The Boston Consortium was established in the fall of 1995 by the Chief Financial Officers of 11 Boston-area colleges and universities. The Consortium is currently comprised of the following institutions: Babson College, Bentley University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, College of the Holy Cross, Emerson College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Olin College, Rhode Island School of Design, Suffolk University, Tufts University, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.
The institutions' diversity is reflected in their operating budgets, which range from approximately $37 million to $1.5 billion, and annual research expenditures, which range from $0 to about $351 million. The combined endowment of the 17 Consortium members totals more than $11 billion. The combined payroll is more than $1.2 billion, and the total FTE count is approximately 45,000 employees, making the group one of the largest employers in the area. The total student headcount is approximately 122,000. This group's diversity also stems from the differences in academic focus (business, liberal arts, music, graduate/professional), student body (single sex, coed), location (rural, suburban, urban), and the age of the institutions (ranging from 1 to 360 years old).