Applying For Your MBA Through The Consortium: Best Deal In Town

Download our 'MBA in Sight: Focus on Management" guide, today!Our consultants receive a lot of questions from clients about applying to MBA programs through The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.  I’ve heard myths flying around that applying to one (or more) of the 18 Consortium schools through The Consortium’s application is disadvantageous.  But as the former director at two Consortium schools, I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth — provided you meet the Consortium’s minimum qualifications.

Though the requirements, the schools, and the corporate partners have changed over its 49-year history, the Consortium is not only the best deal in town; it also gives Consortium members an alumni network that expands throughout the 18-member schools.

Initially, The Consortium provided opportunities for young African American men to have a fair chance at rising up the corporate ladder via the MBA. Later, the Consortium added Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and women to its mix.  Membership came along with the fellowship.

However, after the Supreme Court decided on the Gratz vs. Bollinger and Grutter vs. Bollinger cases, the Consortium opened up its doors to offer membership to selected applicants that further the mission of The Consortium in providing inclusion of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in business.  Members and fellows do not have to belong to these groups. Thus, membership is no longer race-based, but rather mission driven.  Applicants must also demonstrate the ability to succeed in an MBA program.

Like the undergraduate Common Application, candidates can apply to up to 6 Consortium schools with only one application for a fraction of the cost the candidate would incur applying to each of these schools separately.  The catch:  the candidate must rank order the schools.  Having just attending a Consortium recruiting event, the Admissions representatives on the panel suggested that candidates rank order the schools from the most preferred to the least preferred.  However, in order to obtain a fellowship, I believe there is a strategy involved in the ranking.

To be sure, Consortium membership assures the candidate of access to the orientation and corporate partners.  In fact, many candidates receive internship offers prior to the start of school.   Membership, however, does not guarantee admission to the schools of choice, nor does it guarantee a full-tuition fellowship.

To summarize the benefits:

1. One application for up to six schools at one low cost.

2. Access to vast alumni network of 18 schools that includes mentorship from Consortium alumni (formal or informal).

3. If selected as a member, access to corporate sponsors at orientation

4. If selected as a fellow, full tuition and stipend

To learn more about applying through the Consortium and the strategy behind the rank order, please contact me for a free consultation.  Moreover, Accepted will offer Consortium applicants a special coupon code for 10% off all purchases of $2000 or more for services to help you apply through the Consortium. The best deal in town just got even better.

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA Maze
Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.


Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your MBA Application Essays [Free Guide]
• The Consortium: Diversifying B-School and Corporate Management [Podcast]
• Approaching the Diversity Essay Question

The Consortium: Diversifying B-School and Corporate Management

Click here to listen to the interview!At the forefront of increasing diversity in business school and the business world, stands The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Corey Webb, Director of Recruiting for the CGSM to learn about what the wonderful work of the Consortium and how you can join the team.

00:04:31 – How the Consortium started.

00:05:38 – The Consortium Common Application: What it is and who is eligible to use it.

00:13:00 – Why the deadline changed?

00:14:51 – The Fellowships: criteria and responsibilities.

00:18:37 – About the Orientation Program.

00:25:52 – It doesn’t end after graduation: a lifelong relationship.

00:29:02 – Why the Consortium asks applicants to rank schools by preference.

00:33:32 – Advice for current and future Consortium applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of

Related Links:

• The Consortium 
• Accepted Services
The Consortium Zone Page

Related Shows:

• Forte Helps Women in Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster 
• From Luxury Marketing to Entrepreneurship: A Talk with Daria Burke
• The Facts about Financial Services
• How to Become a Management Consultant

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Consortium 2014 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

The Consortium

Consortium Students at Tepper

The following essay questions provide us with an opportunity to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, experiences, and any other traits and abilities that are considered relevant to your educational goals and long-term career objectives. Please include your full name and essay number or subject on each page. Type your essays in a standard size 8 1/2″ x 11″ MS Word document. Please limit each essay to no more than two double -spaced pages.


Core Essay 1. Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. How has your professional experience shaped these goals and influenced your decision to pursue an MBA degree?

