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Wall Street Journal Ranks ɫƵ as a Best College

Analysis shows the value of a ɫƵ education

The Wall Street Journal America's Best Colleges 2024

The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Bridgewater State as one of the best colleges in the country. But many alumni have long seen the value of a ɫƵ degree.

“Where I am today, it has a lot to do with Bridgewater State and the experiences from Bridgewater,” said Harold Tavares, ’05, G’07, who holds a leadership position at the World Bank Group representing 23 African nations. “Bridgewater led me to the practice of thinking globally.”

ɫƵ ranks in the top 20 percent of schools nationwide and 18th out of more than 100 Massachusetts institutions, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal and CollegePulse. Bridgewater is one of only eight public colleges and universities in New England listed among the best colleges.

This ranking proves we deliver a higher post-graduation salary at a lower cost than most universities in Massachusetts and America.
President Frederick W. Clark Jr., ’83

The Wall Street Journal’s ranking is significant because it focuses on the impact we have on the lives of our students,” said President Frederick W. Clark Jr., ’83. “At a time when many people are questioning the value of a college education, this ranking proves we deliver a higher post-graduation salary at a lower cost than most universities in Massachusetts and America.”

Graduates add an average of $24,750 per year to their salary as a result of attending ɫƵ, according to the analysis. With an average net cost of attendance of only $14,071 per year, it takes graduates less than two and a half years to recoup their investment, a statistic that places ɫƵ well above the average of the 400 best colleges.

Four first generation graduates smiling and flashing the peace sign at commencement in Gillette Stadium

And Bridgewater ranks in the top 10 percent of colleges and universities on upward mobility, which indicates the university provides students with the opportunity to better their lives.

But many alumni also strive to better their communities. My Lan Tran, ’79, came to the U.S. as a refugee from South Vietnam shortly before enrolling at Bridgewater. Now she mentors today’s new immigrants as the leader of the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce.

“Everything I learned from Bridgewater I put into my work,” she said.

A close-up of a student's hand, wearing blue nail polish, holding a "stress bear" during a counseling session

The Journal analysis also lauded the many emotional and mental health supports available on campus and the quality of classrooms and teaching resources.

Thanks to access to advanced laboratory equipment and devoted faculty, alumni like Mel Carmichael, ’20, who studied ovarian cancer cell lines as a ɫƵ student, graduate ready for jobs or further education.

“The things I got to do as an undergraduate prepared me well in comparison to some of my peers, many of whom come from larger schools with larger research programs,” said Carmichael, who is pursuing a doctoral degree at Dartmouth College.

A student works with samples in a biology lab

“Coming from ɫƵ, where I got to develop this project and do research on my own, I gained independence and skills that have helped me be successful in my first two years here at Dartmouth.”

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