View original blog post HERE by Erin Cogswell.
We field questions from students all over the world about Phi Theta Kappa membership, and some questions are asked more than others. Here are the Top 10 most frequently asked questions about PTK:
1. Do you have to pay the membership fee every year?
Nope! You are asked to pay a one-time lifetime membership fee that covers the international fee of $60 and may include a regional fee and/or local fee as well. You pay this when you accept membership, and that's it — there are no annual dues, and you never have to renew your membership.
2. What help is available for people who cannot afford the membership fee?
Phi Theta Kappa advisors may nominate prospective members for the Society’s Golden Opportunity Fee Waiver, which is awarded to more than 300 students twice a year and waives the international membership fee of $60. Some chapters may offer membership scholarships that cover the fee, or some colleges’ foundations may have funds reserved to help students in need. Talk through your options with your advisor.
3. What is the minimum GPA that must be maintained in order to remain a member?
In general, you must maintain a “B” average — 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) — to remain a PTK member. However, individual chapters can set their own maintenance GPA’s, so check with your local advisor.
Don’t get hung up on this, though — once you become a member, you will be surrounded by a supportive network that pushes you to continue to excel. Members are more likely than non-members to graduate and transfer, so this is a group you’ll want to join ASAP.
4. As a Phi Theta Kappa member, what is required of me?
Nothing! You can pay your membership fee and never do anything else, and you’ll still be a PTK member. Of course, we don’t recommend that — membership is what you make of it, and the return on your investment is up to you.
Apply for scholarships. Serve on a committee to develop leadership skills. Put what you’re learning in the classroom to use in real-world settings, such as honors and service projects. For a high ROI, explore opportunities and benefits at all three levels: local, regional, and international. Your résumé — and your future self — will thank you.
5. What does the average PTK member look like?
Look in the mirror — YOU are the average PTK member. Our members span ages, ethnicities, income levels, majors, and career goals. They are parents, veterans, first-generation college students, online learners, and GED recipients. They’ve been homeschooled. They’ve been homeless. They’re still in high school. They’re the oldest students in the classroom. They’re returning to college for yet another certificate or degree. We even offer membership to incarcerated students who are seeking a second chance in life – Phi Theta Kappa doesn't hinder anyone from that.
The average GPA of a PTK member is 3.78. The average age is 29. The Top 5 majors are Pre-Nursing Studies, Business Management, and Marketing, Public Health, Liberal Arts and Sciences/General Studies, and Education.
Picture a college student, and you’ll be picturing a PTK member.
6. How will this membership benefit me?
It depends on your plans. Transferring to a four-year school? Check PTK Connect to see what universities in your area offer transfer scholarships exclusively for PTK members. Earning a credential for work? Gain those important, but often unspoken, job skills like team-building and communication as you work with your chapter on projects. And everyone benefits from being around like-minded people, being exposed to new ideas and ideals, and being surrounded by people who are eager to help you reach your educational goals.
7. How can I meet other PTK members near me?
You will receive notification about upcoming induction ceremonies, orientation sessions, and meetings from either your local advisor or your chapter officers. You can also use this tool to search for your local chapter and your advisors’ names, email addresses, and phone numbers. We encourage you to reach out to them and see what upcoming meetings and events are planned.
8. Must I be earning an associate degree and/or transferring to a four-year college to become a member?
Absolutely not. The only requirements for membership are that you complete at least 12 hours of course work that could be applied toward an associate degree at the college where you are currently enrolled and that you have met your local chapter’s required GPA.
9. Are part-time students or high school students eligible for membership?
Of course! Again, we only require that you complete at least 12 hours of course work and that you have met your local chapter’s required GPA. We have many members — and chapter officers — who are part-time students or still in high school!
10. Are there Phi Theta Kappa scholarships available for international students?
Actually, we have a scholarship specifically for international students — the Coca-Cola Global Leaders of Promise Scholarship, which opens every spring.
Scholarships on PTK’s fall scholarship application are open to students with a variety of citizenship statuses, and applicants are required to provide proof of citizenship documentation. Some may have unique citizenship status restrictions. Read more, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.