Best Private Colleges in Massachusetts 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Massachusetts.

Best Private Colleges in Massachusetts 2022

Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Some of the most talked about universities in Massachusetts are its private schools, including Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which also happen to be the largest. Tuition for these prestigious schools runs between $50,000 and $54,000. Students here have access to some of the top programs in the country in fields such as biology, literature, law, education, engineering, and religious studies. The alumni from New England schools are equally as impressive, including Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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The public higher education institutes also boast top-notch programs, allowing students to pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields like mathematics, social work, medicine, and economics. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, the state’s largest public university, offers tuition around $16,000 and serves over 28,000 students. Additionally, students who are interested in attending a religiously affiliated school have 17 options to choose from, most of which feature high graduation rates for their students. For future dental, medical, or mental health professionals, Massachusetts also offers loan forgiveness programs for those working in underserved communities.

As the port of destination for the Mayflower, home to the Plymouth colony, and site of the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts looms large in United States history, but this most populous New England state isn’t just for history buffs. The Bay State is also known for its delicious cuisine, beautiful coastlines, and devout sports fans. Not to mention, it has over 100 colleges for students to choose from.

Find a program that’s right for you and explore the best schools Massachusetts has to offer.


What are Massachusetts’ Colleges & Universities?

Massachusetts’ Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Massachusetts' best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 45 private universities in Massachusetts. To be included in the list below of the 25 best private universities in Massachusetts, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Massachusetts 2022

  1. #1

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

    What is Harvard University known for?

    Harvard University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1540/35

    What is Massachusetts Institute of Technology known for?

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #7

    Northeastern University

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    What is Northeastern University known for?

    Northeastern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #8

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is Amherst College known for?

    Amherst College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #9

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    What is Williams College known for?

    Williams College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #10

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is Wellesley College known for?

    Wellesley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • History
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #12

    Clark University

    Worcester , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    47%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Clark University known for?

    Clark University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #15

    Suffolk University

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/23

    What is Suffolk University known for?

    Suffolk University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • History
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #16

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Worcester , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Worcester Polytechnic Institute known for?

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #17

    Hampshire College

    Amherst , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Hampshire College known for?

    Hampshire College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #18

    Emerson College

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    41%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1305/29

    What is Emerson College known for?

    Emerson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #19

    Bentley University

    Waltham , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1320/29

    What is Bentley University known for?

    Bentley University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #20

    Stonehill College

    Easton , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Stonehill College known for?

    Stonehill College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/25

    What is Wentworth Institute of Technology known for?

    Wentworth Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #22

    Bard College at Simon's Rock

    Great Barrington , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Bard College at Simon's Rock known for?

    Bard College at Simon's Rock’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #23

    Western New England University

    Springfield , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Western New England University known for?

    Western New England University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Economics
    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #24

    Cambridge College

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Cambridge College known for?

    Cambridge College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #25

    Lesley University

    Cambridge , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/23

    What is Lesley University known for?

    Lesley University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

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Find Massachusetts’ Best Private School in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Harvard University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Amherst College
  4. Brandeis University
  5. Tufts University
  6. Wellesley College
  7. Williams College
  8. Smith College
  9. Mount Holyoke College
  10. Boston University
  11. Clark University
  12. Emerson College
  13. Boston College
  14. College of the Holy Cross
  15. Northeastern University
  16. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  17. Stonehill College
  18. Wheaton College
  19. Bentley University
  20. Endicott College
  21. Bay Path University