Academics anxiously await this time of year: the unveiling of U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges list. Fingers crossed, they pour over the rankings with widened, worried eyes. After all, some fudged enrollment statistics for this, fluffing the ACT and SAT scores of their students to fall one rung higher—reputation be damned.
A new school year only means more bragging rights for Massachusetts’ colleges and universities, however. Several of the state’s institutions unsurprisingly topped the 2014 rankings, and all with their reputations intact.
Harvard did see a small setback. After nabbing the No. 1 spot on the list of National Universities last year, the school fell to No. 2 in the rankings, losing their coveted spot to Princeton. Friendly rival MIT also dropped one spot on the list, falling from No. 6 to No. 7. Both, however, remain the best value.
Other local universities to crack the top 50 included: Tufts (No. 28); Boston College (No. 31); Brandeis (No. 32); Boston University (No. 41); and Northeastern (No. 49).
The list remained relatively unchanged from last year, despite a few subtle tweaks to the methodology. Slightly more weight was placed on the SAT and ACT scores of colleges’ newly enrolled students, while changes were also made to the weight of the peer assessment score and retention rates.
Despite the changes, the state’s liberal arts schools prevailed. Williams and Amherst College secured the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the list of National Liberal Arts Colleges, respectively. They were followed by Wellesley (No. 7); Smith (No 20); College of the Holy Cross (No. 25); and Mount Holyoke College (No. 38).
These accolades are just beginning, however. The state’s schools also topped regional rankings—designated for institutions a little smaller—and were touted for their business, entrepreneurship and engineering programs. Heck, a few were even named up-and-comers. Find out who they were below.