These Are the Best Colleges in the Hudson Valley

While Columbia and Cornell top Niche’s annual list, a number of Hudson Valley universities earn A+ rankings, too.


View over Hudson River - West Point Military Academy - West Point - New York - USA

Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada / Wikimedia Commons


Hello, back-to-school season! As the scents of fresh loose leaf and newly sharpened pencils float through the air, Niche reveals its annual list of the best colleges in New York State.

With the number of leading academic institutions in the region, it’s no surprise that competition was fierce. To determine which schools deserved the top spots, Niche took a look at everything from academics and professors to campus quality, diversity, student life, surrounding communities, and safety.

In 2019, Columbia University in New York City took home first place, followed closely by Cornell University in Ithaca. Of course, quite a number of Hudson Valley colleges made their mark, too. In fact, an impressive total of nine local schools appear on Niche’s list of the best colleges in the region.  

Can you guess the number one Hudson Valley school that leads the way locally?



It’s West Point!

Coming in at number four on the list, the United States Military Academy at West Point earned an A+ ranking for its academics and value for money. The public military school, which is a comparatively small operation with under 5,000 undergraduate students, maintains a selective 10-percent acceptance rate and graduates approximately 86 percent of its students each year. In addition to ranking highly on the statewide report, West Point also earned second place for Best Colleges with No Application Fee in America, fourth place for Top Public Universities in America, and tenth place for Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America.



West Point isn’t the only Hudson Valley institution to earn top marks. Next up, Vassar College in Poughkeepsie comes in eighth place, earning an overall A+ for its strong academics and financial value. The private school’s acceptance rate stands at 24 percent, with just over 2,300 undergraduate students enrolled. A standout for creatives, Vassar ranks highly on Niche’s reports for best liberal arts, performing arts, and film and photography colleges in America.



Rounding out the number 10 spot on Niche’s ranking of the top schools in New York is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy’s private college that focuses on tech and engineering. RPI garnered an A+ for its academic programming and value and ranked number two overall on Niche’s list of the Best Colleges for Information Technology in America.



On a separate list, Hyde Park’s Culinary Institute of America ranked number 14 on Niche’s lineup of Best College Food in America. (Is it any surprise?)

Want to read up on all the Hudson Valley colleges that appear on Niche’s top 50 list? Look no further!

27 – Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Albany
29 – Marist College, Poughkeepsie
37 – University at Albany, SUNY, Albany
39 – Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville
41 – Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
49 – SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz

Which Hudson Valley college do you think deserves first place? Let us know in the comments!

Related: 14 Colleges That Are Making Their Mark on the Hudson Valley

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module