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    Top Colleges in Massachusetts

    Written by Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman

    Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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    Updated: May 7th, 2024

    The state of Massachusetts is rich in American history, strong sports teams, and maybe above all, its colleges. In fact, people often refer to Massachusetts as the “Education State” due to how many world-class institutions are located there. Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston University, and many other Massachusetts institutions enjoy worldwide recognition. If that’s not enough, they also offer strong financial support to students with need, through the MassGrant and other state grants. Check out our list below for some stellar Massachusetts colleges.

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    33 colleges
    Sort by
    Top College Top College
    Top College Top College: Affordability

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Cambridge, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City, Need-Blind

    Cambridge, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City, Need-Blind

    4% acceptance rate
    4,629 undergraduate students
    96% graduation rate
    $5,084 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College

    Franklin W Olin College of Engineering

    Needham, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    Needham, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    18% acceptance rate
    361 undergraduate students
    97% graduation rate
    $21,474 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College
    Top College Top College: Affordability

    Harvard University

    Cambridge, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City, Need-Blind

    Cambridge, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City, Need-Blind

    4% acceptance rate
    7,938 undergraduate students
    97% graduation rate
    $13,259 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College

    Babson College

    Wellesley, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    Wellesley, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    25% acceptance rate
    2,532 undergraduate students
    94% graduation rate
    $31,267 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College: Affordability

    Williams College

    Williamstown, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Town, Need-Blind

    Williamstown, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Town, Need-Blind

    9% acceptance rate
    2,129 undergraduate students
    94% graduation rate
    $14,739 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College
    Top College Top College: Affordability

    Amherst College

    Amherst, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb, Need-Blind

    Amherst, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb, Need-Blind

    9% acceptance rate
    1,971 undergraduate students
    92% graduation rate
    $17,304 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College: Affordability

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb, Need-Blind

    Wellesley, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb, Need-Blind

    16% acceptance rate
    2,383 undergraduate students
    92% graduation rate
    $21,561 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College

    Massachusetts Maritime Academy

    Buzzards Bay, MA • Public, Suburb

    Buzzards Bay, MA

    Public, Suburb

    90% acceptance rate
    1,431 undergraduate students
    78% graduation rate
    $21,604 average per year after aid
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    Boston University

    Boston, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Boston, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    19% acceptance rate
    17,501 undergraduate students
    89% graduation rate
    $26,170 average per year after aid
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    Bentley University

    Waltham, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Waltham, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    61% acceptance rate
    3,942 undergraduate students
    88% graduation rate
    $39,437 average per year after aid
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    College of the Holy Cross

    Worcester, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Worcester, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    43% acceptance rate
    3,005 undergraduate students
    93% graduation rate
    $32,990 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College

    University of Massachusetts-Amherst

    Amherst, MA • Public, Suburb

    Amherst, MA

    Public, Suburb

    66% acceptance rate
    23,947 undergraduate students
    84% graduation rate
    $16,197 average per year after aid
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    Northeastern University

    Boston, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Boston, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    18% acceptance rate
    15,645 undergraduate students
    91% graduation rate
    $34,255 average per year after aid
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    Boston College

    Chestnut Hill, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City, Need-Blind

    Chestnut Hill, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City, Need-Blind

    19% acceptance rate
    9,797 undergraduate students
    91% graduation rate
    $38,412 average per year after aid
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    Mount Holyoke College

    South Hadley, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    South Hadley, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    52% acceptance rate
    2,214 undergraduate students
    85% graduation rate
    $16,731 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College

    Tufts University

    Medford, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    Medford, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    11% acceptance rate
    6,628 undergraduate students
    94% graduation rate
    $35,683 average per year after aid
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    Brandeis University

    Waltham, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Waltham, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    39% acceptance rate
    3,577 undergraduate students
    88% graduation rate
    $29,959 average per year after aid
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    Stonehill College

    Easton, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    Easton, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    72% acceptance rate
    2,371 undergraduate students
    85% graduation rate
    $29,888 average per year after aid
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    Top College Top College

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Worcester, MA • Private, Non-Profit, City

    Worcester, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, City

    60% acceptance rate
    5,134 undergraduate students
    87% graduation rate
    $45,005 average per year after aid
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    Smith College

    Northampton, MA • Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    Northampton, MA

    Private, Non-Profit, Suburb

    30% acceptance rate
    2,566 undergraduate students
    91% graduation rate
    $29,814 average per year after aid
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    About the Data

    We sort colleges on our lists according to their Scholarships360 Top Colleges Index Score. This score is calculated using up-to-date information taken directly from the College Scorecard. Additional information is sourced from the colleges themselves, as well as other publicly available information. If you see an error, feel free to contact us.

    State Grants in Massachusetts

    Most states offer their own state-wide grants to help residents obtain an affordable education. Here are some of the most prominent state-wide grants in Massachusetts:

    Massachusetts Need-Based Tuition Waiver Program

    Students who demonstrate sufficient financial need can be eligible for the Tuition Waiver program, which awards tuition waivers for public in-state colleges and universities. Recipients of this grant can also apply for the Cash Grant program, which helps pay for additional education-related expenses, such as fees and non-covered tuition.

    Massachusetts Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program

    The Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program offers funding to Massachusetts students who choose to pursue a higher education in-state. It can be used for both undergraduate and nursing programs. 

    MASSGrant and MASSGrant Plus

    MASSGrant and MASSGrant Plus are need-based programs based on the FAFSA which provide funding for a student’s higher education at approved institutions and degree programs. Massachusetts students who pursue an in-state education at an approved program and demonstrate financial need are eligible.

    Massachusetts Part-Time Scholarship Program

    The Part-Time Scholarship Program is a need-based program specifically for students who are enrolled part-time in an undergraduate education. Amounts vary based on demonstrated need and number of credits being taken.

    MCAS Scholarships

    There are a number of scholarships available to students who perform well on the 10th-Grade MCAS assessment. Students in a higher percentile can be eligible for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, which awards a tuition waiver for up to eight semesters of public school in the state.

    Massachusetts Tuition Reciprocity Agreements

    Massachusetts is a member of the Tuition Break program, which offers in-state tuition discounts at other New England institutions. This means that Massachusetts can attend out-of-state schools at a lower cost, and students in these partner states can attend Massachusetts colleges at a discount. Be sure to check with the college you’re interested in to see whether you can take advantage of this program.

    Other college lists to explore

    Frequently asked questions

    What is the hardest Massachusetts college to get into?

    Harvard and MIT have the lowest acceptance rates in the state of Massachusetts. These are both world-class institutions with reputations as some of the best schools in the country. These admissions rates may seem intimidating, but don’t let a low number deter you from applying. Remember, your application can always catch an admissions officer’s eye, and everyone should apply to at least a couple of reach schools!

    Why should I study in Massachusetts?

    Massachusetts is a great state to attend school. Whether you are in the Boston area or further out in the state, Massachusetts is strategically located in New England to allow students access to many of the biggest cities in the country. With New York, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, and more only a stone’s throw away, students can take advantage of cultural opportunities, internship and job opportunities, and more. 

    The state is also home to 16 National Parks and lots of other natural beauty. So, whether you are looking to take a break from your studies by exploring the city or hiking a trail, Massachusetts has what you’re looking for. 

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