Honor Society Explained: Alpha Sigma Lambda

Elevate - The Honor Society Magazine
Honor Society Explained: Alpha Sigma Lambda
Nov 16,2021

The population of college students today is increasingly nontraditional. While there are still many students that matriculate directly from high school, others are full-time employees, parents, and retirees.

Some estimates even suggest that 40% of the current population of undergraduates in the United States are non-traditional students.

Non-traditional students face unique challenges compared to traditional college students. One honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda, exists solely for the advancement of non-traditional students at institutions across the United States.

Are you interested in learning more about Alpha Sigma Lambda? Let's take a look at everything you need to know.

What Is Alpha Sigma Lambda?

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the largest and oldest national honor society for students that aren't "traditional" students. Non-traditional students are usually adults that are also engaged in professional careers. To be a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, members must achieve and maintain outstanding academic standards as well as leadership characteristics.

The founding chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda was established in 1946 at Northwestern University. It was created by Dr. Rollin Posey in order to recognize the academic accomplishments of people returning after World War II.

In the United States today, there are more than 300 active Alpha Sigma Lambda chapters. When you are a member, it's not just for the years you are in college. This is a lifetime membership.

Alpha Sigma Lambda is recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies as the official honor society for adult learners. They focus on helping nontraditional students that are facing competing interests of home and work while still accomplishing academic excellence.

This is a society that encourages adult learners to earn associate and bachelor's degrees. They are dedicated to recognizing high scholastic achievement and advancing scholarship.

Through both fraternity and scholasticism, ASL works to inspire candidates to share their strengths with both their fellow students and communities.

If you are transferring between schools, your membership might be able to be transferred to your new institution. All you will need is the permission of the chapter counselor at the school that you will be attending.

There are membership dues for being an ASL member. Each institutional chapter determines these dues. In order to learn how much the dues are at your institution, you will want to contact the chapter counselor.

Alpha Sigma Lambda offers a newsletter referred to as "Midnight Oil." This is a way to keep up with what is going on within the organization as well as highlighting specific chapters of the organization.

What Is a Non-Traditional College Student?

When you think of college students, you likely think of a young adult who lives in a dorm. The typical college student in our mind has help from their parents when it comes to paying for their education.

However, this is not a very accurate picture of college in the U.S. Many students could qualify as non-traditional students. The definition of nontraditional student isn't set in stone and can vary depending on the institution or organization in question.

There are three main criteria that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) uses to define nontraditional students. These are enrollment patterns, financial and family status, and high school graduation status.

Enrollment pattern refers to when and how you enroll in an undergraduate program. People who attend college part-time or who enroll several years after graduating from high school are sometimes considered non-traditional students.

According to the NCES, nontraditional students might:

  • Be financially independent
  • Be a single parent
  • Have one or more dependent child
  • Work a full-time job while in school

Lastly, the NCES considers students non-traditional if they received a GED instead of a high school diploma.

Many schools have their own specific definitions of non-traditional students. Some schools let students self-identify as non-traditional while others are more strict.

Some of the alternative ways of defining this term include:

  • Living off-campus
  • Commuting a certain distance to campus
  • Starting college at 25 or older
  • Being a first-generation college student
  • Restarting college after previously not completing a degree
  • Having an income under a certain amount

There are a number of hurdles that nontraditional students can face that typical students might not. These include balancing life, school, and work as well as financing their school. Additionally, older students can struggle to find confidence and learn modern technology.

Whether you're a first-generation student or working a full-time job on top of attending schools, being a nontraditional student can present unique challenges.

(Are you trying to figure out how to fund your college education? Take a look at our resource guide to help you find and apply for the best college scholarships.)

Colors, Crest, and Symbols

Burgundy and gold are the colors of Alpha Sigma Lambda. Burgundy indicates action, power, and confidence, while gold implies wealth, wisdom, success, prosperity, optimism, and good health.

The crest of ASL has the symbols Alpha, Sigma, and Lambda which respectively stand for "First," "Scholarship," and "Leadership."

It also has an illustration of a book, a lamp, and a torch. The book is meant to denote a love of knowledge, the lamp denotes wisdom, and the torch denotes life.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Requirements

There are a number of requirements in order to be a member of ASL. At this point, undergraduate students working towards their first degree are the only students that can be members. They must have finished at least twenty-four graded semester hour credits or what is deemed to be equivalent.

