The Bay State is home to some of the country’s most prestigious schools, such as Harvard University and Boston University. In fact, US News & World Report ranks Massachusetts the second-best state for education in the country. However, the cost of attendance can be prohibitive for some learners. With this in mind, below is our list of the cheapest colleges in Massachusetts.
We’ve compiled this list to help students looking for low-tuition colleges in Massachusetts. This article also includes a list of relevant scholarships. If flexibility is something you value in your school search, we’ve collected a list of the cheapest online colleges in Massachusetts to help you in your school search.
How Much Does College Cost in Massachusetts?
The average cost of college in Massachusetts is $13,729, according to the Education Data Initiative. Overall, this cost of attendance (COA) for universities in Massachusetts is 31 percent more than the national average COA. Despite this, there are still plenty of low-tuition colleges in Massachusetts with in-state tuition rates ranging from $10,000 to $60,000, which we’ve shared below.
Most Affordable Colleges in Massachusetts: The Basics
|School||Location||Undergraduate Tuition||Graduate Tuition|
|Salem State University||Salem||$37.92/credit (in state), $293.75/credit (out of state)||$140/credit (in state), $230/credit (out of state)|
|Worcester State University||Worcester||$40.42/credit (in state), $293.75/credit (out of state)||$169/credit|
|Fitchburg State University||Fitchburg||$150/credit||$195/credit|
|Framingham State University||Framingham||$162/credit (in state), $280/credit (out of state)||$1,175/credit|
|Bridgewater State University||Bridgewater||$11,055/year (in state), $17,195/year (out of state)||$488.50/credit hour|
|Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts||North Adams||$11,580/year (in state), $20,525/year (out of state)||$412.33/credit (MEd), $496.33/credit (MBA)|
|University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||Dartmouth||$14,854/year (in state), $30,992/year (out of state)||$682.92/credit (in state), $1,232.42/credit (out of state)|
|University of Massachusetts Lowell||Lowell||$15,698/year (in state), $33,624/year (out of state)||$15,210/year (in state), $26,990/year (out of state)|
|University of Massachusetts Amherst||Hampshire County||$16,952/year (in state), $38,172/year (out of state)||$17,011/year (in state), $35,769/year (out of state)|
Cheapest Universities in Massachusetts: A Closer Look
Below is our list of the 10 cheapest colleges in Massachusetts. Worcester State University, Fitchburg State University, and Bridgewater State University are among the most affordable schools in Massachusetts. These in-state universities’ tuition rates are among the lowest in the state.
Cheapest Online Colleges in MA
|School||Online Tuition||Programs Available Online|
|Fitchburg State University||$150/credit (undergraduate), $195/credit (graduate)||Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate|
|UMass Dartmouth||$1,026/three-credit course (undergraduate), $1,710/three-credit course (graduate)||Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate|
|NorthPoint Bible College and Seminary||$425/credit (undergraduate), $492/credit (graduate)||Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s|
|Cambridge College||$483/credit (undergraduate), $609/credit (graduate)||Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate, Doctorate|
|UMass Boston||$631/credit||Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate, Doctorate|
Cheapest Colleges in MA by In-State Tuition
- Worcester State University | $40.42/credit
- Fitchburg State University | $150/credit
- Framingham State University | $162/credit
- Bridgewater State University | $10,732/year
- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts | $11,580/year
Cheapest Colleges in MA by Out-of-State Tuition
- Fitchburg State University | $150/credit
- Framingham State University | $280/credit
- Worcester State University | $293.75/credit
- Bridgewater State University | $17,195/year
- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts | $20,525/year
Why Is College So Expensive?
College is expensive for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are tuition and fees, room and board, meal plans, and transportation costs. These points are discussed in depth below.
Housing and Food
Housing and food are not included in tuition fees, which means students looking to evaluate whether a college is financially feasible for them must consider these factors. In addition, colleges often offer a few different food plans, and the cost of each plan usually varies.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees are the main reason why colleges are expensive. However, it is critical to realize that when you pay tuition, you are paying for much more than just the education you will receive while in school.
Most of the funds are used to finance the costs of the school itself, such as building maintenance, renovations, and new construction. Additionally, a significant portion of the funds is allocated to financial aid opportunities, scholarships, and other student assistance programs.
Transportation is another reason why college is expensive. If you have to pay for transportation to and from school, those costs can add up quickly. If a student decides to buy a car, gas, insurance, and repairs can also add to the cost of attending college.
Best Universities by State
How to Save Money in College
- Live at home. This is the easiest way to save money in college. If you live at home, you don’t have to worry about paying for room and board and can save on transportation costs.
- Shop for used textbooks. Buying used books can save you a lot of money. Try to find a textbook swap group or buy them online.
- Eat at home: Eating at home is much cheaper than eating out or paying for a meal plan. You can save money by cooking simple meals at home.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking can be expensive, especially if you go to bars and clubs. Try to limit your alcohol consumption, and you’ll save money.
