Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 13 public universities, 66 private non-profit colleges, and one private for-profit institution.


    Data published by College Board indicates that bachelor’s degree students paid an average of $13,830 in tuition and fees at public colleges in Massachusetts during the 2020-21 school year.


    In the 2019-20 school year, an average of $14,940 in financial aid was paid to full-time undergraduate students.

Our Research

When selecting the best colleges in Massachusetts, we chose schools of all sizes that offer a broad range of program options. We included large research universities as well as small liberal arts colleges and midsize schools. We’ve also included schools that offer online and in-classroom learning options.

Each school on this list is accredited and complies with all regional and national higher education standards. Most schools on this list are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, which monitors colleges throughout the state to ensure compliance with federal education requirements.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 80 hours to write this article
  • 199 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 244 education programs we compared

The Top 46 Colleges in Massachusetts

Best Colleges In Massachusetts
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Massachusetts

Before you decide where you’d like to go to school, it’s important to consider your career options within the state where your top choices are located. In Massachusetts, the top five industries for employment as of October 2020 were transportation and warehousing; trade, transportation, and utilities; goods-producing services; professional and business services; and information.

The rate of growth in your chosen field is important if you’re looking for a career with growth potential. As of 2016, the fastest-growing occupations in the state were home health aides, statisticians, solar photovoltaic installers, post-secondary health specialties teachers, and nurse practitioners.

While transportation and healthcare are among the top professions in Massachusetts, there are plenty of opportunities for individuals who have the right education in a variety of fields. This is indicated clearly by the list of the top employers in the state, which includes Massachusetts General Hospital, Staples Inc., Dell EMC Corp., Raytheon Systems International, and GE Aviation.

What’s Next?

Throughout the U.S., most college students require some financial assistance to pay for school. If you’re planning to apply to colleges in Massachusetts, it’s important to understand what financial help is available to you in the state. Below, we’ve listed some of the grants, scholarships, and student loan programs that undergrad students in Massachusetts can access.

  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Office of Student Financial Assistance provides state-funded financial aid for college students and can help those attending school in the state access additional resources, including federal financial assistance programs.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA enables qualified students to access federally funded grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study opportunities. The FAFSA4caster provides detailed eligibility requirements for interested students. Those who are eligible can apply online.
  • CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop is a search engine that provides students with the tools they need to access a comprehensive list of financial aid options that are available for their specified state and degree level.