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New York University


100+ Private, Not-for-Profit Colleges and Universities

New York: An Empire of Educational Opportunities

Last year more than 3,500 students from across the world enrolled as freshmen at an independent college or university in New York State. All told, 24,800 students from outside the United States annually study in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in New York's independent sector of higher education. Look closely. You, too, may find that your best decision is to join them.

Independent colleges and universities are non-profit campuses privately governed by independent boards of trustees — civic leaders, scholars, and business executives. “The Independent Sector is higher education at its best: high quality, varied, and comprehensive," said James C. Ross, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), a membership association based in New York State's capital, Albany. “Our colleges and universities offer diverse programs serving diverse people.”

You’ll find a private college or university in every region of New York State. Each is unique. Some are in cities; some are in quieter communities. Some are large, some small. Enrolled students come from different ethnic and economic backgrounds, from all 50 United States and many countries.

New York City’s historic role as the home of the New World’s principal port of entry lends important status to the entire “Upstate” area, which extends northward and westward hundreds of miles to the famed Great Lakes, and beyond the majestic Hudson — river of discovery and ancient settlement — through the vast Adirondacks to Ontario and Quebec. In every corner, from the teeming metropolitan New York City area to the outer tip of Long Island to Niagara Falls are the campuses of the Independent Sector of higher education.

Collectively, the 100+ independent colleges and universities in New York State make up the largest private sector of higher education in the world. They include world-famous centers of academic research; more medical and dental schools than anywhere else in the United States; many law schools; America's largest group of engineering schools and programs; well-respected liberal arts colleges; seven colleges devoted exclusively to the education of women; the greatest concentration of historically religious institutions in the United States; and superior independent colleges of music. Some of these campuses date from the 18th century, while others grew to meet needs first identified in the 20th.

“Colleges are as different as people,” said Susan Nesbitt Perez, director of outreach programs for CICU. “Campus environments differ. Academic programs vary. And every college has a distinct personality. But New York's private colleges and universities share common ground: They all offer quality and excellent value for your investment.”

Some of these institutions bear names renowned everywhere in the world — Columbia, Cornell, Rockefeller, and New York universities, for example; and others also are highly recognizable, such as Syracuse, Fordham, and St. John's universities, the University of Rochester, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Other smaller colleges with a liberal arts focus also have a global reputation, such as Vassar, Hamilton, or Barnard colleges. But the great point of New York’s extraordinary Independent Sector is diversity. You will do well to consider any one of the highly distinguished colleges or universities spread throughout the Empire State, as New York is frequently and justifiably known.

The quality of your college degree matters. It matters to you and your learning experience, and it matters to your career prospects. While New York State’s private colleges and universities differ in programs and features, all are high-quality institutions that offer student important benefits. These are some of the features you should consider in a college:

  • Strong academic departments.
  • Small class size.
  • Low student-to-professor ratio.
  • World-class, dedicated faculty.
  • Opportunity for activities outside the classroom.
  • Teaching that inspires critical thinking.
  • For certain academic majors, research opportunities or internship programs.
  • Outstanding career placement services.

What defines good value? When you’re looking at colleges, keep this in mind: Good values are intrinsically worthwhile and show a solid return on investment.

Because the college you choose will shape your future, you should choose carefully. With a college degree, you can expect to earn more; lifetime earnings are higher, on average, than for those without higher education.

When you choose a college, think about the kind of learning environment you want, and the value of your future degree. At New York’s private colleges and universities, you’ll benefit from your contacts with well-known faculty and alumni; you’ll have opportunities to gain real-life experience; and you’ll enjoy the pleasure of forming personal relationships with professors who come to know you, your interests, and your talents.

Of the nearly 25,000 students from outside the United States to study at a New York private campus, about two-thirds are in undergraduate programs leading to bachelor's degrees. A sizable number (1,400) are seeking professional degrees —as in medicine or teaching, for example. And more than one-fourth are enrolled in graduate study leading to advanced degrees and specialized careers ranging from pure science to literature and other arts. All benefit from the fine tradition in the very special colleges and universities that make up New York’s Independent Sector of higher education, where a highly personal experience is a fundamental element of each program of study.

To learn more about choosing a private college or university in New York State, log on to www.nycolleges.org, or send an e-mail message to colleges@nycolleges.org.


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