Online Colleges in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts online colleges and universities offer many attractive benefits. Earning a degree places you in an excellent position for broader, more diverse employment opportunities and almost always qualifies you for higher-paying jobs. Beyond this, pursuing online education in your home state allows you to capitalize on more affordable in-state tuition rates. Attending school in Massachusetts also provides commonwealth residents many networking and career advancement opportunities.

Higher Learning Initiatives in Massachusetts

edX

In May 2012, MIT and Harvard collaborated to launch edX, an initiative designed to increase the amount of online learners on a global scale. edX exists as an open-source platform intended to build on campus-based learning. Some features include video lectures, interactive quizzes, immediate instructor feedback, and access to an online laboratory. Those who can prove mastery of a particular open-source course may be eligible to receive a certificate. This platform can potentially make resources available to people everywhere.

Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP)

In early 2012, Massachusetts became the eighth state to join the Association of American Colleges and Universities' national initiative called the Liberal Education and America's Promise. The initiative strives to compare, assess, and publicly report the correlation among curriculum, real student work, and success levels (rather than just evaluate standardized testing scores) within peer universities and colleges in other states. LEAP helps higher education boards highlight areas of excellence and determine improvement areas in the Massachusetts university and college system.

The Vision Project

The Vision Project stands out as a competitive state grant program designed to spark the growth of improvement in public higher education. Through this initiative, 18 public colleges and universities in Massachusetts receive additional state-sponsored monetary awards for their efforts to help create innovative programs, such as those that expand online learning opportunities. The initiative launched in 2011 to help Massachusetts rise as a national leader in postsecondary education and the workforce.

Popular Degrees in Massachusetts

The degrees conferred by Massachusetts online colleges and universities mirror the commonwealth's primary industries and economic realities. These include life sciences, finance, information technology, manufacturing, and renewable energy. Many of the majors offered by the best online colleges in Massachusetts prepare learners to enter these growing job sectors.

  • Neuroscience: This major examines the intersections of various scientific disciplines such as chemistry, biology, and psychology in order to better understand the human brain and nervous system. Learners use cutting-edge technologies and insights to conduct independent lab research with the aim of probing medical problems and increasing awareness about memory, cognition, and perception.
  • Business Management and Administration: Upon graduation, learners engaged in this course of study stand ready to contribute to Massachusetts's growing economy by leading entrepreneurial organizations and managing businesses that contribute to the commonwealth's key industries. This major prepares degree seekers for the workforce by introducing them to the field and empowering them to make lasting economic contributions.

Paying for College in Massachusetts

When choosing the best online colleges in Massachusetts, your future career path and program suitability rise as major considerations. However, even for Massachusetts community colleges online, students must also contemplate tuition rates, student fees, and other education-related expenses to make a smart, informed, and financially responsible decision. Be sure to consider these aspects, along with the general availability of financial aid, before you apply and enroll for online college courses in Massachusetts.

Tuition Prices

The College Board reveals that the average in-state tuition rate for Massachusetts online colleges and universities is well above the national average. This holds true for both public two-year and public four-year institutions. Students should note that these numbers exclude certain secondary costs, such as textbooks, transportation, and housing.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18

  Public Two Year Public Four Year
Massachusetts $6,300 $13,200
U.S. Average $4,234 $9,978

Source: College Board

Employment Outlook in Massachusetts

Employment opportunities in Massachusetts make the long-term investment well worth it when weighed against tuition costs. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Massachusetts' estimated unemployment rate stands lower than the national average. At the same time, the annual mean wage throughout the commonwealth remains higher than the national average. The general job outlook in Massachusetts remains favorable and even more promising for those holding a college degree as formal higher education almost always leads to higher-paying jobs. These statistical realities place students attending the best online colleges in Massachusetts in an excellent position to enter the growing job market.

Unemployment rate, August 2018
Massachusetts 3.3%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
Massachusetts $62,110
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Colleges in Massachusetts

Learners pursuing education in Massachusetts online colleges and universities should pay close attention to accreditation. Accreditation exists as an independent, quality assurance process for higher education entities. Two types of accreditation exist and the difference between the two remains crucial. Regional accreditation is conferred upon public, state-owned institutions that remain not for profit. Often more academic in nature, these institutions receive accreditation by a regional body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). National accreditation, by contrast, remains less prestigious and typically given to for-profit career or vocational schools by a body approved by the CHEA and ED. Regional accreditation is more rigorous and adheres to stricter excellence standards.

The best online colleges in Massachusetts hold regional accreditation, meaning that their programs pass independent review and meet all quality assurance standards. When considering schools, make regional accreditation a top priority. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which serves the commonwealth and surrounding areas, remains the state's primary regional accreditation agency.

Scholarships for Massachusetts Online College Students

Students, including those attending Massachusetts online colleges and universities, can explore a variety of grants and scholarships. These financial aid opportunities help defray tuition costs and other education-related expenses. Students residing within the commonwealth of Massachusetts can pursue the scholarships below.

Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This state-level, need-based award exists for Massachusetts students who live in rural areas. Applicants must permanently reside in Massachusetts, maintain compliance with Selective Service registration, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Amount: Varies

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Paul Tsongas Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students who demonstrate consistent academic excellence stand eligible to receive this merit-based award. Applicants must maintain a minimum 3.75 GPA and boast competitive SAT or ACT scores.
Amount: Tuition waiver

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The Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: This award allows Massachusetts students to attend college without incurring exorbitant debt. Applicants must enroll in a rigorous course of study, maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, and possess strong writing abilities.
Amount $3,000-$15,000 (renewable)

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Tryumph Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship rewards students committed to volunteer service within the commonwealth. Eligible individuals must live in the commonwealth and intend to pursue higher education. Students must complete at least 200 hours of community service prior to application.
Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Arthur E. Coia Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship helps students from families of New England Laborers. Eligible students must maintain membership in their immediate family with an affiliated local union of the Laborers' International Union of North America.
Amount: $2,500 (renewable)

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John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This merit-based award provides a tuition waiver for up to eight semesters. Applicants must demonstrate clear academic excellence on state assessment tests.
Amount: Tuition waiver

Apply Here

City of Boston Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: This award supports new and continuing education students from Boston. Successful applicants must boast at least two years of living in Boston prior to applying.
Amount: $2,500

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Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Established in 1972 by the state legislature, this scholarship targets students whose socioeconomic background may prohibit them from pursuing formal higher education. Eligible students must demonstrate a high degree of financial need and reside in Massachusetts.
Amount: Varies

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GEAR UP Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports students who participate in state-sponsored college preparedness programs. Applicants must live in the state, take classes at an eligible institution, and participate in a GEAR UP program.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Edwards Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Established in 1939, this award fosters good citizenship and provides financial aid to qualifying students in need. Applicants must live in Boston and attend a regionally accredited institution.
Amount: $2,500

Apply Here

Resources for Students in Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Department of Higher Education: This organization is the commonwealth's chief higher education entity. The group enacts education policy and ensures that all Massachusetts residents can pursue higher education. The organization facilitates various programs and services and enforces quality assurance standards.
  • New England Board of Higher Education: This organization serves the Greater New England area by promoting higher education opportunities and assisting regional leaders in assessing and implementing best practices. The group provides interested parties with financial aid resources and hosts public policy institutes pertaining to education enhancement. The organization offers useful resources for college students and school counselors.
  • MEFA Pathway: Your Plan for the Future: This interactive resource for prospective students planning their college paths and developing long-term career goals works in conjunction with state-level education departments. Students, families, and counselors can access valuable resources. The initiative strives for widespread postsecondary education engagement as early as middle school.
  • Go Higher!: This campaign within the Massachusetts Department of Education raises educational awareness and increases the overall availability of many student programs and opportunities at state colleges and universities. Individuals can take advantage of high school events and a variety of student resources, including internship placements.
  • Boston Higher Education Resource Center: This center serves under-represented urban high school students and their families by providing career counseling services, academic enrichment programs, and retention services. Through these resources, the organization endeavors to help disadvantaged students obtain a quality higher education experience with the aim of long-term career development.

Online Schools in Massachusetts

New England College of Business and Finance

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: N/A

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American International College

Springfield, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Average Net Price: $19,798

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Anna Maria College

Paxton, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Average Net Price: $26,856

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Assumption College

Worcester, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Average Net Price: $23,859

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Bay Path University

Longmeadow, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Average Net Price: $19,468

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Becker College

Worcester, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Average Net Price: $29,594

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Bentley University

Waltham, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Average Net Price: $25,503

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Berklee College of Music

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Average Net Price: $45,450

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Boston University

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Average Net Price: $30,047

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Laboure College

Milton, MA


  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: $29,243

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Emmanuel College

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Average Net Price: $29,680

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Endicott College

Beverly, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Average Net Price: $30,534

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Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Average Net Price: $13,587

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Framingham State University

Framingham, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Average Net Price: $17,090

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Harvard University

Cambridge, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 97%
  • Average Net Price: $14,376

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Lesley University

Cambridge, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Average Net Price: $30,477

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University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Lowell, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $15,578

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University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Average Net Price: $16,829

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University of Massachusetts-Boston

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Average Net Price: $12,455

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Newbury College

Brookline, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Average Net Price: $23,933

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Nichols College

Dudley, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Average Net Price: $25,566

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Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

North Adams, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Average Net Price: $14,689

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Northeastern University

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 79%
  • Average Net Price: $27,106

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College of Our Lady of the Elms

Chicopee, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Average Net Price: $20,639

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Regis College

Weston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Average Net Price: $21,464

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University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

North Dartmouth, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Average Net Price: $15,661

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Wentworth Institute of Technology

Boston, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Average Net Price: $29,887

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Westfield State University

Westfield, MA


  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Average Net Price: $15,716

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