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Why This Matters

  • 88 FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES IN MASSACHUSETTS

    According to College Navigator, the four-year colleges in Massachusetts include 16 public and 72 private non-profit options.

  • $14,396 AVERAGE IN-STATE TUITION & FEES

    For the 2022-23 school year, the average in-state tuition for public four-year colleges in Massachusetts is $14,396, according to College Board.

  • $15,330 AVERAGE FINANCIAL AID

    In the U.S., full-time undergraduate students attending college in 2021-22 received an average of $15,330 per year in financial aid.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar colleges in Massachusetts. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) — this organization examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of postsecondary education programs in the northeastern United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission standards, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the resources and services provided for on-campus students. Then, we used this information to calculate the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Colleges in Massachusetts

Best Colleges In Massachusetts
01

Tufts University
01

Williams College
01

Wellesley College
01

Smith College
01

UMass Amherst
01

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
01

UMass Lowell
01

Westfield State University
01

Simmons University
01

Worcester State University
01

Western New England University
01

Suffolk University
01

UMass Boston
01

UMass Dartmouth

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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 five largest industries as of May 2022 are office and administrative support occupations, management, sales, food preparation and serving, and business and financial operations.

The fastest-growing occupations in the state for workers with a bachelor’s degree are agents and talent managers, music directors and composers, data scientists, information security analysts, and athletic trainers.

You should also become familiar with the top employers in the state, which includes Massachusetts General Hospital, Raytheon, and Staples.

What’s Next?

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

  • Massachusetts Financial Aid Programs. This guide is published by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and covers scholarships, grants, tuition waivers, loans, and tuition reimbursement programs.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Provided by the U.S. Department of Education, FAFSA is the main form students use to apply for financial aid for college. To determine if you’re eligible for aid, submit a completed FAFSA form online.
  • CareerOneStop Scholarship Finder. This tool will show you available scholarships, grants, and loans and can be filtered by state and degree type. It includes information such as dollar amounts, how to apply, qualifications, deadlines, and contact details.

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