Many colleges throughout the U.S. collaborate through consortiums to provide students with additional access to academic and extracurricular resources. Consortiums provide students at smaller schools with access to the resources of a larger university, while still retaining the intimate learning environment and close-knit community of a small college. Consortiums can also give students at larger schools the opportunity to experience a small school environment.
Read on for details about some college consortiums to consider as you conduct your college search.
Claremont Colleges: Claremont, CA
The Claremont College Consortium consists of five distinct colleges on adjoining campuses, each with its own distinctive mission and purpose. Students officially enroll at Pomona, Scripps, Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, or Pitzer, but can take classes at any of the five. The colleges not only share library and research facilities, but athletic teams, as well. Students may eat at any dining hall, participate in student organizations, and even live in the dorms across all five campuses. Each Claremont College has fewer than 1500 students, but together, they have a student body of nearly 7000.
Five College Consortium: Western Massachusetts
The Five College Consortium consists of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Students have access to top liberal arts colleges, women’s colleges, and a public flagship institution. The colleges share library resources, museums, several joint departments and programs, and a fair amount of social programming. In addition, students can easily cross-register. The colleges are spread out across three towns, but the farthest away, Smith, is only a 20 minute drive to any of the other schools. Free transportation is provided for students between campuses.
Quaker Consortium: Philadelphia Area, PA
The Quaker Consortium consists of four colleges with Quaker roots: Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, Haverford, and theUniversity of Pennsylvania. As with most consortiums, students can cross-register across all four schools. UPenn’s association with the consortium is limited to cross-registration, while the other three are more integrated on multiple levels. Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore offer free transportation between their schools, but not to UPenn. Haverford and Bryn Mawr in particular have a close relationship: students can live and eat on either campus, and they even publish a joint newspaper.
If you like the idea of going to one college, but having access to the resources of several, then you may want to consider including some consortium members on your college list.