Should You Pursue Honors College? | What to Consider

By bcummings

woman studying on laptop writing in textbook

Honors colleges and programs are a unique opportunity for hardworking scholars to distinguish themselves, but it may be difficult to decide if they’re worth the extra effort. Honors colleges ask that you meet their high standards for eligibility; then there’s the additional work required as a student in the rigorous school. Although there are many benefits of participating, it can be challenging to decide if you want to work to earn the Honors College distinction on your diploma. First understanding the role of Honors College in your education and career can then help you determine if it’s right for you.

Why Pursue Honors College?

With the number of people graduating with college degrees continuing to rise, it becomes increasingly important to differentiate yourself. As you develop your career trajectory and goals, you can decide on the more specific tactics for standing out in your field. One of those tactics may be applying for Honors College.

Founded by a Harvard University graduate, Signet Education describes how to differentiate yourself from others in college and beyond. The forum asserts that “each candidate is different and each application has its own specific narrative.”Translation: graduate program advisors and hiring managers look for distinguishing achievements that bring your resume to the surface in a sea of similar applications. A distinction from an honors college is one such accomplishment. USA Today further supports this noble pursuit, explaining, “Such a designation can distinguish your resume among potential employers and graduate schools.”

How Does Honors College Distinguish You?

The academic rigor of Honors College affords you the opportunity to develop specialized qualities that organizations seek, namely, soft skills. TopResume describes some of the most important non-technical skills candidates should possess, including strong communication, judgment, organization, and confidence. Signet Education echoes these findings, suggesting that opportunities such as Honors College allow students to take initiative, get involved in new communities, become more driven, and work on entrepreneurial skills.

Who Should Apply to Honors College?

Given the high expectations of Honors College, it may not be a good fit for everyone. The academic challenge is best suited for the hardworking student who falls into one of four categories.

AA Graduates

If you worked hard and earned a high GPA during your associate’s degree, you are a great candidate for Honors College. The hours you put into your first degree have prepared you to take on a bachelor’s degree. Use your credits and strong academic standing to your advantage when you enroll in a bachelor’s program; stand out further from the pack by applying to the Honors College once you get there.

Transfer Students

Whether you’re coming from a community college or want to transfer college credits from elsewhere, it’s time to finish your degree. Maybe something stopped you from finishing your degree before. Maybe being in the military makes earning your degree a challenge. Maybe life just gets in the way sometimes. Whatever the reason, transfer students in strong academic standing can apply to Honors College. Not only do you have the chance to earn your bachelor’s degree, you have the opportunity to do so as a distinguished Honors College graduate.

Current students

It’s important as a current student to work hard to reach—and maintain—a high GPA. Employers may be very impressed to see a resume with top grades, especially if those high grades helped you earn something else impressive, such as Honors College admission.

Former Students

If you had to leave school for various reasons, you may be able to return and not only finish your degree, but finish it with honors. Everyone from family and friends to other online students and professors are here to support you in your journey. Remember why you started in the first place, enroll again, and maintain your strong grades. You’ll cross another and another class off your list before you know it—potentially becoming a great candidate for Honors College.

Pursuing Honors College is a privilege and distinction for those who work hard to maintain a high GPA, among other efforts. Let future graduate programs and hiring managers recognize your achievements. Stand out from others in your industry with a venerable Honors College distinction on your diploma and your transcripts.


-- Written by Ashford University Staff


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