The Truth About Alpha Lambda Delta: Is It Worth the Hype for Freshmen?

According to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, nearly 50% of first-year students have trouble adjusting to the academic demands of college.

It isn’t surprising that most students who drop out of college do so in their first year.

Some of those who have a hard time transitioning may simply need guidance and support.

An honor society that might be able to help in this department is Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) — it probably doesn’t refer to itself as the honor society for first-year academic success for nothing.

However, there are a couple of issues with ALD.

Firstly, a Reddit user claiming to be an ALD member said that the honor society did nothing but sell flowers and paint pumpkins, adding that it recruits so many people.

Of course, we should take it with a grain of salt, given that the person could just be bitter for not being asked to join.

Yes, ALD is on an invitation-only basis.

Secondly, the honor society helps first-time, first-year students attain academic success, but students who are already doing marvelously academics-wise are the ones eligible to be asked to join.

You Can’t Just Join — You Need an Invitation to Join

Some honor societies are more prestigious than others.

Getting an invitation is the key to joining them.

You can’t just grab an application form, fill it out, and submit it — you need to meet minimum eligibility requirements, usually related to academics, and wait to be asked to become a member.

Alpha Lambda Delta is one of those whose membership is by invitation only.

First, You Need to be a First-Year Student

As mentioned, ALD refers to it as the honor society for first-year academic success.

The fundamental rule to get invited?

You must be a freshman.

It’s a good thing for college newbies because it’s not uncommon for many selective university honor societies to open their doors only to upper-class undergraduate students.

Besides, you probably wouldn’t need as much support after adjusting to college after the initial year.

Being a High-Achiever is a Must

Here’s when things can get a little confusing.

ALD members can enjoy various perks, some of the most noteworthy we will talk about shortly, which can help them survive their first year of college and shine academically.

However, you must already be academically successful to receive an invitation to join.

Having a 3.5 GPA or higher is one of the eligibility requirements.

Some college chapters may raise the minimum GPA requirement as they feel necessary and even require aspirants to be in the top 20% of their first-year class.

This is not necessarily a bad thing since it allows you to be in the company of other top-performing freshmen, which can inspire and motivate you to do your best throughout your college career.

Being enrolled full-time is also a must for eligibility.

Of course, to get invited to join ALD, your college must have a chapter of the honor society.

So, How Much Does an ALD Membership Cost?

Getting an invitation is not enough to turn you into an ALD member.

It’s also vital that you pay the $30 membership fee.

Worry not because it’s a one-time thing — once you shell out $30 to get in, you’re a member of ALD for the rest of your life unless you violate the academic honesty policy of your college.

The membership fee takes care of the following:

  • Membership certificate
  • Lapel pin

Of course, it also allows you to get into ALD, and being in ALD lets you enjoy member-exclusive perks.

But be warned: college chapters may ask for additional dues!

The national chapter, whose headquarters is in Fairport, New York, authorizes it, and it covers local expenses, including but not limited to scholarships, service projects, mailings, and refreshments.

ALD Membership: Is It Worth It for First-Year Students?

Being a member of an honor society isn’t just about belonging to a Greek-letter association.

It also allows you to take advantage of various benefits exclusive to those on the roster, but whether or not they can be of full use to you will depend on your interests and academic and career goals.

Getting an invitation from ALD is cost-free.

However, accepting the invitation to become a member isn’t.

Given that membership costs $30, it’s crucial that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of being a part of ALD before you agree to get inducted into the honor society.

It’s also vital to determine whether or not you can commit time to partake in its programs and activities.

Advantages to Enjoy for Being a Member

Different university honor societies are for various types of college students.

ALD is for above-average first-year students who could use some assistance to keep up the great work and also in other departments of their college careers, such as cost of attendance and networking.

Below are some of the perks that come with joining ALD:

  • Lifetime membership. You will not be kicked out of the group if your GPA drops, although graduating with a GPA of not less than 3.0 may allow you to receive acknowledgment via a certificate.
  • Undergraduate scholarships. As an ALD member, you can compete for 50 undergrad scholarships ($1,000 to $6,000) and 20 study-abroad scholarships ($1,000 to $2,000).
  • ALD Perks. This program, which uses an app, allows members to enjoy more than 300,000 discounts across 10,000 cities, thus allowing them to save up to $4,500 in car rentals, movies, hotels, wellness, etc.
  • Career preparedness. ALD Leads Certified consists of 12 self-paced online courses that allow you to develop leadership skills and gear up for your chosen career.
  • Networking opportunities. An induction into the honor society allows you to obtain the guidance and support of successful alumni members — to date, ALD has more than 1.3 million lifetime members.

Disadvantages to Consider

While ALD membership comes with various perks, there are some downsides, too.

Establish your academic goals before you say yes to an invitation to join. It’s also vital to point out your personal interests, strengths, and weaknesses to determine if it’s the appropriate honor society for you.

Let’s enumerate some of the not-so-good things about Alpha Lambda Delta:

  • Membership isn’t free. While it’s a one-time fee, membership to ALD comes with a price tag, which can be higher than the national rate, given that local chapters have the power to charge recruits more money.
  • Time consuming. Participating in programs and activities by your college chapter requires commitment in addition to your studies and undertakings outside the campus, like a part-time job.
  • Not like-minded members. Wikipedia says that ALD initiates 25,000 to 30,000 new members per year, and the only thing they share in common is they are outstanding freshmen with high GPAs — they have different majors, interests, etc.

Read Next: Is Phi Theta Kappa Worth It?

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.

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