Making a list of best schools in Boston is not an easy task for the mere fact that there are so many of them, on every level. To find a perfect one for you, you may have to look beyond the shining beacons that are Harvard and MIT, into scores of other institutions, public or private. Somewhere in this great city (or at least its metro area) lies a perfect opportunity for excellent education for you or your kids.
Moving to Boston and living in this magnificent city is an excellent thing by itself. The cost of living in Boston is reasonable when compared with some other cities. It is even better since it is one of the best cities for college grads. But before you become one, you’ll have to pass through some of the learning programs at one of many universities. But, since education starts much earlier, let’s take a look first at Beantown’s elementary and middle schools.
Unfortunately, this question can’t have a definitive answer. It all comes down to personal preferences when talking about universities and to the preferences and logistics on the matter of elementary school choices.
In the case of the latter, it is natural to look for a school that is close to your home, so you don’t have to drive your kid across the town and back every day. Some other possible boxes to check are how the school stands on diversity, what it offers in terms of extracurricular activities (vital for the future), and perhaps what sports your kid can engage in. Put all those elements together, and you’ll find the right institution for your child.
Nearly all universities offer the chance to would-be applicants to visit campuses before they decide whether to apply or not. Since that is a very popular activity that brings thousands of people to campuses each year (highschoolers, parents, and more often than not even siblings), it may require some planning.
It is recommended to sign up for a visit in advance. And by “in advance,” we mean weeks if you wish to secure a place on tour.
In some places, you can run into a friendly student who will offer you a private tour around the campus. For a fee, of course.
The primary education system in the Olde Towne consists of private and public institutions. Public ones are run by Boston Public Schools, the oldest of its kind in the US, founded in 1647. The choice of right elementary school can prove crucial for the child’s future chances for education. Here are some of the best rated public elementary schools:
These institutions are funded by the public but are independent of the state’s school system. There are quite a few of them here, and here are some of the best ones:
Secondary education is, in many ways, crucial for a child’s chances of getting into a preferred university. So always take extra care when deciding on the middle school, public or private. Extracurricular activities and sports are especially important in that regard, but so is the code of conduct that is required of pupils. Universities, especially those that had trouble with cheating, insist more and more on pledges and honor codes for undergraduates, so it would be best if the student is used to that by the time of application.
There isn’t much to be said about Harvard that isn’t already well known. Located in Boston’s suburb of Cambridge, some three miles west from downtown, it is the oldest university in the US. Since its foundation in the 17th century, its reputation, influence, and wealth have grown continuously. Today, it stands among the most famous and prestigious academic institutions in the world and is a member of the Ivy League, which consists of the eight best US universities. Moving into a college dorm on one of Harvard’s campuses and wearing its crimson is a dream of countless schoolkids around the world.
Harvard’s reputation and status led to an extremely selective acceptance process. Prospective students are merited not only on their grades but also on extracurricular activities they took and personal qualities. Such a process, along with high tuition fees (and not to mention that eight US presidents and a few dozen foreign leaders graduated there), gives Harvard’s crimson red a touch of elitism. Harvard’s alumni collected among themselves 160 Nobel Prizes, 14 Turing Awards, 48 Pulitzers, more than a hundred Olympic medals, and ten Oscars (among other things).
Still, there is financial aid to children from low-income families, who pay either no more than 10% of the family’s yearly income or nothing at all, depending on annual income.
Wearing crimson offers you the chance to obtain a degree in more than 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Those can be, among others, in law, medicine or public health, business, government, arts and sciences, engineering, design, and many more.
Harvard’s focus is on research and practical learning. To aid the students in their quest for knowledge, there is a network of dozens of libraries with more than 20 million items in them, probably making it the most extensive library of its kind on Earth. There are also three art museums, three museums of natural history, and many more. Harvard’s attendees can become members of the Phi Beta Kappa society. Besides the purely academic stuff, the sports teams named Harvard Crimson compete in 42 sports against their Ivy League rivals in the NCAA, with special enmity reserved for Yale.