At least twelve of the credits a student has earned should be earned in Liberal Arts/Sciences courses. This does not include courses in the applied Arts/Sciences.

You can learn more about the specifics of ASL requirements here.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Annual Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships offered by Alpha Sigma Lambda to help adult students when they are working to earn their first undergraduate degree.

In 2020, ASL awarded thirteen different scholarships, each of which amounted to $3600.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, ASL has committed to grading fifteen $2500 scholarships and five $3000 scholarships.

In order to apply for scholarships, you must do so through the Alpha Sigma Lambda website. The applications are posted in January of each year.

Applications must be returned to your institution's chapter counselor. The deadline for applications is determined by the chapter counselor.

In order to apply for a scholarship, you don't have to be a member of ASL. However, the institution you attend must have an active chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda in order to be eligible.

(Are you committed to ensuring that your academic record is impeccable while you're in school? Check out our tips for getting on the Dean's List here.)

What Are the Benefits of Joining an Honor Society?

You've probably heard that joining an honor society can help you in a number of different areas of life. But what are the specific benefits?

Scholarships and Grants

There are typically scholarships and grants you can take advantage of when you join an honor society. This can be particularly beneficial for non-traditional students. These students are often facing a more substantial economic burden when it comes to attending school, and finding funding options can make educational advancement possible.

Jobs and Internships

When you join an honor society, they typically have many partner institutions. Through these partners, you might be able to find internship and job opportunities that help to further your career. It can also be a great way to gain experience in the field that you are interested in.

Leadership and Mentorship

Joining an honor society is also a great way to build and develop leadership skills. This can help you in both your career and your life.

Academics

There are also academic benefits to joining an honor society. Not only can you apply for scholarships and grants, but you'll also be in a group with like-minded people who are driven to academic excellence.

Networking

Another essential benefit of honor societies is the networking opportunities they offer. Joining an honor society can help you brush shoulders with top professionals in a wide variety of industries as well as alumni. They can help connect you and give you advice when it comes to pursuing your dream job when you've finished school.

Likeminded People and Community

When you join an honor society like ASL, it puts you in contact with like-minded people across all fields. While these people might not be studying the same thing as you, you may find people who you connect with in regards to your academic and life ambitions.

Friendship

This can be a great way to meet friends, too. ASL in particular can be a great way to make connections with other nontraditional students.

When you are a nontraditional student, it's easy to feel a bit left out when you are older than many of the other students. This is a way to connect with other nontraditional students with who you might have more in common.

Professional and Resume Building

When you're a member of an honor society, you're also building your resume. This can help you stand out when you are applying for jobs during or after school.

When you take part in activities as an active member, it can also help you build professional skills. The work field is incredibly competitive these days, and joining an honor society can help you stand out from the crowd.

Community Service

Another big part of being in an honor society is community service. Depending on the honor society you join, you'll likely find that there are many opportunities to help your community.

Are you a graduate student that's interested in what benefits an honor society can provide? Check out this list of seven benefits for grad students.

How to Join Alpha Sigma Lambda

You can be inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda through an institution. This means that if the institution that you attend has an Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter, they have their own criteria you will need to meet in order to be invited.

In order to join Alpha Sigma Lambda, you must be invited. Invitations are extended by the chapter counselor at the institution you attend.

How Can You Stay Connected With ASL?

There are a number of social networking groups for Alpha Sigma Lambda. These can be found on their website. There is also a mailing list you can subscribe to in order to keep up to date on all happenings in the organization.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Review

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the preeminent honor society for nontraditional students. Since there is no official GPA required by ASL at the national level, this is a more inclusive society than others. However, each institution's chapter can set a minimum GPA requirement.

One of the downsides of ASL is that it is only for undergraduates who are attending school for the first time. This means that nontraditional students attending graduate school or returning to school aren't eligible at this time.

Should You Join an Honor Society?

As you can see, joining Alpha Sigma Lamba can offer numerous benefits as well as a community of like-minded students at your school. If you are a nontraditional student, you might be interested to find out whether or not your institution has a chapter.

If your institution doesn't have a chapter, you might consider starting one yourself. This could be a great way to become more involved in the school and meet other nontraditional students.

At Honor Society, we offer a number of benefits to help you succeed both today and tomorrow. You can learn more about our membership here.

