Best Community Colleges in New York

2016-2017 Rankings

best_community_colleges_in_new_yorkThe state of New York is home to 121 two-year colleges. Two of the major community college systems in New York are the City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY), which, combined, operate more than 90 percent of all public community colleges in New York.

Some students at New York community colleges attend in order to complete an associate’s degree or some type of vocational training while others work on completing general education courses in order to transfer to a four-year institution of higher education.

For many students, the choice to attend a community college with the end goal of transferring to a four-year university is a more affordable option than going straight to a four-year institution.

Naturally, some of the community colleges in New York and New York City offer higher graduation and transfer rates than others, while some provide low tuition and more financial support.

Ranking Methodology

The team here at EDsmart ran the numbers on over 120 community colleges in the state of New York and ranked them based on:

  • Retention Rate
  • Transfer Rate
  • Graduation Rate
  • Net Price

*Data gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator.

All four factors allow students to see the affordability and academic quality of each respective community college on our list. Every school was given a ranking in each category listed above then assigned a composite score with the highest score being 100. The only school to receive a perfect 100 was Guttman Community College.

Rankings and information about each school can be found below.

RankNameGraduation RateTransfer-Out RateRetention RateNet Price
1Stella and Charles Guttman Community College49%30%73%$5,988
2Herkimer County Community College36%27%61%$7,487
3Columbia-Greene Community College30%19%59%$5,196
4Nassau Community College22%20%72%$3,817
5Ulster County Community College31%17%58%$4,049
6Niagara County Community College28%18%63%$5,674
7Mohawk Valley Community College28%20%59%$6,637
8Sullivan County Community College25%30%60%$7,247
9Clinton Community College29%16%65%$6,952
10Rockland Community College29%19%68%$9,065

Top Community Colleges in New York

#1 Guttman Community College


Score: 100

Net Price: $5,988
Graduation Rate: 49%
Transfer Rate: 30%
Retention Rate: 73%

Founded in 2011, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is the newest of CUNY’s community colleges. Guttman leads the way for CUNY with the highest score possible in this year’s EDsmart Best Community Colleges in New York rankings at 100/100. Guttman offers majors in Business Administration, Human Services, Information Technology, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Urban Studies.

Address: 50 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
Phone: (646) 313-8000
Founded: 2011
Number of students: 700 (2015)


#2 Herkimer County Community College

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Score: 91.75

Net Price: $7,487
Graduation Rate: 36%
Transfer Rate: 27%
Retention Rate: 61%

Founded in 1966, Herkimer County Community College leads the way for SUNY schools. Herkimer offers a variety of associate degrees in the fields of education, art, business, healthcare & service, liberal arts & sciences, communication arts, criminal justice & law, and STEM programs. This school’s Internet Academy offers more than 150 courses, 20 degrees, and 3 certificate programs online.

Address: 100 Reservoir Rd, Herkimer, NY 13350
Phone: (315) 866-0300
Founded: 1966
Number of students: 3,774 (2010)
Undergraduates: 3,328


#3 Columbia-Greene Community College

Columbia-Greene Best Community College in NY
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Score: 89.25

Net Price: $5,196
Graduation Rate: 30%
Transfer Rate: 19%
Retention Rate: 59%

Founded in 1966, Columbia-Greene Community College (Co-Greene or C-GCC) offers 33 associate degree programs and 5 undergraduate certificate programs. Co-Greene offers a variety of associate degrees in the fields of Arts & Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Math and Science, Nursing, and Technology. This school included a day care center which provides child care support for attending students.

Address: 4400 NY-23, Hudson, NY 12534
Phone: (518) 828-4181
Founded: 1966
Number of students: ~2,800 annually
Undergraduates: 2,047


#4 Nassau Community College

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Score: 89.00

Net Price: $3,187
Graduation Rate: 22%
Transfer Rate: 20%
Retention Rate: 72%

Founded in 1959, Nassau Community College awards the third largest number of Associate degrees for 2-year public colleges in the U.S. and the largest number of Associate degre