The term ‚Äúconsortium agreement‚Äù may not mean much to you right now. But in the field of study abroad, it‚Äôs a common form that allows your home university to transfer your financial aid funds to the school where you‚Äôll be studying. We‚Äôre no stranger to consortium agreements here at our office in Charlottesville. We will typically receive around 100 of them for each voyage.
Consortium agreements are good things
If your school asks you to complete one, it means that they are supportive of your choice to study abroad on a Semester at Sea voyage.¬† These agreements help to clarify your enrollment status during your time on the MV Explorer.
The importance of a consortium agreement to you
Being enrolled as a degree candidate in an undergraduate institution provides you with many privileges, not the least of which is eligibility for federal financial aid. While on your voyage you will be considered a ‚Äúvisiting student‚Äù at the University of Virginia, meaning¬† that you‚Äôre not a degree candidate at U.Va.¬† So how do you maintain your degree candidacy at your first school during the voyage?¬† That‚Äôs right ‚Äì a consortium agreement.
What does a consortium agreement do?
The agreement details points of understanding between your home institution and U.Va.¬† These typically include:
- credit transfer
- financial aid processing
- enrollment status
Often several departments at your school may be involved in signing these agreements, and as a result they can take some time to complete.¬† So it‚Äôs always a good idea to start the process early if your school has asked you to complete one.¬† The good news is that once it is completed, you will maintain your status as a degree-seeking student during your voyage.
Not every school requires an agreement to participate in Semester at Sea.¬† But if you are asked to complete one by your school or by us, don‚Äôt worry‚Ä¶it‚Äôs a good thing.