I am a current alumni member and I was a chapter officer for my chapter of NSCS. I can tell you from personal experience that NSCS is a legitimate organization that is well worth the membership dues.
I belong to four honor societies on my campus. NSCS was the first that I joined because they honor freshman and sophomores who maintain thir GPA. Of all of the honor societies that I joined, NSCS is THE SINGLE MOST active organization.
First, let me make it clear that it is up to your son our daughter how much they want to use NSCS. NSCS doesn't require members to complete a certain amount of activities. Instead, they provide and the members take advantage of what they want to. Each chapter gets a certain cut of the dues that new members turn in each year and it is dispersed two times per year so that chapters can budget. With that money chapters plan and implement the induction ceremony, socials, community service events, academic development events, leadership activities, and whatever else members want. The rest of the dues is used towards national scholarships, chapter grants, leadership summits, regional conferences, etc. ALL of which bennefits the members.
Chapters have meetings (most chapters meet once or twice per month) with members. During these meetings, members have the chance to network with other students and faculty from their school. They learn about what their chapter is doing that moth (again service, socials, leadership, academic stuff, etc) and they give ideas of what they want to see from the chapter. They also learn what the national office (located in Washington DC) has to offer them.
The national office offers TONS of scholarships that members apply for online. They offer study abroad and scholar at sea programs. They have a program called the distinguished scholar program which is an internship program. They have a leadership summit every summer with sessions on getting financial aid for school, law school and grad school planning, resume building, interview strategies, and much more! They also offer everyday life help like health insurance offers, car insurance, discounts on services, etc.
I have never been involved in an organization that cares so much about members. The national office is constantly getting feedback from officers and MEMBERS on what they want to see from the organization. In fact, you can personally meet members from the national staff at your son or daughter's induction ceremony! Furthermore, the staff visits each chapter about twice per year and once they hod a meeting with the members to get feedback!
In my involvement with NSCS, I have been to two leadership summits (one in Washington, DC and one in Denver, CO); two regional conferences (one in Atlanta, GA and one in Tuskaloosa, AL);service activities like a diversity fair, coastal cleanup, helping paint the rooms of disabled children, and many more; socials like karaoke, BBQ, ice cream social, movie night; and academic activities like free graduate school test prep and admissions, and study groups. Furthermore, my chapter's advisor has written letters of recommendation for countless NSCS members including myself and he is a major factor in my getting into law school. He has also helped three of our chapter's members get the outstanding senior award from our school (awarded to only one senior at each graduation ceremony), and has helped me to get a scholarship from the school.
I think that the one time membership fee is nothing compared to what you can get out of it. I strongly encourage you to visit the NSCS national site at www.nscs.org
. There is a phone number there that you can actually call their office and talk to a staff member any time during normal business hours.