school’s continuing education department and end in a certificate of completion. Programs are designed to be project oriented and utilize a hands-on, interactive approach.

School Website: 
GO
5

CUNY City College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,030
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
5.82%
Institution Type
Public

About

The City College of New York is the oldest school out of the 24 schools in the City University of New York system. CUNY City College offers online and hybrid programs for students looking to fit schooling into their busy schedule. Programs include training certifications for Allied Health specialties such as billing and coding specialist, clinical medical assistant, and ICD-10-CM/PCS coding. Programs help prepare students for certification examinations. Courses use the Blackboard learning platform as well as video conferencing technology.

School Website: 
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College Accreditation in New York

Choosing the right college is one of the most important decisions any student can make. When scouting colleges, it's vital to choose one that's been approved by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education. Accreditation means students' degrees adhere to commonly recognized educational standards and therefore are valid.

In New York, there is one main accrediting body responsible for accrediting the major degree-granting institutions throughout the state, including the State University of New York and City College of New York systems. That accrediting body is listed below:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Smaller schools and religious schools in New York may be accredited by a different accrediting body. Students can check on the Department of Education website to see how their institution is accredited.

School Interviews

Colleges and universities around the country are adding online degree programs. To find out what New York educators are doing to add online classes and to ensure they meet the needs of their students, we interviewed several online educators from different online colleges and universities in New York.

Greg Ketcham
Being successful in online learning means you need to master time and space – or more realistically, be able to proactively manage your time and ... create a learning zone.

Greg Ketcham

Interim Director of Academic Programs and Distance Learning

SUNY Oswego

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at SUNY Oswego?

SUNY Oswego offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees online. At the undergraduate level, public justice, vocational teacher preparation,and broadcasting are offered. All three programs prepare students for entry into these fields, as well as offer a rounded liberal arts foundation.

Our graduate online programs include an MBA; an MBA program with a focus on Health Care Administration; and advanced certificate programs in health and wellness, trauma studies, and health information technology.

Future online programs that will be enrolling students soon include graduate programs in biomedical health informatics, and behavioral forensics, and an undergraduate degree in wellness management.

SUNY Oswego online programs leverage current research on best practices in teaching and learning online. Courses are designed to actively engage students as a learning community – much like in the classroom. The technology used to deliver online learning, as well as human support systems like our OpenSUNY Help Desk, are designed to be open for business at any time you're ready to focus on learning.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

There are many self-assessment tools on the web to help students gauge the fit of their personal preferences in how to learn in the context of online learning. A well-designed online program recognizes that the experience can sometimes seem lonely and isolated and will provide ways for students to connect with each other and their instructor.

Accreditation for a program or a college ensures that certain standards for the degree are in place. For each program you’re interested in, do your research to determine if the program is accredited or not.

Being successful in online learning means you need to master time and space – or more realistically, be able to proactively manage your time and create a “safe space” in your home or some other location where you can filter out your daily distractions and create a learning zone.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

We’re moving from mobile computing via our smart phones to wearable computing from Fitbit watches to Google Glass. In turn, the notion of “anywhere learning” means that we as educators have to tear up the script and rethink things like lessons. A lesson – or unit of learning – may now be scaled so as to be readily engaged with by the learner while on the go.

Also, the idea of prior knowledge and skills being recognized as part of your formal learning will become increasingly important. The idea is that competencies – demonstration of previous learning acquired from past work experience or from military service – will work much like transfer credit from other colleges. An easier means of formally recognizing your previous life experience in the form of competencies or badges will mean faster progress on earning a degree.


Dr. Mark Hessler
Students interested in online degree programs will become part of an active community of learning where engagement with content and each other will be key.

Dr. Mark Hessler

Coordinator of Innovative Instruction

St. Joseph’s College New York

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at St. Joseph’s College New York?

St. Joseph’s College has undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the distance education format as well as certificates and advanced certificates.

On the undergraduate level, the college offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Science in Human Services as well as certificates in human resources and leadership and supervision. An Executive Master’s in Business Administration (EMBA) and a Master’s in Human Services are also offered, along with advanced certificates in human resources and human services. Two dual degrees are also currently available online – one in Human Services and the other the BS in Organizational Management/EMBA.

