Updated at: 14-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Ithaca colleges give you the chance to socialize with interesting people and experience the outdoors in a new way.

Some of the most beautiful waterfalls and lakes in the country can be found in Ithaca, New York, as can a thriving music and arts scene, wineries, organic farming, and a lively climate throughout the year. Taking classes in Ithaca will do wonders for your creativity.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at the top universities and colleges in Ithaca, NY, so you can pick the one that’s right for you.

Best Colleges In Ithaca

Best colleges in ithaca

Cornell University

Cornell University

Our list of top Ithaca universities begins with Cornell University. Cornell University, located in Ithaca, New York, is a private institution of higher education that has been open to students since its founding in 1865.

In the fall of 2020, there will be 14,743 undergraduates enrolled at the university, and they will be able to choose from among more than a thousand different student organizations, such as the Big Red Marching Band and the International Affairs Society.

Weill Cornell Medical College, the College of Engineering, the Law School, and the Weill Graduate School of Management are just a few of the excellent graduate institutions at Cornell University. In addition to being one of the best schools in Ithaca, Cornell is renowned for its College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Hotel Administration.

The total cost of attendance at Cornell University is $61,015 per year, and the school is ranked #17 on the National Universities’ list of Best Colleges for 2022.

Keuka College

Keuka is a highly regarded institution among Ithaca’s educational institutions. Keuka College, founded in 1890, is a private liberal arts college in Keuka, New York’s Finger Lakes region.

A total of 31 bachelor’s degrees and 7 master’s degree programs are available at the university, covering fields such as law, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, optometry, and occupational therapy.

Keuka College is one of Ithaca’s finest universities, boasting 1,301 undergraduate students, tuition and fees of $34,030, and a ranking of 126 in the Best Institutions in Regional Universities North 2022 edition.

Empire State College

On our list of the best colleges in Ithaca, New York, Empire University comes in at number five. If you’re looking for the best college in Ithaca that gives you the freedom to study when and where you want to, Empire State College could be a great option.

Empire State College was founded in 1971 as a forerunner in the state of New York by the State University of New York Board of Trustees and its chancellor at the time, Ernest L. Boyer, who would later become United States Commissioner of Education. Students from all over the world can take advantage of the convenient associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and distance degree programs available through the Center for Distant Learning at Empire State College, a multi-campus college based in Ithaca.

SUNY Empire gives its students the flexibility to study online, in person, or a combination of the two by offering more than 110 online degrees and certificates, campuses in every region of the state, and seven international sites.

There are about 10,000 undergrads at the school, with an acceptance rate of 63%. In-state tuition is $7,600, while out-of-state tuition is $17,515.

In addition to being one of Ithaca’s top schools, SUNY Empire has partnerships with the United Auto Workers (UAW), the United Steelworkers (USW), the Army, the Navy College Program, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Elmira College

Elmira College

Elmira College has made it onto our list of the top ten universities in Ithaca as number seven. Elmira Institution, established in 1855, is a private, coeducational college in Ithaca, New York. It pioneered the concept of providing women with an academically challenging environment on par with the top institutions for men.

The Elmira College of Arts and Sciences. Elmira is regarded as one of Ithaca’s top schools because of the community she creates for her students, one that encourages them to take an active role in their education, grow as individuals, and make positive contributions to their local and global communities.

The College takes great pride in its long and illustrious history, as well as its dedication to community service, education, and individual development.

Since its 1969 transition to admitting both sexes, Elmira has grown to a projected 715 undergraduates, the vast majority of whom will live on campus during their time there. The College also offers advanced certificates, master’s degree programs, and professional development courses for which credit is not awarded.

Elmira College is ranked number nine among Regional Universities North’s best institutions for 2022. Approximately $35,228 will be required for tuition and fees.

Ithaca College

Ithaca College was founded in 1892 and is situated in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, about 200 miles northwest of Manhattan. There will be 4,957 first-year students enrolled in the fall of 2020.

Business, communications, health sciences, human performance, humanities and sciences, and music are just some of the areas of study available to undergraduates at Ithaca College. Tuition and fees at Ithaca College total around $46,610 per year, making it one of the most expensive and competitive institutions in Ithaca.

In addition to academics, students have access to over 200 different student organizations and recreational and club sports. The Ithaca Bombers compete primarily in the NCAA’s Division III Empire 8 Athletic Conference. Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and David Boreanaz, who has starred in “Bones,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Angel,” are both Ithaca College alums.

