‘I still felt scammed’: Students receive countless honor society membership offers, but are they legitimate? | News

Most college students are conversant in emails from honor societies providing scholarship alternatives and different advantages in trade for a membership payment. While official honor societies are listed as non-profit organizations, some college students say their charges don’t translate into official advantages.

The Ogden Honors College lists six really helpful honor societies which have LSU chapters. Communications Manager for OHC Jordyn Warren stated Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi are the 2 oldest and most selective societies, and that college students who receive their invites ought to actually be part of.

OHC recommends taking a look at how energetic the native chapter of a society is earlier than becoming a member of, as a result of it may well fluctuate vastly between universities. 

Students must also overview the advantages a society gives earlier than becoming a member of, which may vary from scholarships to networking and volunteering alternatives to company reductions. 

Many honor societies are particular to sure fields and might supply distinctive profession constructing sources for college kids. However, a few of these societies additionally invite everybody from a sure 12 months or main that fulfills sure tutorial standards and could also be much less prestigious as a result of they aren’t as selective.

One instance is the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, which requires college students to be within the high 20% of their class. NSCS has 1.4 million members nationwide and provides 45,000 every year, but simply over 10% of its members are energetic.

OHC refers college students who are contemplating becoming a member of an honor society but have questions on what they can count on from membership to the Association of College Honor Societies. Tright here are over 50 societies within the ACHS, and a few college students who’ve joined ACHS-certified societies have been left with an expertise devoid of the advantages of a “official” honor society. 

Finance sophomore Cooper Edwards joined Phi Sigma Eta in March. It’s an honor society that acknowledges first-year college students and has over a million members nationwide. 

“I paid to be in Phi Eta Sigma, allegedly one of many extra respected honors societies,” Edwards stated. “I’ve but to see any actual advantages aside from my membership taking on area on my resumé.”

Edwards stated he doesn’t assume membership charges are too steep, but added that he hasn’t been invited to any occasions or had any membership necessities aside from the preliminary payment, whereas his highschool honor society appeared extra official to him as a result of it required him to have a specific amount of volunteer hours.

Edwards additionally talked about that neither he nor anybody he is aware of in an honor society has acquired a scholarship from them. While most honor societies spotlight that they have “tens of millions of members nationwide,” he believes this makes them appear much less official as a result of it means they’re not selective about who they let be part of with such massive membership.

“Scholarship alternatives translate to them simply redistributing membership charges to a choose group of scholars,” Edwards stated. “I typically consider most gives must be taken with a grain of salt.”

Sociology junior Grace Richert additionally joined Phi Eta Sigma her freshman 12 months, and stated its standing as an LSU-affiliated honor society made it sound like a sensible alternative to affix. 

“It was good to place it on my resumé, but there was little to no communication between members and the group,” Richert stated. “The thought of being a part of an honor society was good, but I still felt scammed.”

Richert stated college students ought to fastidiously analysis any gives they think about accepting and may apply to scholarships on the college portal free of charge, somewhat than having to pay a payment simply to be thought-about.

Microbiology sophomore Sam Elliott stated most honors societies that despatched him supplies merely don’t appear unique sufficient to really be an honor society. 

“If the honors society reaches out to you and your entire pals acquired the identical precise electronic mail, then it actually isn’t an honor society,” Elliott stated. “If you wish to look good for graduate faculties, there are loads of organizations on campus you can be part of or lead.”

Elliott additionally stated LSU’s electronic mail server ought to have protected college students from receiving deceptive gives that ask for cash or info in trade for little else. 

Chief Information Security Officer Sumit Jain stated emails are filtered as spam based mostly on the area of the sender and the content material of the message. Emails containing malicious hyperlinks and requests for a scholar’s private info or cash are sometimes marked as spam. 

Jain stated the problem is available in when a website seems to have official content material and no customers have reported the area as being malicious. 

“There’s not a lot that may be carried out, as a result of by and huge each element of that electronic mail appears official,” Jain stated. “People should be cautious in regards to the emails they are receiving. The finish person should ensure they don’t randomly click on on issues.”

He added that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and stated college students must be inspired to take a look at Information Technology Services sources, comparable to Moodle cybersecurity coaching programs, to make sure the protection of their private info.


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