As you’re reading this, I’ll probably be standing in a line somewhere or sitting listening to a speaker at my graduation ceremony. Yes, my long journey to a bachelor’s degree is finally at an end. Since I’m graduating at the end of summer, instead of in the spring, it kind of feels like I’m sneaking out the back door.
Only recently (right after I picked up my cap and gown this morning, actually) have I come to learn more about my school’s alumni association. Gone are the days of student rates and benefits, but in the short time I’ve been researching, I’ve discovered that there are quite a few benefits the alumni association offers that I had no idea about.
Tapping into your school’s alumni association has quite a few perks, and most of them are free of charge, or come at greatly reduced rates. Membership in this association usually requires that you put up with calls for donations and monthly newsletters, but your return is usually worth it.
Alumni associations offer benefits like:
Placement and career services
I got a lot of great advice from my career services office here on campus. Many offices are staffed with professional counselors who are not only trained, but spend quite a bit of time visiting business and working with corporate leaders. They know where to send job hunters.
Financial services and insurance
It might not be your first choice, or even your second, but membership in an alumni association might help you get a better rate on life, health or auto insurance.
Travel and shopping discounts
Discounts at hotels, on airlines, and travel support services can help knock a few dollars off your travel expenses, all just because you graduated! My school also features a “savings connection,” where members can share tips and deals they know about.
The association also offers discounted tickets to plays, social events and even sporting events on campus. They’re not student rates, but they’re a lot better than the regular price.
Connecting with your alumni association is usually free of charge, and there are plenty of benefits to signing up. It’s also a good way to stay connected to people you met at school and networking is a great skill to work on. I might be a brand new one, but I’m planning on making the most of my “alumni” status and enjoying the perks of my alumni association.
Published or updated August 13, 2009.