Top 20 Best Colleges in New England with ranking.

With so many options for higher education available today, deciding which path to take can be difficult. New England has 231 colleges and universities with a total enrollment of 1,031,616 students. We looked at 168 of the best colleges in New England to see which had the highest overall quality. We look at more than 20 factors, all of which are objective measurements, to arrive at this ranking. These factors include, among others, freshman retention, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and post-graduate earnings.

Whether you’re looking for a good public, private, or community college, this New England university guide provides a comprehensive look at the state’s higher education options. Harvard University, Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Brown University are all located in New England. Harvard University is the highest-ranked college in New England, and the University of Connecticut is the highest-rated public state college. To start your college search, look through the list of top colleges in New England below.

 

Top Colleges in the New England Region

1. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, Massachusetts

This year’s ranking of the best schools in the New England Region for overall quality goes to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has a sizable student body. This school awarded 3,715 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates in 2019-2020. The school has a low rate of student loan default. It is only 1.1%, which is significantly less than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who earn a bachelor’s degree from MIT can expect to earn an average salary of $104,700 in their early years of employment. This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. 

4 Years Graduation Rate: 80% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $104,700

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.1%

Enrollment: 11,376 students are enrolled (4,524 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private university

Distinctions: Often ranked first among top engineering schools; home to one of the nation’s top business schools; stunning location overlooking the Boston skyline; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for liberal arts and sciences strengths; membership in the Association of American Universities for strong research programs.

2.  Dartmouth University (Hanover, New Hampshire)

This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England. If you decide to attend Dartmouth College, you’ll be in good company. It was ranked second on our list of the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region. Dartmouth is a medium-sized university located in Hanover, New Hampshire. This school conferred 2,114 bachelor’s degrees on qualified undergraduates in 2019-2020. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, it’s clear that the school is dedicated to assisting its undergraduates in succeeding. Those who earn a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth can expect to earn an average salary of $75,500 in their early years of employment. 

4 Years Graduation Rate: 80% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $75,500

Student Loans Default Rate: 1%

Enrollment: 6,409 students are enrolled (4,310 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private university

Distinctions: Ivy League’s smallest member; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strong liberal arts and sciences; attractive 269-acre campus with a mix of historic and modern buildings; the Hood Museum of Art and Hopkins Center for the Arts is located here, as are active athletic programs and strong study abroad initiatives.

3. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Yale University ranks third on our list of the Best Colleges in the New England Region, indicating that it is an excellent choice for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. This fairly large institution of higher learning is located in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2019-2020, the private, non-profit university graduated 4,942 students with bachelor’s degrees. Bachelor’s degree students at the school typically complete their degrees on time. The four-year graduation rate is 88%, which is higher than the national rate of 33%. Graduates from Yale earn an average of $83,200 per year in their early careers.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 88% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $83,200

Student Loans Default Rate: 0.9%

4. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Harvard University ranks fourth on our list of the Best Colleges in the New England Region, indicating that it is an excellent choice for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. This large private non-profit university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, awarded 8,358 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020. Students who start at the school are more likely to stay. The freshman retention rate is 97%. During their early years of employment, a Harvard graduate with a bachelor’s degree earns an average salary of $89,700. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 86% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $89,700

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.1%

Enrollment: 29.908 students have enrolled (9,915 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private university

Distinctions: Most selective university in the country; Ivy League member; largest endowment of any university; member of the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; excellent financial aid for low-income families.

5. Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Williams College ranked fifth out of the 168 schools in the New England Region included in this year’s ranking. Williams is a small, non-profit private school in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In 2019-2020, it conferred 818 bachelor’s degrees. The school does an excellent job of retaining its students, with a freshman retention rate of 97%. Graduates from Williams earn an average of $59,000 per year in their early years of employment.

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4 Years Graduation Rate: 88% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $59,000

Student Loans Default Rate: 2.3%

6. Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)

Brown University was ranked sixth on this year’s list of the Best Colleges in the New England Region. This medium-sized institution of higher learning is located in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2019-2020, the private, non-profit university graduated 3,269 students with bachelor’s degrees. Students who start at the school are more likely to stay. The freshman retention rate is 98%. During their early years of employment, a Brown graduate with a bachelor’s degree earns an average salary of $67,500. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 83% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $67,500

Student Loans Default Rate: 2.1%

Enrollment: 9,781 students are enrolled (6,926 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private university

Distinctions: Ivy League member; open curriculum allows students to plan their courses of study; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strong liberal arts and sciences; Association of American Universities member for strong research programs; one of the country’s top universities.

7. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Bowdoin College was ranked seventh in the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region. Bowdoin College is a small private, non-profit university in Brunswick, Maine. In 2019-2020, it conferred 666 bachelor’s degrees. The school has an excellent 4-year graduation rate of 86%, which is higher than the national rate of 33%. Following graduation, bachelor’s degree holders go on to jobs that pay an average of $65,500 in their early years of employment.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 86% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $65,500

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.4%

Enrollment: 1,806 students are enrolled (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college 

Distinctions: Loan-free financial aid; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strong liberal arts and sciences; beautiful; highly selective admissions; interesting mix of historic and cutting-edge buildings; Orr’s Island’s 118-acre Coastal Studies Center

8. College of Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts)

Amherst College was ranked eighth among the Best Colleges in the New England Region for 2022. The small private non-profit school in Amherst, Massachusetts, awarded 641 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020. The school has a low rate of student loan default. It is only 3.8%, far lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During their early careers, graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Amherst earn an average of $65,000 per year. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 88% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $65,000

Student Loans Default Rate: 3.8%

Enrollment: 1,849 people (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college

Distinctions: One of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States; one of the most selective colleges; member of the five-college consortium; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; excellent grant aid for qualified students.

9. College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. College of the Holy Cross ranked ninth on the list of the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region. In 2019-2020, the small private non-profit school in Worcester, Massachusetts, awarded 864 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students. The low student loan default rate of 0.5% indicates that students at this school have an easier time repaying their loans than students at other schools. To put this in context, the national default rate is 10.1%. During their early years of employment, graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross earn an average of $71,000 per year.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 89.9% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $71,000

Student Loans Default Rate: 0.5%

Enrollment: 2720 students are enrolled (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: private Catholic liberal arts college

Distinctions: 10:1 student/faculty ratio; one of the country’s top Catholic colleges; the oldest Catholic college in New England; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for liberal arts and sciences strengths; member of the NCAA Division I Patriot League

10. Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts)

Tufts University placed 10th on the list of the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region. In 2019-2020, the fairly large private non-profit school in Medford, Massachusetts, awarded 3,793 bachelor’s degrees. The school has an excellent 4-year graduation rate of 88%, which is higher than the national rate of 33%. Those who earn a bachelor’s degree from Tufts enter careers with an average salary of $75,800 in their early years. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 88% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $75,800

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.2%

Enrollment: 11,489 students are enrolled (5,508 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private university

Distinctions: 9:1 student/faculty ratio; attractive campus with easy access to Boston; diverse academic offerings; high marks for student happiness and study abroad; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences.

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11. Bentley University (Waltham, Massachusetts)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Bentley University was ranked 11th on this year’s list of the Best Colleges in the New England Region. Bentley University is a private, non-profit institution in Waltham, Massachusetts. The university has a medium-sized student body and was awarded 1,748 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020. The school’s four-year graduation rate is 83%. When compared to the national rate of 33%, this is quite impressive. Following graduation, bachelor’s degree holders go on to jobs that pay an average of $86,900 in their early years of employment.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 83% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $86,900

Student Loans Default Rate: 2.1%

Enrollment: 5,506 students are enrolled (4,222 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private university 

Distinctions: Highly ranked business school; 12:1 student/faculty ratio; the average class size of 24; liberal arts core in the business curriculum; curricular emphasis on ethics, social responsibility, and global culture.

12. Boston University (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts)

Boston College is ranked 12th among the Best Colleges in the New England Region for 2022. In 2019-2020, this relatively large private non-profit school in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, awarded 4,882 bachelor’s degrees. Students who start at the school are more likely to stay. The freshman retention rate is 95%. During their early years of employment, graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Boston College earn an average of $72,500 per year. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 89.9% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $72,500

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.2%

Enrollment: 14,466 students are enrolled (9,870 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private Catholic university

Distinctions: One of the top Catholic universities; largest endowment of any Jesuit university; strong undergraduate business program; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for liberal arts and sciences strengths; member of the NCAA Division 1-A Atlantic Coast Conference.

13. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Middlebury College placed 13th in the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region ranking. In 2019-2020, the small private non-profit school in Middlebury, Vermont, awarded 1,036 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, it’s clear that the school is dedicated to assisting its undergraduates in succeeding. Middlebury graduates earn an average of $58,200 per year in their early years of employment.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 77% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $58,200

Student Loans Default Rate: 1%

Enrollment: 2,549 people (2,523 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college 

Distinctions: One of the country’s top liberal arts colleges; 8:1 student/faculty ratio; the average class size of 16; excellent language programs and study-abroad program; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strong liberal arts and sciences; a beautiful campus in an attractive New England town.

14. Wellesley College (Wellesley, Massachusetts)

Wellesley College ranked 14th on the list of the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region. Wellesley College is a private, non-profit institution in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The school has a small student body, and in 2019-2020, it was awarded 713 bachelor’s degrees. The school has an 86% four-year graduation rate. When compared to the national rate of 33%, this is quite impressive. During their early years of employment, a Wellesley graduate with a bachelor’s degree earns an average salary of $60,800. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 86% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $60,800

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.5%

Enrollment: 2,482 people (all undergraduate)

Type of institution: private women’s liberal arts college

Distinctions: One of the top ten liberal arts colleges; frequently ranked first among top women’s colleges; 7:1 student/faculty ratio; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strong liberal arts and sciences; academic exchange programs with Harvard and M.I.T.; beautiful lakeside campus.

