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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Phi Theta Kappa Offers Scholarships, Friends

By Matthew Novetske

Would you like part of $37 million in scholarships given out each year? How about that extra edge when applying to transfer to the school of your choice? What would you say to an opportunity to make an impact in your community and with your peers?

If those questions have sparked your curiosity, then you should look into Phi Theta Kappa. Founded in 1918, PTK is the 92-year-old international honors society for two-year colleges. The organization is a great tool for a student’s future success.

“Being a member of an academic honor society will improve students' chances to gain admission into the universities of their choice,” said Corinne Painter, WCC’s PTK advisor, “as well as increase their chances to earn scholarships that are based on academic merit.”

Some WCC students have taken advantage of the opportunities that leadership positions in PTK bring.

“Being part of PTK can be an advantage on your transcript and offers volunteer activities that can be used in college and scholarship applications,” said Beth Jakubowski, former WCC PTK president. “I am at University of Michigan partly because of my experience with PTK and am grateful for that.”

PTK is an organization that helps build students into leaders. It provides members with opportunities otherwise overlooked or unavailable.

Jakubowski said many of her peers in PTK demonstrated genuine care for the projects they worked on together. Although she was president, she said all of her partners were able to prove their leadership abilities.  

Benefits Include Scholarships and Discounts

According to the PTK website, members are eligible to apply for more than $37 million in transfer scholarships. These scholarships are available exclusively for PTK members.

In addition to scholarship money, members also have access to a wide variety of other benefits. Five Star Competitive Edge is a program designed to help PTK students create a professional development plan. There is also free access to CollegeFish.org, a website that provides students with college transfer tools and additional guidance.

Members of PTK also have the opportunity to save money through various partners of the honors society. Discounts can be received on everything from books at Barnes & Noble bookstores to a new car at a number of dealerships. Another very attractive benefit is a discount on testing help. If you’re planning on taking any of a variety of tests—from the ACT to the Graduate Record Examination—your affiliation with PTK can save you money on your testing with the Princeton Review.

Some additional benefits include:

  • Letters of recommendation from PTK
  • Transcript notation
  • Phi Theta Kappa graduation regalia
  • Gold diploma seal
  • Alumni membership
  • Various other membership credentials

Students must meet several requirements to become PTK members. Those who meet the requirements receive a letter inviting them to join. The requirements include:

  • At least 12 credits or more of 100 level classes
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.5
  • Payment of a $75 one-time fee

Students who don’t yet meet the academic requirements should keep trying, said current WCC PTK President Bennett Prud'Homme. “If you’re not eligible, don’t give up,” Prud’Homme said. “A lot of students come to Washtenaw with a less than perfect educational history and sometimes it takes time to adjust. It took me three semesters and a lot of hard work to become eligible, but it was totally worth it.”

Matthew Novetske is a student journalist at WCC.

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