Some honor societies, like Phi Beta Kappa, date back to the 1700s. These academic legacies are communities of pride and prestigious achievements. At the beginning of every new school year, students get stuck with deciding on which honors society to join.
Not all invitations are equal and not all honors societies are worth joining. If you make grade strides in your academic progress, you should get plenty of invitations. Take your time and really understand the differences between them.
Use this guide to find the best honor society membership for your journey into the working world.
What is an Honor Society?
Some honor societies appear like a glorified fraternity for certain majors. Others take a role that resembles that of a career networking club. Both of these are valid descriptors, sometimes taking on both characteristics.
Honor societies are set up to introduce a healthy space to grow leadership skills, career advancement, and share common interests. Usually, an honor society in your field will send an invitation if you already meet certain requirements. Applying to join an honor society is not always possible.
It’s about who you know and making the commitment for a lifetime. Honor societies take their memberships very seriously.
Requirements Before Joining
As we mentioned, applying to an honor society requires an invitation. All college honor societies charge a membership and application fee. That fee is usually around $100. Steer clear of honor societies that are completely free.
That usually means that there are either no useful resources or benefits to joining or that they are a scam trying to rope you in. It’s important to understand what makes an honor society legitimate.
Look on their website for backstory and history on the honor society. Where are they physically located?
Do they have a full list of officers, staff, and chapter policies? How specific are their benefits for joining? Is it filled with actionable programs?
Membership and Applying
Some honor societies charge only a one-time lifetime membership fee. This isn’t a sign that they are less legitimate than others. Although, when this is combined with an online application process, we can see why people would feel this way.
If their membership terms aren’t clear, then they clearly don’t take it seriously. Ask if there is a democratic process for hiring new members and moving up through the ranks.
Meet Them In Person
Try to meet up with a local chapter of your chosen society, if possible! Joining an honor society with no presence on the campus can be difficult or rewarding, depending on your personal preference. Even if there are other members that go to your school, finding an established chapter (or starting one yourself) is always beneficial.
You want to have the ability to gauge the culture of an honor society. See whether or not you will get along or share ideas with them. If you aren’t planning on being super involved or attending every meeting, that’s okay.
Having access to a chapter is important, though. Every member should have a voice in the group.
Legit honors societies are not-for-profit organizations. They should have no issue with providing proof of being registered as a non-profit. Anyone can call themselves non-profit orgs, but their tax returns do the talking.
Benefits for Alumni
The potential advantages for alumni could come when you’ve graduated. These advantages could come as entry level position openings, or maybe even the chance to quickly submit applications into top organizations. Connections made by the honor society can get your foot in the door of major corporate sponsors.
A few managers might be interested in the way that you’ve been successful as an individual from an honor society. Many do accompany a specific measure of honors achieved, not just membership. Leading within an honor society shows employers that you are loyal and take pride in your work.
Leadership abilities are exceedingly significant in today’s businesses. Numerous graduated classes are remaining active and dynamic in their honor social orders after graduation. This eliminates resume gaps after graduation, a huge factor for hiring managers.
Getting Into an Honor Society
You’ve made it and you were welcomed into an honor society that you wanted. This moment is the stepping stone into your life of adulthood. Being part of a community that cares about you and has your back for life feels good.
The advice, opportunities for scholarships, grants, and contracts more than pay for the price of admission alone. An honor society can become your extended family, especially if there’s already family history. Campus life can be a lonely road without networking and being involved.
Start your journey here at the Honor Society Foundation. Learn how to get involved with your community. Meet people who share your interests and goals in life.
Remember, you get out what you put into school. The same goes for joining an honor society. The sky is the limit at what you can accomplish from the Honor Society Foundation.