National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Fall 2005


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 6:2, Fall/Winter 2005. Copyright © 2005 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Jay Freyman suggests that we often define “honors” (and, I suspect, many other things) based on our own experiences and observations as undergraduates. He then provides us with a valuable means of uncovering those diamonds in the rough and shading our eyes from those sparkling cubic zirconia who may have the resumés but lack the drive to take full advantage of the honors experience. This selection process has become even more complicated by the intrusion of parents who act as brokers for their students and who, despite our best efforts to thwart them, sometimes overshadow the stellar qualifications of their students with their unabashed boosterism. We’ve all had the experience, moreover, of regretting an admission or scholarship decision and finding ourselves trying to turn the zirconium into a diamond. Can honors be the alchemy that inspires these students to work up to the potential of their high school grades and test scores?