The Heart of Emerson: Our Students


of current students receive some type of financial aid

What makes Emerson so special? Our students. The Emerson community is a creative, collaborative force like no other—and our students are living proof. Communication Disorders students who have a passion for helping others learn and communicate. Young comedic geniuses who take what they learn in their Comedic Arts courses to the stand-up stages of downtown Boston. Soon-to-be political strategists bursting with ideas that will shape our national and global landscape in the years to come. No matter what their passion, our students are what gives Emerson that special energy you just don’t find anywhere else.

Our first priority is ensuring that all admitted students have access to an Emerson education—regardless of their ability to pay. The number of applicants has never been greater. Last fall, 13,324 students applied for just 940 seats in the College’s first-year class. Currently, 75% of Emerson students receive some type of financial aid. And while we provide a remarkable array of financial assistance, we are not able to meet the total financial need of all. Contributing to student access at Emerson will not only help open Emerson to exceptionally talented students who have the intelligence, focus, and civic-mindedness to become leaders—it will also make certain they have the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Now, more than ever, we must do more to make Emerson accessible to all students of talent. We must rise to the challenge of supporting a multifaceted community of artists and communicators through new scholarship funding, graduate fellowships, and enrichment opportunities, such as:

Emerson Enhancement Fund

Seeded with a generous gift from Leo and Patti Wheeler Hindery, P ’15, contributions to this fund enable undergraduate and graduate students to attend conferences, travel abroad, and otherwise enrich their learning experience—and it’s only open to students from families of limited means.

Kenneth C. Crannell Sr. Scholarship in Speech Communication and Public Leadership

Professor Emeritus Ken Crannell received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Emerson and inspired Emerson students for more than 45 years. This scholarship is awarded to a full-time first-year or transfer student with financial need who plans to pursue the study of oral communication and a career in public life.

Barbara S. Rutberg ’68 Graduate Scholarship in Fiction

Established in 2006 by alumna Barbara S. Rutberg ‘68, this scholarship recognizes the creative writing of a full-time Master of Fine Arts candidate.

Miriam El-Haoui ’18, MS ’21

Communication Disorders Student and Gina Di Bona Scholarship Recipient

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Jaeden Boatwright ’23

Journalism Suffolk Opportunity Scholarship Recipient

I am a first-year undergrad studying Journalism at Emerson […] I have fallen in love with Boston and being able to study here is a dream. Thanks to this scholarship, I have been able to dedicate myself to my studies, particularly in my Digital Journalism class. It’s one of my top two classes, mainly due to my professor, Kelli O’Hara. She is just amazing in every sense of the word. I have also filled up my schedule with extracurricular activities including walking in my school’s Black student union fashion show, modeling for an on-campus magazine, and co-hosting not one, but TWO radio shows! [...] I am so excited about everything I have already achieved and everything I plan to accomplish while at Emerson, and without your scholarship it wouldn’t be possible.”

Elvis Chen ’20

Media Arts Production

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Scholarship Spotlight

Norman Lear ’44 and the Norman Lear Scholarship

Norman Lear ’44, legendary television writer/producer, was the driving force behind groundbreaking TV shows including All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, and One Day at a Time. He created characters who changed the social and political landscape, openly addressing issues ranging from alcoholism to abortion to the Vietnam War. But on October 4, 2018—known now as Norman Lear Day to the City of Boston—it was Lear’s turn to take center stage, when Emerson honored him with a sculpture on Boylston Place and a scholarship bearing his name that supports students from first-generation, underrepresented, and underserved backgrounds with a passion for writing. Last fall, Lear surprised Emerson students by Zooming into affiliated faculty member Tripp Whetsell’s class on—you guessed it—Norman Lear.