Student Success Strategy #26: Honor Societies Part IV

How can you tell a legitimate honor society from a scam?

If you are an above average student, you will get invitations from honor societies.  Not all of them are worth your money or your time.  The following are a few criteria to research before accepting invitations.

Use their website:

1.  Do they have a professionally prepared website?

2.  Is contact information available to you?  Does this information include names, phone numbers, street addresses, and email?

3.  Do they have criteria high enough to rate as an honor?  Most legitimate honor societies will have requirements that show excellence in academics, not just average grades.  With grade inflation, anything under 3.0 would be suspect, although it depends on the purpose of the honor society.  A society focused on service or leadership may have a lower GPA requirement than a purely academic society.

4.  Does the honor society have benefits useful to you?  A certificate may be nice, but unless there is quality behind the society, it means nothing.  Look for scholarships awarded, and whether they announce the winners publicly.  Look for academic benefits such as test preparation discounts (GRE, LSAT, etc.).  Is there a career portion of the society’s website?  What networking opportunities do they offer?  Are there local chapters?  Is there someone at your school who can verify the advantages of joining?

Think carefully before sending your money for every invitation.  Honor societies can provide exceptional value, but they are not all equal.

Student Success Strategy #26:  Honor societies are not always an honor.  Be careful to do your research and select only those that will benefit you.


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