If you're tired of looking at colleges online, maybe it's time to see them in person. There's only so much you can learn from websites, you have to experience the campus for yourself to see if it would be a good fit. So if you're a high school junior or senior, the time is right to start looking for a college to call your own, and it might just be in the college haven of Massachusetts!
Harvard University - Cambridge
6,694 enrolled - Ranked 2nd for National Universities
Perhaps the most famous American university, Harvard will always be on the minds of students looking for a college to call home. Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the country and boasts the oldest library collection in the U.S. and the largest private collection in the world. This Ivy League giant also has a claim to a giant campus sitting on over 5,000 acres of brilliant green lawns, manicured hedges, and ivy clung historic buildings. Not only is Harvard one of the best academic schools, but it's also socially advanced and welcomes students to enjoy athletic games year-round, including the famous "The Game," an end of year football clash between Harvard and Yale. Harvard has 13 schools alongside the original College and includes business, law, engineering and applied sciences, medicine, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Speaking of presidents, eight U.S. presidents graduated from Harvard including FDR and President Obama. Other famous names include Hellen Keller, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Ben Bernanke, Bill Gates, and more.
MIT - Cambridge
4,512 enrolled - Ranked 7th for National Universities
Set on a beautiful campus of over 168 acres in the middle of Cambridge, MIT is most well known for its rigorous and outstanding scientific and technological research programs. Even their sports mascot, a beaver, was chosen because of its "remarkable engineering and mechanical skill and its habits of industry." Only a few miles from the middle of Boston, just across the Charles River, MIT is a beautiful campus of old buildings, many of which date to the college's founding in 1861. There's an 8:1 student to faculty ratio which aids in the overall academic progress of the students on campus and a student satisfaction rating of 98%. The most popular major for graduates in 2014 was engineering, followed by computer science and biological and biomedical sciences following that. Tours of the campus are conducted weekdays at 11 am and 3 pm and explore the most popular areas of campus including the Kresge Auditorium, Great Dome, sports and fitness center, and more.
Williams College - Williamstown
2,045 enrolled - Ranked 1st for Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
A historical institution founded in 1793, Williams College campus is regally situated at the base of Mount Greylock in the Berkshires. As one of the oldest colleges in the country, Williams has changed over the years. Originally, the school was created to be a private men's college but first allowed women in 1970, the fraternities dissolved in the 1960s. Today, the school has three main branches which include languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics which have seen film directors, presidents, composers, and even the son of the spiritual leader of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims walk through its walls. Williams College is also one of many firsts, hosting the first intercollegiate baseball game, the first to wear caps and gowns at graduation, and has the oldest alumni society in the world. With their small class sizes, at a 7:1 ratio, Williams College may be selective and academically tough, but their attention to detail has a reputation of creating successful individuals with notable careers.
Amherst College - Amherst
1,792 enrolled - Ranked 2nd for Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
Founded in 1821, Amherst is set in a rural Massachusetts town but don't let the sleepy setting fool you. Amherst is a rigorous college with highly selective admissions staff and attention to detail. The college is part of the Five Colleges consortium which allows students to take courses at any of the other schools for credit. Amherst offers more than 35 majors though it has made a reputation for itself as "the singing college," with its many a cappella groups, just one of its wonderful social programs. You'll most likely sing yourself as you explore the beautiful semi-sustainable campus and the more than 500 acres which include a wildlife sanctuary. Amherst is also part of the unofficial Little Three athletic conference with Williams College and Wesleyan which has gone on for the last century and boasts the third oldest football field. You may also be interested to hear that some of the famed alumni of Amherst College include Prince Albert II of Monaco, President Calvin Coolidge, and former Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone. Amherst may be tough, but it's worth it.
Wellesley College - Wellesley
2,323 enrolled - Ranked 4th for Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
Located just 12 miles outside Boston, surrounded by a wooded campus seemingly straight from a storybook, the historic Wellesley College continues to be one of the best colleges in the country. Wellesley was established as a college for women as one of the original Seven Sisters Colleges, a sisterhood that includes the likes of Bryn Mawr and Radcliffe which is now part of Harvard. Even today the enrolled student population is 97% female and has taught some famous names including Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Diane Sawyer. The college has a strong concentration on the sciences with the nation's second-oldest physics lab on campus and also has a cross-registration program with MIT allowing students to spend a semester at another college. If you're looking to join a sorority, you won't find it at Wellesley. Instead, there are societies, clubs, and programs to bring students together socially and academically.
Northeastern University - Boston
Located on a beautiful green campus in the heart of Boston, Northeastern University is concerned with shaping students' future careers. Roughly 90% of the student body participates in a professional co-op before they graduate. They have the choice to spend four years on their degree, working with two co-ops or five years with three co-ops. The employers connected with Northwestern numbers at more than 2,000 and include the likes of GEICO and MTV among others. Students receive vital experience and make important connections before they leave college to start their careers. The campus itself is a sprawling 73 acres, includes its own subway stop, and supports more than 300 clubs and organizations plus the NCAA Division I team the Northeastern Huskies.