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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GETTING STARTED

The NSLS is the nation's largest accredited leadership honor society. Students are selected by their college for membership based on either academic standing or leadership potential. Candidacy is a nationally recognized achievement of honorable distinction. 

In addition to this honorable distinction, the NSLS provides a step-by-step program for members to build their leadership skills through participation at their campus or online. Upon completion of the program, members receive their leadership certificate and take their place among the top student leaders at their campus and across the country. Members are able to list their affiliation on all statements of personal accomplishment, including their resume.  

Membership provides access to benefits including scholarships and awards, exclusive on-campus events, employer recruitment through an online job bank, and discounts on computers, textbooks, grad school prep courses, insurance, and much more.

The NSLS exists to recognize, cultivate, and honor leaders while making a lasting, positive change in the world. We strive to help members discover and achieve their goals, and we provide real-world experience that helps ensure our members have the best opportunity to achieve success in their future. 

 

Nomination criteria is determined by local Chapter Leaders and is based on GPA and/or leadership potential. Students invited to their school's chapter have earned distinction with their nomination but must complete the leadership program requirements to become inducted.

Please contact the advisor of your chapter to discuss the criteria of students that were invited to join your NSLS chapter this semester. Their contact information can be found on the inside of your invitation, on the right hand side toward the bottom of the page.

Sigma Alpha Pi are the Greek letters that the NSLS uses to represent itself. Sigma Alpha Pi stands for Success, Action, and Purpose — Success coming from continual Action toward one’s Purpose — all of which are the core of the NSLS identity.

NSLS members pay a one-time fee of $95 when applying to join the organization. The fee includes all membership benefits and partner discounts. Membership does not expire or need renewal.

Once you have completed the steps to become an official member of the NSLS, your membership items are sent to your local Chapter Leaders to present to you during the induction ceremony. Your membership kit includes a shirt, certificate, car decal, pin, and plaque (if purchased during registration).

When you join some organizations, the information you receive focuses on material, tangible benefits. The items in your membership kit are nice side benefits, but are not the real value you gain from achieving membership in the NSLS. 

The intangibles that you gain from membership will drive your future and establish you as a leader among your peers, including:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Peer leadership skills
  • Sustainable motivation and drive
  • Paradigms that will help you discover and achieve your dreams
  • Real-world skills that will help you outperform your peers in the workplace
  • A network of movers and shakers that are all a part of the drive to create lasting, positive change in the world

Additionally, you'll receive other benefits such as online resources, customized letters of recommendation for prospective employers or grad schools, graduation accessories that you may purchase and wear at your ceremony to display your NSLS membership, access to exclusive scholarships and awards, personal Success Coaches, and our entire Keynote speaker series. 

Click here to see a list and explanation of our membership benefits.

Yes, you are still able to join the NSLS and can accept your current nomination. Depending on your circumstances, you'll have one of two options. If the school you're transferring to has an active NSLS chapter, we can transfer your membership to that new chapter. If it does not have an active chapter, we can transfer your membership to our online chapter. 

If you need assistance or would like to discuss your transfer options, please contact Member Experience here.

You can apply for membership by completing our nomination process here. The nomination process requires the recommendation of at least one faculty member and can be completed entirely online. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the National Office. If approved, you will receive a nomination code to join and will be considered a pre-inducted member of the organization.

The one-time membership fee is a requirement that we are unable to waive. If you need more time to sign up, please contact your Chapter Leader (contact information can be found on your invitation) to request his/her permission to sign up after the deadline.

If you want to pay your membership fee using a check or money order, you can submit a paper application for membership to the National Office.

To submit a paper application, please visit www.nsls.org and enter your invitation code. Once you have accessed the online application and get to the payment section, you will see a link to the Paper Application. You can print and mail this application with a check or money order.

Keep in mind that while you can fill out a paper application, you do need regular access to the Internet in order to successfully complete the leadership training program and become an inducted NSLS member.

If you would like to start a chapter at your school, apply for our Internship Program here.

If instead, you would like to become an online member, please apply through our nomination process.

The nomination process requires the recommendation of at least one faculty member and can be completed entirely online. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Once the National Advisor approves your online application, you're considered a pre-inducted member. You then go through our online leadership program to become an inducted member and receive numerous, NSLS-exclusive membership benefits.

The Online Chapter is the same as the program at local chapters, except you don't have to attend events in person and it can all be completed online at your convenience. In addition, rather than a campus advisor, you will be coached by an Advisor at the National Office. Participating in this program will enable you to receive NSLS-exclusive benefits, such as leadership training from the nation's top speakers and authors, personalized success coaching, impressive resume building, and more. It will also enable you to take a break when you need to and proceed at your own pace through the program.

