Best Community Colleges in New York

With over 60 colleges and universities, New York’s flourishing community college framework offers a multitude of associate degrees, certificates, and professional training programs.


New York State boasts 121 two-year academic institutions. The prominent community college systems of CUNY and SUNY oversee more than 90% of the state’s public community colleges. These systems provide an array of associate degrees, certifications, and workforce development initiatives.

Numerous students attending New York community colleges strive to attain an associate degree or engage in vocational instruction, while others focus on accomplishing general education prerequisites to facilitate a seamless transfer to a higher-tier, four-year educational establishment.

Popular Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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

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

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. This school included a daycare center that provides childcare 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

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 degrees in the state of Ney York. Nassau offers a variety of associate degrees in over 70 fields including Liberal Arts, Accounting & Business Administration, Administrative Technology, Africana Studies, Allied Health Sciences, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communications, Criminal Justice, History/Political Science/Geography, Theatre/Dance, and many more areas.

Address: 1 Education Dr, Garden City, NY 11530
Phone: (516) 572-7501
Founded: 1959
Number of students: N/A
Undergraduates: 20,000


#5 Ulster County Community College

Score: 88.25

Net Price: $4,049
Graduation Rate: 31%
Transfer Rate: 17%
Retention Rate: 58%

Founded in 1961, Ulster County Community College (SUNY Ulster) offers 60 undergraduate academic programs. Ulster offers a variety of associate degrees in the fields of business, human services, veterinary technology, childhood and early childhood education, graphic arts, and fine arts, education, criminal justice, nursing, and more. This school offers a vibrant student life with athletic teams, clubs, workshops, and more.

Address: 491 Cottekill Rd, Stone Ridge, NY 12484
Phone: (845) 687-5000
Founded: 1961
Number of students: 3,686 (2010)
Undergraduates: 2,047



#6 Niagara County Community College

Score: 87.50

Net Price: $5,674
Graduation Rate: 28%
Transfer Rate: 18%
Retention Rate: 63%

Founded in 1962, Niagara County Community College boasts 73 associate degrees and certificates in the fields of Business, Technology and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Nursing and Allied Health, Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Science, Health, and Mathematics. Dual admissions programs facilitate transfer to four-year colleges after students complete two-year degree programs at Niagara County College.

Address: 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd, Sanborn, NY 14132
Phone: (716) 614-6222
Founded: 1962
Number of students: 7,428 (2010)
Undergraduates: 6,667


#7 Mohawk Valley Community College

Score: 87.25

Net Price: $6,637
Graduation Rate: 28%
Transfer Rate: 20%
Retention Rate: 59%

Founded in 1962, Mohawk Valley Community College offers 85 associate degrees and 32 certificates in over 90 areas. Associate degrees offered include:
Business Administration and Management,
Computer Science,
Criminal Justice,
Digital Animation,
Engineering Science,
Culinary Arts Management,
multiple Childhood and Adolescence Education offerings,
Medical Assisting,
Web Development,
Design, and much more.

Address: 1101 Sherman Dr, Utica, NY 13501
Phone: (315) 792-5400
Founded: 1946
Number of students: 7,400 (2010)
Undergraduates: 7,200


#8 Sullivan County Community College

Score: 86.50

Net Price: $7,247
Graduation Rate: 25%
Transfer Rate: 30%
Retention Rate: 60%

Founded in 1962, Sullivan County Community College (SUNY Sullivan) is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. SUNY Sullivan offers 37 associate degrees and 6 certificate awards preparing students for employment and seamless transfer to a four-year institution. Programs include:

Business Administration,
Communication and Media Arts,
Computer and Graphic Design,
Computer Programming,
Emergency Management,
Liberal Arts and Sciences,
Medical Assisting,
Respiratory Care,
Simulation and Game Development, and much more.

Address: 112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759
Phone: (845) 434-5750
Founded: 1962
Number of students: 1,749 (2010)
Undergraduates: 1,757


#9 Clinton Community College

Score: 85.75

Net Price: $6,952
Graduation Rate: 29%
Transfer Rate: 16%
Retention Rate: 65%

Founded in 1966, Clinton Community College of SUNY offers 15 associate degree programs and 10 certificate programs which are approved by the New York State Department of Education. Clinton CC offers articulation agreements and transfer options to other four-year higher education institutions. This school offers degrees in Liberal Arts, Special Programs, Business, Criminal Justice, Health Physical Education and Recreation, Human Services, Nursing & Allied Health, Science, and Technology. Certificates are offered in Business, Human Services, Nursing & Allied Health, Technology. All of Clint CC’s programs are designed to lead to gainful employment.

Address: 136 Clinton Point Dr, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 562-4200
Founded: 1966
Number of students: 2,334 (2011)
Undergraduates: 2,192


#10 Rockland Community College

Score: 84.50

Net Price: $9,065
Graduation Rate: 29%
Transfer Rate: 19%
Retention Rate: 68%

Founded in 1966, Rockland Community College State University of New York offers 67 programs for both associate degrees and certificates. RCC SUNY also offers degrees at the Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate levels through articulation programs with four-year schools. This school offers degrees and certifications in Business and Professional/Public Services, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and STEM and Health Professions. Rockland offers online, evening, part-time, and full-time courses.

Address: Rockland Community College, 145 College Rd, Suffern, NY 10901
Phone: (845) 574-4000
Founded: 1959
Number of students: 7,180
Undergraduates: 7,180


NYC Community College Rankings 11-20

SchoolGraduation RateTransfer-out RateRetention RateNet PriceAverage ScoreWeighted Score
Genesee Community College26%20%57%$6,46627.7584
Orange County Community College24%18%63%$4,94527.7584
Morrisville State College27%42%68%$16,11527.583.75
Schenectady County Community College20%22%56%$3,5072783.25
Fulton-Montgomery Community College31%21%52%$8,1012783.25
SUNY Broome Community College29%18%57%$7,05326.2582.5
CUNY Kingsborough Community College26%16%67%$7,23026.2582.5
Monroe Community College23%19%61%$6,31125.581.75
Dutchess Community College24%19%63%$7,4032581.25
CUNY Queensborough Community College22%20%62%$7,71524.2580.5

Congratulations on making the 2016-2017 Top Community Colleges in New York rankings. Feel free to use the award badge to the right to show your students your accomplishment.

Further Resources:


Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.