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Why and How to Join College Academic Award Organizations

written by: Destiny Keller•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 11/17/2010

Sure, you may have heard about some academic award organizations on your campus. But do you know what benefits these organizations can bring you? Do you know how to join them? Let's take a look at just a few of these types of organizations.

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    College Adacemic Award Organizations

    There are many different types of college academic award organizations ranging from National Residence Hall Honorary to Phi Theta Kappa, which is an honorary organization for the top students in community colleges. These organizations are great opportunities for college students to strive to join as many of them are nationally recognized, and offer great benefits such as internships and scholarships.

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    Five Great Adademic Organizations

    Below are some of the most popular National Academic Award Organizations that offer great benefits to their members. When deciding on which organization to join, be sure to find one that your institution offers, and you qualify for first. Then narrow it down to what interests you, and which organization you feel offers you the most benefits. There are many more than those listed below, so be sure to check with your current institution to see what they have to offer you.

    Phi Theta Kappa - This is a National Honor Society for students at community colleges. Students must have a 3.5 GPA, adhere to the moral standards of the society, have completed at least 12 credit hours of course work and be invited to become a member from the chapter at the college in which you attend. This organization offers great opportunities to students such as over 37 million dollars in transfer scholarships, graduation regalia (such as their honor society's stole and tassel), as well as special offers for members from retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Dell and Geico.

    National Residence Hall Honorary -This is a network of the top 1% of student leaders who live on campuses around the world. Students need to live in a residence hall and be taking at least 12 credits with a 3.0 GPA or higher to apply. Members receive a certificate, membership pin, and an honor cord to wear at commencement, and get to attend regional and national conferences on behalf of NRHH.

    Golden Key Honour Society - This is the largest and most active academic honor society. It recognizes scholastic achievement from students from all academic disciplines. Students need to be candidates for a bachelor's or master's degree and studying at an accredited institution. They need to be in sophomore standing or higher and maintain a GPA of 3.7 or higher. They offer over $600,000 dollars annually for undergraduate and graduate scholarships, and members gain access to exclusive internship and employment opportunities.

    Phi Upsilom Omicron - This organization is a national honor society for members in family and consumer sciences. They encourage as well as recognize academic exellence, leadership, learning and commitment to advancing family and consumer sciences. This organization offers scholarships, awards, and fellowships to its members. To be able to apply, students need a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be in the top 35% of their class, and have completed at least 40 credit hours.

    Omicron Delta Kappa - This is an organization that is open to a wide variety of students, as it recognizes them for academics, athletics, campus or community service, social activities, and campus government, as well as journalism, speech and mass media, and creative and performing arts. Prospective members must be in junior or senior status at an undergraduate institution, and rank in the top 35% of their class. This organization also offers scholarships, grants, and leadership training for their members.

    National Biological Honor Society - This organization is also known as TriBeta or Beta Beta Beta. It is a society for undergraduates committed to improving people’s understanding and appreciation of biological study as well as extending the borders of human knowledge with scientific research. This organization has two levels of commitment. Associate members do not have a GPA requirement, and can upgrade to full members later if they choose. Full members must usually have 3 biology courses under their belt, and at least a 3.0 in all biology courses. This organization usually offers free tutoring in introductory biology courses and several biological honor society scholarships.

    International English Honor Society- This honor society is an organization that awards students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies distinction for high achievement in English language and literature. Undergraduate students must have taken at least two courses in English language or literature beyond their course requirements. They need to be in their fourth semester or fifth quarter in college with at least a 3.0 GPA. This organization offers many scholarships, awards, grants and internships for its members.

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    Why Should I Join?

    Joining any of the college academic award organizations will give you a great advantage over other students, as it is great to put on resumes, graduate school applications, and on an application to any institution of higher education. Being in one of these organizations sets you apart from other students and gives you great opportunities to network and meet new, exciting people. As shown above, many of these organizations offer great scholarship, internship, and award opportunities to help you succeed further in your education and future career. That is why it is such a rewarding experience to join on of these if you can. Each organization is unique with their own admission requirements and benefits. There are many other academic award organizations and each college should provide a list of what they offer students to join on their student organization page, such as St. Norbert College. This college gives a great list of many of them. Be sure to check out if you have an organization of your interest at your institution on their student organizations page.