Tompkins Cortland Community College

Tompkins Cortland Community College, established in 1967, is widely regarded as the finest Ithaca, New York, public community college. Biology, biotechnology, communication and media arts, computer sciences, construction, business administration, technology, marketing, criminal justice, culinary arts, engineering science, and nursing are just a few of the more than forty degree and certificate programs offered at the college.

The school offers a variety of sports, such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse, and charges two different tuition rates depending on whether a student is from outside the country (approximately $6,258 or $11,658 annually).

State University of New York College (SUNY College)

State University of New York College (SUNY College)

The State University of New York at Cortland (SUNY) was established in 1868 as a public institution of higher education. There are three different areas of study offered at this school that can lead to a bachelor’s degree or a higher certification.

With over 50 different schools spanning research universities, academic medical centers, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, colleges of technology, and an online learning network, SUNY College is one of the best colleges in Ithaca. Tuition at SUNY College is $8,806 for in-state students and $18,716 for out-of-state students per year, and the school is ranked 71st among Regional Universities North.

Cayuga County Community College

Publicly funded Cayuga County Community College in nearby Auburn, New York, also features prominently among the best colleges in Ithaca. It has an enrollment of 3,775 students and charges $5,550 in in-state fees and $10,400 in out-of-state fees.

There are fifteen fields of study from which to choose for a degree or certification. Its most sought-after courses include those in the liberal arts and sciences, general studies and the humanities, health professions and related programs, and business, management, marketing, and ancillary services.

During the school year, the total cost of living at Cayuga Community College for a resident of New York is $17,562.

Wells College

In 2019, there were 419 first-year students enrolled at Wells College, a private institution that was founded in 1868. The total cost of attendance is $31,900.

About 500 undergrads study at Wells College in Aurora. Henry Wells established the school in 1868, and it served only female students until 2005. Wells has established relationships with the universities of Rochester, Cornell, Clarkson, and Columbia, allowing students to take classes at any of these institutions and earn a professional degree from both. Because of this partnership, Wells is now considered one of Ithaca’s finest universities.

Wells College is offering first-year, transfer, and international students a 25% tuition discount and more than ten different scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. Former First Lady of the United States during Grover Cleveland’s presidency, Frances Cleveland, and American Girl doll creator Pleasant Rowland are both Wells College alums.

Cayuga County Community College

Cayuga County Community College

Auburn, New York’s public Cayuga County Community College is another Ithaca college that consistently ranks near the top of national rankings. There are 3,775 registered students, and the annual cost to attend is $5,550 for residents and $10,400 for international students.

Fifteen distinct areas of study lead to degrees and certifications. Popular majors include those in the arts and sciences, general studies and the humanities, health professions and related degrees, and the business, management, marketing, and related support services.

It will cost New York state residents $17,562 for the full school year to cover the costs of attending Cayuga Community College.

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

As a tribute to Samuel Curtis Johnson, founder of S.C. Johnson & Son, the institution he founded in 1946 was renamed in his honor in 1984 after his family donated $20 million to the school’s endowment. This was the largest gift ever given to a business school in the world.

Sage Hall in Ithaca, New York is home to the organization, which is affiliated with the prestigious Ivy League. There are about 600 students enrolled in the full-time two-year and Accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, and another 375 enrolled in the Executive MBA program, making it one of the largest schools in the Ithaca area.


What is the number 1 college in New York?

University of Cornell. Cornell University, which has been a member of the Ivy League since 1865, consistently places highly in international rankings. Cornell University has a 2,300-acre campus in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region.

Where are the happiest college students?

  • Iowa State University.
  • The School of Fairfield.
  • In California, at Berkeley.
  • The University of Virginia’s Polytechnic Campus and State University.
  • The University of Clemson.
  • T he prestigious institution that is Rice.
  • The University of Auburn.
  • The University of Florida’s Panhandle and Central Florida


Ithaca colleges provide more than just an opportunity to do well academically; the city’s beautiful natural setting also serves to inspire and motivate students by way of its exciting waterfalls and lakes, thriving music and arts scene, wineries, organic farming, and lively climate throughout the year.

Meeting new people and making new friends is easy to do while exploring Ithaca. With any luck, you’ll be able to use this data to make a well-informed decision about which of Ithaca’s excellent colleges and universities is best for you. But you should do your homework and be diligent before applying to any college.