It doesn't appear in the US News & World Report annual college rankings or in the box scores. Students don't wear sweatshirts bearing its name, or sing its fight song at the homecoming game.
But with a 600-student freshman class that boasts an average SAT score of 1,315 and a 4.0 grade point average, Commonwealth College, the state's honors college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, stacks up favorably against selective colleges throughout New England and increasingly competes for a caliber of high school graduate typically bound for more prominent schools.
"It is the jewel of our university system," said Aaron Spencer, a former chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education who spearheaded the creation of the college. "I think the public is beginning to recognize Commonwealth College as almost Ivy League in its quality. It's virtually the equivalent of [University of California] Berkeley." - Boston Globe
This is a great article. I know a lot of people think of UMASS Amherst as being full of average students, but as the article says there is a fairly large crop of well performing individuals.