FAQs

Here are some of the questions that we have gotten from some of our chapters -- sharing with you as an FYI.

Q: What is included in the membership/initiation fee? A: Inductees receive a certificate of membership and a pin.

Q: Are honor cords included in the membership fee? A: No; honor cords can be purchased at a cost of $14 per cord (plus shipping), and can be purchased for graduating seniors (from a baccalaureate program), graduate student members, faculty/staff/alumni/honorary members. They are not to be awarded to underclassmen. Honor cords must be ordered through your chapter advisor; cords will be sent to your institution for distribution.

Q: My mother just got her bachelor's degree. I'm in a bachelor's program now, and when I entered college, I was a first-generation student. Does this mean I'm no longer eligible for initiation? A: No, it does not! First of all, kudos to your mom for continuing the journey and getting that degree! But since you started your college journey as a first-gen student, your experience has been that of a first-gen student. As long as you meet the other criteria for initiation, you are eligible to be inducted into Alpha Alpha Alpha.

Q: My parent earned a bachelor's degree in another country. But I'm first generation in America. Can I be inducted? A: This is a really good question without a clear answer. If your institution defines first-generation (as some do) as meaning that your parents did not receive a bachelor's degree in the United States, then you can be inducted. However, if your institution does not have such a definition, the national officers do allow for some flexibility here. Not all foreign degrees are "equal" in this way. A degree from Canada is very similar, for example, to that in the US, in terms of the college experience, and so that might mean that you, the student, don't really have a typical first-gen college experience. But for parents who earned their bachelor's in other countries less like the American system, their experience might have been so different that your journey really is that of a first-generation student. Rather than trying to parse out which countries belong on which list, the national office allows the individual chapters to make this determination, as long as they do so with consistency.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA I have to maintain to keep my membership? A: No; once inducted, always a member, even if your GPA slips.

Q: I graduated before my school had a chapter (or my institution doesn't have a chapter yet). Can I be inducted as an alumnus/a? A: Yes, but the national office does not do inductions. All inductions must be linked with a specific campus. So if you were first-gen when you graduated, please contact the chapter advisor at your alma mater about being inducted as an alum.

Q: I'm a first-generation student at my school. How can I join Tri-Alpha? A: You will need to contact your school's chapter. If you school doesn't have a chapter, talk to a faculty or staff member about starting one!

Q: We see that we can buy a table cloth to use as induction ceremonies and other chapter events. Can we change the tablecloth? A: You must keep the logo in tact, as the logo is trademarked. However, we can produce the logo tablecloth on material that matches institutional colors (single color). If you wish to do this, please let the national office know (click here to view the color pallete).

Q: Are any other things available for purchase for use at events, such as flags, banners, etc.? A: Yes, we do have a small, but growing, number of such items available for purchase. For now, if you are interested, contact the national office and we will provide further information.

Q: What about Tri-Alpha swag for the students? A: We are working on this! The Alpha chapter is selecting and designing some t-shirts that will be available for purchase by members shortly. Stay tuned! NOTE: Some local chapters are designing their own t-shirts, and that is completely permissible, as long as the logo (which is trademarked) isn't altered.

Q: My institution doesn't have a chapter. Can I be inducted somewhere else? A: No, you can only be inducted in a chapter at the school where you are enrolled or from which you graduated. Please do contact your institution about adding a chapter. New memberships are accepted throughout the year.