“Misleading” Honorary Organizations

The pressure is almost over for William & Mary admissions. Students in the whereabouts accumulated their honors to heighten their chances of being admitted. Some can be legit, but some can be misleading. Look no further; below are a few honor societies that do not provide me much lifetime value.

The National Society of High School Scholars

I have seen many bumper stickers that say “Proud Parent of a Scholar – NSHSS.” Also known as NSHSS, the National Society of High School Scholars promises to join¬†its lifetime members with scholarships, events, networks, and scholastic and career opportunities that occur in high school, college, graduate school and beyond. I joined this organization in 2013 and became a local ambassador later in the year. Unfortunately, I was too busy with coursework, and I have not stood out much in the scholarship application process. Study abroad and networking events, including those in Washington, D.C., seem too distant from me. Today, I feel it was not worth listing NSHSS in my college application after all. I have read a news story regarding this “scam” as well.

National Council on Youth Leadership

Better yet known as NCYL, the National Council on Youth Leadership recognizes the youth for tremendous leadership and community service. In the Manassas and Prince William chapters, qualified students have their professional photos displayed on their school’s wall of fame. Scholarship opportunities are available, including an all-expenses-paid trip to an out-of-state conference. This is a rare achievement, however, and as the youth change, so do their activities and interests. Note that high school leadership is just one step toward the leadership we experience today, however similar both leaderships are.

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Definitely abbreviated as NSCS, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars involves plenty of institutional chapters that encourage hands-on learning. As a community college member, I have gained experiences with collaborative meetings, officer recruitment, community service, high school outreach, and more. Just as soon as I realized that the William & Mary chapter was not carrying along well, I decided to give myself a shot at making NSCS a better place. Four months of member recruitment and officer planning later, the results were not as favorable. Even worse, it is too late to try again as the last of the W&M NSCS members already graduated. As a benefit of the doubt, I was chapter president with goals to reactivate that organization. On the other hand, I did not use it on my resumes as I want to show to employers all my positives.

International Distinguished Scholars

Or IDS, International Distinguished Scholars is only one application away to nothing. Nothing but lifetime fees, hard-to-reach scholarships, and regalia. Harness the blue and gold as we hear from very few students around the world winning scholarships and organizing productive inductions. I guess they did have the time to do all that as the coursework could have been lighter. Unable to establish IDS at my community college, I doubt IDS molds me into anything different.


Are you kidding me? HonorSociety.org shows up every day in my personal inbox, and joining it is a perfect way to experience another scam. Legit organizations usually need to take place on campus, and they should be productive with the activities they plan. HonorSociety.org is virtual like IDS. We do nothing but pay the membership fee and regalia. Biggest trap you could ever fall into!

Keep in mind that there are ample opportunities that do not have to be honorary. Clubs and community service are a good start as they can influence your life after graduation. Part-time jobs and internships will help you grow professionally and be valuable to employers. If you have a hobby that does not fit into those categories, take it to the next level and be creative. It feels great to have this much freedom!

Categories: Campus Life, Student Blogs, Student Clubs & Orgs, Student Leadership Development

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