This is a straightforward MBA goals question. Connect the dots between your past and your dreamed of future; show how the MBA is the bridge between the two. In discussing your professional experience, don’t regurgitate your resume. Highlight specific, influential, and impressive events or projects in your career to bring out both what you like and are good at.

Core Essay 2. Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? You may also use this essay to provide further explanation of employment gaps, test scores, etc. (Optional)

This is a question with a split personality. On one hand, it is open-ended. On the other, the Consortium says that this is the place to provide context for anything that might need explaining. Use it for that purpose. If you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t need to “provide explanation,” then you can use this optional essay to provide a different perspective on your candidacy by revealing something new, something not present in the required MBA essays.

If you would like professional guidance with your Consortium MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Consortium application. 

Consortium 2014 MBA Application Deadlines:

Early Application Deadline October 15, 2013
Traditional Application Deadline January 5, 2014
GMAT and/or GRE Early Deadline September 25, 2013
GMAT and/or GRE Traditional Deadline December 15, 2013
Admission Decision Varies

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

2013 Consortium MBA Admissions Committee Interview Available Online

Do you want to learn about what makes the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management such a special program? We learned all about program perks and benefits when we heard directly from current Consortium fellows. Here’s an excerpt from the recent 2013 Consortium MBA from the Perspective of the Fellows Q and A:

Question: What kind of support did you get from the Consortium, either the Consortium the organization or from other Consortium members?

Current Consortium FellowKhalif Oliver: It starts with orientation program before you go to school allowing you access to meet other people in the same situation as you, preparing to go to school so that builds your network. So that gives you opportunity to access people outside of just the Consortium program itself. Those people were very supportive throughout the entire process….So a lot of just small things like that, leveraging the network was very supportive….The other part of the orientation program was that you were able to access companies prior to anyone else. Companies were coming specifically to get the best and brightest students before any other companies got their hands on them. So you were able to not only interact in the job fair aspect, but any of you could get a leg up on pretty much everyone else in business school. So those things speak specifically to the Consortium for allowing you access to a company and also to how the rest of the network was leveraged throughout school and a lot of them became just friends that I keep in contact with to this day.

Consortium Fellow
Puja Kalra: …I feel like the Consortium network lives on post-business school. And in my current job, I have this vast network of people that have run into and am able to lean on at work. I have friends now that are Consortium graduates as well at work which is another amazing network that I can leverage that none of my colleagues can. So just another testament to how the network lives on, not only during school but post-school.

Consortium Fellow Brace Clement: Yes, one thing that I would also stress about the program is here at Wisconsin we prep people before the OP prep. So I think that that was really beneficial for me, just because it gave me a sense to know what I needed to know before I actually went to the orientation program when I was in there. And like my fellow Consortium members have just said, it is pretty competitive. I think Peter Aranda had mentioned at my OP that one-third of minority students that are in the MBA programs come out of the Consortium. It’s a who’s who in that kind of arena, and you want to be prepared and you also want to be able to put your best foot forward….So that’s the way to be prepared, so you’re prepared before the first day of class in September or August.

To learn more about the how the Consortium benefits its fellows and how the fellows benefit from the Consortium, read the full Q&A transcript or listen to the MP3 audio file and visit the Consortium B-School Zone. And don’t forget – the Consortium application deadline is in just a few days!

To automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA events list. To listen to the Q&A recordings on-the-go, please subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Podcast. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Consortium MBA Admissions Committee Interview #2 Available Online

The Consortium

“…there’s definitely a great community just among all of us.”

Thank you to Consortium representatives for another outstanding Q&A! As always, the Consortium team and partnering school reps offered loads of insight into the Consortium admissions process and the ways in which the individual programs support the Consortium mission. See the below excerpt for more on this:

Linda Abraham: Elva asks, “What percentage of your students in each of your programs are Consortium students? How does your program help candidates live up to the mission of the Consortium?”

