SUNY Polytechnic Institute likes to boast that its students get the benefits of an intimate private school, such as small class sizes and individualized attention, for a public-school price tag. Indeed, SUNY Poly does well in Money’s 2023-2024 ratings in part due to its affordability: Most freshmen get a grant or scholarship from the college to help reduce costs, and the estimated price of a degree is below average, according to Money’s calculations.

Computer science, business, nursing and mechanical engineering are all popular programs among undergraduates. To ensure students have a clear understanding of their path to a job, SUNY Poly starts talking about career prep on day one. (Really, it starts before day one, as the college lists possible career options on the info page of each of its majors.)

Most undergraduate programs are housed at the college’s Utica location in upstate New York. A second campus, about 90 minutes away in Albany, is home to the College of Nanoscience and Engineering.

The Wildcats compete in NCAA Division III sports, and students can join one of nearly 40 student organizations, including an esports team, a student magazine and an anime club. Though there are four residence halls on campus, most students choose to live off campus. There’s even a commuter-specific lounge in the student center.