Most university honors programs require students to jump through several hoops in order to graduate with distinction (or honors). Even getting into the honors college can be a hassle – you’re often required to submit a letter of recommendation and an essay. So is it really worth all the extra effort? Should you put in the extra work to be an honors student?
1) A Strong Learning Desire to Learn
In my experience, honors students are not smarter than other undergraduates; however they do tend to be more committed to learning and getting their degree. All honors students must maintain a high GPA and complete extra courses. So, if you’re a motivated undergraduate, and you want to be surrounded by other hard working, serious students than the honors college might be a good place for you.
2) Extra-curricular Activities
Most universities give honors students (and other scholars) exclusive access to special events and activities. These events can be anything from free baseball game (or opera) tickets to a dinner with alumni and the movers and shakers of the business world.
3) A Resume Upgrade
The fact that you’re an honors student says two things to potential employers. 1) You’re a dedicated worker and 2) you have a high GPA. That’s definitely not going to hurt your job search. Also, if you plan to attend graduate school immediately after completing your undergrad, graduating with distinction is one way to make your application stand out.
4) Fascinating Coursework
In addition to events, honors students also have access to honors classes. These courses are usually smaller (7-20 students) than the typical undergraduate class, and they give students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of unique topics.
5) More of a Challenge
In order to graduate with distinction, honors students must complete specific course requirements (it varies by school). This means students can either take a required number of honors classes or they can take their undergraduate courses for honors credit. If they elect to do the latter they must work with the professor to create a project that will satisfy the honors college requirements. Yes, that means the students have to complete extra work, but it also means they get to participate in some very fascinating projects.
6) Early Registration
As an honors student, you rarely have to worry about registering for all your classes. The only students who get to register before honors students are usually graduating seniors. That means you can probably design the perfect schedule every semester.
7) Extra Amenities
Private computer labs, free printing materials, and special study lounges are often designated for honors students only. The university wants you to have a high GPA, so why not enjoy the rewards for your hard work.
8) The Honors Residence Hall
The honors residence hall is often rumored to be the best residence hall on campus. Although it’s not always true, it’s worth looking into.