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What Does it Cost to Attend Emerson College?

The price of college is on the rise—according to CNN Money, between 2015 and 2017, the cost of attending a public university grew by $900 while the price of private college increased by $1,760. On average, the expense of a four-year college degree is now $56,840 for residents at public colleges and $104,400 at private, non-profit institutions. For students attending top-flight institutions like Emerson College, the price can be even higher.


With prices soaring into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s no wonder why the cost of college is on the minds of so many students and parents. However, before expense-induced anxiety sets in, know that the majority of students do not pay the published price at Emerson or any other institution for that matter.

Why are College Costs so Variable?

College costs are based on a variety of factors unique to individual students, making them difficult to predict; this also makes an institution’s published price a poor indicator of its actual cost. Net price is a better metric for understanding the real cost of college—the amount of aid awarded to a student through federal, state, and local government, institutional aid, and awards for merit are all calculated into the net price, making it much more effective for illustrating what an individual student will pay for school.


Keep reading to learn about the factors that affect college costs, what those costs are at Emerson College, and to pick up some tips for reducing the expense of your education.

What is the List Price at Emerson College?

The list price, sometimes called cost of attendance, at Emerson in 2016-2017 was $62,515. Since Emerson College is a private institution, the price (which includes tuition, room, and board) is the same for both in- and out-of-state students. While $62,515 a year puts Emerson at the top-end of colleges when ranked by cost, keep in mind that most students do not pay the published price. Normally, students paying full price are from wealthy families with annual incomes exceeding $175,000 and who are outside of the top 30% of accepted students academically.

What is the Net Cost of Attending Emerson College?

The financial aid net price of an institution is calculated by tallying the need-based financial aid received by a student through grants and scholarships and deducting it from the list price of the college or university. The average net cost of Emerson for students receiving financial aid is $57,478.


What is the Income-Based Cost of Attending Emerson College?

One of the predominant factors in determining how much financial aid a student will receive is their financial need. Typically, the lower the income level of a student’s family, the more financial aid they will receive. To give you an idea of what to expect to pay for Emerson, here are the average net prices for a student based on household income:

Family Income Average Net Price
Below $30,000 $33,717
$30,001-$48,000 $36,793
$48,001-$75,000 $37,345
$75,001-$110,000 $35,014
$110,000+ $47,455

How Many Students Receive Merit Aid to Attend Emerson College?

Merit aid is a type of aid awarded regardless of financial need, and it’s commonly given to students for achievements in the classroom, on the athletic field, or on stage though it can be granted for any number of reasons. The merit aid net price of a school is calculated by adding up any merit aid given to a student and subtracting it from the list price of the institution.


In a CollegeVine survey of over 1,000 schools for merit aid generosity, Emerson ranked 526th. 36.2% of Emerson students without financial need receive merit aid and the average amount awarded to a student without need is $5,383—bringing the cost of attending Emerson College to $57,132 for students without financial need.


How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend Emerson College?

Even after need-based grants and merit-based scholarships, students often need additional help paying for college. Many of these students turn to loans and Emerson students are no exception: 68% of Emerson students have loans, with the average amount borrowed via federal student loans being $7,464.

Student Outcomes

One of the better ways to gauge how well a college will return on your investment is by knowing its outcomes. 79% of Emerson students graduate within six years of matriculating. The average salary after ten years for Emerson alumni is $46,600, which is just about even with the income of the average U.S. worker.

Local Area Cost Considerations

The location of a college can also have an effect on total cost—housing, transportation, and grocery prices are just a few everyday expenses that vary from place to place and can add up over the course of four years. Boston, Massachusetts, (home of Emerson College) placed 10th on Kiplinger’s Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Live In 2019. The cost of living index in Boston is 181.6, meaning that it’s 81.6% more expensive to live in Boston than the average U.S. city or town.


One of the primary factors for Boston’s high cost of living is housing, which is 213.9% higher than the national average. Students entering Emerson are required to live on campus for their first six semesters at school. Housing is not guaranteed for students after they fulfill their residency requirement, meaning many students will end up living off-campus during their time at Emerson. Here is what those students can expect to pay for an apartment in Boston:


  • Studio: $1,639
  • One bedroom: $1,836
  • Two bedrooms: $2,238
  • Three bedrooms: $2,805


Emerson College’s Off-Campus Student Services can help with a variety of issues that off-campus students may encounter, from finding a roommate to learning how to cook.

Other Ways to Pay for College

A part-time job is a popular way for students to offset some of the expense of college while attending. Boston provides a wide range of opportunities for students, including service positions, front desk jobs, and retail work. Massachusetts has one of the nation’s higher minimum wages at $12 an hour.


Emerson has a robust Student Employment Program—at Emerson, three times more students are employed through this program than through the Federal Work Study program—designed to give students transferable skills relevant to their field of study. Available to any qualifying undergraduate, these positions are funded by individual departments at Emerson and are not related to any financial assistance programs.


Scholarships are another excellent avenue for students to take toward reducing the cost of college. Some of Emerson’s scholarships, like the Luminary Scholarship and the Spotlight Scholarship, require no additional application (aside from the application to attend) for consideration. Other awards, like the Trustees Scholarship, necessitate an additional honors program application to be considered.


Private scholarships also provide a path to reduce the expense of Emerson. The college maintains a webpage listing a host of scholarship opportunities available to Emerson students. One private scholarship prospective Emerson students should investigate is the National Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to top scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT. This award is given to roughly 7,500 students annually—winners receive a $2,500 one-time scholarship. Interested in learning more about this distinguished award? Read our article How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.