The purpose of a consortium agreement is to ensure the proper disbursement of financial aid. Financial aid eligibility is determined, in part, by your enrollment status (the number of credit hours you are enrolled in). For example, most scholarships require full-time enrollment, federal loans require half-time enrollment, and grants are prorated based on enrollment.
If you are taking classes at another institution, these credit hours will not be counted toward your enrollment status unless you complete a consortium agreement. The consortium agreement allows you to count credit hours taken at UNI plus the credit hours taken at another institution towards your enrollment status for financial aid purposes.
For example, an undergraduate student is taking 6 credits at UNI and 6 credits at another institution during the fall semester. By completing the consortium agreement, their enrollment status is now 12 credits, or full-time.