The 10 Best College Towns In New York For 2022


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our fifth time ranking the best college towns in New York.
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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and New York is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in New York are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in New York for 2022.

The 10 Best College Towns In New York For 2022

  1. Brockport, NY
  2. Ithaca, NY
  3. Stony Brook, NY
  4. New Paltz, NY
  5. Geneseo, NY
  6. Oneonta, NY
  7. Farmingdale, NY
  8. Plattsburgh, NY
  9. Albany, NY
  10. Nyack, NY

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Brockport, Ithaca and Stony Brook - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Brockport ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Finally, if you live in Lawrence, NY - it's officially the worst college town in New York. Sorry, Lawrence!

Read on to find out more or for more on New York check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In New York For 2022

Brockport, NY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 8,142
% Undergrad Pop.: 82.9% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $812 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 695.7% (42nd best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Brockport: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: SUNY College at Brockport

Ithaca, NY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 30,715
% Undergrad Pop.: 46.5% (9th best)
Median Rent: $1,171 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 490.0% (24th best)
Crime Rank: 54th best
More on Ithaca: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Cornell University, Ithaca College, Finger Lakes School of Massage

Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 11,785
% Undergrad Pop.: 112.5% (best)
Median Rent: $2,177 (5best)
Unemployment Rate: 308.2% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Stony Brook: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: Stony Brook University

New Paltz, NY
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 7,169
% Undergrad Pop.: 84.1% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $1,313 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1170.2% (56th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on New Paltz: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: State University of New York at New Paltz

Geneseo, NY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 8,218
% Undergrad Pop.: 63.2% (5th best)
Median Rent: $846 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 626.8% (29th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Geneseo: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: SUNY College at Geneseo

Oneonta, NY
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 13,855
% Undergrad Pop.: 48.9% (8th best)
Median Rent: $901 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 534.0% (25th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Oneonta: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: SUNY Oneonta, Hartwick College, Otsego Area BOCES-Practical Nursing Program

Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 8,869
% Undergrad Pop.: 56.9% (7th best)
Median Rent: $1,874 (47th best)
Unemployment Rate: 352.5% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Farmingdale: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: Farmingdale State College

Plattsburgh, NY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 19,343
% Undergrad Pop.: 27.8% (15th best)
Median Rent: $840 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 578.1% (28th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Plattsburgh: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: SUNY College at Plattsburgh, Clinton Community College, Clinton Essex Warren Washington BOCES

Albany, NY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 96,860
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.6% (2best)
Median Rent: $992 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 674.0% (38th best)
Crime Rank: 5best
More on Albany: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: SUNY at Albany, The College of Saint Rose, Mildred Elley School-Albany Campus

Nyack, NY
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 7,130
% Undergrad Pop.: 25.0% (17th best)
Median Rent: $2,061 (50th best)
Unemployment Rate: 272.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 26th best
More on Nyack: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: Nyack College

How'd we figure out the best college towns in New York?

To crunch our data on New York's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 44 places in New York with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In New York For 2022".

And it looks like Brockport placed Summa Cum Laude.

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in New York, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

If you're curious, these are the worst college towns in New York, starting with the absolute worst, Lawrence:

  1. Lawrence
  2. Mount Kisco
  3. Utica
  4. Peekskill
  5. Dix Hills
  6. Monsey
  7. Glen Cove
  8. White Plains
  9. Rochester
  10. Dobbs Ferry

For more reading, check out:

44 Best College Towns In New York

Rank City Population
1 Brockport, NY 8142
2 Ithaca, NY 30715
3 Stony Brook, NY 11785
4 New Paltz, NY 7169
5 Geneseo, NY 8218
6 Oneonta, NY 13855
7 Farmingdale, NY 8869
8 Plattsburgh, NY 19343
9 Albany, NY 96860
10 Nyack, NY 7130
11 New York, NY 8379552
12 Potsdam, NY 9003
13 Bronxville, NY 6450
14 Troy, NY 49253
15 Poughkeepsie, NY 30341
16 Hamburg, NY 9672
17 Cortland, NY 18633
18 Hempstead, NY 55153
19 Saratoga Springs, NY 28056
20 Canton, NY 6486
21 Rockville Centre, NY 24552
22 Syosset, NY 19254
23 Buffalo, NY 255805
24 Newburgh, NY 28146
25 Fredonia, NY 10311
26 Syracuse, NY 142553
27 Oswego, NY 17371
28 Bethpage, NY 18012
29 Monroe, NY 8567
30 Geneva, NY 12720
31 Jamestown, NY 29290
32 New Rochelle, NY 79367
33 Elmira, NY 27236
34 Schenectady, NY 65336
35 Dobbs Ferry, NY 10959
36 Rochester, NY 206357
37 White Plains, NY 58171
38 Glen Cove, NY 27172
39 Monsey, NY 23733
40 Dix Hills, NY 23995
41 Peekskill, NY 24111
42 Utica, NY 59984
43 Mount Kisco, NY 10949
44 Lawrence, NY 6517

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?