84 Students Receive MAF
to Join Psi Chi for Free—
Even More Expected This Year
Lisa Norman, Associate Director of Membership Services
Four years ago, I had the idea to offer some assistance to prospective members who had financial need. I wanted to develop a meaningful program that would make a true difference for students struggling to afford school tuition, housing, bills, books, car payments, etc. In other words, I wanted to help students who have trouble adding just one more fee, even as small as our lifetime membership fee of $55.
During the summer of 2014, I made the request to our Board of Directors, and our Board agreed. They approved our first-ever Membership Assistance Fund (MAF) and funded 100 fee waivers. We were so excited to get this program up and running during the fall of 2014.
Awareness of the program was admittedly slow to get started, as it can be for many new programs. During the first two years, we accepted and approved 37 and then 46 requests from advisors, respectively. However, during the third academic year, we started promoting the MAF more than ever. Due to website promotion, an advisor calling campaign, and many monthly e-mails, we had a huge improvement in our MAF requests that came in. We approved 84 MAFs during our 2016–17 academic year.
Our current funding provides 100 fee waivers annually. However, I hope to have more than 100 requests during this upcoming academic year so that we can request to offer even more waivers.
Feedback from some of our MAF recipients is truly inspiring and shows me that we are meeting our mission of “Recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology.”
Ja’Darrius Strickland of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) stated recently:
“It has truly been an honor being both recommended and accepted into this honor society. Being recognized for my accomplishments in academia gave me a bit of a needed spark to continue striving for success in my studies. As a member, I feel that this role is like a badge of honor, and mentioning of it during my application process will help give me that extra push that may be needed in the decision making process of the different review boards in which I will be submitting.”
Sondeika Miller, also from USM, stated:
“To become a member of Psi Chi was one of my best accomplishments thus far here at the University of Southern Miss. I had recently applied the year before and didn't get accepted. However, I'm glad that I persevered and kept going and finally got accepted. Having Psi Chi on my resumé will be an advantage when it comes to applying and getting accepted into grad school. Being a member shows that I have determination, I'm a hard-worker, and I believe in having great academics because all of these are requirements to join. Not only that, Psi Chi gives insightful and helpful tips on how to apply for grad school. It's just a great organization overall, and I am glad to be a part.”
Students like these from USM are exactly the students I envisioned would benefit from our Membership Assistance Fund. I wanted the MAF for involved, active, conscientious psychology students who will benefit from Psi Chi membership in their future studies, from applying for awards, grants, and scholarships to applying to graduate school. Even that leg up advantage from listing Psi Chi on a resumé can open new doors for students and connect students with others interested in psychology—great relationships that will last a lifetime! These are those students!
With tuition costs consistently going up annually, we have heard from many Psi Chi advisors about a constant need for financial assistance to help cover the cost of membership fees for eligible Psi Chi prospective members. Through the development of our MAF program, I think we are accomplishing this goal. I am proud to work for an organization that has this mission and that works with its members to encourage and support them throughout their time in college and beyond.
You can read full testimonials by MAF recipients Ja’Darrius and Sondeika in a recent blog article.