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How does the college consortia dynamic work?

I recently came across the term 'consortium' when exploring colleges, like the New England Consortium of Colleges. Could someone explain to a somewhat stressed junior what exactly this means in the college world? How does being part of a consortium affect campus life, academic collaboration, and opportunities like internships? Trying not to get overwhelmed but I’m really curious if I should be considering these schools in my search.

7 months ago

Hey there! Great question about college consortia – it's a concept that can definitely enrich your college experience. Let's break it down a bit. A consortium is essentially a group of colleges that have teamed up to offer students from each institution the ability to take courses, share resources, and sometimes even eat meals at the other member schools. This collaboration typically leads to a broader range of courses available to you, access to special programs, and a larger network of peers.

For example, if one college in the consortium has a particularly strong marine biology program, a student at another college in the consortium might have the opportunity to take specialized courses or use the marine lab facilities. This could also mean additional research opportunities, interdisciplinary programs, or joint lectures. As for campus life, it often means you'll interact with a larger community and have access to more events and clubs. Regarding internships, consortia sometimes offer shared career services or internship programs that can give you access to a wider range of opportunities.

Some examples of popular consortiums are the Claremont Colleges in California—which includes Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, and Harvey Mudd College—and the Quaker Consortium with the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, and Bryn Mawr College.

In essence, being part of a college consortium can open up opportunities that might not be available at a standalone institution. It's definitely worth considering if the collaborative aspect appeals to you and if the member schools align with your academic and social interests. Remember though, the extent of these benefits can vary from one consortium to another, so it's good to look into the specific arrangements of the ones you're interested in. Hope this clears things up a bit for you!

7 months ago

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