American honor societies started off with a bang on December 5, 1776.
Since then, honor societies have been helping their members network and move ahead in their studies and professions. But what exactly are your honor society dues buying? How do honor society dues work?
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know in this quick guide!
What Is an Honor Society?
Honor societies are educational and leadership groups. They’re created to serve a lifetime of high achievement, sometimes starting in high school. Groups such as the National Honor Society, which was founded in 1921 by school principles, are usually long-standing and prestigious organizations.
Honor societies offer many lifetime services and guidance for individuals, including discounts. Some have a high number of benefits that come with membership, like:
- ID restoration in case of ID theft
- Roadside assistance coverage
- Discounts on dental, hearing, and vision plans
- And more
They also serve to help with scholarships for university and continued training and career networking through life.
Is an Honor Society For Me?
Each honor society has different criteria, but generally is looking for outstanding students of a certain caliber. Common criteria include:
- Common expressions of leadership in school clubs and activities
- Ability to delegate responsibilities
- Inspiring positive behavioral traits in students and others
- Takes a position of leadership in work and school life
- Academic initiative
- Dependable and responsible
- Displays loyalty
It isn’t only personality traits that many honor societies are looking for. They also want lifetime members that excel in scholastic efforts as an indicator of excelling in life. Grade points are often not rounded and will definitely be expected to have a grade point average above at least a 3.0.
Many honor societies have criteria of 3.5 or higher and attempt to retain the membership of the top 1% or 2% of the given year’s graduating class.
The immediate benefits of getting into an honor society for high school and undergraduate students are many.
- Exclusive access to conferences
- Networking with industry leaders and likeminded people
- To celebrate your accomplishments
- Access to benefits like exclusive job banks
- Access to scholarships
- To boost your resume and get more and better interviews
Besides these points, you may have the ability to access more international study opportunities, mentorship, and internships.
If you can achieve and maintain scholastic excellence, be a leader in society, and maintain a high ethical standard with character and service to fellow man, then an honor society may be right for you.
In most cases, honor societies like the National Honor Society will contact you directly as you show promise and qualification for their standard criteria.
A Mention About Vetting Credible Honor Societies
With all these benefits, you can see why there’s a high desire for membership in scholastic honor societies like the National Honor Society. Not only high school honor societies, but also college honor societies.
However, not every honor society is created equal and some may even be scams. These scam honor societies try to take advantage of parents and children looking for an advantage in today’s competitive world.
A good place to start looking into the credibility of an honor society is the ACHS, or Association of College Honor Societies.
If an honor society isn’t listed here it doesn’t mean it’s a scam honor society. The association also doesn’t list a single high school honor society. Still, the information at the association can be helpful in determining whether one is credible, regardless of its membership there.
This is why honor societies with respected backgrounds and history are almost always the best to join.
Honor Society Dues
There’s no limit to the number of honor society memberships you can have. That said, there is certainly a limit to how much money you can spend on them.
Fees for honor society dues range from between $20 to $130 for the initial joining fee. This will often solidify you as a registered member for life. To continue being an active member with benefits, though most honor societies charge national or chapter fees.
The important takeaway is that some of these require annual renewal fees and others do not. Make sure you read the bylaws and do your homework on each honor society and what the requirements are before joining.
Some honor societies like Sigma Tau Delta only expect a single payment of $60 for initiation. Others like Phi Kappa Phi may have annual renewal fees of $35.
However, there are other options for payment than annual fees. Phi Kappa Phi as an example, again, has an option to pay for one, two, or three years of membership at a time.
The first year is $35, the second consecutive year is $60, and the third year is $90.
A Change of Perspective
When you are joining a society, especially for the networking and other benefits we’ve talked about, it’s often better to imagine things from a slightly different perspective than “fee.”
For many people, the word fee means something similar to “tax.” It has a very negative connotation associated with it.
Someone going to go up to give an important speech or an athlete at the Olympics are often asked the same question, over and over. The question is usually a variation of: “Are you nervous?” or “Were you nervous?”
The answer of the politicians, activists, athletes, and other historical figures who went on to great success? “No, I’m excited.”
Talent only gets you so far, the truly great among us know the difference between being excited and nervous is our mindset. The sweaty hands, the visualization of upcoming events, and other physical manifestations of anxiety and excitement are otherwise the same.
So, too, with honor society dues. Instead of thinking in “fees,” imagine it instead as “a continuing investment” in your future.
At $30 a year, over the next 60 or more years, you might think $1,200 is too much to pay. If you think of it as a $1,200 investment in an advantageous life, it starts to seem much more practical.
Most dues go toward the cost of administration, scholarship funds, chapter events and initiation ceremonies, websites, and back to you as a member. You’ll be saving far more from your membership than anything you pay toward it.
All About Honor Society Dues
Different honor societies have different honor society dues and structures for renewing your membership. They also have different advantages you can take benefit of.
Unfortunately, in this quick guide, we can’t consider every honor society on its own. What this guide did do was to prepare you for choosing a lifetime partner in your success.
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