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Top-Ranked College In New York Is Close To Westchester

Columbia University, based in upper Manhattan just 17 miles from Westchester County, was ranked No. 1 in New York state on niche.com's latest "best colleges" list.
Columbia University, based in upper Manhattan just 17 miles from Westchester County, was ranked No. 1 in New York state on niche.com's latest "best colleges" list. Photo Credit: Momos/Wikimedia Commons

Columbia University has been chosen as the best college in New York state by niche.com, an internet ranking and review site.

The private Ivy League school, based in upper Manhattan just about 17 miles south of Westchester County’s border, was established in 1754 at King’s College by Great Britain’s King George II.

Niche gave Columbia and overall ranking, and academics grade, of “A+.”

It listed its acceptance rate at 7 percent, though Columbia’s Wikipedia entry says it’s 6 percent (as of 2016). A 7 percent acceptance rate would tie Columbia with New Jersey’s Princeton University and a 6 percent rate, with Yale University in Connecticut.

Students who get into Columbia have SAT averages ranging from 1390 to 1570. Their ACT averages range from 31 to 34, niche.com said.

The average cost – after grant and scholarship aid – for each student is close to $21,000 a year, niche.com reported.

About 47 percent of Columbia’s freshmen students receive some sort of financial aid, according to collegefactual.com.

If the student’s household income is $30,000 a year or less, the average net price is $9,142 a year. At the higher end of the scale, are students whose household income is $110,000 plus; their average net cost is $39,050, niche.com said.

Columbia spokesman Sydney Schwartz Gross said Tuesday that the net cost is different for each family, since it is based on each family's individual financial situation.

Schwartz Gross said Columbia awards more than $140 million annually in scholarships and grants.

Fifty percent of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students receive grants from Columbia, and the average amount awarded is $47,490, he said.

For general information on how net cost is calculated, visit http://cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/how/determine-eligibility. For information about Columbia costs and financial aid, visit http://cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/eligibility/facts

Columbia’s student-faculty ration is 6:1. There are no evening degree programs.

Niche.com polled students and found that 87 percent agree that professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes. Sixty-seven percent say it’s easy to get the classes they want and 35 percent agree that the workload is easy to manage.

The top three most popular majors at Columbia, according to niche.com, are economics, political science and government, and nursing.

At present, there are 7,496 students enrolled at Columbia, 13 percent of whom are undergrads over age 25, 16 percent who receive Pell grants, and 10 percent who are varsity athletes, according to niche.com’s research.

Ninety-seven percent of freshman students live on campus.

The majority of them call life at Columbia “challenging” and 88 percent of them feel confident they will find work in their fields after graduation, niche.com reported.

Columbia grads can expect to earn an average $72,900 a year, six years after college, niche.com said.

There were several other New York state colleges that made it onto niche.com’s list of the 100 best schools in the country.

The ones in New York City were: New York University, which came in at No. 54, and Barnard College, at No. 30.

Also in our region was Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, which squeaked in at No. 100.

Other New York state colleges on the Top 100 list were: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy (No. 93); Hamilton College in Clinton (No. 47); and Cornell University in Ithaca (No. 29).

Columbia was ranked by niche.com at No. 3 of 625 best colleges for nursing in America; at No. 7 of 1,305 of the hardest colleges to get into in the country; and at No. 9, of 1,673 of its “most diverse” colleges.

For more on niche.com’s methodology and other colleges on its list, click here.

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