5 Reasons Why a Phi Beta Kappa Membership Matters


It’s one thing to go to school and achieve good grades, but it’s important to realize that this is only a piece of the puzzle. People are social creatures, so you’ll need to link up with other like-minded individuals if you’re really trying to capitalize on your full potential. 

Once it’s time to enroll in college, you need to begin thinking about which organizations you’d like to join. There are several Greek-letter organizations and honor societies, but Phi Beta Kappa is the cream of the crop. 

Here’s what you need to know about Phi Beta Kappa and how becoming a member can skyrocket your life to new levels. 

What is Phi Beta Kappa?

Phi Beta Kappa is the country’s first and oldest honor society founded on a college campus. It was created by five William and Mary University students in 1776. 

This organization focuses on scholarship, as the Greek initials literally stand for “love for learning”. It’s an exclusive organization that can improve your life in a number of ways if you’re selected for membership. When you understand these benefits, you’ll begin to understand just how it can transform your life. 

What Are the Benefits of Phi Beta Kappa Membership?

So what makes Phi Beta Kappa so special? There are numerous advantages that you will experience should you be chosen for membership. 

Here’s what you should learn about the membership benefits that come with Phi Beta Kappa:

1. It’s an Elite Organization That is Highly Respected and Recognized

Phi Beta Kappa’s name rings out in academia and every industry. Part of the reason for this is that membership in this organization is so selective. 

Only 10% of institutions throughout the country have chapters on their campus. Among those institutions, each chapter chooses no more than 10 juniors and 55 seniors and graduates on campus each school year. With numbers so small, this accounts for less than 1% of the graduating senior class each year. 

The organization itself has high standards for membership since members need to have a minimum of a 3.8 Grade Point Average (GPA). They must also be of good moral character and an asset to the campus. By the time a candidate runs the gamut of these prerequisites, goes through the initiation process, and is chosen for membership, you can only deduce that the people chosen are high caliber. 

Those who understand how selective Phi Beta Kappa membership is respect it, which is why it is a feather in the cap that speaks for itself.

2. Membership is a Who’s Who Throughout History

When you take a look at the Phi Beta Kappa members throughout the course of history, it’s clear to see that it is a list of some of the most powerful and accomplished people in the world. 

Prolific scientist Ernest Just was also a member and went on to serve as the faculty advisor and founding member of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc., the first Greek-letter organization founded on a historically black college and university (HBCU) campus. 

Just a few other examples of Phi Beta Kappa members throughout the years include writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, author and activist W.E.B. Du Bois, business mogul John D. Rockefeller, educator Booker T. Washington, novelist Pearl Buck, poet Robert Frost, actor Paul Robeson, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and comedian Joan Rivers. 

Of the 44 people who have served as president of the United States, 17 have been members of Phi Beta Kappa. Several notable politicians, legislatures, and Nobel laureates have also been members of this prestigious organization. 

3. You Will Experience Significant Networking Power

When you consider the powerful members who have joined the ranks of Phi Beta Kappa, you can only deduce that the networking potential is huge. Taking advantage of networking is one of the most powerful ways to build a prosperous career. 

You’ll get access to a large alumni network of previous Phi Beta Kappa members who can connect you with people who can help you in your endeavors. Professionals in all different fields of industry are members of the organization, so you are opening yourself up to a vast amount of resources that you could never get on your own. 

4. The Principles of the Organization Will Shape You as a Person

Since this organization revolves around scholarship, you can’t help but raise your standards as an individual. Learning is a lifelong pursuit that opens new doors and lets you grow your perspectives. 

By immersing yourself in the meaning of the organization you’ll be able to learn and grow, and it’ll help to push you to heights that you wouldn’t have otherwise achieved on your own. 

5. The History is Rich and Inspirational

When you look into the history of Phi Beta Kappa it’s hard not to get inspired. For one, this was the first organization of its kind on American soil. It set the tone for Greek-letter organization using initials to signify a motto or creed. 

Now, virtually every institution has Greek-letter organizations and lifetime memberships that help people bridge the gap between their academic life and their careers. Today, there are close to 300 chapters all over the United States. 

By learning the rich history, and how five college students in the 1700s created a legacy that lasts today, it lets you know that through cooperation and perseverance, anything is possible. 

6. You’ll Have the Accountability to Keep Striving and Achieving

When you’re part of such a solid network of achievers, you’ll have the accountability that you need to stay on track with all of your goals and dreams. The world is a community, and you’re able to get more out of yourself when you have the helpful push of others in your life. 

