Best Colleges in New York by Salary Potential

New York is home to prestigious universities that also come with big price tags. Are they worth it? Find the state’s best colleges by alumni salary.

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Bachelor's Only
All Alumni
RankSchool NameSchool TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:26School Name:Sarah Lawrence CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$59,100Mid-Career Pay:$121,800% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:27School Name:Pace UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$63,900Mid-Career Pay:$121,300% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:14%
Rank:28School Name:CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeSchool Type:Business, Sober School, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$63,800Mid-Career Pay:$121,000% High Meaning:40%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:29School Name:Syracuse UniversitySchool Type:Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$64,600Mid-Career Pay:$119,400% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:28%
Rank:30School Name:Ithaca CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$58,300Mid-Career Pay:$119,300% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:31School Name:St. John's University-New YorkSchool Type:Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$60,400Mid-Career Pay:$119,000% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:10%
Rank:32School Name:SUNY at AlbanySchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$59,200Mid-Career Pay:$118,200% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:20%
Rank:33School Name:Siena CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$59,400Mid-Career Pay:$116,700% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:19%
Rank:34School Name:SUNY Downstate Health Sciences UniversitySchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$77,100Mid-Career Pay:$116,300% High Meaning:85%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:35School Name:Fashion Institute of TechnologySchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,900Mid-Career Pay:$116,200% High Meaning:29%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:36School Name:The New SchoolSchool Type:Private School, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$59,500Mid-Career Pay:$115,700% High Meaning:40%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:37School Name:Skidmore CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$59,800Mid-Career Pay:$115,400% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:21%
Rank:38School Name:Rochester Institute of TechnologySchool Type:Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$69,100Mid-Career Pay:$115,200% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:55%
Rank:39School Name:Iona CollegeSchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$61,000Mid-Career Pay:$114,900% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:40School Name:New York Institute of TechnologySchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$60,700Mid-Career Pay:$113,200% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:26%
Rank:40School Name:Pratt Institute-MainSchool Type:Art, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$56,800Mid-Career Pay:$113,200% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:42School Name:Marist CollegeSchool Type:Private School, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$61,900Mid-Career Pay:$112,100% High Meaning:36%% STEM Degrees:17%
Rank:43School Name:Wagner CollegeSchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$65,100Mid-Career Pay:$111,100% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:44School Name:Hartwick CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,600Mid-Career Pay:$109,800% High Meaning:58%% STEM Degrees:15%
Rank:45School Name:Manhattanville CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$59,800Mid-Career Pay:$109,700% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:46School Name:University at BuffaloSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$61,100Mid-Career Pay:$108,600% High Meaning:52%% STEM Degrees:36%
Rank:47School Name:Long Island UniversitySchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,100Mid-Career Pay:$108,300% High Meaning:52%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:48School Name:CUNY Brooklyn CollegeSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,200Mid-Career Pay:$108,000% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:12%
Rank:49School Name:Touro CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$63,200Mid-Career Pay:$107,900% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:50School Name:CUNY City CollegeSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$61,500Mid-Career Pay:$107,100% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:31%

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College Student

Some of the best colleges in New York are New York University; Columbia University; The City College of the City University of New York; State University of New York – University at Buffalo; and Cornell University. New York has colleges in just about every imaginable category, ranging from urban to rural, big to small, liberal to conservative, artsy to engineering and more. Payscale can help you find out the best universities in New York by earning potential so that you can get a college degree that will set you up for a successful career.

New York State is home to some pretty famous schools like Columbia, NYU and Cornell. But the highest earning graduates often come from a school you’ve probably never heard of: SUNY Maritime, a small public college in the Bronx. SUNY Maritime produces some of the highest paid graduates in the nation. They focus on two types of degrees — engineering and business — and that seems to be the perfect formula for earning power.

The United States Military Academy at West Point often produces the alumni who earn the highest early career salaries. Keep in mind though that this is after graduates have usually completed military service, often as officers, so it makes sense that they can command such high salaries so early. USMA West Point graduates are much more experienced overall than typical college graduates.

Colgate University, a small private liberal arts college, comes in high overall for the highest paid graduates with 10 or more years of experience. Colgate grads only earn a relatively small salary in the first five years out of college, but once they have amassed more experience, their salary skyrockets. That’s a perfect illustration of the long-term salary growth we see with quality liberal arts and humanities majors.

Alumni from Excelsior College are among the most likely to say their jobs have a positive impact on the world. At the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, only a small percent of grads would say they have high job meaning.

Many famous alums received their undergraduate education in the Big Apple, including Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway, Woody Allen, Ann Coulter, Jane Lynch, and Kurt Vonnegut.