ABOUT MY MEMBERSHIP

There are many benefits to joining the NSLS. Students selected by their college who accept their invitation get access to:

  • Exclusive scholarships and awards
  • Customized letters of recommendation for prospective employers or graduate schools
  • An online job bank
  • Networking opportunities and social events 
  • Education from top global leaders 
  • Partner benefits and discounts
  • Graduation honors recognition, where permitted
  • Personal success coaching

In addition, the NSLS is the only honor society to offer accredited leadership training and certification, with courses reviewed and recommended for credit reciprocity by ACE and NCCRS.

As you go through the leadership programs, you’ll work with your peers to recognize and achieve goals, while learning critical communication skills that can be applied in all aspects of your life. You can earn NSLS Induction by completing this training at your desired pace and on your own timeline. 

By accepting your nomination, you will be well-positioned to maximize your leadership potential and distinguish yourself in the eyes of future employers. The experience you gain from membership will drive your future and establish you as a leader among your peers. You’ll benefit from improved self-esteem, peer leadership skills, sustainable motivation and drive, real-world skills, and an expansive network of success-oriented movers and shakers who are all part of the movement to create global, positive change.

To learn more, you can explore all of the benefits of the NSLS.

Once you have paid the one-time membership fee, you are considered a pre-inducted member with access to certain benefits. In order to become a fully inducted member, you must complete the following steps: 

  1. Orientation: The first meeting that occurs each semester and will give you access to all the information you need about the program in order to successfully complete the Steps to Induction.
  2. Leadership Training Day: A three-hour interactive video training session with a workbook designed to help you identify and overcome any obstacles that may interfere with obtaining your goals. This introspective seminar helps you recognize your strengths and weaknesses in order to shift your focus toward your real passions. 
  3. Three speaker broadcast events: You will watch some of the world's most successful motivational speakers discussing topics related to leadership, identifying goals, facing challenges, personal growth, and successfully transitioning from college to career.
  4. Three Success Networking Team meetings: Bring together groups of students that work together and provide peer coaching on achieving goals. You can discuss goals, desires and expectations, set timelines, and hold each other accountable for achieving what you want. The Success Networking Team provides members with a support network of other goal-oriented students on campus.

Once you complete these steps, you will be invited to an induction ceremony where you will receive your membership kit.

The average amount of time it takes to complete the steps to induction is approximately nine hours spread out over the course of a semester. While most members do finish their Steps to Induction in a single semester, you may take longer if needed as long as you finish prior to graduating.

Once students accept their nomination to the NSLS, they are considered pre-inducted members with limited access to member benefits. When students complete all of their induction steps, they are considered fully inducted members of the NSLS with access to all benefits.

The NSLS provides benefits to help members on their own personal success journey. These include opportunities for all members and exclusive benefits for those who achieve induction.

Click here to see a full breakdown of our membership benefits.

Once you have completed the Steps to Induction, we'll send your membership items, including your certificate, T-shirt, car decal, pin, and plaque (if purchased during registration) to your Advisor, who will present them to you at your induction ceremony on campus.

If you are a member of an online chapter, please refer to the "Being an Online Member" section for more information.

Please find information about our privacy policy HERE.

APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS

The NSLS distributes over $400,000 in scholarships and awards exclusively to NSLS members. The NSLS Scholarship and Awards program supports members for their dynamic leadership, service, chapter/member excellence, and financial need. 

Please click here for information on current Scholarships and Awards.

We offer two submission periods for Scholarships and Awards throughout the year.

 

BEING AN ONLINE MEMBER

In response to many students that have had challenges attending events on-campus, we developed an Online Chapter.

The Online Chapter is the same as the program at local campuses, except you do not have to attend events in person and it can all be completed online at your convenience. In addition, rather than a campus advisor, you will be coached by an Advisor at the National Office.

Participating in this program will enable you to receive the benefits you envisioned when you first signed up for the NSLS: leadership training from the nation's top speakers and authors, personalized success coaching, impressive resume building and much more.  It will also enable you to take a break when you need to and proceed at your own pace through the program as you manage personal challenges that might arise.

The National Society of Leadership and Success Online Chapter Steps to Membership: 

Orientation: Link to online Orientation followed by a series of questions regarding the material covered.

Leadership Training Day: Link to online video followed by workbook questions and exercises. 

Three Speaker Broadcasts: Links to view three videos online followed by questions.

Three Success Networking Team Meetings: Members create a team from their personal or professional network in order to complete this step. A group of family, friends, or coworkers are needed to hold members accountable and offer feedback during this process. Members will work independently on accomplishing goals, and will submit bi-weekly goal write-ups discussing their goals, action steps, and progress. As with campus SNTs, participants may receive coaching prior to their submission being accepted. 

 

There is no time limit to fulfill the requirements of the National Online Chapter. For campus specific online chapters, please contact your Chapter Leadership.

