5 Things You Should Know About Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society

Maybe at your high school, you were a big fish in a small pond. You were one of the top students in your class, had leadership roles in all sorts of clubs and organizations, and got into your dream school. Hooray!

You’ve finally made it to campus, where you’re now a first-year student. Once a big fish, you’re now feeling like a small fish in an ocean bigger than you ever dreamed. Now what?

Swim on, little fish! Students who excel during their first year in college might consider joining Alpha Lambda Delta, one of the best first year honor societies for high achieving college freshmen.

Membership in this organization is a wonderful way to find a small community of strong students within a much larger campus community. And that’s only the start of the benefits you’ll gain from becoming a member.

Are you thinking about becoming a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and starting your college career on a high note?

Read on to learn five things you need to know to find your new family within the first-year class. After all, a small fish is powerful when it’s part of a big school.

1. Who Can Join Alpha Lambda Delta?

Some students find their first semester of college challenging for any number of reasons. It’s a culture shock! They might feel overwhelmed by the workload, the higher expectations, or the freedom of campus life. 

Other students excel out of the gate, taking on their new course load like it’s old hat. Those are the students who find a home with the members of Alpha Lambda Delta. It’s an organization specifically intended for members of the first-year class who have had a fantastic first semester and hope to continue to succeed as they enter their second semester and embark on the remainder of their journey in higher education. 

The organization has existed in some form since 1924. It was founded by the Dean of Women at the University of Illinois. There was already an organization intended to reward the success of freshmen men, and she believed that women deserved the same sort of distinction.

It remained a women’s only organization until the 1970s, when Title IX changed the rules. From then on, it has been a coed organization, welcoming students of all genders. Today, the organization receives any student who has demonstrated academic success during their first year of college, no matter who they are. 

Alpha Lambda Delta has inducted over a million students since 1924. Each of those students reflects the organization’s value of academic excellence in higher education. In essence, if you’re a high-achieving student in your first year of college, this organization might be for you.

2. What Are the Alpha Lambda Delta Requirements?

Are you wondering how to join Alpha Lambda Delta? Members must meet a series of requirements to earn an invitation. 

Alpha Lambda Delta is unique in that it only inducts freshmen students following their first semester in a college or university. That means that, often, the invitation to join the society is the first honor society invitation that a freshman student will receive. It’s an exciting moment, to be sure, but who exactly gets the invitation, and how can you ensure you’ll get one? 

The truth is, there are very few requirements for membership in the organization. Specific requirements may vary from chapter to chapter and will depend on the level of rigor at your school. 

Enrollment Status

To earn an invitation to Alpha Lambda Delta, you must be a first-year student. As defined by your institution, you must be a full-time student and have taken a full course load during your first semester. Transfer students may be eligible but should consult the on-campus chapter at their new institution.


The minimum requirement from the organization itself is a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 GPA scale. Some schools only offer invitations to the top students in the first-year class who meet all requirements. This might mean that your 3.5 is not enough to earn an invitation, depending on the specific selection process at your college. 

Membership Fees or Dues

There is a small membership fee, but it’s genuinely minimal. Upon induction, you will pay a one-time fee of $30, the lowest fee demanded by any honor society in the entire country. 

That’s it! Amazingly, $30 and one semester of academic success is enough to earn you a lifetime membership to the organization. Your affiliation doesn’t have to end when you begin your sophomore year and can even help you post-graduation as you enter graduate school or the workforce. For your money, you also receive a certificate a lapel pin from the organization. 

Individual chapters may require other fees, such as dues. These funds will usually cover your induction ceremony, plus any on-campus programming or projects that you engage in as a member of the organization. However, sometimes these get rolled into your student activities fee, so it’s still a great deal overall.

3. Alpha Lambda Delta Benefits

For a college student, $30 may seem like a significant financial investment. That could pay for pizzas for your entire suite in the dorms. Membership is worth the money, however, as it comes with a host of incredible benefits that you can take advantage of for life. 


It can be hard to find “your people” on a college campus, especially at a large school. Membership in Alpha Lambda Delta will connect you with other students who value academic success. It’s a great way to meet new people who value excellence from a wide variety of programs and backgrounds. 

Furthermore, you’ll be becoming part of an organization that has existed since 1924! That’s nearly one hundred years of history. You’ll be able to connect with over one million Alpha Lambda Delta members, which might be enough to make a connection that can land an internship, interview, or even a job in the future.

