Online Colleges in New York

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Updated November 10, 2021 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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New York's $1.5 trillion economy is the country's third largest, behind Texas at $1.7 trillion and California at $2.7 trillion; however, New York invests more per student pursuing higher education than Texas or California. U.S. News & World Report rates New York's per-student spending of $8,640 as the 10th highest in the country. It is the only northeastern state to make the list.

This guide explores New York State accredited online colleges. Since tuition is often a major factor in deciding where to attend college, this guide also compares the cost of a college degree in New York to the rest of the country, as well as public and private school tuition rates and in-state and out-of-state enrollment. Additionally, you will find information on scholarship and grant programs to help fund your college education.

Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in New York

New York's unemployment rate of 3.9% is just above the country's average unemployment rate of 3.7%. The number of private sector and government jobs added to the state's economy continues to rise; however, registering a 1.3% increase from October 2017 to October 2018, equaling 123,200 new jobs for New Yorkers. More than 50% of these new jobs were in New York City, but nearly all major regions of the state registered positive employment numbers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 18% of jobs in the country currently require a bachelor's degree. In New York, that number is just under 20%, meaning job seekers with a bachelor's degree have an edge over job seekers without one. In terms of weekly median income, college degree holders earn roughly 60% more, $1,189, than high school graduates with no college degree, $718. Overall, New York's annual mean wage is higher than the national average. The New York job market remains robust; college graduates who look for employment there will find opportunities for new jobs as well as career advancement.

Unemployment Rate, August 2018

New York 3.9%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017

New York $60,100
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Cost of Online Colleges in New York

According to U.S. News & World Report, nontraditional students make up the bulk of the online student population. In fact, only 5% of online enrollees for the 2015-2016 school year were first-time students fresh out of high school. However, as more institutions increase their online offerings, this percentage is expected to rise.

Online students enjoy the flexibility and lower costs of distance learning. For the most part, public nonprofit state- or city-based colleges and universities offering online programs usually charge the same tuition rates for their online and on-campus degrees. Online students save money by not having to pay for additional housing, transportation, and meal plans. In a state like New York, listed as the third least affordable state to live in, these savings add up quickly. Students will find several New York colleges with online programs. The country's largest comprehensive university system, the State University of New York (SUNY), comprises 64 institutions, and several offer online college courses in New York. Students who enroll in online classes have many options when it comes to pursuing higher education in New York.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19

  Public Two-Year Public Four-Year
New York $5,490 $8,190
U.S. Average $3,660 $10,230

Source: The College Board

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in New York

Some states refer to their in-state enrollees as resident students to establish a definition of residency status. Students who move to a state and take up residency for the purpose of attending a college or university, do not automatically qualify as residents eligible to pay lower in-state tuition. On average, out-of-state students pay 150% higher tuition than in-state students. As seen below, in New York, non-resident students pay about 250% more in tuition than residents. Resident students pay lower tuition since their tax dollars support the higher education system in their state. While some states treat online students as residents, others do not, charging them out-of-state tuition instead.

Some states require non-resident students, both online and on-campus, to pay out-of-state tuition for their freshman year. Students become eligible for in-state tuition beginning their sophomore year.

Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19

  Public Two-Year Public Four-Year
New York $8,190 $20,030
U.S. Average $10,230 $26,290

Source: The College Board

Financial Aid in New York

The table below shows that New York provides higher state grant aid per full-time undergraduate student, $1,200, than the national average, $790. However, in the fall of 2017, New York gave its college-bound residents an accessible college program that is the first of its kind. The Excelsior Scholarship gives every eligible New Yorker the chance to attend a two- or four-year public college or university tuition-free. In addition to the 64 institutions that comprise SUNY, the City University of New York (CUNY) adds seven community colleges, seven professional schools, and 11 senior colleges to the list of institutions that participate in the Excelsior Scholarship program.

The program accepts traditional as well as nontraditional college students of any age, if they have not earned a bachelor's degree or defaulted on any federal or state student loans. College applicants in New York fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to begin their search for funding. In addition, New York requires applicants to complete the New York State Tuition Assistance Program form. There is no fee for filing either document.

State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17

New York $1,110
U.S. Average $820

Source: The College Board

Scholarships and Grants for New York College Students

New York is one of the most highly educated states in the country, boasting a population where 15% of residents have a master's degree or higher and close to 35% have a bachelor's degree. The number of state-financed college assistance programs contribute support to the state's commitment to higher education and its students. Some of these scholarship and grant programs are listed below.

Best Majors for Online Students in New York

The highest percentage of jobs in the New York market over the past year were in educational and health services, 55,000 jobs, professional and business services, 15,900 jobs, and construction, 15,300 jobs. Home to nearly 20 million people, New York's growing need for educational and health services is understandable and the state's Labor Department projects continued growth in this sector. Professional and business or technical services consist of professional groups like accountants, lawyers, and information technology and security experts who often assume pivotal roles in primary economic sectors. New York's stable economy continues to fuel the construction industry and long-time industry professionals expect to see sustained building activity in both the residential and commercial sectors.

These top industries require workers with bachelor's degrees in fields like nursing, accounting, finance, law, and engineering. Brick-and-mortar New York colleges and universities have long offered these programs, and now they are being offered by several New York colleges online as well.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Graduates with nursing degrees are highly sought after by the over 220 hospitals throughout New York. Plus, these degrees give graduates options as they build their careers in healthcare. As a nurse, you can specialize in a subfield, such as informatics, midwifery, or anesthetics, or choose to work with a specific patient group, like infants, children with special needs, or seniors.

Bachelor of Science in Accounting

BLS projects a 10% job growth rate for the accounting sector through 20126, which is higher than the expected job growth of 7% for all other industries. In addition, New York City is one of the biggest financial centers in the world, giving accountants and other financial specialists a firm foothold in the job market.

Bachelor of Science in Engineering

A construction boom bodes well for construction, electrical, and civil engineers. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits both online and on-campus engineering programs, giving students the option of earning their engineering degree onsite or online. ABET currently accredits 51 New York schools offering engineering as a major.

Resources for Online College Students in New York

Higher Education Services Corporation: HESC provides information and services that help college-bound students in their search for the right college or university and in understanding the different types of financial assistance available. The site contains relevant information for traditional and nontraditional students.

iMentor: This New York-based organization works with students from low-income families and pairs them with mentors who help them qualify for and find the college that matches their academic and future career goals. Mentoring can be done in person and online.

NYS Department of Financial Services – Student Lending Resource Center: This website consolidates data relevant to student loans including repayment, default issues, deference and forbearance, and student loan forgiveness programs. The site also guides visitors in filing a complaint regarding a fraudulent or misleading student-related financial services or products.

NYS Office of Higher Education: The website provides information for students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other higher education stakeholders. Students can look up information on federal scholarships and grants, research college and university programs, and read about the latest news and developments in New York higher education.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer 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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