For better or worse, not everyone can get into Harvard’s crimson. Luckily, there are scores of other prime universities in the city that’s aptly named Titletown. From downtown to the suburbs, you’ll undoubtedly find your niche for studying.
Cambridge, one of the best neighborhoods in Boston for students, also hosts the world-famous MIT. Few places offer a better environment for learning in the field of science and engineering. MIT alumni include 96 Nobel prize winners, 26 recipients of Turing Award, and numerous medalists in international competitions. MIT focuses primarily on research, which is sponsored by multiple government departments and NASA, as well. From its classrooms came staggering 41 astronauts.
Its campus is located on the banks or the river Charles, offering a great view. All freshmen have to stay at the campus. Speaking of first-years, it isn’t easy to become one. MIT usually accepts less than 10 percent of applicants. Once in, prospective engineers and scientists can enjoy all the perks of living in a prestigious institute. MIT has an excellent student to faculty ratio, and its attendees can become members of Phi Beta Kappa. Besides scientific programs, MIT has strong departments for learning management and social sciences.
Boston University has more than 33,000 attendees and almost 4,000 faculty members, making it one of the biggest employers in the city, and also one of the largest private universities in the US. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as doctorates and even degrees in law and medicine, among other things. The main campus is on the banks of the Charles River in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood. It also has several campuses out of state. In the US, they are in Washington and Los Angeles, and abroad in London, Sydney, and Paris.
BU is very diverse and accepts a higher percentage of applicants than some other educational institutions. It is worth noting that Alexander Graham Bell worked at BU as a researcher and that the telephone was invented there. Its location, some two miles from downtown, will allow attendees to enjoy some of the best restaurants in Boston and all other amenities that the Olde Towne offers.
Tufts is another downtown institution, with a strong abroad program but very selective in admission. It has ten schools, with two undergraduate and eight graduate programs. The main focus is on international studies, but others are excellent, too. Tufts has four campuses, in Boston’s metro area and the French Alps. It cooperates with numerous universities, including Oxford, New England Conservatory, and Sciences Po Paris.
Among the Tufts’ traditions are a capella singing, a naked run before exams, but also a Tinder-like JumboSmash app. Named after university’s mascot Jumbo the Elephant, that app is created every year by seniors of IT studies one week before the graduation. After they graduate, the app is deleted and waits for a new version by the next generation of soon-to-be graduates. Aside from the app, Jumbo is one of the rare mascots who found their way into Merriam-Webster’s. In Tufts’ halls, you can see the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, among others.
Bentley sits in the western suburb of Waltham, which is one of the best places to live in Boston for singles. Its focus is on business and arts, offering 25 different bachelor degrees between the two. It has three campuses, with a shuttle bus driving attendees to their classes. Bentley has a couple of student organizations. Besides seven fraternities and four sororities, there’s also the Bentley Investment Group. This student-run body manages one part of Bentley’s endowment fund, Bentley Marketing Association, and Bentley Real Estate Group. The university’s sports teams are called Falcons, and they compete in the second division of the NCAA, with the sole exception of the men’s hockey team, which is in the first division.
If none of the universities ticks your boxes, you may want to opt for some of the separate educational institutions.
Based in Needham, MA, Olin is among the best places for folks who want to master the secrets of engineering, not only in the state of Massachusetts but even in the entire US. Its programs are focused on projects, from freshman year on. It is crowned by the senior project, which student engineering teams create for corporations or organizations, while those who study arts and social sciences work on their own projects. All in all, Olin has quite an informal academic culture, which truly separates it from its competition, as well as a continually changing curriculum to keep up with the times. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the school’s mascot is a phoenix.
Another upside is that every accepted student gets a scholarship, which covers half the tuition fee. Since not everything can be perfect, Olin is a good ten miles from Boston’s downtown, and any prospective student arriving in Titletown should consider using the auto transport service for his or her car, for more comfortable moving around.
