What’s up with College Honors Programs?

Senior Jennifer Nguyen inquires information about college courses from her school counselor. Photo by Calvin Tran.

By Kaitlyn Ngo, Staff Writer

Seniors attending universities and colleges in the fall as undergraduate students have the opportunity to apply for honors programs and additional courses. Honors programs at colleges and universities are created for individuals that desire academic challenge and rigorous coursework.

Honors programs differ in requirements, variety and opportunity at different universities and colleges. Many schools require students to be in good academic standings and prioritize registration with correspondence to high grades and competitive test scores. Programs include demanding coursework that require time and dedication to succeed.

Although a handful of schools automatically admit students to honors programs with acceptances, many require students to apply separately. Most commonly, schools require students to apply by submitting an application, additional personal statements, letters of recommendations and requirement fulfillment. Once admitted, students must participate in extracurriculars and enroll in specific classes and pass with particular marks to remain eligible in the programs.

There are numerous benefits of enrolling in honors programs at institutions. Students that graduate as a part of the honors programs will receive honors distinction that may be beneficial as it can help benefit your applications with future employers and graduate schools. Honors programs also tend to have classes that are smaller and focus more on developing relationships in an environment fostering independent as well as collaborative learning. The honors program can help students form a community and build connections.

Joining an honors program at a college or university can only help to enhance the college experience and to learn life skills. Being a part of the honors community can also open many doors for students. Often, priority registration is reserved for honors students, allowing first pick of courses. Students may also benefit from exclusive housing reserved for honors students, which provide a motivating and tight-knit community to facilitate learning.

On the other hand, joining these honors programs at schools require dedications and promises. With acceptance, students must be prepared to put in additional effort and commitment to their studies. 

When deciding whether or not to apply to the honors programs at colleges and universities, students should consider all the benefits and disadvantages before making a decision. It’s also important to keep in mind that not being a part of the honors programs doesn’t necessarily mean a student is of lower status. Honors programs are simply meant for individuals with the willpower and commitment to go above and beyond.

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