Once the Steps to Induction are completed online, members are considered inducted members of the NSLS. Membership kits are sent to the home address provided during registration. Wording on the certificate reflects that membership was completed through the Online Chapter.

NSLS membership is available to honors students at your university. While NSLS doesn’t have an active chapter at your school, you can participate in the online chapter to earn your leadership certification. The NSLS received a list of honors students from your school and based upon your academic success, you are eligible for membership.

 

STARTING A CHAPTER

Please click here to have a representative from our National Office Team send you information.

Yes. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. The NSLS takes this law very seriously, and as such, our student data privacy protection policy has been deemed FERPA compliant by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) based on their independent, third party evaluation.

Please email communications@nsls.org to request a copy of their evaluation letter.

Please click here to learn about the requirements to apply for our internship program to establish a new chapter on your campus.

PLACING SHOP ORDERS

To be eligible to order our Honors Stole and Cords for graduation, you must have completed all of your membership steps and have received credit for them online.

To check the status of your membership, log in to the Members Area and click on the "Membership Status" icon. The Online Store will ask you to validate your Inducted Status by entering your MemberID. Your MemberID is what you use to log into the Member's Area.

To order the Honors Stole and Cords please visit our Online Store.

Please Note: Graduation items are non-refundable.

For inquires, please email help@nsls.org. A National Office representative will reach out to assist you.

Please note: The NSLS is not responsible for carrier delays or packages lost during transit.

We offer three shipment options:

  • Standard Shipping: 7-14 business days
  • Select Shipping: 3-5 business days
  • Overnight Shipping: 1-2 business days

*Orders placed after 2pm ET will be processed on the following business day. 

If the time frame has passed for you to receive your order, please contact the National Office by sending an email to help@nsls.org, and a representative will be more than happy to assist you.

Directions for Requesting a Product Refund:

Merchandise refund requests must be accompanied by the original receipt. You can send the item back to us at the address below at your expense. Once we receive your package, we will promptly process an exchange or issue a refund in accordance with this policy. The NSLS does not refund shipping expenses. The NSLS also can not provide refunds or exchanges for merchandise that is worn or damaged by the customer.

Please Note: Graduation and Induction items are non-refundable. 

Our return address is:

The National Society of Leadership and Success

Returns/Exchanges

1233 Findlay Street

Cincinnati, OH 45214

Credit Card Payments:

Credit card payments will be refunded in full to the credit card originally charged. No cash refunds for credit card payments.

Check Payments:

Refund checks will be mailed directly to your home address if the initial payment was submitted as a check. Please make sure your home address is accurate in your online member profile.

The NSLS partners with UPS, FedEx, and USPS to ship and deliver shop orders. Once the package departs our warehouse facilities, the carrier assumes the responsibility for its delivery.

If you have any questions about the shipment and handling of your order, please contact the carrier responsible for your delivery (as indicated on the tracking link you received).

REQUESTING A REFUND

We offer members 30 days from the date of enrollment to determine if the NSLS is a good fit for them. During this period, students have the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of membership, including access to the leadership programming, partner discounts, an exclusive online job board, and access to apply for scholarships and awards.

If the member finds that the NSLS is not for them, they have the option to request a full refund. After 30 days, the refund period expires and the eligibility window closes.

All members agree to this policy within our terms and conditions upon registration and it is also available publicly on our website on our Terms & Conditions

The satisfaction of our current and future members is our priority. We understand that there may be unforeseen circumstances that make it impossible for some students to continue with the program.

The National Society of Leadership and Success offers a full refund of membership within 30 days from initial payment.

In order to take advantage of this policy, please click here and submit the requested information.

Please allow up to one billing cycle to see this credit to your account. Billing cycles depend on your bank or credit card company.

Please contact your bank or credit card company for further information.

The National Society of Leadership and Success offers a full refund of membership within 30 days from initial payment.

If the card you used to register is no longer valid, please provide a valid mailing address and request a refund check by sending an email to help@nsls.org.

In response to students that may have had challenges, we have developed an Online Chapter into which many members have been transferred at no additional cost. The Online Chapter is the same as the program at your local campus, except you no longer have to attend events in person and it can all be completed online at your convenience. In addition, rather than a campus advisor, you will be coached by the staff at the National Office who have designed the program to fit your needs. 

Participating in this program will enable you to receive the benefits you envisioned when you first signed up for the NSLS: leadership training from the nation's top speakers and authors, personalized success coaching, impressive resume building, and much more. It will also enable you to take a break when you need to, and proceed at your own pace through the program as you manage any personal challenges that might arise.

HOW TO TELL IF AN HONOR SOCIETY IS LEGITIMATE?