Each chapter has unique induction rituals, goals, and activities, so your involvement with the Alpha Lambda Delta community on your campus may vary. In general, however, the organization seeks to give back through service and volunteer opportunities. You’ll be able to collaborate with others on meaningful service and projects that enhance the broader community. 

There is no requirement for involvement, however. All a member needs to do is meet the requirements, and they can boast their affiliation on their resume. Even so, most members enjoy the kinship they find with other members and the many activities and opportunities that active membership provides.

Financial Benefits and Awards

Once you become a member, you become eligible for the financial benefits and awards available only to honor society members. The National Council, which runs and oversees the organization at the national level, seeks to invest in its youngest members.

The organization regularly receives financial gifts from chapters, alumni, and other supporters. This money goes into the Perpetual Fellowship Fund, which provides $210,000 in scholarships each year.

This money allows Alpha Lambda Delta to award 37 undergraduate students with scholarships each year, ranging from $1000 to $6000. That’s one way to earn back the $30 fee you invested in becoming a member and can remove a lot of the burden of paying for school. 

Are you starting to get sick of the same old view of campus? Alpha Lambda Delta is also a massive supporter of study abroad opportunities. Members can apply for one of 20 study-abroad scholarships, ranging from $1000 to $2000.

Even after graduation, you can continue to win financial awards. Members who pursue a graduate education can apply for one of 26 graduate-level fellowships. Students can continue their track record of academic success with monetary awards ranging from $3000 to $7500.

Perks and Discounts

As soon as you complete your induction, you immediately become eligible for the benefits of the ALD Perks Program. At this moment, this gains you access to 302,000 specific perks and discounts and climbing. These range from everything from monthly giveaway prizes to insurance benefits, so they’re worth looking into.

All of the perks are convenient to access, as Alpha Lambda Delta has an easy-to-navigate app where you can find all of the current discounts and deals. 

Some of the most popular perks available through the ALD app include:

  • Discounted movie tickets
  • Discounts on travel and hotels
  • Health memberships
  • Monthly giveaways
  • Discounts to local stores
  • Dining discounts
  • Discounted tickets to recreation activities 

These perks will come in handy for a college freshman looking to have a fun and fulfilling college experience. They also provide opportunities to see your college town and get to know your fellow inductees. 

Leadership Development

Alpha Lambda Delta offers regular online webinars for members. This is uncommon for your average honor society but has proven helpful for many members keen to develop their leadership skills. 

Employment Benefits 

If you’re planning to go into federal service, membership in this honor society can ensure that you’re not starting at the bottom. You’ll be able to enter the workforce with the designation of holding “Superior Academic Achievement.” While the average worker will begin at level G-5, you can become a G-7 employee and make more money to do the same job.

Affiliation For Life 

Once a member, always a member. As soon as you pay your $30 induction fee, you will become an Alpha Lambda Delta scholar for life. That means you will have access to all of the above benefits as long as you want–all for working hard during your first semester of college.

4. Alpha Lambda Delta Reviews

What do students and other organizations think about membership in Alpha Lambda Delta? 

Students have described the organization as a “Leadership stepping stone,” emphasizing the environment of academic excellence created through fellowship with other members. Another student references the lifelong friendships that she was able to make with like-minded students. 

Honorsociety.org also provided a review of the organization, giving it a bronze rating. They appreciated the organization’s ability to set high-achieving students on a positive trajectory, equipping them with the tools and support they need to continue to achieve. They understand the availability of online leadership webinars but wish that the organization offered more than recognition. 

5. Does My School Have a Chapter?

If you’re ready to work hard during your first semester so you can become a member, you will want to ensure that your school has a chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta on campus first. 

There are currently no active chapters of Alpha Lambda Delta in Alaska, Nevada, Rhode Island, or Wyoming. Every other state hosts at least one chapter, including the District of Columbia.

One international chapter is at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. There’s also a National Chapter for students who transfer to a university without an active chapter on campus. You can start a chapter on your campus at any time with support from your school’s administration. 

Browse an alphabetical list of current chapters on the official Alpha Lambda Delta website.

Your First Year: Your Best Year! 

If you’re a high-achieving student looking ahead to leadership and job prospects in the future, Alpha Lambda Delta can help you get an excellent head start. If you continue to succeed, there are plenty more national honor societies to join, and they’d all be lucky to have you as their newest member!

Are you curious about what other honor societies are out there? Honorsociety.org can help connect you with organizations providing scholarships, awards, and fellowship with other hard-working students across the country.

Browse the scholarship directory today to see what awards are waiting for you with an Honor Society membership.

Source: HonorSociety.org Member Articles
5 Things You Should Know About Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society

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