Binghamton University

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#68, overall score 56.83/100

Fun Fact:

The university has a 190-acre nature preserve, which features a large salamander population. Students have built special ramps to help the salamanders safely cross the street during migration seasons.

Why should Jewish students attend Binghamton? At Binghamton, Jewish students will find one of the most robust Jewish communities on any campus with enormous range of opportunity which includes leadership, social action, social events, Greek life and Zionism. Jewish studies opportunities abound both on and off campus, there are services three times a day at Chabad, and on Shabbat and holidays, of course. Jewish holidays are marked in huge celebrations on campus; everyone on campus has heard of the Mitzvah Marathon to commemorate 9/11, the Purim Carnival Extravaganza and Shabbat 1800. The school’s academic calendar reflects tremendous attentiveness to Jewish observance with the university holding an alternate commencement for the Class of 2018’s Shabbat- and holiday-observant students to accommodate observance of Shavuot. There is an eruv around campus, a kosher cafeteria and the possibility to get manual keys instead of key cards to the dorms. Perhaps most importantly, while it’s not unusual for its programs to draw hundreds of students, Chabad’s staff is focused on each individual and is available 24/7 to respond to any need that a student may have. In other words, Binghamton is an easy, fun, safe, vibrant place to explore or strengthen one’s Jewish identity while getting a stellar academic experience for a very reasonable cost. - Rivkah Slonim, education director, Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life at Binghamton University


  • Location: Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: College town
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 13,632
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 3,300
  • Jewish population share: 24%
  • Student origin: 93% in-state / 7% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: Pipe Dream
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Bearcats
  • Ultimate Frisbee team name: Big Bear

COST & AID Score: 5.83/15

  • Score: 5.83/15
  • In-state tuition: $9,523
  • Out-of-state tuition: $24,403
  • Room & board costs: $14,577
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $9,437
  • Average loan debt: $27,022
  • Starting median salary: $56,400

ACADEMICS Score: 6.67/20

  • Score: 6.67/20
  • Acceptance rate: 40%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Median SAT range: 1290-1431
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: Yes

ISRAEL Score: 16/20

  • Score: 16/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 250
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: Yes
  • Israel-related clubs: Bearcats for Israel, BUZO, J Street U
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 3.33/11

  • Score: 3.33/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 3
  • Campus crime rate: 1.85/1,000 students (low)
  • City crime rate: 47.99/1,000 people (high)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 25/34

  • Score: 25/34
  • Hillel: Hillel at Binghamton
  • Chabad: Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life at Binghamton University
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Other Jewish outreach group: Meor
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SDT, SAEPi
  • Jewish dorm: Dickinson, Newing, Hayes
  • Jewish a capella group: Kaskeset
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan?: Yes
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 175
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 350
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 3 (1 Orthodox, 1 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Art Spiegelman
  • Where do Jewish students come from?: While most of the university’s population comes from the Tri-State area, Binghamton has been attracting Jewish students from across the country because of its strong Jewish life.
  • Kosher food details: Three kosher meals daily are easily accessible through the Kosher Kitchen (located in C-4) which is under the supervision of the Orthodox Union and run by Sodexo, the catering provider for all on-campus dining establishments and events. There is very limited availability of kosher foods in other dining halls in the form of pre-packaged sandwiches. Chabad runs a kosher pizzeria on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and a deli on Tuesday nights.

What Students Say:

“The university has a great relationship with the Jewish community on campus. They give a year of credit for Israel gap year programs, give off for most major Jewish holidays and are overall very accommodating.”…“Our community is large enough that people of all backgrounds can find their place and what is most comfortable for them, yet we are small enough that you will likely never go very far on campus without running into someone you know. Because of that, it really feels like it is a community not bound by class ranking or religious affiliation.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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