Better And Better

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Scam society.

This morning, when I checked my mailbox, I found a post card on nice cream paper stock, inviting me to join "THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS HONOR SOCIETY." It read, as follows:

"The Officers and Directors of
THE NATIONAL SCHOLARS
HONOR SOCIETY
Cordially invite you to apply for Honor Society Membership.
You may complete the application on-line at:
MAGNA CUM LAUDE.ORG
Your application code is 9XXX.
Wishing you congratulations and continued success.
The National Scholars Honor Society.
EstablishedMCMXCVII."
Well.

The organization certainly has the words "National," "Honor," and "Society" in its name, but, uh... it's not the National Honor Society. First, that organization is for recognizing high school and junior high school students, not post-graduate students. It's a nice little sumpin' sumpin' to put on your college application, if you were a member of NHS in high school. (I was not.) But I was pretty sure as I looked over this card that NHS hadn't begun to recognize aging graduate students with mediocre-at-best GPAs.

Then my eye caught that bottom part, after the logo/crest thingy. "MCMXCVII." Heh. 1997, huh? I don't know when the NHS first started making pimply teenagers put on car washes to fund service projects, but I guaren-damn-tee you that it was before I was born, rather than 7 years after I graduated high school.

So I went to their website, and was shocked --SHOCKED-- to find that they'll publish your name on the website as a member of their august organization, for the low-low entry fee of $85.

They proclaim that they are a society dedicated to recognizing people for more than just their G.P.A.s. They want to know that you're filled with integrity. How do they know? Why, you have to check a check box proclaiming that you have read and agree with their honor code, which basically says that we think it's wrong not to be nice to people. The code asserts that members pledge to "honor myself."

Well, yes, that's exactly what they pay the eighty five bucks for isn't it?

This card is now contributing to the future compost that resides in the receptacle under my shredder.

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11 Comments:

At Sunday, November 04, 2007 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Babs RN said...

Even the real National Honor Society, the various subject-specifici Merit societies, and the Who's Who Among American High School Students (and the college versions of that) were just money-grabbers. Sure, you had to be nominated by your teachers and awarded by the individual group, but from there on they preyed on peoples' pride by offering up all these things you could buy at inflated prices to commemorate that and show it off. Me? I just kept the letters they sent me and I can assure you it had no bearing on the rest of my life. Doubt their big bound books of everyone included that year would have made any difference either.

 
At Sunday, November 04, 2007 11:06:00 AM, Blogger Don Gwinn said...

Aw, that ain't worth nothin'. Wanna be the Soke and Founder and 10th-Degree Black Belt of your very own martial art? I can hook you up.

But it's cheaper just to get inducted into the Hall of Fame . . . .

 
At Sunday, November 04, 2007 12:57:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Babs, I kept the little card that said that I was a "Commended Student." Funny thing-- my PSAT scores were high enough for 'em, just not my GPA in high school. I was one of only two who graduated that year with Advanced Honors Diplomas (worthless, BTW. No-- worse than worthless. It meant that I had taken honors classes with no benefit to my GPA, and no credit from colleges or scholarship foundations for the effort (or lack thereof)), who didn't wear the gold sash to denote membership to the NHS. Just meant I got to walk with the first 40 rather than with the remaining 485 or so. B.F.D. That card the NHS sent me was worth very, very little to me, in the long run.

And Don, seriously-- you really worry about such things? REALLY? Kwitcher worryin' and go write me a blog.

And bring me some pie.

 
At Monday, November 12, 2007 3:36:00 PM, Anonymous comatus said...

In the ancient, now-forgotten world that was MCMLXX, the worst thing that ever happened to me was qualifying as a National Merit Scholar. Who knew that the "guaranteed full ride" dis-qualified one for all other aid? Who knew that if one's parents had money in a bank somewhere, the total value of the Honour was One Thousand American Dollars, or that getting one's photo on Page One of "One of America's Great Newspapers" would engender beatings, round-the-clock crank calls, and a bomb threat at graduation? What a thrill that was.

Since then, I have also been suckered in by Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Tau Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi, none of which got "one" so much as introduced around, let alone laid or employed. Today, of course, NM Scholars actually do get a full ride. And after I got both degrees, Second-Rate State bought a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, so the ex who wouldn't go to college until Pell grants would cover it gets The Key. I'm happy for them, one and all.

 
At Friday, February 22, 2008 9:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got one of those today in the mail; at first I was quite honored, and then I began to smell a scam. Then I found this article. (sigh) Guess I'm nothing spectacular after all:) Thanks for the warning!
KC

 
At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 9:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences on this "National Scholars Honor Society". I had doubts at first that it's a scam. After reading evryone's comment, I confirmed to myself, its a scam. RN, MSN

 
At Saturday, January 24, 2009 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MCMXCVII brought me to your write up... good stuff. The posts are pretty funny too. Before I came here an University of Oklahoma's administrator filled out an application for her four year old dog and the Officers and Directors were very excited to accept him! I hope they keep these scams coming, they are priceless....

 
At Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was inducted for free to the National Scholars Honor Society. They also delivered on their promise to post my name on their list. Where's the scam?

I also have been granted memberships to other, more well known honor societies, including the National Dean's List. Their membership dues are all comparable, usually in the range of $50 to $100.

But a fee for membership isn't necessarily the hallmark of a scam.

 
At Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:26:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Anony-Mouse:

The scam is that there's the impression of prestiege. There is zero selectivity to this. My cat could get in, and he's not even very smart for a cat.

If it's so above board, why use the confusingly-similar name? Why not make the bar harder to reach. The only distinction is that you had the eighty bucks to blow for another line on your resume'.

 
At Wednesday, May 20, 2009 9:16:00 PM, Blogger Brendan Bombaci said...

Well... they do surely have a requisite acceptance form to fill out, which includes an essay as to your aspirations and your current student status. Whether or not it's actually read: who knows. The fee bugs me. So does the fact that you'd never know whether or not the people they claim to have given scholarships to actually exist as real people, or, if they do exist, whether or not they received any money. I applied and got a letter back telling me I'm accepted, asking for a fee, and informing me that I'm not eligible for their scholarship. My record is pretty nice thus far. I won't join 'em unless they give me a scholarship!! Why would I? So I can put some crap on my curriculum vitae that I gave money to some organization that didn't ever recognize me for a darned thing? HA!

 
At Monday, March 12, 2012 10:01:00 AM, Blogger JenRN78 said...

I was invited to National Dean's List, National Scholars, and Phi Theta Kappa while in junior college. I can tell you that the only one worth anything was PTK. Phi Theta Kappa offered leadership training, service projects, scholar discussion topics, fellowship opportunities, and chapter/regional/international leadership positions. In nursing school, I initially thought Sigma Theta Tau was similar to the scams; I have been proven wrong, and I am happy to say I am an active member. Scams do exist, but there are many 'honors' that can reward you greatly if you put in the effort to show it is more than a fancy line on a resume or CV.

 

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