The college is actively growing its online offerings on both the undergraduate and graduate levels and expects to offer additional online degree programs in the very near future.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Students interested in online degree programs will become part of an active community of learning where engagement with content and each other will be key. Online students (and students generally) often have multiple responsibilities and obligations so time management will be very important. Students should also feel free to reach out to the many college resources that are available to them for assistance along the way.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

These are very interesting times. We are in the world of MOOC’s, competency-based education, and a recent call for free online education.

In the coming years, education may be increasingly free of a physical space and, consequently, interactions will be technologically-mediated. Online learning also promises to bring together diverse populations and interests in ways that will facilitate cross-cultural learning experiences, stimulate innovative pedagogy and create opportunities that are yet unknown.

Top Cities For Students In New York

Although it is rich in rural and historic sites, New York also boasts a number of vibrant metro areas throughout the state, from New York City on the southern tip of the state to Buffalo and Rochester in the snowy north. Here are some brief descriptions of these top metro areas, as well as data points that show what these areas have to offer to online students.

New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ

Total Population

14,125,810

Median salary for high school grads

$28,196

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$55,518

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

9.7%

Median rent

$1,128

Economics

With 9,046,910 people working in the New York City, Northern New Jersey and Long Island area and making an annual mean wage of $59,990 in 2015 according to the BLS, students who live and work in this region have solid prospects for a long-term career. The Cost of Living index in this area ranges from 220.3 in Manhattan to 163.4 in Brooklyn. The 2014 value of homes averages from $838,400 in Manhattan to $557,500 in Brooklyn, according to the Census Bureau.

Demographics

The largest metropolitan area in the state of New York consists of New York City and the surrounding areas. The New York City area includes 40 percent of the state's labor force as of May 1, 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Fun Facts

New York City is known for its diversity in culture and in ethnicity, but few people know that as many as 800 different languages are spoken within its confines, making it the most linguistically-diverse geographic region in the world.

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Total Population

1,135,667

Median salary for high school grads

$29,646

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$47,581

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

9.9%

Median rent

$574

Economics

The Buffalo-Niagara Falls region is the second-largest in the state of New York. It is home to 532,880 workers making an annual mean wage of $45,060 in 2015, according to the BLS. The Cost of Living index is 101.5, with home prices averaging $67,800, according to the Census Bureau in 2014.

Demographics

In 2010, the Census Bureau reported the following breakdown of race demographics in Buffalo City:

  • Whites: 50.4 percent
  • Black or African American: 38.6 percent
  • Asian: 3.2 percent

On the other hand, here are the corresponding statistics for Niagara Falls City in the same year:

  • Whites: 70.5 percent
  • Black or African American: 21.6 percent
  • American Indian: 1.9 percent
  • Asian: 1.2 percent
Fun Facts

Because of its low cost-of-living and wide range of industries, the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area was named as the 10th best place for working mothers in Forbes Woman Magazine.

Rochester, NY

Total Population

1,082,578

Median salary for high school grads

$28,401

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$48,096

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

10.8%

Median rent

$681

Economics

The U.S. Census Bureau defines six counties in western New York, including the city of Rochester, as the Rochester Metropolitan area. This area consists of 493,990 workers making an annual mean wage of $47,590 in 2014, the BLS reports. With a Cost of Living index of 99.6, the average home prices in 2014 were $202,500, according to the Census Bureau.

Demographics

Rochester, New York, is a very diverse city. The Census Bureau reported in 2010 that 43.7 percent of Rochester citizens were white, while 41.7 were African Americans. The bureau also reported that 9.1 percent of the population were foreign born and that 19.8 percent of homes in the city had residents who spoke a language other than English.

Fun Facts

The Rochester Metropolitan area is the second-wealthiest metropolitan area in the state of New York and includes a number of prominent colleges and universities including Bryant and Stratton College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. The University of Rochester is the area's biggest employer with 22,500 employees as of 2014.

 

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