10 Best Small Colleges in New York | Expert List

12 Best Small Colleges in New York | Expert List

We have outlined a well-detailed guide to the best small colleges in New York to help you choose the perfect school for you.

Each institution featured in this compilation offers a unique blend of academic excellence, fostering a close-knit community that encourages collaboration and innovation.

From private liberal arts colleges to institutions with a specific focus on the arts, sciences, or environmental studies, these schools provide diverse educational experiences.

Whether it’s the commitment to empowering women, embracing religious values, or promoting sustainability, each college distinguishes itself through its distinct characteristics.

Join us as we explore the enriching environments and exceptional opportunities that these small colleges in New York have to offer.

If you did not find your choice school here, you can also scout for alternatives in our archive of the best small colleges in other states of the US for other small school options.

What are small schools in New York best known for?

Small schools in New York are best known for fostering close-knit communities that prioritize individualized attention and strong student-faculty relationships.

These institutions often excel at providing a personalized educational experience, allowing students to actively engage in discussions, receive hands-on training, and form lasting connections.

Many small schools in New York are recognized for their commitment to specific academic disciplines, such as the arts, liberal arts, environmental science, or engineering.

Additionally, these schools are often celebrated for their emphasis on innovation, creativity, and a holistic approach to education that goes beyond traditional classroom learning.

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What are the best small colleges in New York?

Without further ado, we lead you to the top colleges with small class sizes and student populations in New York. Our job here at Ziiky is to make school searching easy and seamless for you.

Now here are the top New York small colleges:

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1. Barnard College

  • Phone: +1 212-854-5262
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,007 (2020–21)
  • Address: 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027, United States

Barnard College, an all-women’s liberal arts college affiliated with Columbia University, stands out for its empowering environment.

Located in the vibrant heart of Manhattan, Barnard offers a unique blend of academic excellence and a strong commitment to women’s leadership.

As a private institution, Barnard fosters a close-knit community where students benefit from the resources of both Barnard and Columbia.

With its emphasis on gender equality and a diverse curriculum, Barnard is an excellent choice for those seeking a supportive and intellectually stimulating college experience.

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2. The Cooper Union

  • Phone: +1 212-353-4100
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 869 (2020–21)
  • Address: 30 Cooper Sq., New York, NY 10003, United States

The Cooper Union, a private institution in the East Village of Manhattan, is renowned for its focus on architecture, art, and engineering.

Offering a full-tuition scholarship to every admitted student, Cooper Union is committed to making high-quality education accessible. The school’s small size facilitates a tight-knit community, encouraging collaboration and innovation among students.

With its prestigious faculty and emphasis on creativity, Cooper Union is an ideal choice for those passionate about the arts and sciences.

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3. Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus

  • Phone: +1 212-960-5400
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,583 (2020–21)
  • Address: 500 W 185th St, New York, NY 10033, United States

Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, a private Jewish institution, combines a commitment to academic excellence with a strong emphasis on religious values.

Situated in Washington Heights, Yeshiva University provides a unique blend of Judaic studies and a comprehensive liberal arts education. Students benefit from a supportive community that values both intellectual and spiritual growth.

With its dual focus on secular and religious learning, Yeshiva University offers a distinctive educational experience for those seeking a balance between tradition and modernity.

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4. St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn

  • Phone: +1 718-940-5300
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,753 (2020–21)
  • Address: 245 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205, United States

St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn is a private Catholic institution. Joseph’s University is to provide a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels and stands out for its commitment to fostering a sense of community and social responsibility.

With a focus on liberal arts education, St. Joseph’s provides students with a strong foundation for personal and professional success. The campus’s location in Brooklyn offers a diverse and dynamic backdrop for learning and exploration.

As a school rooted in the Catholic tradition, St. Joseph’s emphasizes values such as compassion, integrity, and service.

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5. Manhattan School of Music

  • Phone: +1 212-749-2802
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 489 (2020–21)
  • Address: 130 Claremont Ave., New York, NY 10027, United States

Manhattan School of Music, a private conservatory located on the Upper West Side, is a haven for those passionate about music and the performing arts.

The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the areas of classical and jazz performance and composition, as well as a bachelor’s in musical theater. With a faculty composed of world-class musicians, the school offers rigorous training in a supportive environment.

The small size ensures personalized attention, allowing students to refine their craft and develop a unique artistic voice. Whether aspiring to become classical virtuosos or avant-garde performers, students at Manhattan School of Music find a home where their musical dreams can flourish.