Babson sits in Wellesley, not far from Olin, and the two institutions have developed cooperation in many domains. Babson is a business school, with MBA degrees respected in the entrepreneurial world. Its academic focus is on entrepreneurship, but also leadership. Freshmen of Babson launch, develop, and close down the companies in sectors they prefer.
The private Emerson College in downtown Boston, near the city’s Commons, was founded in the 19th century as a place for studying oratory. Today, it has eight departments with a focus on journalism, writing, film, theater, and marketing. The institution owns several theaters, and TV and recording studios. It has close cooperation with Paris College of Art for film and with Franklin University Switzerland for communication degrees.
Attendees have a choice between a variety of sports, including Quidditch. Yes, you read that right. TV star Jay Leno and actress Gina Gershon graduated from Emerson.
Some of the best educational institutions are unaffiliated with universities and focus on specific areas of research. There are a few institutes for you.
Wentworth Institute of Technology, one of the Fenway colleges, is an excellent place for studying technical design and engineering. Its approach is career-oriented, with 19 bachelor degrees and also master’s degrees. During studies, attendees can get paid work experience.
Those who are accepted to Wentworth are encouraged to be innovative. Students can learn applied mathematics, architecture, interior, and industrial design, IT, biomedical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, and much more. Wentworth Leopards compete in the third division of the NCAA, among other universities that don’t offer athletic scholarships.
Founded by the last one of the Founding Fathers, Franklin’s Institute is a technical institute, first and foremost. It offers bachelor degrees in automotive and health information technologies and associate degrees in various industrial and engineering fields. It is also the only school in the state to provide a degree in opticianry. Every program at Franklin’s is designed in accordance with the demands of the job market. The school has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Forsyth Institute is one of the world’s leading research centers in dental and craniofacial health. It closely cooperates with Harvard’s department for dental medicine. Once located in Fenway-Kenmore, it recently moved to Cambridge, MA, thus joining other great universities there.
Founded by the Massachusetts General Hospital, this school focuses on health sciences. Its undergraduates can study physical therapy, nursing, occupation therapy, and more. Attendees are overwhelmingly female, and the graduation rate is very high. The campus includes laboratories and classes, as well as rehabilitation centers.
If you are not a fan of technical sciences, business, or law, you may opt for some not-so-everyday learning.
Suburban and all-female, Wellesley is a liberal arts institution. It has a close cooperation and exchange program with MIT and Babson, among others. Wellesley’s campus is located on the shore of the lake Waban and has lots of trees. There are more than 150 active student organizations.
NEIA is a for-profit institution that offers degrees in digital filmmaking, graphic and interior design, photography, and video production. You can attain a bachelor’s degree there.
Another gem of Cambridge, Longy offers two four-year programs. It has around three hundred attendees from approximately two dozen countries. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Member of the Fenway Consortium, MassArt, as it is called, is a rare public institution in the US. Focus, no surprises there, is on arts and design, fashion, graphic and video. Attendees can also engage in learning sculpture and metalsmithing. Student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. It has several galleries on campus, and students’ works are displayed all around. When it comes to sports, undergraduates from MassArt can compete via Emerson.
Just like four-year universities, the city is home to a couple of community colleges. They offer four-semester studies and associate degrees.
Located in its namesake neighborhood, Roxbury offers its attendees associate degrees in arts and sciences. It has agreements with other universities for bachelor degrees. Attendees can compete in basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, and soccer.
Bunker Hill is Massachusetts’ largest community college, but also the most diverse one. It has also featured in the Oscar-winning movie Good Will Hunting. It is famous for its workforce education and long-distance learning methods.
So there you have it. If you’re still not convinced that moving to Boston for education is the right thing to do, then hit the web and find some school that suits your needs. Aside from that, things to do in Boston are abundant in every imaginable way. It will be your chance to experience all perks of independent life or invest in the future of your children. One way or another, this city will not disappoint you.