Are College Honor Societies Really Worth It?
With the school year just beginning, many new students will be faced with the decision of whether to join a college honor society or be left out. Invitations to honor societies are typically earned through hard work, participation in leadership activities and academic accomplishments. Although these are all characteristics that can help anyone to excel in the working world, are honor societies really worth it in the long run?
The Who and What
Curiosity surrounds honor societies, as many people are still unsure of exactly what they are. Honor societies are organizations intended to benefit and group like-minded individuals together based on academic excellence, leadership abilities and other similar interests or abilities. Some of these societies may be known as professional fraternities, depending upon the organization. Many are named using Greek characters, though some of the more prestigious societies refuse to use Greek letters. Acceptance into these groups usually comes as the result of invitation or application. These societies often come with lifelong membership, allowing members who have long since graduated to continue to maintain activity within the group and reap the benefits of the society for years after they graduate.
Choosing the One
Some students may receive invitations to join more than one honor society. It's important to understand that you don't have to pick just one. You are welcome to enroll in more than one group. Keep in mind that you might find that the time obligations of involvement might be more than you're willing to take on so consider the required time involvement when selecting your society. Selecting the right honor society will take some research into which group most closely matches your goals and ideals, and which provides you with the most potential benefits. Many people join multiple societies to show that they are well-rounded.
Cost of Joining
Every college honor society comes with a fee. Though these fees do vary (often anywhere between $60 and $125). Besides the initial joining fee, you may also find that some honor societies charge chapter or national fees.
Benefits for Students
Perhaps one of the most appealing benefits to students is the prestige that's often associated with joining a college honor society. Some academic societies only accept the top-performing students in terms of academics, which has the potential to be a real boost to your resume. Honor societies also generally come with opportunities to access a range of social events, leadership opportunities and even international study programs over the duration of your college years. For some students, this might make these groups particularly alluring. Along with this, comes the opportunity to network with other students who share similar interests or goals, as well as alumni who are already present in the workforce. Many honor societies also offer scholarships, grants and bursaries to members in order to lessen the financial burden associated with post-secondary education.
Benefits for Alumni
The potential benefits for graduates could come as soon as you're done school. These benefits could come in the form of internship opportunities, or perhaps even the opportunity to fast-track applications into some of the top companies if you've networked with particularly successful alumni or any of the group's corporate sponsors. Some employers may be attracted to the fact that you've been a member of an honor society, since many do come with a certain amount of prestige. There is often an association between being a member of an honor society and leadership ability, or ability to create effective working relationships and business networks. Both skills are highly important in a number of industries. Many alumni continue to stay active in their honor societies after graduation since many networking events are also open to college alumni.
Honor Society Scams
It's a sad fact that not all honor societies are on the up-and-up. You can ensure that the honor society is legit by checking its website and reviewing the society's information to ensure that everything looks authentic. You should be wary of any society that does not have a physical street address listed on its website.
The Bottom Line
Many people who join college honor societies do so to boost their resumes as they know employers look for society involvement when identifying top talent. Some employers will be attracted to the fact that you've been associated with a prestigious honor society, especially if you take a leadership role on your campus. If you're actively networking through the society in order to obtain scholarships and job opportunities after graduation, there's a good chance that joining will be more than worthwhile for you. Whatever you choose, this is an important question for you to investigate. Perhaps there is a family history with a particular society and it will be meaningful to you on a different level or maybe you will be the first in your family line to start the tradition.
Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
Planning and taking steps to ensure your future should never be put off until tomorrow. If you're looking to boost your resume and increase your chances for success you will want to seriously consider joining the hundreds of thousands of students around the world who are participating in an honor society in their college years. Order of the Key International Leadership Society will be a good fit for you if you are looking for the following:
- Scholarships and Awards
- Resume Enhancement
- Internal Internship Opportunities
- Elite Networking
- Mentoring and Coaching
- Internship Matching
- Volunteer Opportunity Matching
- Career Path Testing and Recommendations
- External Scholarship Searches