Online Degrees In Massachusetts (MA)

Online degrees in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is in the unique position of having one foot in our nation’s past and another in its future. As home to many of our nation’s most important historical events and attractions, it is also leading the United States into the future in industries such as renewable energy, defense technology, digital health, information technology and more. And it benefits from having the most highly educated population in the country.

But these facts don’t tell the complete story. The Bay State faces challenges including an aging population and a skills gap that is still not being addressed by the current rates of college attainment.

Online degree programs in Massachusetts may be an important part of the solution. These programs can provide affordability, flexibility and convenience, which is ideal for older, returning adults or those who face challenges with scheduling for, or proximity to, their desired programs. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of online degrees in Massachusetts.

Despite its small size, the state is home to 177 postsecondary institutions, which may help to explain its high rate of college attainment. Still, this rate has leveled off in recent years as the population has aged and slowly begun dropping out of the workforce. The state’s continued economic growth deeply relies on a pipeline of educated workers. By 2020, 72 percent of jobs in Massachusetts may require postsecondary credentials. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (MDHE) expects that by 2025, the state’s public colleges and universities may fall short of producing their share of new college degrees by up to 65,000.

Simply put, if the state cannot produce enough skilled labor, employers in its fastest-growing industries may go elsewhere and the economy may suffer.

Earning an online degree in Massachusetts also benefits graduates financially. The MDHE finds a strong correlation between higher levels of education and higher incomes, and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center shows faster wage growth among college-educated residents. Workers with no education beyond high school are also disproportionately unemployed.

Online degree programs in Massachusetts enable students to earn these necessary credentials, often at a faster pace than traditional on-ground programs, preparing students to fill these in-demand positions more quickly, perhaps even more affordably. Plus, these programs’ flexibility means that studies can be fit into any personal or work schedule.

Depending on your circumstances in life, you’ll need to consider certain criteria in your online degree search. To help you, we’ve put together this list of the top 10 Massachusetts colleges that offer online degree programs, focusing on a range of criteria including tuition, number of online degree programs, student support resources and more.

1
Simmons University
Boston, MA
https://www.simmons.edu
Average in-state tuition
$39,660
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
52%
Avg. amount of Aid
$25,569
Admissions Rate
70%
Graduation Rate
80%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Bay Path University
Longmeadow, MA
https://www.baypath.edu
Average in-state tuition
$34,225
No. of online programs
29
% of students in distance education
63%
Avg. amount of Aid
$12,099
Admissions Rate
60%
Graduation Rate
59%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Lowell, MA
https://www.uml.edu
Average in-state tuition
$14,710
No. of online programs
48
% of students in distance education
32%
Avg. amount of Aid
$8,824
Admissions Rate
72%
Graduation Rate
63%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Endicott College
Beverly, MA
https://www.endicott.edu
Average in-state tuition
$32,350
No. of online programs
19
% of students in distance education
35%
Avg. amount of Aid
$14,003
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
76%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Amherst, MA
https://www.umass.edu
Average in-state tuition
$15,406
No. of online programs
31
% of students in distance education
21%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,757
Admissions Rate
60%
Graduation Rate
80%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Salem State University
Salem, MA
https://www.salemstate.edu
Average in-state tuition
$910
No. of online programs
3
% of students in distance education
27%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,187
Admissions Rate
85%
Graduation Rate
58%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Westfield State University
Westfield, MA
https://www.westfield.ma.edu
Average in-state tuition
$970
No. of online programs
3
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,474
Admissions Rate
86%
Graduation Rate
63%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA
https://www.wpi.edu/0
Average in-state tuition
$49,860
No. of online programs
19
% of students in distance education
16%
Avg. amount of Aid
$20,699
Admissions Rate
42%
Graduation Rate
87%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA
https://www.bridgew.edu
Average in-state tuition
$910
No. of online programs
1
% of students in distance education
31%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,519
Admissions Rate
90%
Graduation Rate
60%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
University of Massachusetts-Boston
Boston, MA
https://www.umb.edu
Average in-state tuition
$13,841
No. of online programs
2
% of students in distance education
20%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,276
Admissions Rate
78%
Graduation Rate
48%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
11
Bay State College
Boston, MA
Average in-state tuition
$21,720
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
60%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,068
Admissions Rate
69.27374301676
Graduation Rate
38
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
12
Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg, MA
Average in-state tuition
$970
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
70%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,146
Admissions Rate
86.889301175015
Graduation Rate
61
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
13
Holyoke Community College
Holyoke, MA
Average in-state tuition
$4,632
No. of online programs
9
% of students in distance education
46%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,887
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
14
Bristol Community College
Fall River, MA
Average in-state tuition
$576
No. of online programs
7
% of students in distance education
47%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,824
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
15
Fisher College
Boston, MA
Average in-state tuition
$30,389
No. of online programs
32
% of students in distance education
57%
Avg. amount of Aid
$10,007
Admissions Rate
67.277268942548
Graduation Rate
24
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
16
Nichols College
Dudley, MA
Average in-state tuition
$33,800
No. of online programs
9
% of students in distance education
27%
Avg. amount of Aid
$19,673
Admissions Rate
82.258726899384
Graduation Rate
55
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
17
Newbury College
Brookline, MA
Average in-state tuition
$33,940
No. of online programs
1
% of students in distance education
40%
Avg. amount of Aid
$22,996
Admissions Rate
76.761026991442
Graduation Rate
31
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
18
Northern Essex Community College
Haverhill, MA
Average in-state tuition
$600
No. of online programs
4
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,124
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
19
Mount Wachusett Community College
Gardner, MA
Average in-state tuition
$600
No. of online programs
8
% of students in distance education
33%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,863
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
20
Middlesex Community College
Bedford, MA
Average in-state tuition
$576
No. of online programs
9
% of students in distance education
32%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,643
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we’ve created this list of the top online degree programs in Maine, which may help to indicate fast-growing or in-demand occupations.

