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Last Updated: July 13, 2021

Massachusetts - The Bay State

The state of Massachusetts falls in the northeast of the United States is located in the New England region. Massachusetts experiences a slightly temperate climate with summers in the state is warm while the winters, cold and snowy. Boston is is the most heavily populated area of the state. The population of Massachusetts is estimated to be around 7.1 million, according to 2021 reports. Out of the six New England states, Massachusetts is the most populous. The state got its name from John Smith, an English explorer, who named the state after the Massachuset tribe, who lived there. The state is also popularly known as the Bay State because of the number of bays surrounding the state. Other interesting nicknames include the Pilgrim State, the Codfish State, and the Baked Bean State.

The state boasts of 12 Fortune 500 companies like EMC Corporation, Raytheon, Mass Mutual Financial Services of Springfield. Massachusetts has constantly been ranked as one of the best states for education and healthcare.

Massachusetts is considered to be the best state to study law and politics. In the past, many famous politicians like John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Oliver Holmes, John F. Kennedy, and John Hancock have studied here. Harvard University is the oldest and the most prominent University in the country, located in the state. Besides this, other top colleges in the state that have made it to the US News & World Report's list of America's Best Colleges are Tufts University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Best Engineering college in the world, see Top 100 engineering colleges in USA), Northeastern University, Clark University, and Brandeis University

Major Cities in Massachusetts


Nicknamed the Bean town, Boston is the capital city of Massachusetts. It is well known for its relation to major historic events such as the Boston Tea Party, and the Boston Massacre, and is named after the city of Boston in Lincolnshire, England. Boston is a major cultural, educational, and economic epicenter of the state. The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, Faneuil Hall Marketplace (also known as Quincy Market), Fenway Park, The Freedom Trail, and The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum are some of the popular attractions or historic sites here.


Named after the Worcester city in England, it is the second-largest city in the state and is popularly known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth" (as it is placed in central Massachusetts). Popular cultural sites include The American Antiquarian Society, The Higgins Armory Museum, Ecotarium, The Foothills Theatre Company, and Musicians of the Old Post Road. Worcester is home to a diverse culture with people of various nationalities and ethnicities living together in this city. The famed Clark University is also situated in this city.


Known as The City of Homes for its unique architectural qualities, Springfield is the third-largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was founded in the year 1636. Basketball was invented in Springfield, in the year 1891 by James Naismith, and therefore, is home to the famous Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Cambridge is the fourth largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was named after the University of Cambridge in England by the puritan settlers. Cambridge is a great option when it comes to sightseeing, shopping, dining, and enjoying. It is also most importantly known for being home to the most distinguished institutions of higher learning, that is, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University.


Popularly known as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution in America, Lowell is home to numerous industries and mills and is, therefore, a major industrial and economic hub. It was founded in the early 1820s and was named after a renowned industrialist, Francis Cabot Lowell. The University of Massachusetts situated in this city.

Economy/Job Market

Massachusetts has always had a strong economy in the country with a high employment rate. But given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the job market is showing progress yet not significantly fast as compared to the other states in the US. In spite of the challenges, the overall economy is flourishing with an increase in the GDP by 11.3 % and is estimated to keep increasing. The chief economic sectors that contribute to the economy of the state include finance, manufacture, higher education, healthcare, marine trade, tourism, and biotechnology. Fishing and Agriculture is also a major economic sector here. The capital city Boston is also the epicenter of biotechnology, finance, and business. Major manufacturing centers like, Saint-Gobain, Bose Corp, and Dell Technologies (EMC Corp) are placed here.

Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Massachusetts

The tuition fee can always vary depending upon the type of institution (public/private) and the chosen academic program. The cost of education in Massachusetts is a little higher than in other US states. For instance, at Harvard University the tuition costs for undergraduate students are about $55,000 for a year. As far as job placements are considered Harvard is one of the top 3 schools, providing jobs to the students soon after college. Despite being expensive, studying at Harvard is a sound higher education investment. Additionally, as seen in the other states of the U.S., most of the universities in the state of Massachusetts do not charge double the amount of tuition fees from out-of-state students. The cost of living in Massachusetts is really high compared to most of the states in the U.S. and is considered the third highest. Housing costs are extremely high whereas the healthcare sector seems to be more affordable and cheaper.

