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Inside The Consortium Application

In fiscal year 2019, the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM, or the “MBA Consortium” as some applicants call it) extended 441 full-tuition, merit-based fellowship offers to promising MBA applicants through its Consortium Fellows program. The Consortium application allows prospective students to apply to up to six MBA programs through its common application, paying a deeply discounted application fee when compared to applying separately. If accepted into the Consortium and one of their target MBA programs, students can be considered for the Consortium fellowship and gain access to networking and career supports.

What is The Consortium?

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is a nonprofit alliance of 20 leading business schools and 80 corporate partners. Established in 1966, its mission is to increase the number of unrepresented minorities (i.e. Americans identifying as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous) in business education and corporate leadership.

Member schools share a commitment to the organization’s 30X30 initiative, which aims to increase domestic enrollment of under-represented minority students to 30% by 2030.

Who is Eligible to Apply to MBA Programs through The Consortium?

The Consortium Fellowship is open to MBA applicants who 1) are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and 2) have demonstrated a commitment to the Consortium’s mission through community activism, professional involvement, and/or life experience. Membership in The Consortium is open to applicants may be of any race or ethnicity.

Since its founding, the Consortium has awarded more than $465 million in scholarships. Consortium members also benefit from recruitment events, career-oriented webinars and chats, and networking opportunities.

Which Schools are Members of The Consortium?

To be considered for a fellowship, a candidate must first be admitted to one of the 20 Consortium member schools.

The list of member schools is as follows:

Of course, applying to schools through The Consortium does not preclude you from applying to non-member schools independently.

MBA Consortium Application – Inside the Process

The Consortium typically recruits a class of ~500 students each academic year, and awards 400+ full-tuition merit scholarships.

To become a member and be considered for a fellowship, one must:

  1. Apply to and be accepted into a Consortium member school via the Consortium Application
  2. Apply to and be accepted into The Consortium

Prospective students apply for Consortium membership at the same time that they submit their MBA applications.

However, applicants are considered for Consortium membership only after they are admitted to a member school. This means that the benefits of The Consortium’s common application and lower application fees are available to all applicants who can demonstrate a commitment to The Consortium’s mission.

MBA / Consortium Deadlines

The application deadlines when applying through The Consortium may differ from the usual deadline dates published by member MBA programs. The Consortium forwards the prospective student’s application to the MBA program admissions office, who makes an admissions determination on their own timeline. Check the school’s deadline page for school-specific Consortium application decision dates.

2020-2021 MBA / Consortium Application Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Admissions Notification Fellowship Decision
Early Application October 15, 2020 Varies by School mid-March
Traditional Application January 5, 2021 Varies by School mid-March

The deadline for accepting or declining Consortium membership and fellowship offers is April 15, 2021.

Consortium Application Fees

The Consortium streamlines the MBA application process, enabling you to apply to up to six of its 19 members schools using a single application. The cost of submitting applications through the Consortium is as follows:

  • $150: One or two schools
  • $200: Three schools
  • $240: Four schools
  • $275: Five schools
  • $300: Six schools

Consortium Membership Application

The first step to applying for the Consortium is to create an account. Once you have done so, you can login and begin the application.

The Consortium membership application comprises an essay explaining the candidate’s commitment to the organization’s mission, and a recommendation attesting to this commitment. MBA admissions committees will not have access to these documents. They are used only for determining Consortium membership after you’ve been admitted to a business school.

Consortium Common MBA Application

The Consortium common application streamlines the application process by collecting information required by all schools in a single place. These materials are then forwarded to up to six member schools by The CGSM. These elements include:

  • Personal Data (i.e. contact information, demographic data)
  • Academic Information (transcripts, test scores, undergraduate degree information, etc.)
  • Employment History
  • Résumé
  • Recommendations

Consortium applicants also complete a required core essay and an optional core essay. Their responses are sent to all schools they apply to through the CGSM application. We will post the 2020-2021 essay prompts here once the application opens in mid-August 2020.

Each individual school also requires that Consortium applicants respond to the essay prompts required of all applicants to that MBA program. Your responses to school-specific essay prompts will only be sent to that school.

Consortium Fellowship Awards

The final step in The Consortium MBA application process is ranking the schools you’re targeting through the CGSM.

Schools will have the option to offer you a Consortium Fellowship (covering tuition and required fees) in the order in which you rank them. The admissions offices at these schools will be able to see how you ranked them – but only after they have made a final decision on your application.

mba consortium application

How does this work exactly?

Let’s say that Yale SOM is your first-ranked school and you are admitted into its MBA program. Yale SOM now has first dibs on offering you the Consortium Fellowship. If Yale SOM does offer you the fellowship, everyone’s happy and you can choose to attend with the benefit of the fellowship. You may still be admitted to other programs on your list, but these programs cannot offer you the Consortium Fellowship.

If, however, you are admitted to Yale SOM but that school does not offer you the Consortium Fellowship—or if you are not admitted—the opportunity to offer you the fellowship is made available to your second-ranked school, and on down the line.

It is important to note that while only one school can offer you the Consortium Fellowship, that does not preclude the other schools on your list from offering you other school-specific scholarship funding.

The Consortium Fellowship, once awarded by one school, is not transferrable to another. You can either accept the award and attend that school, or you can decline it and attend another school without the fellowship. Whether you accept or reject the Consortium Fellowship does not affect your Consortium membership status—only whether or not you receive tuition funding through the program. As long as you ultimately attend a Consortium member school, you may still benefit from membership perks such as recruitment and networking events, webinars, and chats.

Fellowship notifications begin in mid-December and continue through mid-March, with most awarded in March.