Poughkeepsie, N.Y. is a city of about 30,000 people, according to its official website, located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, 75 miles north of New York City. Several excellent colleges and universities are in and around Poughkeepsie, including Vassar College, Marist College and the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Vassar College

Two miles southeast of Poughkeepsie is Vassar College, one of the best-known liberal arts institutions in the United States. Founded in 1861, this highly selective school is one of the "Seven Sisters"--an association of exclusive women's colleges dating back to 1926 (though Vassar is now a coed institution). As of 2010, the school is home to 2,450 students and more than 290 faculty members, making for a student-faculty ratio of about nine to one. Ninety-eight percent of Vassar's students live on the 1,000-acre campus, which includes two lakes, an art center and an athletic center with field house.

Vassar College Raymond Ave. Arlington, NY 12603 (845) 437-7000 vassar.edu

Marist College

Marist College is an independent liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, on the banks of the Hudson River. The school was founded in 1929 as a seminary for the Marist Brothers, a Catholic religious order. As of 2010, Marist College has approximately 6,200 students, including about 4,100 undergraduates, 1,000 graduate students and 1,100 in continuing education programs. The campus features a riverfront park and 49 buildings, including a $25 million library with 190,000 volumes, art gallery, boathouse, recreational center and 37 student housing facilities.

Marist College Steel Plant Studios Beck Place Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845) 575-3133 marist.edu

State University of New York at New Paltz

Founded in 1828 as the New Paltz Classic Academy, SUNY New Paltz claims to be "the 99th oldest collegiate institution in the country." Located 13 miles west of Poughkeepsie across the Hudson River, this four-year public university had a total enrollment in fall 2009 of 7,957 students, including 6,554 undergraduates and 1,403 graduates. The school is home to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, numerous athletic teams and the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach, which focuses on researching topics of importance to the Hudson River Valley area.

State University of New York at New Paltz 1 Hawk Drive New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 257-7869 newpaltz.edu