As part of our Curious Cornhuskers initiative, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, "How do I know which [honor societies] are legit and which want my sign up fee?"
Amy Struthers, interim dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and adviser for the on-campus honor society Mortar Board, said she recommends students look for a recognized student organization (RSO) on campus that is based around the society they are interested in.
According to Struthers, Omicron Delta Kappa is an example of a new honor society on campus that displays its legitimacy by having student officers and being an RSO that provides benefits for its members.
“[Joining an honor society] should be more than paying a $75 fee and getting your name on a list,” she said.
Emails that ask for money upfront are another red flag to watch out for, Struthers said.
“A legitimate honors organization is going to have an application that doesn’t cost you anything,” she said. “Then, if you’re selected and choose to be inducted, it makes sense for there to be some sort of fee to help support the organization.”
Struthers was a member of Mortar Board when she attended UNL and stressed that joining a legitimate honor society can be a rewarding experience for students.
“I’ve talked with people who have been in Innocents [Society] and ODK, and it is a very fulfilling experience,” she said. “It’s much more than just a name on a list.”