New York Colleges Summary

New York has more four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities than any other state in the U.S. With 130-plus such institutions, New York has much to offer postsecondary students.

The two large public colleges in New York are the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY). SUNY is comprised of 64 campuses, including university centers and doctoral degree institutions, technology colleges and 30 community colleges. CUNY has 24 campuses across the city's five boroughs, and includes 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, and six graduate honors and professional schools.

There are also more than 20 independent colleges in the state. Several of these private universities in New York are well-known for their academic excellence — Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of Rochester and Vassar College, to name a few.

For students seeking vocational and technical training, there are 48 private, non-degree career training schools.

Education Initiatives in New York

As for online education, New York is ahead of the curve. The state's online learning portal, Open SUNY, makes hundreds of online degree programs, from 64 different schools, available to New York students. New York colleges also participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which sets national standards for distance education, making it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in other states.

Another important initiative is the Excelsior Scholarship Program, which began in the fall of 2017. This program covers tuition costs for eligible state residents who wish to attend SUNY or CUNY schools.

For more information on the New York State Office of Higher Education, see:


  • U.S. News & World Report, Accessed March 2018,
  • New York State Office of Higher Education, Accessed March 2018,
  • The State University of New York, Accessed March 2018,
  • City University of New York, Accessed March 2018,
Education Institutes in New York
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in New York
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,