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:100School Name:SUNY Empire State CollegeSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,900Mid-Career Pay:$87,000% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:102School Name:Houghton CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,200Mid-Career Pay:$85,800% High Meaning:59%% STEM Degrees:19%
Rank:102School Name:Russell Sage CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,900Mid-Career Pay:$85,800% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:104School Name:Nyack CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$52,700Mid-Career Pay:$85,700% High Meaning:63%% STEM Degrees:1%
Rank:105School Name:Elmira CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$53,800Mid-Career Pay:$85,400% High Meaning:63%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:106School Name:Nazareth CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,500Mid-Career Pay:$84,600% High Meaning:59%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:106School Name:Wells CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$53,000Mid-Career Pay:$84,600% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:23%
Rank:108School Name:SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at CobleskillSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$45,000Mid-Career Pay:$84,400% High Meaning:53%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:109School Name:Concordia CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$54,000Mid-Career Pay:$84,200% High Meaning:48%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:110School Name:SUNY Buffalo StateSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,000Mid-Career Pay:$81,900% High Meaning:49%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:111School Name:Roberts Wesleyan CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$52,600Mid-Career Pay:$81,000% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:112School Name:CUNY Medgar Evers CollegeSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$54,300Mid-Career Pay:$80,700% High Meaning:65%% STEM Degrees:36%
Rank:113School Name:SUNY BrockportSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$50,700Mid-Career Pay:$78,900% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:114School Name:Medaille CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$47,100Mid-Career Pay:$78,200% High Meaning:55%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:114School Name:SUNY College of Technology at CantonSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$45,900Mid-Career Pay:$78,200% High Meaning:68%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:116School Name:Keuka CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,200Mid-Career Pay:$78,000% High Meaning:66%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:117School Name:Culinary Institute of AmericaSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$46,400Mid-Career Pay:$77,300% High Meaning:51%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:118School Name:Cazenovia CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$43,600Mid-Career Pay:$75,200% High Meaning:43%% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:119School Name:Metropolitan College of New YorkSchool Type:Business, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$51,800Mid-Career Pay:$74,900% High Meaning:65%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:120School Name:Hilbert CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$45,600Mid-Career Pay:$73,700% High Meaning:54%% STEM Degrees:1%

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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.