The Admissions Office has received positive feedback from prospective students and their parents, along with alumni, about its decision in early March to extend the first tuition deadline for accepted students—which would solidify their decision to attend Emerson—by a month, according to a college official.
“We knew that the COVID-19 situation was going to cause some significant situations for families and we wanted to make sure that we were giving students and their parents enough time to make the right decision,” Vice President of Enrollment Ruthanne Madsen said in a phone interview from Boston.
Madsen said the Admissions office emailed accepted students in mid-March with the news and posted it on the Admissions office’s website and social media pages. Originally due May 1, the deposit deadline is now set for June 1. Madsen said the college’s decision to wrap up the Kasteel Well program early influenced the deadline’s extension because the Admissions Office began to realize that the outbreak would likely affect a majority of students.
“We saw the wave that was happening in Europe and Italy in particular and we started to really notice things that other parts of the country hadn’t noticed yet,” Madsen said. “So, we knew that there was going to be a negative consequence in the United States.”
Soon after the college decided to push back its deadline, several other Massachusetts colleges followed suit, including Williams College.
“This is absolutely the right thing to do,” Madsen said. “We want to make sure that the student that commits to [Emerson] is committing to us because it’s the right fit—[that] they’re committing to us because they looked at all the other options and they know that it’s the right thing for them to do, so giving them another month is just a sign of compassion and really a true showing of what our community is all about.”
Madsen said admissions will work with first-year students accepted for the spring 2021 semester to examine the situation, pandemic-wise, in future months. Madsen added that if students who planned to enter in fall 2020 decide to defer their admission for a semester, they may contact Undergraduate Admission to do so. Additionally, incoming students may contact the Office of Student Success, Financial Aid, or Undergraduate Admission with any other questions.
“We’re more than willing to work with each student right now,” Madsen said. “If they find it best to defer their fall admission and come in the spring we’ll do that. We’ll do anything we can to accommodate the family’s needs at this point.”