Letter: Ruthanne Madsen, VP of Enrollment, responds to Gina Martin article


The Office of Financial Aid at Emerson College is devoted to providing access to education for all students with financial need. Unfortunately, inaccurate descriptions of individual circumstances and the College’s response to financial aid situations are prevalent—they can misrepresent the committed work of the office and its team of dedicated administrators. The many assumptions made about students’ financial circumstances by their peers and by others, can create a cycle of discontent that is difficult to overcome. We cannot assume any individual student’s financial circumstance based on how they present. Respect for our students’ privacy prevents our office from commenting on individual financial circumstances, even in the face of inaccuracies.

The Office of Financial Aid works diligently to support and help diversify this community, and they not only demonstrate their commitment through their professional work, but through their personal efforts. The Student Assistance Fund, that many students benefit from, was created by those within the Enrollment Management division. There was a need for support and this was one way to personally show support. The first donors of this fund were staff members. They care deeply.

Leaders within Financial Aid are first-generation college graduates who worked multiple jobs while in college and balanced the stresses of how to pay for necessary items while also worrying about tuition costs. We understand and take immediate action to help students when they need help, as we should.

The Office of Financial Aid has helped many students attain an Emerson education and they will continue to do so. As always, if anyone experiences a financial change or concern while at Emerson, please contact the Office of Financial Aid or Office of Student Success for assistance. We are here to help.


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