A growing movement to judge colleges and universities more on “value added” than prestige and endowment size helped Stonehill College gain substantial ground in the Wall Street Journal’s “America's Best Colleges 2024” rankings.

“We’ve expanded the importance of student outcomes: graduation rates and graduate salaries,” writes Harry Carr, the Journal’s ranking editor. “Critically, we now put greater emphasis on measuring the value added by colleges—not simply measuring their students’ success, but focusing on the contribution the college makes to that success.”

That new emphasis rocketed Stonehill up 62 spots over last year’s WSJ ranking, moving it to No. 157 from No. 219 in 2022. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 2,637 four-year colleges in the country, which essentially puts Stonehill in the top 6 percent nationally.

This year, scores in the Journal’s ranking are based on three factors: student outcomes, accounting for 70% of the rankings; the learning environment at 20%; and diversity, at 10%.

How WSJ ranked the top Massachusetts Colleges and Universities

No. School Name Rank (Nationally)
1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 2
2 Harvard University, Cambridge 6
3 Amherst College, Amherst 8
4 Babson College, Wellesley 10
5 Williams College, Williamstown 31
6 Boston College, Chestnut Hill 45
7 College of the Holy Cross, Worcester 60
8 Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester 61
9 Wellesley College, Wellesley 117
10 University of Massachusetts, Lowell 137
11 Northeastern University, Boston 138
12 Stonehill College, Easton 157
13 University of Massachusetts, Amherst 190
14 Boston University, Boston 200
15 Brandeis University, Waltham 223
16 University of Massachusetts, Boston 242
17 Suffolk University, Boston 244
18 Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater 281
19 Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley 282
20 Tufts University, Medford 287
21 Smith College, Northampton 312
22 Clark University, Worcester 367

See full Wall Street Journal “America's Best Colleges 2024” rankings