The Truth About Alpha Chi: Debunking Common Misconceptions
Not everyone gets asked to join Alpha Chi — those who do get an invite from the national honor society are some of the brightest in their respective classes.
And if you happen to receive one in the mail, it only means that the organization is aware of your academic achievement. So, is it worth it to join it instead of another that has also invited you?
Being a member of Alpha Chi is proof of being at the top of one’s junior or senior class, which can prove to be extremely beneficial when it’s time to apply to graduate school or start a professional career. Costing $55, membership to Alpha Chi comes with other benefits, from scholarships, awards to networking.
Read on if you are on the fence as to whether or not you should RSVP to the invitation.
By the time you are through checking out this post, you will have a much better idea why the prestigious organization wants you on board and also about the many perks to enjoy for being a proud member of it.
Who Gets Invited to Join Alpha Chi?
There is only a single rule to meet for students to be asked to join Alpha Chi: being in the top 10% of their class. However, it’s important to note that membership to the honor society is only open to juniors and seniors as well as graduate students. Individual applications are not accepted as membership is on an invitation-only basis.
It’s not uncommon for prestigious honor societies to refuse to accept applications — what they do instead is send invitations to eligible students and allow them to decide for themselves whether or not they will accept.
Otherwise, they will be flooded with hopefuls, which can consume lots and lots of their resources to screen.
To know just how selective Alpha Chi is, all you have to do is take a quick look at its primary eligibility requirement — as mentioned earlier, you need to be in the top tenth of your class if you want to expect an invitation from the prestigious honor society in your mail.
According to the organization itself, it’s a group where gifted students can thrive.
Needless to say, since Alpha Chi membership is on an invitation-only basis, it will not entertain applications submitted by interested students — it will only consider nominations sent by the faculty members of institutions with an Alpha Chi chapter.
Firmly believe that you should be invited to join the honor society but haven’t been?
It’s possible that you may not be aware of some of the eligibility requirements. For instance, only junior and senior students are asked to join.
So, if you are currently a freshman or sophomore, you will have to wait for a while. But in the meantime, make sure that you do your best to end up in the top 10% of your college class.
You may also wait until you are working on a graduate degree for Alpha Chi also welcomes graduate students. Of course, you will have to meet other eligibility requirements, including having a 3.8 GPA.
However, the Alpha Chi chapter advisor may have accidentally overlooked you, so meet with him or her.
As of this writing, the honor society has 500,000 members. Its some 300 chapters induct 10,000 new members per year. Some of the most notable alumni of Alpha Chi include Carl E. Stewart and Dan Rather.
How Much Does Membership to Alpha Chi Cost?
An important matter that budget-conscious students take into account when deciding whether or not to accept an honor society’s invitation to become a part of its roster is the membership fee.
Some membership fees are more expensive than the rest alright, but most of them do not involve annual dues.
Shelling out $55 is all you need to become a lifetime member of Alpha Chi.
Needless to say, there’s no need to pay an additional fee each year for the reason of keeping your membership to the organization intact.
Considering that membership costs to honor societies usually range from at least $50 to $100 or higher, being a part of Alpha Chi isn’t that hard on the pocket.
But, as mentioned earlier, other than the one-time $55 most local Alpha Chi chapters may ask for additional dues.
How much dues members have to pay as well vary from chapter to chapter. Local dues help fund chapter events and activities and subsidize member participation in national conventions, which we will talk about in a few.
Benefits of Being an Alpha Chi Member
Being a member of Alpha Chi serves as a testament to one’s academic achievement. Membership comes with many other benefits, too, ranging from scholarships and fellowships to participation in national conventions. Through various activities, members are given the opportunity to network and develop transferable skills.
Due to the fact that membership to Alpha Chi is on an invitation-only basis, being a part of its roster can be advantageous to members after earning their undergraduate degrees, such as when applying to graduate schools or for jobs.
Of course, it all starts with putting the honor society’s name on your resume.
Here are some other perks to enjoy for being a member of Alpha Chi:
1. Growth and networking opportunities
Members of Alpha Chi chapters serve as officers who are tasked with choosing their own events and activities among various duties and responsibilities.
Because of this, they get to develop many skills essential for success not only throughout their postsecondary years but also during their professional careers.
And with 500,000 alumni members and some 300 chapters across 45 states, running short on opportunities to build friendships and networks should be the least of the concerns of Alpha Chi members.
2. Annual national conventions
Every year, members of Alpha Chi are invited to attend the honor society’s national convention where they may present their creative or scholarly work in front of everybody at the event, including faculty of various academic disciplines.
Top presenters are given cash awards endowed by alumni members and friends of the prestigious honor society.
Also parts of the annual convention are social and civic events members may partake in.
3. Publication platforms
There are publications that Alpha Chi has on the internet, which its members can easily access.
Other than simply checking out the scholarly work of others, you may also submit yours — its editors will give it a quick review and tell you whether it needs some polishing or if it’s ready to undergo the official review process prior to publication.
4. Scholarship and fellowship awards
Like many other honor societies, Alpha Chi offers a number of members-only scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
Every year, each chapter of the organization is allowed to nominate a certain number of students per year, depending on how many inducted members there are.
According to Alpha Chi itself, it awards scholarships worth around $90,000 annually to its members.
Just Before You Choose to Be a Member of Alpha Chi
Considering the primary eligibility requirement to get an invitation to join, there’s no denying that Alpha Chi is one of the most selective honor societies in the US.
Needless to say, including the name of the organization in your resume can give you an advantage when applying to your top-choice graduate school or your dream company.
But since joining it doesn’t come free of charge and participating in its events will take up some of your time and energy, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of joining it before you make your decision.
Is Alpha Chi a legit honor society?
Alpha Chi is certified by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), which is the country’s only agency that verifies national honor societies. Alpha Chi was also recognized with the 2022 Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar, which specializes in collecting and displaying information about non-profit organizations.
When was Alpha Chi founded?
Alpha Chi was established in 1922 when representatives from 5 institutions of higher education in Texas met to organize a scholarship society. The local chapters were referred to as the Scholarship Societies of Texas. In 1927, they were collectively called the Scholarship Societies of the South, which became Alpha Chi in 1934.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.