List of Colleges in the Northeast U.S.

The Northeast region of the United States is home to over 1,500 postsecondary schools. Compare four of the universities in the Northeast to determine which schools might be right for you.

School Ranking Overview

Students wanting to earn a college degree in one of the Northeast states have a substantial number of options; in fact, there are roughly 1,513 colleges, universities, career schools, seminaries and other academic institutions located throughout the region. In an effort to help prospective students with their school research and education decisions, this article highlights four of the Northeast's largest universities. They are compared in factors that may play a role in choosing which school is the best fit for students' academic goals, learning preferences and budgets. The top three institutions are ranked in the following categories:

  • Program Variety
  • Net Price
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Program Variety

All four of the compared schools offer more than 100 academic programs, so students aren't lacking in options when it comes to finding a degree or certificate to pursue. Students who enroll in college unsure of their professional futures may benefit from attending an institution with a large number of programs; it gives them the chance to explore a wide range of fields and specializations to find what best works for them. The three universities that follow have the most programs of those compared.

1. New York University

Located in New York City, New York University (NYU) is a private non-profit school that easily ranks first with its 477 academic programs. Some of the fields of study available include medicine, biochemistry, web design, tourism management, nursing, psychology, theatre arts and education. NYU awards associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in addition to certificates.

2. Temple University

Temple University, based out of Philadelphia, PA, is a public institution with about 274 programs. Undergraduates can pursue associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees and certificates while grad students can earn master's degrees, certificates and doctorates. A few of the areas of study available at Temple include landscape architecture, real estate, accounting, engineering, dentistry, music therapy, criminal justice and acting.

3. Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus

Commonly known as Penn State, Pennsylvania State University's main campus in University Park offers 217 programs that culminate in certificates as well as degrees from the associate's to doctoral levels. Students at this public institution study fields such as agribusiness, athletic training, healthcare administration, forensic science, archeology, engineering science, marketing and labor relations.

Net Price

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an institution's net price is calculated by subtracting the average student financial aid package from the total cost of attendance. In-state undergraduate tuition rates, enrollment fees, textbook costs, housing and other academic expenses are taken into account when determining a school's total cost of attendance. Based on this formula, the following universities had the lowest 2012-2013 net prices among the group, per NCES data.

1. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

A public institution, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, offers undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. It comes out on top in this category with an average net price of $16,040.

2. Temple University

Ranking second is Temple University. Undergraduate students at this institution paid an average net price of $20,670 during the 2012 school year.

3. Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus

Penn State rounds out the top three with its cost to undergrads. The university's net price was $23,161 for a year of enrollment. Students at Penn State, as well as other accredited institutions, may qualify for financial aid administered through institutions or by state and federal governments.

Graduation Rate

When comparing schools, taking a look at graduation rates can give insight into the level of educational quality available at the institutions. According to the NCES, the universities below have the highest graduation rates among the four in 2013. These figures were determined from data on full-time undergrads who entered bachelor's programs in fall 2007 and completed them within 150% of normal time.

1. Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus

With an overall graduation rate of 85%, Penn State takes the number one position in this category. The school also has the highest student retention rate of the group. Of those pursuing bachelor's degrees full-time during fall 2012, 92% opted to continue their enrollment at Penn State the next school year (NCES).

2. New York University

Falling closely behind Penn State is NYU; its graduation rate was 83%. Like Penn State, the university had a 92% retention rate for full-time bachelor's-seeking students during the fall 2012 to fall 2013 period (NCES).

3. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Rutgers ranks third for its 80% overall graduation rate. According to the NCES, 91% of the undergrads in full-time bachelor's degree programs during fall 2012 remained at the university the following year.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratios maintained by colleges and universities can have a noticeable impact on the kind of academic experience students have. Schools that have low ratios are more likely to have smaller class sizes, which makes personal attention from professors more feasible. The following universities have the lowest student-to-faculty ratios among those profiled (NCES).

1. New York University

With just ten students for every one faculty member, NYU likely provides an educational setting in which one-on-one interaction between professors and students is common. In the fall of 2013, there were 4,527 full-time and 4,310 part-time faculty members working at the institution (NYU). Among them were 356 research professionals, leaving the vast majority to have primarily instructional responsibilities.

2. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

The second lowest student-to-faculty ratio among the four institutions, 14:1, can be found at Rutgers University. The school employed 6,384 faculty members in 2013, and more than half -- roughly 61% -- worked full time (NCES). Most had instructional positions, but nearly 900 worked in research.

3. Temple University

Temple University's student body is a little over three-fourths the size of the population at Rutgers. Because of this, the former takes the third spot in this category despite also having a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio. According to the NCES, 3,548 instructional faculty members were employed by Temple in 2013. Around 57% of those professionals held full-time positions.

Northeast Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
New York University New York, NY Private non-profit Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #2 in Graduation Rate, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus University Park, PA Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #3 in Program Variety, #3 in Net Price, #1 in Graduation Rate
Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #1 in Net Price, #3 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Temple University Philadelphia, PA Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #2 in Program Variety, #2 in Net Price, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio

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