There are a number of honor societies that you’ll have the opportunity to be invited to during your college experience. However, it’s important to understand which of these honor societies provide legitimate value. Below are some things to consider when deciding whether or not an honor society is legitimate:

Accreditation

Accreditation is a fundamental component that helps to determine whether or not an organization meets the minimum standards of quality. These standards are set by a governing body that reviews all organizations that seek accreditation.

The NSLS is fully accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), and NSLS courses have been reviewed and recommended for credit reciprocity by ACE and NCCRS.

Transparency

Transparency in criteria for selection and accountability in impact to purpose. The NSLS meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to purpose through its certification as a For Benefit Organization.

Educational Investment

Legitimate honor societies all require a one-time fee in order to join and gain access to the benefits offered. Upon joining the NSLS, you’ll have access for life.

Better Business Bureau

Legitimate honor societies will be registered with the Better Business Bureau and will maintain the highest rating possible at A+.

Work with Thought Leaders

Legitimate honor societies will have strong ties and relationships with highly successful individuals and thought leaders across industries. They’ll be able to use these relationships to provide value to their members.

Success Stories

A legitimate honor society will be able to showcase member success stories. These stories feature how the honor society helped members prepare for, and succeed in, future endeavors.

Yes, the NSLS is a legitimate honor society with over 700 chapters and more than 1.5 million members nationwide. 

  • The NSLS maintains university-established criteria that best serves to recognize a distinguished group of their students. Nationally, less than 20% of the campus population at our 700+ colleges and universities receive an invitation.
  • The NSLS is accredited through Cognia, which is recognized as a reliable authority concerning the quality of education or training offered by the institutions of higher education or higher education programs.
  • The NSLS's courses have been reviewed and recommended for credit reciprocity by both ACE and NCCRS.
  • The NSLS meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to purpose through its certification as a B Corp.
  • The NSLS is registered with and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • The NSLS requires a one-time fee for members to join and gain access to all of its benefits.
  • The NSLS works closely with successful thought leaders to provide members with valuable content every semester. 

To learn how the NSLS has positively impacted its members, you can explore our member success stories.

The NSLS is fully accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), a national accreditation agency which oversees the sub-regional accrediting bodies as the parent organization of:  

(1) The Northwest Accredited Commission (NWAC); (2) The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI); (3) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)

The NSLS is the only honor society to achieve this distinguished accolade. This commitment to accreditation assures advisors, chapter leaders, members, parents, and the national education community that our institutional focus is on raising student achievement. We provide an engaging and enriching learning environment, maintaining an efficient and effective learning program that builds leaders who make a better world.  

NSLS courses have also been reviewed and recommended for credit reciprocity by both ACE and NCCRS. Through ACE, more than 1,700 colleges and universities have agreed to consider awarding college credit for NSLS courses. More than 1,500 colleges have done the same through NCCRS.

In addition to accreditation, the NSLS is also a certified B-Corp. These certifications are more rigorous than ACHS to obtain, and deeper in certification from the U.S. Department of Education and the national board of B-Corps. We currently offer fully integrated online learning, on-campus coaching, and dynamic leadership development. All of which are elements of a fully accredited educational organization.

When you accept the invitation from your college to become a member of the NSLS, you’re becoming part of a community filled with driven individuals who are looking to make a positive change in the world through leadership. You’ll develop leadership skills and gain real-world experience through our accredited leadership program, working with peers and industry leaders along the way. 

Beyond this, there are many benefits that will make your NSLS membership worth it. These benefits include access to exclusive scholarships and awards, customized letters of recommendation, access to an online job bank, networking events, brand discounts, and more.

To learn more about all benefits the NSLS has to offer, visit our membership benefits page.

To learn more about members who have benefited from the NSLS, explore our member success stories.

Watch as some of today’s notable names, including Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Richard Branson and more share insight on what it means to accept your nomination.

The ACHS is a group of honor societies that have come together to make guidelines for their membership. Like many legitimate honor societies, including four of the founding honor societies of ACHS who are no longer members, the NSLS is not a member of ACHS.   

NSLS standards exceed ACHS guidelines:

  • The NSLS is held to external standards of performance and impact in education through its accreditation with Cognia (formerly AdvancED). This recognition is more rigorous than any endorsement from ACHS, as it required the NSLS to obtain certification from the U.S. Department of Education.  
  • The NSLS's courses have been reviewed and recommended for credit reciprocity by both ACE and NCCRS.
  • The NSLS meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to purpose through its certification as a For Benefit Organization. ACHS membership does not require member honor societies to achieve these rigorous standards of making a positive difference in the community, environment and workplace.
  • The NSLS maintains university-established criteria that best serves to recognize a distinguished group of their students. Nationally, less than 20% of the campus population at our 700+ colleges and universities receive an invitation, while ACHS honor society standards include 20-35% of campus populations.