I was a transfer student to Emerson, so I had something to compare my experience to. I had read all the reviews, good and bad, on this site before transferring - discrediting the negative reviews at the angry kids who just couldn't adjust. But I can assure you: Emerson is NOT the college it pretends to be.
Their main scheme is all in getting you to attend because of their image. Example: the Will & Grace set in the library that serves absolutely no purpose other than to impress tour groups.
My biggest problem with Emerson was the students. Most are ridiculously arrogant, pretentious, and snobby. You WILL be looked down upon if you don't own a Mac and dress in designer clothes. Emerson is full of hipster douchebags - the kind of people who think they're way cooler than you'll ever be just because less people have heard of their favorite band than you. I am not the type of person who's into sorority life, and I thought I would be able to simply ignore arrogant and pretentious people at the school, but I was wrong. It really started to grate on my nerves. All I wanted was to meet one down-to-earth person, or someone who didn't think wearing a hooded sweatshirt instead of a peacoat to class was an abomination.
Also, the students are not willing to lend a helping hand to fellow students. Nobody holds doors for anyone, people are constantly making rude comments about others, etc. The atmosphere is just not very friendly overall: I worked as a cashier in a dorm convenience store, and after I thanked each customer I was rarely thanked back. If you do choose to attend Emerson (which I strongly urge you NOT to), make sure you live in Little Building. It is not as nice as Piano Row or Colonial, but there's a greater chance you will meet friendly people.
The classes are not particularly challenging. I found the classes I took at my public state college more engaging and challenging, in most cases, than my classes at Emerson. Certainly not worth the extra money. After a two-day stay in the hospital (for a medical condition that later forced me to withdraw from the college...) one of my professors didn't grant me any extra time to make up a short-term homework assignment I missed. Another professor was clearly incompetent; she would ramble for an hour and a half about her personal life and childhood, then try to squeeze two hours of information into half an hour.
I found that at this college, students are treated as if they are still in high school. For one thing, classes have to be made up in the event of a snow day. Once, I arrived to class at 8:32 instead of 8:30, and my teacher gave a ten minute speech about how it was disrespectful to be late. Also, as a school rule, skipping more than three classes results in the automatic failure of a class. A lot of the work was just busywork. I would get worksheets pretty frequently and wonder what grade I was actually in. If you don't want to relive high school, and be granted no independence, Emerson is not the place for you.
RAs in Emerson are virtually useless. There are no floor socials to help get people to know each other (as there were at my old school), and RAs don't ever make an effort to communicate with their residents or even know their names. I would never feel comfortable going to my RA with a problem, as I'd heard from my roomate that ours had complained when a girl knocked on her door having forgotten her key.
There is no sense of unity or community at Emerson. There are no large events that bring the population together to speak of, and sports are pretty much nonexistent. The gym is hardly ever open, making it very difficult for a student who wants to be healthy to be able to work out, especially in the winter. Perhaps this is because most Emerson students smoke cigarettes.
An Emerson student is exploited again and again to give the school as much money as possible for projects to recruit new students. Most Emerson students are very rich and have parents who can drop so much on tuition without a problem.
Also, it may not seem like a big deal to some, but the dining hall food was absolutely terrible. Some days, the dining hall closed as early as 7:00. It's just something that future college students should consider in their quality of life.
Here are the only good things I experienced while at Emerson: living in the city and visiting my friends at different colleges in Boston. Having a well maintained dorm. Annnnd that's it.In the fall, I'll be returning to the public state school I started out at...and I couldn't be happier. Please, if you have ANY doubts about attending Emerson College, DO NOT GO! A girl once said to me at work, "I haven't met a single person who goes here who hasn't thought about transferring."