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2021 Best Colleges in New York by Salary Score

By the GradReports team | Updated 3/1/2021

These are the top 25 colleges in New York ranked by their Salary Score. A high Salary Score indicates that graduates from a college tend to earn higher salaries than other graduates with the same major in the United States. While future salary may not be the primary factor in every student's college search, Salary Score provides one meaningful metric that students can use alongside other considerations that are important to them. We calculated Salary Score by comparing the median alumni income in the first year after graduating from each program at one college to the salaries for the same program at other schools. Eleven of the best schools in the state are located in New York City. All of the ranked colleges in New York have Salary Scores above 60, and five of these New York schools are ranked on our list of top schools in the United States.

To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

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Salary Scores based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Barnard College New York New York $55,032 96.41
#2 #2 Colgate University Hamilton Hamilton $55,870 94.44
#3 #3 Columbia University in the City of New York New York New York $59,430 94.23
#4 #4 Cornell University Ithaca Ithaca $55,188 92.70
#5 #5 New York University New York New York $51,828 89.05
#6 #6 Hamilton College - NY Clinton Clinton $54,620 88.61
#7 #7 Adelphi University Garden City Garden City $38,740 87.10
#8 #8 Marist College Poughkeepsie Poughkeepsie $39,600 86.89
#9 #9 Hobart William Smith Colleges Geneva Geneva $55,255 85.06
#10 #10 Fordham University Bronx Bronx $52,687 84.99
#11 #11 Pace University New York New York $45,280 81.06
#12 #12 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy Troy $53,880 79.56
#13 #13 Fashion Institute of Technology New York New York $5,740 79.22
#14 #14 Syracuse University Syracuse Syracuse $51,853 79.02
#15 #15 Manhattan College Bronx Bronx $42,608 77.94
#16 #16 Mount Saint Mary College Newburgh Newburgh $31,118 76.08
#17 #17 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs Saratoga Springs $7,405 74.70
#18 #18 Long Island University Brookville Brookville $37,763 74.60
#19 #19 Touro College New York New York $19,870 74.38
#20 #20 Union College - NY Schenectady Schenectady $55,290 73.43
#21 #21 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester Rochester $42,345 72.41
#22 #22 CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York New York $7,270 66.31
#23 #23 CUNY York College Jamaica Jamaica $7,158 64.62
#24 #24 CUNY Lehman College Bronx Bronx $7,210 63.53
#25 #25 Dominican College of Blauvelt Orangeburg Orangeburg $29,000 62.93

2021 Best Colleges in New York Highlights

New York
Salary Score 96.41
Annual Tuition $55,032
Graduation Rate 92%

Barnard College's highest earning bachelor's degrees are in computer and information sciences, with a median salary of $103,080 and a Salary Score of 100. Also earning a score of 100 is psychology, which has a median alumni salary of $43,240. Programs with the second highest Salary Scores are English and political science and government, both at 99. Economics-related degrees also perform well, with a Salary Score of 98 and a median annual salary of $72,740. Barnard College ranks as the top university for bachelor's degrees in the state of New York, with an overall Salary Score of 96.

School Overview

Barnard College is a private women's liberal arts college located in New York City. Situated on Broadway, its cultural institutions and opportunities are woven into the fabric of student life. Students get discounted tickets to shows at many of the city's theaters, and Central Park is within walking distance. Initially founded in 1889 as a college for women in response to the all-male Columbia University, Barnard is now an autonomous institution within the Columbia educational system. This relationship allows Barnard students to access courses, clubs, and events at Columbia. Barnard College's interdisciplinary curriculum, called Foundations, gives students the opportunity to explore disciplines across the arts and sciences before choosing from more than 50 majors.

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Salary Score 94.44
Annual Tuition $55,870
Graduation Rate 89%

Colgate University's bachelor's programs have an overall Salary Score of 94. Earning Salary Scores of 100 are the fine and studio arts program and the psychology program. The median annual salary for fine and studio arts is $44,380, and psychology is $51,480. Colgate's next highest Salary Score comes from its history program, which scores a 99 and has a median salary of $47,260. Other top performing programs, each with a Salary Score of 98, are English; political science and government; sociology; and economics. The economics field is also the university's highest earning, with a median salary of $73,010.

School Overview

Sprawling across nearly 600 acres of land in central New York State, Colgate University is a private liberal arts college rooted in 200 years of history. Nestled on a hillside in Hamilton, a city named after the Founding Father, with some of its 88 buildings dating back to their original construction in 1827, Colgate offers students an immersive curriculum set against an idyllic backdrop of colorful, tree-lined walkways and the picturesque Taylor Lake. Its four museums and galleries allow those on campus and in the community to engage with arts and culture at a deeper level.

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Salary Score 94.23
Annual Tuition $59,430
Graduation Rate 94%

With an overall Salary Score of 94 and an annual salary of $59,430, Columbia University in the City of New York ranks as the state's third best institution. The school has several programs earning a Salary Score of 100, including fine and studio arts; political science and government; non-English language and literature; and sociology. At a Salary Score of 99, the history and applied mathematics bachelor's programs receive the second-highest score, followed by those in economics (98) and computer science (98). Alumni of the bachelor's in computer science and operations research fields both report median annual earnings of more than $100,000.

School Overview

Founded in 1754, originally as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the country, with several Founding Fathers among its earliest students. The private, Ivy League research university serves a diverse community of more than 40,000 students, faculty, and staff from across the world, further connecting them to its globally-minded home of New York City. The campus is anchored by the historic Low Memorial Library, an architectural centerpiece built in the classical Roman style. Featuring three undergraduate schools, 13 graduate and professional schools, a world-renowned medical center, 25 libraries, and more than 100 research centers, Columbia is considered a leader in education around the world.

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