Updated December 1, 2022

There are nearly 200 four-year colleges and universities in New York. Find your best value school in NY from this top-ranked list. 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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Welcome to our best value ranking of online colleges in New York.

Incredibly, there are nearly 200 four-year colleges and universities in New York. And yet, there are surprisingly few options (roughly 30) for distance learners. New York's expansive public school system, many reputable private schools, and overabundance of options in densely populated NYC likely explain the lack of need for online education. And yet, a select number of colleges, many of them part of SUNY, have risen to the challenge. Of those online-accessible schools, we are bringing you the 5 "best value." These top 5 colleges all earned at least 80 points (out of 100) in our ranking. You may also want to check out our ranking of the Top Affordable Online Colleges.


Click here to read all about our best value online schools ranking methodology.

#1 SUNY College of Technology at Canton Canton, NY
#2 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY
#3 CUNY Lehman College Bronx, NY
#4 SUNY College at Oswego Oswego, NY
#5 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

    Canton, NY



    What makes SUNY Canton the best online college in New York? How about its impressive selection of more than 400 online courses and 10 majors? Or what about its extreme affordability and well-developed online support system? Or how about all of the above? All in all, SUNY Canton excels where online learners need them to the most - at student support! In addition to an active advising office and helpful Career Resources center, the school also provides a free "Mastering American ELearning" course for international students. And despite their already high standing, SUNY Canton is always looking for areas of improvement and employs a staff of dedicated online faculty that work to continuously enhance the distance education experience.

  2. SUNY Empire State College

    Saratoga Springs, NY



    SUNY Empire State College is one of 13 liberal arts schools with the SUNY system and the only such institution on this accredited New York online colleges ranking. Students here can choose from an incredible 28 fully online and extremely affordable online degrees in New York, thanks to the school's prominent Center for Distance Learning. This purpose-built department acts as a conduit for undergrads near and far who want to obtain a one-of-a-kind education in topics like Labor Studies, Cultural Studies, and Community and Human Services. It's also worth noting that ESC has the one of the widest selections of online humanities degrees. And regardless of major, all online students can benefit from unique web-based support services and generous scholarships - including one specifically for union members studying online.

  3. CUNY Lehman College

    Bronx, NY



    Students looking for a school within New York City limits don't have much choice on this best New York online degrees ranking, because CUNY Lehman is the only one! But there are plenty of other reasons to choose Lehman. Most notably, the school features a wide range of affordable online college courses in New York. Thanks to Lehman, adult learners, professionals, and other returning students can complete their existing degree entirely online. The school also offers a fully online RN to BSN program, providing further evidence of its commitment to affordability and accessibility for all distance learners.

  4. SUNY College at Oswego

    Oswego, NY



    As one of the 64 schools participating in the Open SUNY system, SUNY College at Oswego provides distance learners access to a broad network of online learning opportunities across the Empire State. This top online school in New York is proud of its status as one of the first participants in the Open SUNY system, and the school's pioneering approach extends to some of its unique online degrees. The bachelor's in Broadcasting and Mass Communications, for example, is unlike any other on this affordable New York online colleges ranking. In fact, it provides a level of specialization within the field of communications that is usually reserved for master's-level work.

  5. Mercy College

    Dobbs Ferry, NY



    With more than 200 of the best online college courses in New York and nearly a dozen undergraduate degrees, students at Mercy College have plenty of options when it comes to online learning. The school's three class formats — pure online, blended, and web-enhanced — provide an additional level of flexibility to help nearly every student find a learning style that suits him or her. Mercy's degree options range from common online programs (like an RN to BS in Nursing and a set of business degrees) to unusual offerings like a bachelor's in Behavioral Science. And all of Mercy's top online degrees in New York benefit from the school's online support system, which includes online-specific advising, career services, and special scholarships.

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