Endowment income is one of the primary sources of dedicated, long-term financial support for Emerson College. Endowment gifts ensure that the brightest students have access to an Emerson education, no matter their financial circumstances. They lend fiscal stability and enable the college to make dependable, long-term investments in high-quality academic programs and top faculty, as well as ensuring that the brightest students have access to an Emerson education. Endowment gifts also increase the potential for larger investment returns through the power of compound interest.

In creating an endowed scholarship, thus growing the endowment—a key element of our ability to compete against other elite educational institutions—you create a lasting legacy with the College. Your gift today will remain in perpetuity and will provide financial aid dollars for Emerson students a hundred years from now.

Learn more about Endowed Scholarships

What does it mean to establish an endowed fund?

When you create an endowment at the college—for instance to establish a scholarship or professorship—the money you contribute is invested in perpetuity and managed as a permanent financial asset to support your philanthropic objective. Each year, a portion of the fund is paid out—proportionate (over a period of years) to our investment earnings and currently about 5%—and used for the purposes the donor and the college agreed upon when the gift was made.

How much money does it take to start an endowment?

Emerson College has set the minimum funding level for an endowment at $100,000.

How does Emerson manage its endowment?

Emerson’s Finance Department is responsible for investing the College’s pooled endowment (the means by which the vast majority of individual endowed funds are managed), adding value through asset allocation and the selection of investment managers and vehicles.

Much the way individual investors pool their assets in a mutual fund, each of the individual funds that compose the College’s endowment owns units in Emerson’s pooled endowment.

The College’s investment and spending policies are designed to provide a stable flow of support for annual operations while preserving the future purchasing power of the endowment through asset growth and aligning with the institution’s values. The College’s Board of Trustees sets policies and has final fiduciary responsibility for the endowment.

Whose name is on the endowment fund?

You can name an endowment for yourself, your family, your friend, or your favorite professor—whatever is meaningful to you.

What happens after I make my gift?

Once your endowment reaches the minimum designated level and starts generating spendable income, Emerson will begin sending you annual reports detailing the value and use of your endowment fund.

Financial aid endowment donors learn about their scholarship and fellowship recipients, and professorship donors are updated on the activities of their faculty members.

Did Emerson absorb Marlboro’s endowment?

Under the Emerson-Marlboro alliance, 57 Marlboro undergraduates will complete their degrees and 20 Marlboro tenured and tenure-track faculty will continue to teach at Emerson. In turn, Marlboro will transfer its endowment and non-real estate assets to Emerson, fully funding the liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies program, which has been renamed the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College. Marlboro closed its Vermont campus at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Why doesn’t Emerson just pull from their endowment when they need money?

The Emerson endowment fund has policies put in place that govern investments, withdrawals, and usage of the funds. These policies were put in place to protect the fiscal health of the College. If money is removed from the endowment, those dollars can no longer be invested, thus removing from play a set percentage (roughly 5%) of dollars that the Office of Financial Aid relies on every year to distribute to current and incoming students.

How does Emerson’s endowment compare to its neighbors?

In relation to our competitor and similar institutions, Emerson's endowment remains small, despite steady growth in its value. Raising endowed funds reduces our dependency on tuition for revenues, supporting access and excellence for future Emerson generations.

  Endowment Enrollment Per Capita Endowment
Emerson College $180.5 million* 5,102 $39,690
Loyola Marymount University $476.2 million 9,577 $49,723
Chapman University $406.3 million 9,850 $41,249
Northeastern University $1.07 billion 37,779 $28,322
The New School $399.3 million 10,499 $38,032
Syracuse University $1.4 billion 22,850 $61,269
Sarah Lawrence College $112.7 million 1,675 $67,283
Ithaca College $334 million 5,124 $65,183
American University $705 million 14,318 $49,238
Columbia College Chicago $191 million 6,769 $28,216
Quinnipiac University $556.6 million 9,746 $57,110
Vassar College $1.1 billion 2,441 $450,635
Skidmore College $373.9 million 2,662 $104,458
Wesleyan University $1.1 billion 3,200 $343,750
Berklee College of Music $356 million 6,999 $50,864
Mass College of Art and Design $14.5 million 1,750 $8,285

*+>$22 Million from Marlboro

(as of April 14, 2021)