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Honor Society Explained: Alpha Sigma Lambda

 Honor Society Explained: Alpha Sigma Lambda

Honor Society Explained: Alpha Sigma Lambda

Honor Society Explained: Alpha Sigma Lambda

The population of college students today is increasingly nontraditional. While there are still many students that matriculate directly from high school, others are full-time employees, parents, and retirees.

Some estimates even suggest that 40% of the current population of undergraduates in the United States are non-traditional students.

Non-traditional students face unique challenges compared to traditional college students. One honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda, exists solely for the advancement of non-traditional students at institutions across the United States.

Are you interested in learning more about Alpha Sigma Lambda? Let's take a look at everything you need to know.

What Is Alpha Sigma Lambda?

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the largest and oldest national honor society for students that aren't "traditional" students. Non-traditional students are usually adults that are also engaged in professional careers. To be a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda, members must achieve and maintain outstanding academic standards as well as leadership characteristics.

The founding chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda was established in 1946 at Northwestern University. It was created by Dr. Rollin Posey in order to recognize the academic accomplishments of people returning after World War II.

In the United States today, there are more than 300 active Alpha Sigma Lambda chapters. When you are a member, it's not just for the years you are in college. This is a lifetime membership.

Alpha Sigma Lambda is recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies as the official honor society for adult learners. They focus on helping nontraditional students that are facing competing interests of home and work while still accomplishing academic excellence.

This is a society that encourages adult learners to earn associate and bachelor's degrees. They are dedicated to recognizing high scholastic achievement and advancing scholarship.

Through both fraternity and scholasticism, ASL works to inspire candidates to share their strengths with both their fellow students and communities.

If you are transferring between schools, your membership might be able to be transferred to your new institution. All you will need is the permission of the chapter counselor at the school that you will be attending.

There are membership dues for being an ASL member. Each institutional chapter determines these dues. In order to learn how much the dues are at your institution, you will want to contact the chapter counselor.

Alpha Sigma Lambda offers a newsletter referred to as "Midnight Oil." This is a way to keep up with what is going on within the organization as well as highlighting specific chapters of the organization.

What Is a Non-Traditional College Student?

When you think of college students, you likely think of a young adult who lives in a dorm. The typical college student in our mind has help from their parents when it comes to paying for their education.

However, this is not a very accurate picture of college in the U.S. Many students could qualify as non-traditional students. The definition of nontraditional student isn't set in stone and can vary depending on the institution or organization in question.

There are three main criteria that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) uses to define nontraditional students. These are enrollment patterns, financial and family status, and high school graduation status.

Enrollment pattern refers to when and how you enroll in an undergraduate program. People who attend college part-time or who enroll several years after graduating from high school are sometimes considered non-traditional students.

According to the NCES, nontraditional students might:

  • Be financially independent
  • Be a single parent
  • Have one or more dependent child
  • Work a full-time job while in school

Lastly, the NCES considers students non-traditional if they received a GED instead of a high school diploma.

Many schools have their own specific definitions of non-traditional students. Some schools let students self-identify as non-traditional while others are more strict.

Some of the alternative ways of defining this term include:

  • Living off-campus
  • Commuting a certain distance to campus
  • Starting college at 25 or older
  • Being a first-generation college student
  • Restarting college after previously not completing a degree
  • Having an income under a certain amount

There are a number of hurdles that nontraditional students can face that typical students might not. These include balancing life, school, and work as well as financing their school. Additionally, older students can struggle to find confidence and learn modern technology.

Whether you're a first-generation student or working a full-time job on top of attending schools, being a nontraditional student can present unique challenges.

(Are you trying to figure out how to fund your college education? Take a look at our resource guide to help you find and apply for the best college scholarships.)

Colors, Crest, and Symbols

Burgundy and gold are the colors of Alpha Sigma Lambda. Burgundy indicates action, power, and confidence, while gold implies wealth, wisdom, success, prosperity, optimism, and good health.

The crest of ASL has the symbols Alpha, Sigma, and Lambda which respectively stand for "First," "Scholarship," and "Leadership."

It also has an illustration of a book, a lamp, and a torch. The book is meant to denote a love of knowledge, the lamp denotes wisdom, and the torch denotes life.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Requirements

There are a number of requirements in order to be a member of ASL. At this point, undergraduate students working towards their first degree are the only students that can be members. They must have finished at least twenty-four graded semester hour credits or what is deemed to be equivalent.

