The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report have recognized SUNY Cortland among the leading regional public universities, especially for issues including sustainability and access to education.
In its annual “2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region” review, SUNY Cortland placed on The Princeton Review’s list of the top colleges and universities in the Northeast. The Princeton Review refers to the selected schools as “academically outstanding and well worth consideration in your college search.”
“SUNY Cortland has always been an institution of access, and we’ve done that without sacrificing academic rigor,” President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “Academic excellence is one of the university’s top priorities. Our graduates have used the educational foundation built at Cortland to launch successful careers in medicine, law, education, science and many other fields.”
One of the many criteria used by The Princeton Review includes its “Green Rating,” which is a comprehensive measure of a college’s performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution. Factors it considers include a healthy and sustainable campus quality of life, how well a school prepares students for employment in a clean-energy economy and the environmental responsibility of a school’s policies.
SUNY Cortland scored a 96 out of 99 on this scale. The Princeton Review uses data from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and Sierra magazine to examine what percentage of food expenditures go toward local, organic and otherwise environmentally preferrable food, bike sharing, LEED-certified buildings, energy from renewable resources and more.
AASHE recertified SUNY Cortland’s gold rating on its Sustainability, Tracking and Assessment Rating System (STARS) in 2019, placing the university among the top 3% of higher education institutions in the nation for its commitment to the environment.
SUNY Cortland was ranked No. 82 in the nation, the highest among SUNY comprehensive colleges, in Sierra magazine's "Cool Schools" list in 2021. It was the sixth consecutive year the magazine ranked Cortland in the top 100 nationally.
The Princeton Review named SUNY Cortland to its Guide to Green Colleges in 2021.
SUNY Cortland also was commended by The Princeton Review on its admissions selectivity rating scale. The university scored 88 of 99. This rating considers the class rank and high school GPA of incoming first-year students, as well as the percentage of students from out-of-state and the percentage of applicants accepted.
U.S. News and World Report ranked SUNY Cortland at No. 70 on its list of Regional Universities North, up one spot from No. 71 one year ago. SUNY Cortland is No. 18 on the publication’s list of public regional universities in the North region.
SUNY Cortland also was named to U.S. News and World Report’s list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students,” which highlights factors including the university’s strong first-year retention rate (81%), selective admissions rate (52%) and the academic merit of incoming students. Twelve percent of Cortland’s first-year students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class and 44% of new students were in the top quarter of their high school class. The university received more than 11,000 applications for a first-year class totaling approximately 1,250 students in Fall 2021.
While U.S. News and World Report did consider SAT and ACT scores for this list, SUNY Cortland is test-optional for prospective students applying for Spring and Fall 2022 semesters. The university has gone test-optional in an effort to make a college education accessible to more students while still taking into account a student’s overall academic performance, their talents outside of the classroom and other personal qualities.