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Niche Ranks College In Dutchess Among Best In America

Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library towers over the green at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. Vassar was ranked No. 100 in's list of top 100 best colleges in the country. Photo Credit:
Columbia University in New York City was identified as the best college in New York state by, an internet ranking and review site. Photo Credit: Momos/Wikimedia Commons

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

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie drew the No. 100 ranking on's list of the 100 best colleges in America.

Columbia, a 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+.” Vassar got an overall rating of "A" and a rating for academics, of "A+." listed Columbia's 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. rated Vassar at No. 38 or 1,305 hardest colleges to get into in the U.S. It was No. 42 on its list of 1,403 colleges with the best academics and No. 24 of 747 most liberal colleges in America.

Vassar’s acceptance rate was 24 percent, according to’s research.

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

Those who were accepted at Vassar had average SAT scores ranging from 1320 to 1490 and ACT scores ranging from 30 to 33.

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

The average yearly cost of attending Vassar, after subtracting grant or scholarship aid, was $19,661.

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

If the Columbia 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, said.

For Vassar students with a household income of  $30,000 and under income, the net cost was $10,558 and for one with a $110,000 plus income, was $38,674, found.

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 For information about Columbia costs and financial aid, visit

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

The student-faculty ratio at Vassar is 8:1. It also does not have evening degree programs. 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.

According to’s poll, 91 percent of Vassar students agree that their professors put a lot of effort into teaching classes and 42 percent said it was easy to get into the courses they wanted. Forty-five percent told pollsters that the workload was easy to manage.

The top three most popular majors at Columbia, according to, are economics, political science and government, and nursing. At Vassar, the top three majors economics, English and psychology, said.

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’s research. Of Vassar’s 2,380 full-time undergrads, 1 percent of them are over the age of 25, 22 percent get Pell grants, and 14 percent are varsity athletes.

Ninety-seven percent of freshman students at Columbia live on campus. All of Vassar's live on campus.

The majority of Columbia students said they found school life “challenging” and 88 percent of them feel confident they will find work in their fields after graduation, reported.

Thirty-five percent of those polled by said the word that best describes the typical Vassar student is “hipster.”

Columbia grads can expect to earn an average $72,900 a year, six years after college, said. While at Vassar, 61 percent of students said they felt confident about finding a job in their field after graduating.

The median income for a Vassar grad, six years after leaving school, is $47,100, found.

There were several other New York state colleges that made it onto’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.

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 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’s methodology and other colleges on its list, click here.

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