At least twelve of the credits a student has earned should be earned in Liberal Arts/Sciences courses. This does not include courses in the applied Arts/Sciences.

You can learn more about the specifics of ASL requirements here.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Annual Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships offered by Alpha Sigma Lambda to help adult students when they are working to earn their first undergraduate degree.

In 2020, ASL awarded thirteen different scholarships, each of which amounted to $3600.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, ASL has committed to grading fifteen $2500 scholarships and five $3000 scholarships.

In order to apply for scholarships, you must do so through the Alpha Sigma Lambda website. The applications are posted in January of each year.

Applications must be returned to your institution's chapter counselor. The deadline for applications is determined by the chapter counselor.

In order to apply for a scholarship, you don't have to be a member of ASL. However, the institution you attend must have an active chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda in order to be eligible.

(Are you committed to ensuring that your academic record is impeccable while you're in school? Check out our tips for getting on the Dean's List here.)

What Are the Benefits of Joining an Honor Society?

You've probably heard that joining an honor society can help you in a number of different areas of life. But what are the specific benefits?

Scholarships and Grants

There are typically scholarships and grants you can take advantage of when you join an honor society. This can be particularly beneficial for non-traditional students. These students are often facing a more substantial economic burden when it comes to attending school, and finding funding options can make educational advancement possible.

Jobs and Internships

When you join an honor society, they typically have many partner institutions. Through these partners, you might be able to find internship and job opportunities that help to further your career. It can also be a great way to gain experience in the field that you are interested in.

Leadership and Mentorship

Joining an honor society is also a great way to build and develop leadership skills. This can help you in both your career and your life.

Academics

There are also academic benefits to joining an honor society. Not only can you apply for scholarships and grants, but you'll also be in a group with like-minded people who are driven to academic excellence.

Networking

Another essential benefit of honor societies is the networking opportunities they offer. Joining an honor society can help you brush shoulders with top professionals in a wide variety of industries as well as alumni. They can help connect you and give you advice when it comes to pursuing your dream job when you've finished school.

Likeminded People and Community

When you join an honor society like ASL, it puts you in contact with like-minded people across all fields. While these people might not be studying the same thing as you, you may find people who you connect with in regards to your academic and life ambitions.

Friendship

This can be a great way to meet friends, too. ASL in particular can be a great way to make connections with other nontraditional students.

When you are a nontraditional student, it's easy to feel a bit left out when you are older than many of the other students. This is a way to connect with other nontraditional students with who you might have more in common.

Professional and Resume Building

When you're a member of an honor society, you're also building your resume. This can help you stand out when you are applying for jobs during or after school.

When you take part in activities as an active member, it can also help you build professional skills. The work field is incredibly competitive these days, and joining an honor society can help you stand out from the crowd.

Community Service

Another big part of being in an honor society is community service. Depending on the honor society you join, you'll likely find that there are many opportunities to help your community.

Are you a graduate student that's interested in what benefits an honor society can provide? Check out this list of seven benefits for grad students.

How to Join Alpha Sigma Lambda

You can be inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda through an institution. This means that if the institution that you attend has an Alpha Sigma Lambda Chapter, they have their own criteria you will need to meet in order to be invited.

In order to join Alpha Sigma Lambda, you must be invited. Invitations are extended by the chapter counselor at the institution you attend.

How Can You Stay Connected With ASL?

There are a number of social networking groups for Alpha Sigma Lambda. These can be found on their website. There is also a mailing list you can subscribe to in order to keep up to date on all happenings in the organization.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Review

Alpha Sigma Lambda is the preeminent honor society for nontraditional students. Since there is no official GPA required by ASL at the national level, this is a more inclusive society than others. However, each institution's chapter can set a minimum GPA requirement.

One of the downsides of ASL is that it is only for undergraduates who are attending school for the first time. This means that nontraditional students attending graduate school or returning to school aren't eligible at this time.

Should You Join an Honor Society?

As you can see, joining Alpha Sigma Lamba can offer numerous benefits as well as a community of like-minded students at your school. If you are a nontraditional student, you might be interested to find out whether or not your institution has a chapter.

If your institution doesn't have a chapter, you might consider starting one yourself. This could be a great way to become more involved in the school and meet other nontraditional students.

At Honor Society, we offer a number of benefits to help you succeed both today and tomorrow. You can learn more about our membership here.