Five Massachusetts communities have made a website's list of the twenty "most educated places in America.''
Wellesley is listed as the third most educated place; Brookline follows closely at number four; and Needham places sixth on the list; Newton is ranked number 10, and Winchester comes in at No. 20.
Bethseda, Maryland was ranked as the top scholarly city; Palo Alto, California as number two; and Potomac, Maryland was number five in the ranking by the Nerd Wallet website, which compares credit cards, banks and other financial services.
The website said Wellesley earned high marks because of its top-notch public schools and presence of prestigious colleges like Wellesley and Babson and because local companies that require higher education degrees like Sun Life Financial, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Biogen Idec. It noted that 80 percent of the town's population have a bachelor's degree and 97.8 percent have graduated high school.
The site described Needham as "a haven for engineers and tech workers'' and noted that it is the home to Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. It called Brookline "college town” because Newbury College, Boston College and Boston University are in or near the town.
Conspicuously absent from the top 20 list was Cambridge, home to both MIT and Harvard University.