My Student Made Honor Roll
It is that time of year when students receive notifications that they have made a collegiate scholar society. The cream-colored linen envelope arrives with its gold embossed logo of said scholar society organization. As a parent, you do a mental cartwheel as you see the invitation. Read the fine print carefully when you get invitations to join The XYZ Honor Societies. Educate yourself as to what they provide in exchange for this membership. Because honestly, there are many organizations on campus that your student can get involved with that will be far more beneficial to their resume and postgraduate application than membership in a society that either profit from the fees they collect. Read their annual report to see how much of their revenue goes toward administrative fees, just as you would with a charity you are vetting.
I am not trying to diminish the euphoric moment you are feeling; you should be proud. But at what cost should you be proud and will it make a difference when they graduate? Every college at UF has a dean’s list with differing requirements. You do not pay money to be on this Dean’s List. When your student graduates, if their overall GPA is 3.5 or higher, they will be eligible for a color chord (which you will then pay money for them to wear and ultimately keep).
It is wonderful as a parent to be able to brag about our kid’s achievements. How many times, when your child was in elementary school, did you see a car adorned with the My Kid Made the Honor Roll at (Fill in the blank) Elementary School? And your child was probably proud or perhaps you made it a big deal. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with rewarding a student for a strong performance. But, aside from having to pay for the bumper sticker/pennant/key chain or whatever specialty items you bought so that everyone would know your student’s achievement, it did not cost you any additional monies.
If it is important to your student (and you) to accept membership because the benefits outweigh the costs, by all means, go ahead and join. UF has several chapters of national honor/scholar societies listed on its website as an organization. The National Society of Collegiate Scholars is one of those which invite freshman and sophomores with at least a 3.4 GPA into their society. The fee is a one-time $95 for which you have access to career resources, networking, special programs and discounts for specific services and products as well as scholarships, according to their website. As a junior and senior, she received an invitation to The National Society of Leadership and Success. She chose not to join as for her, it would not be as beneficial as some of the organizations she is involved with that give her experience as an advertising major.
Have we gotten to the place where we are willing to pay money to legitimize our students’ scholastic efforts? I would like to believe not. The honor societies your student would most likely find more beneficial at UF include Dean’s List (every college is different so check the website for requirements) and Florida Blue Key. Of course, being able to graduate UF as one of the honor levels including cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude will not cost you any money and will give your student and your bragging rights. Should you find that joining is of interest to your student, then, by all means, join.