As a higher education partnership, the Consortium is one of the world’s foremost educational collaboratives, and is a powerful economic force in the region. Consortium universities represent nearly every sector of higher education, creating strength through its diversity of institutions. The global reputation and diversity of the institutions enables them to attract students, faculty, and staff not only from the District and nearby region, but also from every state in the United States as well as from hundreds of countries globally.

To serve students, the Consortium manages the student cross-registration program,  the Consortium Research Fellows Program, the U.S. Institute of Peace program, Reach4Success, and the Campus Public Safety Institute. See the separate tabs on these topics for more information. The Consortium brings together numerous campus groups several times each year, including the emergency managers, chief academic officers, chief financial officers, chief student affairs officers, health center directors, government relations staff, public relations staff, admissions and financial aid staff, registrars, and others as the need arises.

The Consortium provides a unified voice on behalf of its members to local and regional governments, as well as to business/industry and other organizations by serving as a single point of contact, by participating on boards and as members of organizations, and through convenings. The Consortium provides numerous services to its members, including government relations and organizational liaison functions, and joint responses to various opportunities (e.g., RFPs, grants, collaborative projects).

Consortium member universities are interconnected in numerous ways that bring direct benefits to students as well as the District and region. Students receive an enhanced educational experience because they may cross-register for courses at other Consortium member institutions. Faculty research collaborations across member universities bring hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants and contracts annually (which result in hiring and spending) into the District and region that would otherwise not have occurred. Above all, Consortium institutions focus on three overarching goals: creating an educated populace; creating and promoting a dynamic, innovative atmosphere; and creating the future economy.

The economic impact of the Consortium’s member institutions in the District alone approaches $10 billion. As a sector, it is the largest employer and one of the largest in terms of economic impact. Equally important, the global reputation of the member institutions attracts major and continuing investment from individuals, businesses, and governments around the world. 

Through their service missions, Consortium universities offer thousands of cultural and informational programs each year that are open to the public. From concerts to sporting events to lectures, Consortium universities add a great deal to the quality of life for District residents. Likewise, Consortium students, faculty, and staff volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours each year to provide services to District and regional residents ranging from tutoring of students in P-12 classes to social service and health programs to pro bono legal advice to picking up trash and cleaning streets.