While easily overlooked amid the many academic powerhouses in the Boston area, Stonehill, a small, Catholic liberal arts school 25 miles from the city center, has some notable strengths of its own.
Personal responsibility, community, and social justice are taken seriously: The school sponsors a local farm and has a center devoted to the management of nonprofit organizations. It also encourages students to participate in community service programs at home and abroad; students put in over 40,000 hours of community service each year.
Stonehill students complete a core curriculum, which emphasizes communication skills, social justice, and leadership, among other qualities, and also take first-year seminars with intriguing names like “Global History of Piracy” and “Chuck Berry’s America.” Most students opt to live on the picturesque campus, the former estate of a wealthy New Englander, throughout their tenure at the school.
For fun, Stonehill offers several club sports, including dance, field hockey, lacrosse and rugby, as well as organizations centered around neuroscience, improv comedy, financial management, and more.
The school ranks slightly above the average for cost of degree among colleges on Money’s list, but it’s worth noting that it hands out grants or scholarships to every one of its students.