Joining an honor society comes with so many benefits. Members are often eligible for exclusive scholarships and internships, and they get to participate in valuable leadership and service programs. If you have a high-achieving student who is looking to improve and expand their college experience, then you should certainly encourage them to join an honor society. But which one should they choose? Here are some ways you can help guide your student in selecting an honor society that’s a good fit for them.
Look Over Scholarship Opportunities
With the cost of college rising, scholarship opportunities are one of the key reasons for high-achieving students to join an honor society. Some honor societies offer exclusive scholarships for their members. Most also provide lists of scholarships, and some even help students apply.
Spend some time helping your student review scholarship opportunities through each of the honor societies they are considering. You likely have more awareness as to what a certain scholarship will cover than the average student, so you can offer real-life feedback on the amounts being offered. Also make sure your student looks into the qualification requirements for each of the scholarships. For example, NSCS requires that students maintain a 3.4 GPA to apply for exclusive scholarships, so you want to ensure your student can meet these GPA requirements before they join.
Talk About Fees
Most reputable honor societies do charge a fee for membership, but that fee can vary widely between societies. Look over the fee structure with your student, and discuss the concept of return on investment. Help them think through the benefits they will get from joining the society and whether or not those benefits are worth the fee.
Also keep an eye out for any honor societies that charge monthly dues but offer little in return. Such societies tend not to be very reputable and don’t offer a great ROI. Steer your students away from them and towards programs that have a lower, one-time or annual membership fee.
Discuss The Skills They Need to Develop
Joining an honor society is a way for students to gain skills they don’t learn in the classroom. So, worth with your student to identify the skills they most need to work on. Then, look for an honor society that will give them opportunities to develop those skills.
Say, for example, your student wants to work on their leadership and management skills. They should then aim to join an honor society that offers leadership opportunities. An organization that has students as chapter leaders or council is often a good choice. You could also look for a society that does a lot of volunteer work in the community, as this gives students opportunities to work with larger groups.
Talk With Alumni
See if you can get in touch with some alumni who were members of the honor societies your student is most interested with. Set up and facilitate meetings with these people. You and your student can ask them questions about their experiences in the honor society and how those experiences set them up for success. They can give your student more specific insights into the ways in which honor society membership can help them in their career.
Finding the right honor society can take some time and consideration. If you have a student who is currently searching, use the tips above to help guide them in their search. Contact NSCS if you are interested in learning more about our honor society. We encourage prospective members to talk to current members and alumni before they join.