Which Boston Colleges Are the Most Economically Diverse?

The New York Times released its College Access Index rankings.

Photo via iStock/janniswerner

A study by the Equality of Opportunity Project released earlier this year showed that in Boston, the college-going 1 percent aren’t all where you might expect them to be. But which local schools have the most economically diverse student bodies, rather than just a concentration of the fabulously well-to-do?

The New York Times released its third-annual College Access Index, a ranking of 171 colleges with a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent, based on their commitment to economic diversity. This ranking takes into account the number of lower- and middle-income students enrolled at the college, as well as the price it charges them to attend.

Despite its patrician reputation and gargantuan endowment, Harvard was ranked the most economically diverse school in the Greater Boston area and 10th-most overall, charging middle-income students—that is, those from households earning between $48,000 and $75,000 a year and qualifying for federal financial aid—just $5,000 for tuition, fees, room, and board. MIT ranked 24th, charging middle-income students $9,000.

But there’s a precipitous drop-off after the two academic titans of Cambridge. Tufts University is next at 83rd, followed by Boston College (116th), Babson College (120th), Northeastern University (137th), and Boston University (147th.) Emerson College was ranked the least economically diverse college, private or public, of the Greater Boston schools included in the Times‘ list, and third-least of the 171 colleges nationwide, behind Puget Sound and the University of Puget Sound.

Amherst College was ranked the most economically diverse private college in the country, and seventh-most overall. (The University of California dominated the top five spots, followed by the University of Florida.) In fact, Massachusetts liberal arts colleges maintained a strong presence in the top 50: Williams College (12th), Wellesley College (14th), and Smith College (5oth).

You can check out the full Times ranking here.


Kyle Scott Clauss Kyle Clauss, Digital News Writer at Boston Magazine bmagdigital+kclauss@gmail.com