15. Colby College (Waterville, Maine)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Colby College placed 15th in the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region ranking. This small private non-profit university in Waterville, Maine, awarded 651 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020. The student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 indicates that students will have more opportunities to interact one-on-one with their professors. Following graduation, bachelor’s degree holders go on to jobs that pay an average of $58,100 in their early years of employment.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 90.1% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $58,100

Student Loans Default Rate: 3.7%

Enrollment: 1,879 people (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college 

Distinctions: 10:1 student/faculty ratio; beautiful 714-acre campus with a 128-acre arboretum; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for liberal arts and sciences strengths; strong environmental and global initiatives; Colby Connecticut College’s NCAA Division 1 ski teams.

16. Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut)

Trinity College was ranked 16th among the Best Colleges in the New England Region in 2022. Trinity Bantams is a small non-profit private school in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2019-2020, it conferred 653 bachelor’s degrees. The school does an excellent job of retaining its students, with a freshman retention rate of 91%. Trinity Bantams bachelor’s degree graduates earn an average of $66,100 per year in their early years of employment. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

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4 Years Graduation Rate: 80% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $66,100

Student Loans Default Rate: 2.6%

Enrollment: 2.350 students are enrolled (2,259 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college 

Distinctions: 10:1 student/faculty ratio; strong study abroad, community service, and internship initiatives; 100 student organizations, including an active Greek system; home to one of the country’s oldest chapters of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

17. Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Wesleyan University is ranked #21 on the list of the Best Colleges in the New England Region for 2022. Wesleyan University is located in Middletown, Connecticut, and has a small student body. This school conferred 1,194 bachelor’s degrees on qualified undergraduates in 2019-2020. Bachelor’s degree students at the school typically complete their degrees on time. The four-year graduation rate is 92%, which is higher than the national rate of 33%. Wesleyan University graduates earn an average of $54,700 per year in their early careers.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 92% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $54,700

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.8%

Enrollment: 12,458 students are enrolled (5,472 undergraduates)

Type of institution: Private university

Distinctions: 6 to 1 student/faculty ratio; highly ranked among the nation’s top universities; Ivy League member; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strong liberal arts and sciences; membership in the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; endowment of more than $16 billion; 35 varsity athletic teams.

18. Bates College (Lewiston, Maine)

Bates College was ranked #18 on the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region list. In 2019-2020, the small private non-profit school in Lewiston, Maine, awarded 576 bachelor’s degrees. Bachelor’s degree students at the school typically complete their degrees on time. The four-year graduation rate is 83%, which is higher than the national rate of 33%. During their early years of employment, a Bates graduate with a bachelor’s degree earns an average salary of $59,200. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 83% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $59,200

Student Loans Default Rate: 0.8%

Enrollment: 1,780 students are enrolled (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: Private liberal arts college

Distinctions: test-optional admissions; Phi Beta Kappa chapter for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; highly ranked liberal arts college; popular study abroad programs; approximately two-thirds of students go on to graduate school; 10:1 student/faculty ratio.

19. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, Massachusetts)

This is one of the best new England colleges ranked with high acceptance rates and among the top 20 ranked colleges. Worcester Polytechnic Institute placed ninth in the 2022 Best Colleges in the New England Region ranking. WPI is a private, non-profit university in Worcester, Massachusetts. The university has a medium-sized student body and was awarded 1,887 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020. The school’s four-year graduation rate is 76%. When compared to the national rate of 33%, this is quite impressive. WPI bachelor’s degree graduates earn an average of $84,900 per year in their early years of employment.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 66% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $84,900

Student Loans Default Rate: 0.7%

20. Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)

Boston University was ranked #20 in this year’s Best Colleges in the New England Region list. Boston University is a private, non-profit university in Boston, Massachusetts. The school has a large student body, and in 2019-2020, it was awarded 11,894 bachelor’s degrees. The school has a high freshman retention rate of 94%, indicating that students enjoy the school enough to return for a second year. During the early years of their career, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Boston U can expect to earn $65,300. This is one of the best colleges in Massachusetts with ranking, and among the top 20 colleges in New England.

4 Years Graduation Rate: 80% 

Average Early-Career Earnings: $65,300

Student Loans Default Rate: 1.4%

 

Conclusion

New England is home to the majority of the country’s ivy league schools. As a college student, it is truly the best place to develop your personality, social life, and mentality. We investigate some of the best schools in New England for you to study your dream course, whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What Is The Cost Of Attending College In New England?

The cost of studying in New England is heavily influenced by the area’s cost of living. Furthermore, the average tuition cost for Colleges in Massachusetts is $8,279 for in-state students and $26,252 for out-of-state students.

  • What Ivy League Schools Can Be Found In New England?

New England is home to one of the United States Ivy League colleges and universities. Among them are Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, and Dartmouth College.

  • Why Should You Study In New England?

New England is home to one of the best Ivy League schools in the country, and you can learn a lot about American history here.

  • How Much Does It Cost To Live In New England?

According to Best Places, the median home price in New England is more than $169,900.

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