Allison Jesse: Okay, I’d like to start with the mission part because I think in terms of the Consortium’s mission, we have core values at our particular school, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and I’m sure many of my colleagues can also speak to something similar at their business school. Leadership, integrity, teamwork, excellence, all of these things mirror what the Consortium is all about….in terms of Consortium members, it’s about 7%.

Cindy Jennings Millette: Well, I certainly agree with what Allison said. The culture in business school, definitely being able to kind of give back in that leadership experience and team skills and all that, definitely melds really well with what the Consortium has. And we also have a culture at Berkeley, we have four defining principles, one being, “Beyond Yourself” and “Student Always,” and I think both of those really do mirror what the Consortium mission is. Right now, we have 20 students in each class that are Consortium members, and I do think that what’s really great is we see a lot of these people in different roles throughout the leadership on campus, including in our MBA association, so that’s someone who’s a Vice President of, Admissions, and Student Services, and all of that. And then also in the different clubs, the industry-focused clubs, you just see students being very involved, as we see a lot of our students being involved, and that kind of drive to give back you definitely see throughout the community.

Jon Fuller: So, our MBA class each year is about 500 students, give or take. And this year, we have about 45 Consortium students….So not quite 10%, 8 — 9%…So it’s a very healthy number, and it’s definitely a presence that’s well-known and well-regarded on campus, and very similar to what Cindy was saying. Instead of…”How does your program help candidates?” It’s really how do our students help candidates live up to the mission? Because they really hold one another accountable. We have a really strong and connected culture between MBA 1s and MBA 2s, which I won’t go so far as to say is unique to Ross, but it always surprises me as to just how well-enmeshed they are with one another.
And so the MBA 2s really take the role, in saying, “Hey, you know, we have this fine tradition here at Ross of not being passive individuals in our MBA experience, and taking on those leadership roles, and really stepping up to the opportunity.” And sort of demonstrate the mission by living it, and demonstrating it to others by their actions and the ways that they’re involved and the ways that they try to educate their classmates who come from, not just other U.S. backgrounds where they may have had more or less engagement, or opportunity to experience a diverse environment, but also with our international students where you really might have a monolithic culture, which is really kind of the antithesis of what you find here in the United States. So they’re not just engaged with the U.S. students, but also, it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate that activity or that perspective to our international students as well.

Rabia Ahmed: Sure, so I think one of the really nice things about the Consortium, in general, is that during OP, as Rebecca mentioned, the entire Consortium family gets to come together, and so you meet not only the students that are going to be in your class, but also in all of the other Consortium schools, and you spend the whole week together. And I think through that, and just being part of that, and knowing that all of these students are agreeing to meet the mission of the Consortium, as a requisite to become a member of the organization, there really is such a strong sense of community among that group and population, and I know a number of our students, the students at Stern always talk about how they met with Consortium students at other schools, and went on ski trips with them or vacations, or met them at case competitions. So as a student in any of the Consortium schools, there’s definitely a great community just among all of us. And that’s why we enjoy doing these chats together, and recruiting together on the road….But at Stern part of our core values really is the idea of a collaborative community, and then also this idea of IQ plus EQ that really enables students to hold each other accountable to what the mission of our school is as it relates to their own personal mission. And the clubs we have on campus, not only do they help build the community, but also bring in other members of the broader Stern community – the second-year students, alumni, undergraduate students – to work on a number of different projects, whether they’re service projects, giving back to the community, just broadening the mission of business education across New York City. There really is just a very strong culture of that within our program. And our alumni are a really big part of that, we have an association of Hispanic and Black business students, which most, if not all, Consortium students are very actively involved in. The alumni group also helps support the community while they’re prospective students, current students, and then when they join the broader alumni community. And the last question about the percentage of students, or the number of students on our campus that are part of the Consortium, for Stern, I believe this year, it was 12%.

For the full Q&A, please view the “Ask Consortium Adcom” MBA transcript or listen to the audio file. You can also learn more about the Consortium program by visiting our Consortium B-School Zone.

To automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA events list. To listen to the Q&A recordings on-the-go, please subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Podcast. ~ Helping You Write Your Best