At any given time, a handful of organizations call themselves honor societies while operating more like profit-making ventures. In ACHS’s opinion, these societies offer little or no benefit in advancing student scholarship and leadership, and membership in them does not indicate that a student has attained “superior scholastic achievement” as defined by both the Association of College Honor Societies and the United States Office of Personnel Management.

Membership in ACHS guarantees that a society meets strict criteria designed to ensure student growth and tangible, lifelong benefits to belonging. Certification for membership is provided by the ACHS credentialing body only to ACHS member societies and organizations that complete a Petition for Membership.

ACHS strongly encourages all students and their parents to carefully examine invitations to join a society that is not a member of ACHS. We recommend that you do not commit to a financial obligation until you have verified that membership in any non-certified group is, in fact, an honor.

To assist you in making these determinations, we have developed a checklist you can use to verify that an organization truly exists to bestow an honor upon and provide a service to you or to your student. If any of these criteria are not met, we strongly encourage you to carefully consider your options.

Also see: How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society

ACHS Checklist for Students, Parents and School Administrators to Evaluate Non-Certified Honor Societies