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6. Vassar College

  • Phone: +1 845-437-7000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,500 (2020–21)
  • Address: 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12604, United States

Vassar College, a private liberal arts institution in Poughkeepsie, boasts a picturesque campus and a rich history of academic excellence. Known for its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Vassar provides a welcoming environment for students from various backgrounds.

The school’s strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies allows students to explore a broad range of subjects and develop a well-rounded perspective.

With a focus on critical thinking and creativity, Vassar prepares students for success in a rapidly changing world.

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7. Skidmore College

  • Phone: +1 518-580-5000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,676 (2020–21)
  • Address: 815 N Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, United States

Skidmore College is a private liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs and one of the best small colleges in New York, offering a dynamic and collaborative learning environment.

Known for its strong programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences, Skidmore encourages students to explore their passions across disciplines.

The campus’s vibrant arts scene, combined with a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, creates a unique educational experience.

With small class sizes and engaged faculty, Skidmore provides students with the tools to excel academically and make a positive impact on the world.

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8. Hamilton College

  • Phone: +1 315-859-4011
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,049 (2020–21)
  • Address: 198 College Hill Rd., Clinton, NY 13323, United States

Hamilton College, a private liberal arts institution in Clinton, stands out for its distinctive open curriculum and emphasis on student autonomy.

With no core requirements, Hamilton students have the flexibility to shape their educational journey based on their interests and goals. The close-knit community fosters meaningful connections between students and faculty, creating a supportive environment for intellectual exploration.

Hamilton’s picturesque campus and commitment to fostering a sense of responsibility make it an excellent choice for those seeking a personalized and empowering education.

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9. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

  • Phone: +1 315-470-6500
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,057 (2020–21)
  • Address: 1 Forestry Dr, Syracuse, NY 13210, United States

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a public institution in Syracuse, offers a unique focus on environmental studies and sustainable practices.

As part of the State University of New York system, ESF provides an affordable option for those passionate about addressing environmental challenges.

The college’s hands-on approach to learning, extensive research opportunities, and commitment to sustainability make it a top choice for environmentally conscious students.

With a beautiful campus nestled in the heart of New York’s natural landscapes, SUNY ESF provides a practical and inspiring education.

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10. Union College

  • Phone: +1 518-388-6000
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,072 (2020–21)
  • Address: 807 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12308, United States

Union College, a private liberal arts institution in Schenectady, prides itself on its innovative approach to education.

With a distinctive emphasis on integrating liberal arts with engineering, Union College prepares students for success in a rapidly evolving world. The school’s commitment to experiential learning, collaborative research, and a close-knit community sets it apart.

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Union College’s diverse academic offerings and vibrant campus life make it an ideal choice for students seeking a well-rounded and forward-thinking education.

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11. St. Lawrence University

  • Phone: +1 315-229-5011
    Undergraduate enrollment: 2,227 (2020–21)
  • Address: 23 Romoda Dr, Canton, NY 13617, United States

St. Lawrence University, a private liberal arts college in Canton, offers a transformative education in a picturesque setting.

Known for its commitment to global perspectives and community engagement, St. Lawrence encourages students to become active citizens in a global society.

The school’s strong emphasis on experiential learning, including study abroad programs and internships, provides students real-world skills.

With a supportive and inclusive community, St. Lawrence University prepares students to navigate the complexities of a diverse and interconnected world.

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12. Bard College

  • Phone: +1 845-758-6822
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,036 (2020–21)
  • Address: 30 Campus Rd., Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504, United States

Bard College, a private liberal arts institution in Annandale-on-Hudson, stands out for its commitment to unconventional education and intellectual exploration.

With a focus on fostering creativity and critical thinking, Bard College offers a distinctive curriculum that encourages students to question and challenge traditional ideas.

The school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and innovative programs, such as the Bard Prison Initiative, sets it apart.

The campus’s vibrant cultural scene and commitment to social justice make Bard College an ideal choice for students seeking a transformative and intellectually stimulating experience.

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FAQs on best small colleges in New York

How much are the school fees at small colleges in New York?

The school fees in small schools in New York vary widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands per year, depending on factors such as the institution’s status (public or private) and specific programs offered.

On average, the tuition for the mentioned small colleges in New York ranges from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per year, depending on the specific institution and its status as public or private

What are the application requirements to apply to small schools in New York?

Application requirements for New York small schools typically include a completed application form, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT), and a personal statement.

Do I need a high school degree to get into New York small colleges?

Yes, a high school degree or its equivalent is generally a prerequisite for admission to small colleges in New York.

We hope you find your perfect school above.

Good luck!!!

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