The reminders come every few months, telling you about an upcoming meeting of your alumni association. You admittedly have never gone to one of these meetings, but you’re curious. You wonder what they’re all about and whether there would be any benefit to attending.
In fact, you would likely find lots of benefits to joining your local alumni association. Let’s explore what these groups do.
First, let’s define what an alumni association is. It’s a group of people who went to the same college or university. The group is open to anyone who attended the school. They often have chapters based on geographic location. For instance, the Penn State Alumni Association has a Capital Area Chapter for residents of the Harrisburg, PA, area.
While alumni associations provide a fun way for people who shared campus life together to relive the good old days and root for their team in major sporting events, they also do much more than that. They may raise funds for the school or put together benefits for graduates who have fallen on hard times. If you're not sure if your alma mater has a nearby chapter, contact the alumni relations office. They should be able to put you in touch with your local alumni association.
Still unsure if joining is a good idea? Here are five reasons why you may want to join:
Alumni associations often have large memberships, and this allows them to negotiate deals with companies that want to grow their business. The more people in the association, the better leverage it has in negotiating deals. You might receive notices for alumni association discounts on things like:
Other savings you may receive through your association include:
In addition to saving money, many alumni associations offer free benefits. For example, you may be able to participate in interview preparation sessions or resume reviews through your alma mater's career services area.
Moving ahead depends on hard work and dedication, but knowing the right people can help it go a little faster. Alumni association events offer the chance to network with others in your profession. You could meet someone who knows the hiring manager at your dream company, or perhaps you might really hit it off with a CEO who went to your school and runs a business in your discipline.
When you network, you get a chance to put your personality on display. It’s less nerve-wracking than an interview, and when you do it in the context of an alumni event, you know you have something in common with the person you talk to. Having gone to the same school also gives you a topic to return to whenever you feel you may be running out of things to discuss.
Alumni associations provide more than just advantages for you. They also offer you a way to give back to your school. Many people feel a deep connection to the place they attended college. They want to help the current students there experience the same positive environment they did.
Alumni associations often solicit members to become mentors to students. You can provide guidance to a student who shares your major or wants to enter your industry. You can also arrange internships or job shadows through many alumni associations. It’s fun to pass on your knowledge to others, and it also feels good.
Have you been thinking about joining a credit union but aren’t sure whether you qualify? Many credit unions accept alumni of colleges and universities that are in their area. You may even find you can get additional perks if you belong to an alumni association. Here at PSECU, for instance, we have a credit card for members of the Penn State Alumni Association, the Millersville University Alumni Association and the Lock Haven University Alumni Association.
In addition to displaying your school pride, you also have the opportunity to earn 2%* or 1.5% in cash rewards.
Check with your alumni association to see if they have any special deals with PSECU. You can also reach out to us directly with any questions.
*You can earn 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. You can earn 2% cash rewards on purchases if you maintain a PSECU checking account and qualifying monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $500. See the Visa® Founder’s Card and Visa® Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.