New York is a haven for higher education. From the massive New York State University (SUNY) system to the countless private institutions, residents are spoiled for choice. That doesn't necessarily mean that everyone can attend their first-choice institution, however.

While some colleges and universities welcome nearly every applicant with open arms, there are many in the state with a very selective admissions program. A recent study titled The Hardest Colleges to Get Into in America includes three New York schools... and one is right here in the Hudson Valley.

SUNY New Paltz is one of the most selective SUNY programs with a 48% acceptance rate
SUNY New Paltz is one of the most selective SUNY programs with a 48% acceptance rate (Jackie Corley, Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley)
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Which SUNY Schools Have the Lowest Acceptance Rates?

While nearly every college on the recent list was private, New York State has some pretty selective public options as well. SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Stony Brook, for example, have a 48% acceptance rate, and SUNY Binghamton leads the state with only 43% of applicants being admitted to the school (see the full list here). While elite, those numbers pale in comparison to the three New York schools on the nationwide list.

Read More: Which SUNY Schools Are the Hardest to Get Into?

The Most Selective Colleges in the Country Include 3 New York Schools

The most selective university in the country according to niche.com is the under-the-radar Minerva University in San Francisco, CA with only a 1% acceptance rate. What makes the school stand out is that while students begin classes in California, the next three years takes them to classrooms all across the globe. But what about schools in New York?

Columbia University in New York City is the most selective school in New York state
Columbia University in New York City is the most selective school in New York state (Google)
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Columbia University in New York City is the Most Selective College in the State

Columbia University in New York City is recognized as the 6th-hardest school to get into in the country, and the most selective school in New York state. Their 4% acceptance rate puts them over other well-known institutions like Princeton University in New Jersey and Yale University in Connecticut.

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY is the second-most selective university in New York
Cornell University in Ithaca, NY is the second-most selective university in New York (Google)
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Cornell University is the Second-Most Selective College in New York

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY is not far behind with a 9% acceptance rate. That number puts Cornell at number 20 on the nationwide list and the second-most selective school in New York. Number three in the state is right here in the Hudson Valley.

The United States Military Academy at West Point is the Hudson Valley's most selective college, and the third-most selective in New York State
The United States Military Academy at West Point is the Hudson Valley's most selective college, and the third-most selective in New York State (Google)
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Acceptance Rates at the United States Military Academy at West Point

With an 11% acceptance rate, the United States Military Academy at West Point is the 30th-most selective college in the country and the third-toughest in New York. The relatively-small institution in Orange County, NY is also one of the only public colleges on the nationwide list.

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Luckily, the Hudson Valley is full of activities for students (and their parents) to enjoy no matter which school they decide to attend. From viral delis near Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY to bear sightings on the SUNY New Paltz campus, there's never a dull moment. Check out photos from a recent bear visit below and keep scrolling to see the best jobs if you don't want to get a degree.

Bear on Campus at SUNY New Paltz NY

On Thursday (June 23, 2022) this unassuming good-size black bear wandered onto campus and decided to climb a tree. The SUNY New Paltz Police along with the NYS DEC Police monitored the situation on-site. They were able to encourage the campus visitor to return home without incident.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn

Highest-Paying Jobs in New York That Don't Require a College Degree

Stacker ranked the 50 highest-paying jobs in New York that don't require a college degree, using annual compensation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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