State Schools in Massachusetts with Program Information
There are more than 40 state schools in Massachusetts. Read about the schools with most program variety, highest graduation rates, lowest student-faculty ratios and lowest costs to find the school for you.
Most Program Variety
State schools in Massachusetts range from very small technical institutions that offer certificate programs in just a few fields of study to larger state universities with dozens of program options at several degree levels. These three schools offer the most programs for their students.
1 - Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater offers approximately 133 academic programs to its nearly 11,300 students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In 2011-12, according to the NCES, the university conferred more than 1,700 bachelor's degrees and more than 400 master's degrees, along with 121 postgraduate certificates. Education was the most popular major for 2011-12 graduates, the NCES reported, followed by business, specifically management science and accounting.
2 - University of Massachusetts - Amherst
With more than 28,000 students, the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, the flagship campus for the state university system, provides about 132 academic program options, the NCES noted. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school #97 in its 2013 rankings for national universities. The University of Massachusetts - Amherst issued 61 associate's, 5,203 bachelor's, 1,305 master's and 305 doctor's degrees in 2011-12, the NCES reports, along with 206 undergraduate certificates and 72 postgraduate certificates. Business was the most popular major for graduates in 2011-12, according to the NCES, while the social sciences, especially political science and government, were also popular. The University of Massachusetts - Amherst also allows students to design their own major programs.
3 - University of Massachusetts - Boston
The University of Massachusetts - Boston, with about 15,700 students, offers approximately 99 academic programs, according to the NCES. In 2011-12, the NCES reported, the university conferred more than 2,100 bachelor's degrees, nearly 1,000 master's degrees and 45 doctor's degrees, as well as 30 undergraduate certificates and 225 postgraduate certificates. The most common majors that year were in business administration and management, but the health professions, registered nursing in particular, were also popular, the NCES noted.
Lowest Net Price
The NCES determines a school's net price by deducting the amount of financial aid received by the average student from the total cost of attendance, which covers, tuition, fees, books, room and board. The average net cost of attendance at Massachusetts state schools in 2010-11 ranged from approximately $3,800 to nearly $28,000, according to the NCES; however, a few schools did not report costs to the NCES. The three schools with the lowest average net prices, listed below, were community colleges. The statistical data used here comes from NCES records.
1 - Middlesex Community College
Located in Bedford, Middlesex Community College, with more than 9,800 students, had an average net price of $3,820 in 2010-11. 2012-13 tuition and fees were $4,274 for Massachusetts residents and $9,218 for out-of-state students. About 68% of all first-time students received financial aid from grants, scholarships and/or student loans in 2010-11. Approximately 16% of all students at the school took out federal student loans that year, with an average loan amount of $3,333.
2 - Bristol Community College
With 9,000 students, Bristol Community College in Fall River posted an average net price of $4,453. Massachusetts residents paid $4,178 in tuition and fees in 2012-13, while out-of-state residents paid $9,122. In 2010-11, 72% of first-time students at Bristol received some type of financial aid. Federal student loans averaging $2,905 were issued to 18% of all Bristol students that year.
3 - Northern Essex Community College
Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill has about 7,000 students and an average net price of $6,310. 2012-13 in-state tuition and fees were $3,768; tuition and fees for out-of-state students were $9,552. Financial aid in the form of grants, loans and/or scholarships went to 71% of first-time students in 2010-11. About 28% of all students took out federal loans averaging $2,860.
Highest Graduation Rate
A school's overall graduation rate is the percentage of students who complete a program within 150% of the 'normal' time. A bachelor's degree, for example, normally requires four years of study, so the overall graduation rate would be the percentage of students who graduate within six years. Some Massachusetts technical and specialty schools that offer only a few programs have overall graduation rates topping 90 percent, but most of the mainstream schools have overall graduation rates ranging from nearly 70% to 9%. Here are the three traditional Massachusetts state colleges with the highest overall graduation rates. All statistics are based on NCES figures.
1 - University of Massachusetts - Amherst
The overall graduation rate was 67% for students who started at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in the fall of 2005. Of the students in that cohort who were pursuing bachelor's degrees, 52% graduated within four years, while 68% of the bachelor's degree students who started at the university in fall of 2003 graduated within eight years. A transfer-out rate is the percentage of students who move to another school; the transfer-out rate at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst was 24% for students who started in fall 2005. The retention rate, the percentage of students who return to a school after their freshman year, is viewed as a measure of student satisfaction. The fall 2010 to fall 2011 retention rate at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst was 89% for full-time students and 50% for part-time students.
