Few states can boast as much diversity and rich culture as New York.
While it isn't the largest state, nor the most densely populated, it is a hallmark of American tradition and it is known for being the melting pot of the country.
This makes it the ideal place for young men and women to branch out and attend university. While New York State has dozens of well-known and respected colleges to choose from, here are the top ten universities in the Empire State:
This college is for the best of the best. The smartest, most talented, and hardest working students from all over the world apply to Columbia, an Ivy League research university.
The Pulitzer Prize is administered annually from Columbia University, and its list of alumni include five Founding Fathers and three United States Presidents. Columbia is considered one of the best colleges in New York city today.
While the acceptance rate hovers at a competitive 7%, students who do attend Columbia praise the college's academics and accomplished professors.
As a nationally-ranked liberal arts college, Colgate University ranked as one of the best colleges in New York state to attend for a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Students flock to it for both its thriving party scene as well as its academic reputation, giving it the balance between work and play that so many college hopefuls want.
If students are interested in communications, Colgate has a long line of successful journalism and broadcast news alumni, including Howard Fineman, Andy Rooney, and Monica Crowley.
Cornell University signifies all that is great about liberal arts education in America by making it the perfect place to go for all fields of study.
Though it is known for success in business and psychology, this upstate New York Ivy League university offers degrees in all matters of sciences and classical education. It is the only private land grant university in New York, and students praise Cornell's attentive professors and the tight faculty-student class ratio.
Cornell University's main campus is located in Ithaca, and is known as one of the less-elite Ivy League colleges, priding itself on diversity and inclusion.
Barnard College is known for breaking barriers and questioning long-held traditions.
Originally founded due to Columbia's male-only student policy, Barnard is the highest-ranked women's college in New York. It is also a Seven Sisters college, making it one of the country's seven most prominent women's schools.
Women as diverse as writer Elizabeth Hardwick, media mogul Martha Stewart, and actress Lauren Graham are all Barnard alumni. This shows how success in all fields is reachable at this institution.
Unlike so many New York institutions, Hamilton College provides a close-knit and cozy atmosphere and a much smaller community experience.
Having a small class size allows for close relationships between students and faculty in class
at a 9:1 ratio. Nearly all graduating students praise professors for being attentive and involved.
This college ranked as a perfect option for students looking for careers in economics, political science, or statistics, as some of the alumni include Procter & Gamble president A.G. Lafley and pharmaceutical entrepreneur William Bristol.
New York University, located in Greenwich Village, is one of the most bustling, active spots in the entire city.
This makes it the ideal location for bright minds to gather. NYU pumps out success story after success story, claiming 38 Nobel Prize winners and 30 Pulitzer Prize winners. They are proud of the fact that they have some of the wealthiest alumni around.
Despite its elite history, NYU is known for being diverse and low-key, keeping its party scene to a minimum and its academics in the forefront.
The University of Rochester is a private research university, and is lucky enough to boast successes in diverse fields of study.
It is well-known for the Eastman School of Music, considered one of the best music schools in the world, as well as the Institute of Optics, which is the first school in the US devoted specifically to the study.
As of 2016, Rochester is one of the best upstate New York schools offering a Nursing degree program.
Rensselaer is considered the oldest technology-focused school in America and is one of the most celebrated polytechnic universities in the world.
While many of the best colleges in New York state tend to focus on the liberal arts, Rensselaer is a great option for students of engineering, computer science, and electronics.
This gorgeous campus, made of both modern and historical architecture, overlooks the Hudson River in the city of Troy.
If you're looking for an illustrious college at a value, Rensselaer is also known for providing a top-notch education at a fair price.
Much like Barnard College, Vassar was created as an all-female college.
In fact, it was the first women's college in America. But since 1969, Vassar accepts students of all genders. It has been ranked as one of the best liberal arts colleges in America as well as one of the most selective.
The gorgeous campus is home to two National Historic Landmarks and alumni include inventor Grace Hopper and actresses Meryl Streep and Lisa Kudrow.
Cooper Union, also known as The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, is considered one of the best art schools in the US.
It was founded by Peter Cooper on a principle of equality and celebrates its diverse alumni and student body. Cooper Union is not just known for the arts, though--they have well-known institutions for architecture and engineering as well.