Studies indicate that your success is an average of the five people that you deal with most regularly. If everyone in your accountability group has a roughly 4.0 GPA and are succeeding in their fields, it only makes sense that you’d also become an achiever. 

Belonging to this sort of group keeps you locked in and focused, and is the perfect launching pad as you go from college to the rest of your adult life. 

7. It Gives Your Resume a Boost

When you’re up to date with your resume you’ll be able to unlock new opportunities for your career. Having Phi Beta Kappa on your resume will keep you ahead of the pack whenever you’re applying for positions. 

Belonging to this prestigious organization will always keep you ahead of the game when you’re weighing your career prospects. Whether you’re going into medicine, law, STEM, or any other field, this is a credit that will carry you far. 

8. You Will Enjoy a Sense of Pride and Belonging

Even the little things will help you feel prideful about belonging to Phi Beta Kappa. Graduates receive a special pink and sky blue tassel and pin that they can wear on their cap and gown during their commencement ceremony. Of the thousands of graduates of your class, you’ll be one of the few from your school wearing this tassel. 

This sense of pride will be helpful to your psyche and will give you an overall sense of belonging. When you know that you’re in good company, it’ll drive you to want to succeed more in your personal life and professional life. 

Once you walk into any job interview or to complete your graduate studies, you’ll have your head held high and will feel comfortable speaking about your accomplishments. 

9. There is Huge Mentorship Potential

As you become part of this network, you’ll have the opportunity to learn up under mentors who are the best at what they do. Mentors are essential when you’re trying to climb the ranks of any career. 

Having access to someone skillful and knowledgable about the field that you’re going into can make your road easier and will help you to avoid the mistakes that come with the territory. This can also lead to new and different job opportunities that can make your life more fulfilling. 

10. You Can Participate in Several Events and Seminars

When you’re a member of Phi Beta Kappa, you will also be able to attend several events and conferences held by the organization. Each year you’ll be able to check the organization’s calendar of events so that you can learn and grow. 

There are several programs and initiatives that you can participate in. Whether you’re looking to grow your network of professional contacts or participate in the business of the honor society, these events add plenty of networking and travel potential that you can take part in. 

11. They Have Publications That Let You Stay in the Loop

The American Scholar is the quarterly publication put out by Phi Beta Kappa. This magazine has won several awards throughout the years and is filled with essays and poetry that professionals from all walks of life can appreciate. 

Members will also receive newsletters and bulletins that keep them in the loop of organizational happenings. When you receive these publications on a regular basis, it’ll help you to keep up with the times and understand the shifts happening within the society. 

12. It Teaches You How to Be Part of an Organization and a Community

Aside from simply being associated with Phi Beta Kappa, you will also take on the responsibility of being apart of an organization. Taking on this obligation teaches you how to participate in meetings, run for offices, and be accountable to others that you are working with. 

As you might imagine, these tips will help you as you move through your life and begin participating in committees and organizations of all kinds. This can help you whether you decide to run for public office or participate in non-profit organizations. 

13. These Opportunities Can Help You Become a Higher Earner and Expand Your Horizons

Though money isn’t everything, it’s a virtual lock that you will grow your earning potential when you become a member of Phi Beta Kappa. By associating yourself with other achievers who are at the top of their field, you’ll have the opportunity to forge connections that can also take your earning power to new heights. 

You’ll be able to expand your horizons in life in ways that you never thought. For instance, this earning potential will allow you to live in neighborhoods you never thought you could afford and send your children to the best schools.

You’ll likely take on new and different hobbies that you hadn’t considered before, and will shift paradigms that let you understand more of what’s possible. 

14. Participation Will Turn You Into a Lifelong Learner

When you’re locked in with such an organization, you’ll become a lifelong learner. You’ll likely become a voracious reader and will stay up to date on areas of interest. 

People who are achievers often have deep reading lists each year, which will shape your mind and who you become as a person. 

15. Membership Can Open Doors to Scholarships and Grants

Membership in this organization can also open the door to plenty of scholarship opportunities that can take your life to the next level. Whether you’re going to medical school, law school, or any other graduate study, it’ll only get more expensive. 

When you have access to a deep network you’ll find more scholarship opportunities that let you excel academically without breaking the bank. 

Do Your Diligence to Become Part of Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is an elite society that has stood the test of time for years. When you consider the points in this article, it’s easy to see why joining the ranks of this organization can change your life. 

Take some time to reach out to us to learn more about how the Honor Society can propel your educational and career dreams and aspirations. 

 



Source: HonorSociety.org Member Articles
5 Reasons Why a Phi Beta Kappa Membership Matters

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