8 Mass. colleges and universities on Niche’s top 50 U.S. list for 2024

Out of the thousands of higher education opportunities in the United States, eight schools in Massachusetts have ranked in the top 50 on Niche’s list for the best colleges and universities in the country — with two in the top 10.Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in third overall with Harvard University right behind at number four, the pair keeping up its well-established reign at the top of Niche’s annual list. Harvard moved up from last year’s sixth-place ranking, and MIT stood strong in third place for 2024.Read more: School officials: Universal free lunch lessens stigma around food insecurityThe list is compiled using several sources, Niche said, including the U.S. Department of Education and Niche’s user input, which involves ratings and reviews from current and former students and their parents.Factors such as academics, athletics, food and campus life are also looked at. Niche stated it reviewed “every college in America” at 4,048 schools profiled nationwide.“MIT is an elite private college located in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the Boston Area,” Niche’s site stated of the top school, which received an A+ rating.“It is a small institution with an enrollment of 4,588 undergraduate students. Admissions is extremely competitive as the MIT acceptance rate is only 4%. Popular majors include Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Mathematics. Graduating 96% of students, MIT alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $82,200.”Read more: Mass Gov. Healey ‘heartbroken’ over weekend shootings in Boston, WorcesterFor Harvard, which also received an A+, the site read, “Harvard is an elite private university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the Boston Area. It is a mid-size institution with an enrollment of 7,483 undergraduate students.”“Admissions is extremely competitive as the Harvard acceptance rate is only 4%. Popular majors include Social Science Research Methods, Economics, and Computer Science. Graduating 97% of students, Harvard alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $70,300,” Niche stated.The top 10 overall list began with Yale University at the number one spot, then Stanford University just ahead of MIT. Behind Harvard fell Princeton University in fifth place, then Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Rice University and Brown College.Read more: Boston man stabbed someone with a screw driver, police sayFor the other Massachusetts schools in the top 50, Williams College came next-highest in the state ranked 32nd, with Tufts University, Wellesley College and Boston University just behind in 34th, 37th and 38th, respectively. Boston College was 44th, and Northeastern University rounded out the Bay State’s top schools in 46th place.Niche had several methodology changes to refine its rankings, the site stated, including the addition of an Economic Mobility Index factor to show colleges with alumni who “improve their economic status after graduation,” with a look at those who received Pell Grants, tuition price for students from low-income households, and how much money students are making six years after starting at the school.The site also removed all SAT/ACT-related factors from its 2024 rankings, which was to “reflect the shift away from standardized testing,” the site said.

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