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2021 Best Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Massachusetts

64 Colleges
$27,789 Avg Cost (With Aid)*
4.2 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Massachusetts Schools For The Money For Those Getting Aid ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

After analyzing 64 schools, we came up with our list of those that were the best for overall value for the money with aid in Massachusetts. It's important to note that this isn't just a listing of colleges and universities with the lowest sticker price. Instead, this ranking identifies schools that offer a high quality educational experience at a lower-than-expected price. So it is possible that College A may rank better than College B, while College B is less expensive to attend.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

Our average cost calculation adds up all expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses, and then subtracts the average financial aid awarded to a student. This gives a rough estimation of how much money you can expect to pay out-of-pocket or through loans each year.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges for the Money (With Aid) in Massachusetts

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Our 2021 rankings named University of Massachusetts Amherst the best school for overall value for the money with aid in Massachusetts for students working on their bachelor’s degree. UMass Amherst is a large public school situated in Amherst, Massachusetts. It awarded 6,878 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UMass Amherst is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $22,036. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst is about $91,229. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students.

Full University of Massachusetts Amherst Report

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#2

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Massachusetts Maritime Academy. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts list. Maritime is a small public school situated in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. It awarded 391 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Maritime about 4.3 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $19,257 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Maritime be around $82,227. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The low student loan default rate of 0.9% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Full Massachusetts Maritime Academy Report

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#3

Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list means Amherst College is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Amherst is located in Amherst, Massachusetts and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 705 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average student at Amherst graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $26,326 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Amherst is $107,937. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student-to-faculty rate of 8 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. Amherst not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #4 on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list.

Full Amherst College Report

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#4

Williams College

Williamstown, Massachusetts

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Williams College. The school came in at #4 in Massachusetts on this year’s best value ranking. Williams College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Williamstown, Massachusetts that handed out 718 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Williams to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $26,757 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Williams is about $109,169. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Williams also took the #3 spot in our Best Colleges in Massachusetts rankings.

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#5

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Harvard University. The school came in at #5 in Massachusetts on this year’s best value ranking. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,902 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Harvard, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $26,655 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Harvard is $110,085. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Harvard is ranked #1 for overall quality in Massachusetts.

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#6

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking. Cambridge, Massachusetts is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,333 students in 2018-2019.

At MIT, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $28,340 for students who receive aid. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MIT be around $116,477. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 0.6%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, MIT is ranked #2 for overall quality in Massachusetts.

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#7

Wellesley College

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Wellesley College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking, coming in at #7. Wellesley, Massachusetts is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 754 students in 2018-2019.

At Wellesley, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $28,093 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley is $115,462. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. In addition to its great value ranking, Wellesley is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list.

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#8

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts - Lowell ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. UMass Lowell is a fairly large public school situated in Lowell, Massachusetts. It awarded 2,906 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At UMass Lowell, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,508 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from UMass Lowell is $100,611. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

Full University of Massachusetts - Lowell Report

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#9

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking. Located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the medium-sized public school handed out 815 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Fitchburg State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $18,909. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State is $83,956. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#10

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts College of Art and Design came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts ranking. Massachusetts College of Art and Design is located in Boston, Massachusetts and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 341 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Massachusetts College of Art and Design is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $22,081. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts College of Art and Design is $93,182. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 87%.

Full Massachusetts College of Art and Design Report

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#11

Westfield State University

Westfield, Massachusetts

Westfield State University ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Located in Westfield, Massachusetts, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,555 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Westfield is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,570 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Westfield is about $86,188. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The low student loan default rate of 4.9% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%.

Full Westfield State University Report

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#12

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, Massachusetts

College of the Holy Cross came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts ranking. Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Worcester, Massachusetts. It awarded 848 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Holy Cross graduates in less than 4.0 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $33,952 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross is about $137,506. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in our value rankings, Holy Cross also did well on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

Full College of the Holy Cross Report

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#13

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

North Adams, Massachusetts

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts ranking. MCLA is a small public school situated in North Adams, Massachusetts. It awarded 310 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at MCLA is 4.2 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,379 for students who receive aid. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the MCLA is $85,999. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#13

Smith College

Northampton, Massachusetts

Smith College landed the #13 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking. Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 798 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Smith graduates in less than 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $33,004 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Smith is $134,656. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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#15

Worcester State University

Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester State University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,217 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Worcester State to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,761 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State is $91,141. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#16

Babson College

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Babson College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking, coming in at #16. Babson College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It awarded 548 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Babson College graduates in less than 4.0 years, and it costs students who receive aid about $35,875 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $144,576 to get a bachelor’s degree from Babson College. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 96%. In addition to its great value ranking, Babson College is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list.

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#17

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Boston College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking, coming in at #17. Located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 3,062 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Boston College is 4.0 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $36,304 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $147,031 to get a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 95%. Boston College also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#18

Tufts University

Medford, Massachusetts

With a ranking of #18, Tufts University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Located in Medford, Massachusetts, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,822 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Tufts graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $36,654. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Tufts is $149,548. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. In addition to its great value ranking, Tufts is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list.

Full Tufts University Report

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#19

Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, Massachusetts

Mount Holyoke College landed the #19 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts ranking. Mt. Holyoke is a private not-for-profit institution located in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The school has a small population, and it awarded 683 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Mt. Holyoke to complete their degree, and it costs students who receive aid about $36,537 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $148,706 to get a bachelor’s degree from Mt. Holyoke. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

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#20

Clark University

Worcester, Massachusetts

Clark University came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts ranking. Clark is a private not-for-profit institution located in Worcester, Massachusetts. The school has a small population, and it awarded 662 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Clark is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school for students who receive aid is around $33,379. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Clark is about $136,520. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

Full Clark University Report

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#21

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. North Dartmouth, Massachusetts is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,469 students in 2018-2019.

At UMass Dartmouth, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,197 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $102,995 to get a bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Full University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth Report

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#22

Olin College

Needham, Massachusetts

Olin College ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Olin College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Needham, Massachusetts. The school has a small population, and it awarded 78 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Olin College is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $37,144 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Olin College is $155,633. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. Olin College not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #5 on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list.

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#23

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Bridgewater State University ranked #23 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Bridgewater State University is a fairly large public school located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts that handed out 2,306 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Bridgewater State graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $21,957 for students who receive aid. This means that the average student pays around $98,367 to get a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#24

Salem State University

Salem, Massachusetts

With a ranking of #24, Salem State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Salem State University is a medium-sized public school located in Salem, Massachusetts that handed out 1,672 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Salem State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,133 for students who receive aid. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Salem State is $97,828. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#25

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

With a ranking of #25, Boston University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Massachusetts list. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 4,780 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Boston U is 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $41,917 for students who receive aid. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Boston U is about $170,183. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. In addition to its great value ranking, Boston U is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Massachusetts list.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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