List of Few Major Universities/Colleges

Massachusetts is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the US. There is a total of 150+ college campuses in the state out of which 80+ offer bachelor's degrees while in 75+ colleges a student can pursue a graduate degree. Almost a quarter of the colleges are located in the Boston metro area, and therefore, Boston is rightly called the higher education capital of the nation. Following are the top five universities in Massachusetts:
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Established in the year 1861, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the most prestigious private research university around the world. It is situated in the city of Cambridge. The university is highly acclaimed for world-class scholars as faculty and its advanced educational quality. Popular degree programs include engineering and the physical sciences, economics, political science, urban studies, linguistics, and so on. It holds the 1st position in the QS World University Rankings, and number 4 in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges, according to US News.
  2. Harvard University A highly reputed and the oldest private research institute, Harvard University, is situated in the city of Cambridge. It was established in the year 1636 and was named after John Harvard. The university is not only eminent for its academic excellence and research work, but also for having Nobel laureates, and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors as top faculty members. The university offers more than 3,700 courses, and many dual degree programs. Harvard University ranks 2 in the 2021 report by US News.
  3. Williams College Another one of the most renowned private liberal arts colleges in the country is Williams College, situated in the city of Williamstown, Massachusetts. Popularly known for its exceptional tutorial and research work, the college ranks number 1, nationally, in the 2021 report by US News. It was established in the year 1793 and has got three academic divisions namely, Language and Arts, Social Sciences, and Science and Mathematics.
  4. Tufts University Situated in Medford, Tuft University is a private research institute and is an excellent abode of higher education. It was founded in the year 1852. There are above 90 majors and minors for undergraduates and more than 160 graduate programs in this university. It ranks 30, nationally, according to the 2021 report by US News. The students of this university are generally required to reside on Campus.
  5. Brandeis University It is a private liberal arts institute situated in Waltham. It was established in the year 1948 and named after Louis Brandeis. The university boasts of having the 8th largest international students population in the country. It holds the 42nd position nationally, in the 2021 reports by US News. Popular majors come under four major areas that are, the creative arts, the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences.

Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students

The Bay State gives access to various financial aids and scholarships for the smooth running of higher education for students. They are made available to the students based on several categorical requirements such as academic merit and monetary needs, or a combination of both. The 'Free Application For Federal Student Aid' (FAFSA) is to be filled by the students prior to the application for any kind of financial aid. Every financial aid supported by the federal or the state government depends on the FAFSA to determine the qualification of the candidate for grants and scholarships.
  • Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship Program For the growth of the state's economy, the state has provided a scholarship program that covers educational costs for students pursuing a degree in a high-demand discipline (STEM). The candidate must be a resident of Massachusetts and should secure a 3.00 GPA in order to be eligible.
  • MASS Grant & MASS Grant Plus This grant program is for assisting those candidates who display required levels of monetary needs. The candidate should be a resident of the state and must be pursuing a degree in a state-accredited institution of higher learning. Mass grant is for only those who study on a full-time basis, whereas Mass Grant Plus helps both full-time and part-time students. The students should also maintain adequate scores in order to be eligible.
  • Paul Tsongas Scholarship This is a scholarship program based on exceptional academic achievement. In order to be qualified, the student must secure a minimum score of 1200 for SAT, or may also submit ACT scores. The student should also secure a 3.75 GPA. This scholarship program covers the entire tuition fee as well as mandatory fees. The award is renewable each year if the candidate succeeds to maintain a score of 3.3 GPA. This is applicable for in-state students only.
  • Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship This scholarship program was initiated by the government in order to assist those students who have been a victim of mental or physical abuse, or severe illnesses in their lives. It is also for those who demonstrate extreme financial needs or undergo any kind of societal adversity. The program helps to cover 50% of the educational costs for the students. The candidate should be a resident of the state of Massachusetts and secure a minimum of 2.50 CGPA in order to be qualified for the program.


    Massachusetts is widely renowned for being the abode of reputed institutes of higher learning and its valuable educational services. But did you know it is also the land that created the nation's 1st chocolate factory? That is not all, the state is not far behind in aspects of tourist attractions, sightseeing and exploration of famous historic sites, and stunning landscapes ranging from mountains to beaches. One of the most iconic landmarks here, is the Freedom Trail in the city of Boston, as it connects sixteen monuments of historic importance, graves and churches and many other attractions. The Faneuil Hall is an important attraction in the trail.