Program Name
No. of online programs
Business Administration and Management, General
37
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
17
Business/Commerce, General
11
Psychology, General
10
Accounting
9
General Studies
8
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other
7
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
6
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
6
History, General
5

Home to schools such as Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts is a state renowned for its educational quality. Aspiring online learners may appreciate knowing that high quality extends to many of the online degree programs in Massachusetts as well.

The state is part of the New England Board of Higher Education compact and a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). What does this mean to students? SARA members agree to follow processes to ensure consistent quality in their distance education offerings across state lines, while giving students access to a greater number of offerings and keeping their tuition costs down.

Individual colleges are taking steps to maintain high quality online degree programs, too. For example, Boston University has won numerous awards for its distance-education quality, including an Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education award from the Online Learning Consortium. And many schools in Massachusetts voluntarily partake in quality assurance programs. Framingham State University and Quincy College follow standards for Quality Matters to promote student engagement and continuous quality improvement among distance education courses, and the University of Massachusetts Boston has adopted the Open SUNY Course Quality Review (OSCQR) Rubric and Process to support continuous quality improvement as well.

NC-SARA along with the Online Learning Consortium, Quality Matters and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies suggest that students ask the following questions in order to make an educated decision about which online degree program to enroll in.

What do you expect of the program? What are your academic and professional needs as a student? What does the program expect of you in terms of time to completion and face-to-face activities?

What learning experiences are used? What is the typical class size? Is the learning self-paced or on a deadline schedule? What is it like being a student here?

What student support services are offered? Would you have the support you need from faculty and staff? Consider issues such as academic advisement, tutoring, counseling, orientations, tutorials and other factors, and whether these are sufficient for your needs.

What are the costs, and can you afford them? Be sure that you understand costs associated with the program and what financial aid options are available to you.

What are the technology requirements? Also, how much technical support and equipment are available, and is that sufficient?

How does the school support positive outcomes? Consider things such as career services offerings, its alumni networks, partnerships with area employers and ability to obtain licensing upon completion.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the following occupations are seeing the greatest job growth in the state.

Occupation
Number of Workers
Average Salary
Office and Administrative Support Occupations445,160$48,000
Sales and Related Occupations315,220$50,430
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations312,680$32,320
Management Occupations306,380$135,250
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations243,900$70,560
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations238,920$97,490
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations233,750$40,930
Business and Financial Operations Occupations220,430$87,880
Healthcare Support Occupations192,280$35,340
Production Occupations151,530$44,050
Computer and Mathematical Occupations147,070$100,870
Construction and Extraction Occupations131,900$65,520
Home Health and Personal Care Aides108,670$31,500
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations107,080$38,270
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations105,990$57,450
Retail Salespersons98,510$31,690
Fast Food and Counter Workers88,330$28,020
Personal Care and Service Occupations88,050$38,830
Community and Social Service Occupations83,650$50,310
General and Operations Managers82,190$137,870

Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Though Massachusetts boasts many highly respected colleges and universities and a large number of college-educated residents, it unfortunately ranks near the bottom of college affordability rankings, according to the Institute for Research on Higher Education. In order to fill its education gap, the state is taking big steps to assist students in affording college.

Among these, there is the MassTransfer A2B + Commonwealth Commitment. In this program, students planning to start their educations at community colleges in Massachusetts and transfer to four-year public institutions may receive guaranteed admission upon completing their associate degrees, along with a freeze on tuition and fees and a 10 percent rebate off those tuition and fee payments at the end of each semester.

The MDHE also offers a number of grants and scholarships. The following is a small sampling:

MASSGrant & MASSGrant Plus: These grants offer need-based funding to undergraduate students who reside in Massachusetts. The two programs differ in terms of type of school and whether students are enrolled full or part time.

Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program: This grant can provide funds for students who participate in Massachusetts colleges and universities and schools of nursing.

Part-Time Grant Program: This program is designed to address the growing number of students attending part-time college by providing tuition assistance to encourage more state residents to complete their educations.

Scholarship Listing

Devonia and Henry Thomas, III Scholarship
No. of Awards
4
Deadline
May 1
Max. Award Amount
2,500
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a freshman or sophomore student from Springfield, MA, who demonstrates financial need. Preference will be given to African American students, two freshman and two sophomore students with a preference for two males and two females. FAFSA required.
More
TSF of Wakefield Scholarship
No. of Awards
332
Deadline
March 31
Max. Award Amount
N/A
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a resident of Wakefield, MA who is a full-time student. Financial need must be demonstrated.
More
MassMutual Scholars Fund
No. of Awards
3
Deadline
May 1
Max. Award Amount
1,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be an incoming freshman student from a public high school in Springfield, MA. Applicant must have demonstrated performance or exceptional potential for collegiate success and have demonstrated volunteer service to their neighborhood or the City of Springfield. Automatic consideration when applicant is accepted to the University from a Springfield public high school.
More
Walter S. Barr Scholarship
No. of Awards
25
Deadline
February 1
Max. Award Amount
2,500
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a graduate of a Hampden County, MA, private or public high school. Selection is based upon academic ability, standardized test scores, and financial need.
More
Diosecan Scholarship
No. of Awards
20
Deadline
None
Max. Award Amount
5,000
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a graduate of a Springfield, Mass., diocesan high school, be accepted as a full-time first-time student, and have completed the financial aid process.
More

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

Any school in Massachusetts you may consider might have its own testing requirements for prospective students. Some schools, such as UMass Online, Wheaton College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy don’t require scores from college entrance exams, while others, such as Brandeis University, require SAT or ACT scores. Check with your desired program to ensure you meet its admission requirements.


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