- Make a budget and stick to it. If you want to save money in college, you need to create a budget and stick to it. Figure out your monthly expenses and ensure you’re not overspending on unnecessary things.
How to Apply for Financial Aid in Massachusetts
- Fill out the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that students use to apply for financial aid opportunities. The form is available online and is free to complete.
- Examine your form. Double-check your financial aid application to ensure that all information is correct after filling it in. This step is critical because the financial aid you receive is based on the information you provide on the form.
- Submit the form. After submitting the FAFSA form, you should wait for the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will detail all of the financial aid you are entitled to. You should then accept any financial support that is provided to you.
Scholarships for Students in Massachusetts
|Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow, Jr. Scholarship||Peterson’s||$3,000||Must be an MA resident pursuing a degree in agribusiness, entomology, horticulture, or landscape architecture|
|Agnes M. Lindsay Scholarship Program||State of Massachusetts||Varies||Must be an MA resident pursuing higher education with demonstrated financial need|
|Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program||Office of Student Financial Assistance||$500/credit, maximum of $4,500/semester||Must be an MA resident who applied for FAFSA|
|Massachusetts Part-Time Grant||State of Massachusetts||Minimum of $200||Must be an MA resident in good academic standing|
|Tall Clubs International Student Scholarships||Boston Beanstalks Tall Club||$500 – $1,000||Must be an MA resident under 21 involved in school and community clubs/activities|
|Francis Ouimet Scholarship||Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund||Varies||Must be an MA resident attending an accredited institution of undergraduate higher education full-time|
|The Roothbert Fund Scholarship||The Roothbert Fund||$5,000 – $7,000||Must be an MA resident pursuing further education|
|The Lindsey’s Family Restaurant Shon Shadrick Memorial Scholarship||Lindsey’s Family Restaurant||$5,000||Must be a US citizen pursuing a master’s degree in special education|
|Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Scholarship||Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts||$3,000||Must be an MA resident pursuing a full-time or part-time college degree|
|Cash Grant Program||State of Massachusetts||Varies||Must be an MA resident and not in default of any federal or state loans|
How to Choose a Cheap College in Massachusetts
When looking for the cheapest college in Massachusetts, you should consider tuition costs, which scholarships can help you, and how each college you look at aligns with your career goals. Continue reading to find out why these factors are so crucial when looking for the cheapest college in Massachusetts.
Consider the scholarships available
Scholarships help reduce the cost of college. Some scholarships are based on academic merit, while others are based on financial need. The availability of scholarships can help students afford to attend college. In addition, scholarships can provide financial assistance, which can reduce the cost of tuition and other expenses.
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Compare financial aid available
You must ensure that you can pay for the college you attend. Some colleges provide more loans and grants than others. You can ensure that you are getting the best deal possible by doing a school search and checking the available financial aid.
List colleges that suit your goals
Choosing a college is a critical decision. You might find a college that is a better fit than the one you initially chose, or you might find that a college that you thought was a good fit for you is not a good fit after all. By determining which colleges best suit your goals, you can make sure that you are making the right decision for yourself.
Best Community Colleges by State
Highest-Paying Jobs for College Graduates in Massachusetts
|Job Title||Average Salary in MA||Minimum Education|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$168,490||Bachelor’s degree|
|Physician Assistant||$129,480||Master’s degree|
|Construction Manager||$122,320||Bachelor’s degree|
|Biomedical Engineer||$115,670||Bachelor’s degree|
|Computer Programmer||$108,980||Bachelor’s degree|
|Financial and Investment Analyst||$104,930||Bachelor’s degree|
|Civil Engineer||$98,910||Bachelor’s degree|
|Graphic Designer||$71,770||Bachelor’s degree|
|Exercise Physiologist||$62,230||Bachelor’s degree|
Best Jobs for College Grads in MA: Explained
Accredited Online Colleges by State
Is a Cheap College in MA Worth It?
Yes, a cheap college in Massachusetts is worth it. At a cheap college in Massachusetts, students can get an excellent education with affordable tuition. In addition, many schools in Massachusetts offer scholarships and financial aid packages to help reduce the cost of attendance.
Cheapest Colleges in MA FAQ
Yes, Boston is a good city for international students. Boston is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities and colleges. Boston is also a great city for young people because it has a vibrant nightlife and many cultural attractions.
According to the US News World & Report, there are 71 colleges in Massachusetts, including well-known schools such as Harvard University and Boston University. There are also several smaller schools and community colleges in the state.
There are no free colleges in Massachusetts. However, eligible students who qualify for specific scholarships or other forms of financial aid, such as work-study programs, grants, and loans, may have their tuition costs covered.
Yes, small colleges can be better depending on your needs. Small colleges can provide a more personalized educational experience and typically have a lower student-to-faculty ratio, allowing for more individualized attention through small classes. In addition, small colleges often have strong alumni networks, which can help students secure internships and jobs after graduation.
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