    Universities & Colleges in Massachusetts

    University (city) Total StudentsUG (in) / UG (out)G (in) / G (out)
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) 12321$56454 / $56454$60636 / $60636
    Harvard University (Cambridge) 41987$54363 / $54363$52272 / $52272
    Williams College (Williamstown) 2171$53317 / $53317$51227 / $51227
    Tufts University (Medford) 12781$61681 / $61681$56454 / $56454
    Brandeis University (Waltham) 6400$60636 / $60636$55408 / $55408
    Boston College (Chestnut Hill) 15981$60636 / $60636$32408 / $32408
    Northeastern University (Boston) 28374$56454 / $56454$27181 / $27181
    Wellesley College (Wellesley) 2510$49136 / $49136$N/A / $N/A
    University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst) 35116$17772 / $37636$17772 / $33454
    Boston University (Boston) 42779$58545 / $58545$58545 / $58545
    University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (North Dartmouth) 9714$15681 / $32408$17772 / $32408
    Bentley University (Waltham) 5735$54363 / $54363$41817 / $41817
    Franklin W Olin College of Engineering (Needham) 370$48090 / $48090$N/A / $N/A
    Amherst College (Amherst) 1795$53317 / $53317$N/A / $N/A
    University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Lowell) 22084$16727 / $35545$16727 / $28227
    Clark University (Worcester) 3473$50181 / $50181$49136 / $49136
    University of Massachusetts-Boston (Boston) 19356$15681 / $37636$19863 / $38681
    Babson College (Wellesley) 3057$49136 / $49136$64817 / $64817
    Emerson College (Boston) 5028$52272 / $52272$33454 / $33454
    Simmons College (Boston) 7780$44954 / $44954$22999 / $22999
    Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston) 4576$34499 / $34499$38681 / $38681
    Gordon College (Wenham) 2397$40772 / $40772$6272 / $6272
    Springfield College (Springfield) 3297$40772 / $40772$34499 / $34499
    MCPHS University (Boston) 8048$36590 / $36590$25090 / $25090
    Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Buzzards Bay) 1932$11499 / $27181$17772 / $17772
    Suffolk University (Boston) 7976$42863 / $42863$41817 / $41817
    Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg) 11130$11499 / $17772$6272 / $6272
    Salem State University (Salem) 10069$12545 / $19863$9409 / $11499
    Lesley University (Cambridge) 6593$30318 / $30318$19863 / $19863
    Western New England University (Springfield) 3912$36590 / $36590$24045 / $24045
    Westfield State University (Westfield) 7421$11499 / $17772$7318 / $7318
    Lasell College (Newton) 2353$39727 / $39727$11499 / $11499
    College of Our Lady of the Elms (Chicopee) 1860$39727 / $39727$16727 / $16727
    Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (North Adams) 1929$11499 / $20908$7318 / $7318
    Bridgewater State University (Bridgewater) 13583$11499 / $17772$12545 / $12545
    Framingham State University (Framingham) 8856$12545 / $18818$12545 / $18818
    Becker College (Worcester) 2160$42863 / $42863$21954 / $21954
    Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston) 1990$12545 / $33454$25090 / $25090
    Boston Baptist College (Boston) 85$13590 / $13590$N/A / $N/A
    Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy) 935$32408 / $32408$11499 / $11499
    Curry College (Milton) 2950$38681 / $38681$15681 / $15681
    Mount Ida College (Newton) 1345$34499 / $34499$11499 / $11499
    Wheelock College (Boston) 1169$35545 / $35545$24045 / $24045
    American International College (Springfield) 3539$33454 / $33454$17772 / $17772
    Northpoint Bible College (Haverhill) 392$14636 / $14636$12545 / $12545
    Boston Architectural College (Boston) 871$26136 / $26136$26136 / $26136
    New England School of Acupuncture (Newton) 167$N/A / $N/A$22999 / $22999
    Bay Path University (Longmeadow) 3107$33454 / $33454$21954 / $21954
    Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley) 2610$55408 / $55408$30318 / $30318
    Pine Manor College (Chestnut Hill) 473$33454 / $33454$14636 / $14636
    Bay State College (Boston) 1069$22999 / $22999$N/A / $N/A
    Emmanuel College (Boston) 2201$38681 / $38681$15681 / $15681
    Pope St John XXIII National Seminary (Weston) 61$N/A / $N/A$21954 / $21954
    Cambridge College (Cambridge) 2800$15681 / $15681$14636 / $14636
    New England Law-Boston (Boston) 688$N/A / $N/A$N/A / $N/A
    Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis Inc (Brookline) 143$N/A / $N/A$18818 / $18818
    University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester (Worcester) 1079$N/A / $N/A$9409 / $17772
    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton) 1924$N/A / $N/A$19863 / $19863
    Stonehill College (Easton) 2400$40772 / $40772$N/A / $N/A
    William James College (Newton) 865$14636 / $14636$35545 / $35545
    Endicott College (Beverly) 4695$32408 / $32408$12545 / $12545
    The Boston Conservatory (Boston) 798$45999 / $45999$45999 / $45999
    School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston (Boston) 492$43908 / $43908$43908 / $43908
    Episcopal Divinity School (Cambridge) 48$N/A / $N/A$16727 / $16727
    Newbury College (Brookline) 865$33454 / $33454$N/A / $N/A
    New England College of Business and Finance (Boston) 1158$11499 / $11499$17772 / $17772
    Longy School of Music of Bard College (Cambridge) 246$47045 / $47045$47045 / $47045
    Wheaton College (Norton) 1598$50181 / $50181$N/A / $N/A
    Nichols College (Dudley) 1923$37636 / $37636$2090 / $2090
    University of Phoenix-Massachusetts (Braintree) 121$12545 / $12545$17772 / $17772
    Massachusetts School of Law (Andover) 363$N/A / $N/A$N/A / $N/A
    Bard College at Simon's Rock (Great Barrington) 329$53317 / $53317$N/A / $N/A
    Conway School of Landscape Design (Conway) 24$N/A / $N/A$31363 / $31363
    Andover Newton Theological School (Newton Centre) 234$N/A / $N/A$16727 / $16727
    Hampshire College (Amherst) 1410$52272 / $52272$N/A / $N/A
    National Graduate School of Quality Management (Falmouth) 225$11499 / $11499$21954 / $21954
    Anna Maria College (Paxton) 1451$37636 / $37636$11499 / $11499
    Berklee College of Music (Boston) 8031$48090 / $48090$47045 / $47045
    Laboure College (Milton) 803$36590 / $36590$N/A / $N/A
    The New England Conservatory of Music (Boston) 876$53317 / $53317$53317 / $53317
    The New England Institute of Art (Brookline) 262$19863 / $19863$N/A / $N/A
    Smith College (Northampton) 2874$49136 / $49136$49136 / $49136
    Hebrew College (Newton Centre) 193$31363 / $31363$33454 / $33454
    Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline) 171$24045 / $24045$24045 / $24045
    Fisher College (Boston) 3273$33454 / $33454$27181 / $27181
    Regis College (Weston) 1954$39727 / $39727$40772 / $40772
    New England College of Optometry (Boston) 511$N/A / $N/A$21954 / $21954
    Merrimack College (North Andover) 5426$45999 / $45999$32408 / $32408
    Dean College (Franklin) 1363$37636 / $37636$N/A / $N/A
    Assumption College (Worcester) 2659$44954 / $44954$13590 / $13590
    MGH Institute of Health Professions (Boston) 2406$79454 / $79454$68999 / $68999
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester) 7505$55408 / $55408$30318 / $30318
    College of the Holy Cross (Worcester) 2729$50181 / $50181$N/A / $N/A
    Worcester State University (Worcester) 9691$11499 / $17772$6272 / $6272
    Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (Boston) 596$17772 / $17772$N/A / $N/A
    Saint John's Seminary (Brighton) 208$24045 / $24045$20908 / $20908
    Montserrat College of Art (Beverly) 371$31363 / $31363$N/A / $N/A

    *UG - Undergraduate
    *G - Graduate
    *in - In-state Fees
    *out - Out-of-State Fees
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