2 - Westfield State University
Westfield State University, a school of nearly 6,100 students in Westfield, had a 58% overall graduation rate for students who began college in fall 2005. About 44% of bachelor's degree students who enrolled in fall 2005 completed their coursework in four years, while 59% of the bachelor's degree students who started at the university in fall 2003 graduated in eight years. Westfield State's retention rate from 2010 to 2011 was 80% for full-time students and 67% for part-time students.
3 - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
In North Adams, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts posted an overall graduation rate of 53% for students who started at the college in fall 2005. The school, which has nearly 1,900 students, saw a graduation rate of 38% for its bachelor's degree students who started in fall 2005, while 52% of bachelor's degree students who enrolled in fall 2003 had graduated within eight years. The 2010-11 retention rate was 72% for full-time students and 50% for part-time students.
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Students who want to benefit from personal interaction with their instructors may seek a school with a low student-faculty ratio. While many of the very small schools in Massachusetts have student-faculty ratios in the single digits, most of the mainstream state colleges have student-faculty ratios between 14:1 and 23:1. Several schools reported student-faculty ratios of 14:1 in 2011-12, according to the NCES, and these are the three largest. All numbers are based on figures provided by the NCES.
1 - University of Massachusetts - Lowell
At the University of Massachusetts - Lowell, the approximately 15,400 students can take advantage of a 14:1 student-faculty ratio. According to U.S. News & World Report, about 57% of all classes at the university have fewer than 20 students. The school employed 473 full-time and 540 part-time faculty members in instruction in fall 2011. More than 480 graduate assistants worked as instructors at the university.
2 - Roxbury Community College
Located in Roxbury Crossing, Roxbury Community College has about 2,700 students and a student-faculty ratio of 14:1. The school had 49 full-time and 92 part-time faculty members in fall 2011, all employed in instruction. The college's faculty joins with the school's Center for Student Success to ensure that students get the necessary tools for academic achievement, including learning support and career advice.
3 - Greenfield Community College
Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, also with a 14:1 ratio of students to faculty, has slightly more than 2,500 students. There were 62 full-time and 136 part-time faculty members in instruction at Greenfield in fall 2011. The college gives students the chance to work with peer tutors and devise learning methods that can lead to academic success.
State Schools in Massachusetts at a Glance
|School Name||Location||School Type||Degrees Offered||State Ranking|
|Bridgewater State University||Bridgewater, MA||Four-year, public||Bachelor's and master's degrees; less than one-year, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates||Most Program Variety|
|Bristol Community College||Fall River, MA||Two-year, public||Less than one-year certificate; associate's degree||2nd Lowest Net Price|
|Greenfield Community College||Greenfield, MA||Two-year, public||Less than one-year and one- to two-year certificates; associate's degree||3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts||North Adams, MA||Four-year, public||Less than one-year and post-master's certificates; bachelor's and master's degrees||3rd Highest Graduation Rate|
|Middlesex Community College||Bedford, MA||Four-year, public||Less than one-year and one- to two-year certificates; associate's degree||Lowest Net Price|
|Northern Essex Community College||Haverhill, MA||Two-year, public||Less than one-year and one- to two-year certificates; associate's degree||3rd Lowest Net Price|
|Roxbury Community College||Roxbury Crossing, MA||Two-year, public||Less than one-year and one- to two-year certificates; associate's degree||2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|University of Massachusetts - Amherst||Amherst, MA||Four-year, public||Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates|| Highest Graduation Rate, |
2nd Most Program Variety
|University of Massachusetts - Boston||Boston, MA||Four-year, public||Bachelor's , master's and doctor's degrees; less than one-year, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates||3rd Most Program Variety|
|University of Massachusetts - Lowell||Lowell, MA||Four-year, public||Associate's, bachelor's , master's and doctor's degrees; less than one-year, post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates||Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|Westfield State University||Westfield, MA||Four-year, public||Bachelor's and master's degrees; post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates||2nd Highest Graduation Rate|
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