Application Tips

Application Advice – Tips for Consortium Applicants – Pt. 2!

By Brett Twitty-

With the Consortium deadline (5 January) quickly approaching, we continue our application tips for Consortium applicants with part two of our conversation with Marc Paulo Guzman. New to the series? Be sure to check out part one as well as our recent profile of Consortium Fellow, Darren Constantine, ’19, and then read through Marc Paulo’s answers below! 

What are the advantages of applying to Darden/business school through the Consortium?

Efficiency, affordability and dedicated scholarships are some of the advantages of applying through the Consortium.

As previously mentioned, applicants are able to apply to up to six member schools with one main application. However, it is worth noting that you will still need to complete school-specific essays using the institution’s supplemental application (which is provided as part of the Consortium’s application materials). (Editor’s Note: If you are applying to Darden and wish to be considered for one of our scholarships for students interested in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, please email us directly. You will need to submit an additional essay with your application, and this essay is not currently included with our Consortium supplemental application).

The Consortium application process streamlines the submission of test scores, transcripts and recommendation letters, and it also potentially saves applicants quite a bit of money on application fees. The fees associated with applying through the Consortium depend on how many schools an applicant is targeting, with the maximum being $300 total, if applying to 6 schools. However, this is significantly less expensive than paying the application fees for individual schools (which can often range from $150 to $300 per school).

Lastly, candidates are considered for a number of Consortium-specific scholarships – for example, the full-ride Consortium Fellowship – as well as other non-Consortium merit awards.

What are your top tips for Consortium applicants?  

My number one tip is to make sure to connect with admissions staff at each school you’re applying to in order to add a personal dimension and a school-specific flavor to your application materials.

With one main application and separate supplemental applications for various schools, things can often get repetitive across your applications. However, a class visit, a webinar or a school event can help you speak more specifically about the aspects of a particular school that really resonate with you.

Do not hesitate to contact me or our Second Year Consortium liaisons, Christina Gonsalves and Amevi Agbogbe, for any questions you have about the Consortium community at Darden.

If a student is admitted to Darden through the Consortium process, what potential benefits might that student receive? Any special scholarship consideration?

First and foremost, Consortium applicants are considered for a Consortium Fellowship, but this consideration can depend upon where they ranked Darden in their Consortium application (Editor’s Note: There is a section of the Consortium application in which applicants rank the schools to which they are applying – 1 is their top choice, 2 is their second choice, etc.).

If an applicant is admitted to the school she ranked as “1,” that school will have first choice to grant a Consortium Fellowship. If the top-ranked school does not wish to grant a fellowship or an applicant did not get into her #1 school, the option to grant a Consortium Fellowship goes to the next highest-ranked school (as defined by the applicant) that admitted her.

Additionally, at Darden, all admitted Consortium applicants are also considered for other merit-based scholarships and fellowships, many of which are full- or half-tuition scholarships, regardless of where they ranked our school in their school priority list.

Consortium students are also eligible to attend the Orientation Program (OP) which is held in June prior to the start of the first year of business school. During OP, members meet Darden staff and faculty supporting Consortium students, as well as the rest of the Darden First Year Consortium cohort and the Second Year Consortium liaisons. During this event, there are a number of companies recruiting students for first year summer internships, and there are even some students who receive and accept offers before classes begin!

If I applied to Darden already, but I’m eligible for the Consortium, is there a way for me to be apply for Consortium membership?

Yes, there is a separate referral process that can be initiated by any Consortium member school you are admitted to. If you are admitted to Darden and wish to be a part of the Consortium community and take advantages of the benefits, please email me, and I will provide you with next steps. This largely involves connecting you with the Consortium to complete the member essay and recommendation letter to see if you meet the Consortium’s membership guidelines.