People are always stymied when I tell them that I’m taking classes at Mid and Northwood University at the same time. I felt the same way when I first learned of the idea. It seemed strange to want to be enrolled at two colleges at once and attend classes part-time at each. However, there are quite a few benefits to be had from the arrangement, which is referred to as being a consortium student.
Being a consortium student allows one to pick and choose which classes to take where. I opted into the program in order to take my Intermediate Accounting classes in lecture format at Northwood. The program also allows students to get fully involved in many different organizations at both institutions. I have double the options available to me when it comes to connecting with people or getting involved in extra-curricular activities. Currently, I’m part of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Laker Correspondents, American Marketing Association (AMA), and the Honorary Accounting Society of Northwood University.
However, with benefits always come costs (there’s the accountant in me talking), with the biggest effect felt in the area of financial aid. Consortium students may only receive financial aid at one school—Northwood in my case—and it is prorated at some predetermined rate since I am not a full-time student.
So how does a consortium student’s life differ from a normal student’s?
My two lecture classes only take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which was some last-minute planning miracle. I have one lecture class and one online class at each institution. My first class is Science 200 in Mt. Pleasant 9am – 11am, which is when I promptly take M-20 to Midland for my Accounting 3110: Intermediate Accounting I at 12:30pm. I also have History 101 and PSC 2010: Introduction to American Government online. On Tuesdays, I usually go home when class ends at 2pm, but Thursdays I stick around a little longer. I have meetings later in the day for AMA, of which I am VP of Fundraising.
Those extra hours spent sticking around on Northwood’s campus on Thursdays allow me to connect with people and really integrate with them when I’m really just a “guest” student there. No one knows that I’m only a guest unless I tell them. All in all, it’s really a great opportunity. The extra driving is quite the hassle (I live about an hour away from Midland, and a half hour from Mt. Pleasant), but it’s certainly worth it.
Photo Credit: Northwood University Website, https://www.northwood.edu/