Student Services - Chapter FAQ

​[ Application Procedures || Chapter Management ||

Chapter Membership || Merit Award ]

Application Procedures

How do we handle student membership applications?

Completed membership applications should first be reviewed and signed by the chapter advisor to indicate that the applicant is an eligible student. Next, be sure to write your chapter number in the space provided (some chapters fill in this space before distributing applications). This ensures that your members will be assigned to the correct chapter. Take a moment to review the payment amount. National student dues are currently $40 per year. If your chapter collects local dues in addition to national dues, have the applicants write two separate checks, one to the local chapter and one to SHRM. Then forward the SHRM check with the application to the national office and keep the local dues for your chapter. Applications sent without payment or with incorrect payments will not be processed and will be returned to the applicants.

Applications and payments should be sent immediately by mail to: Society for Human Resource Management, P.O. Box 79482, Baltimore, MD 21279-0482 (allow 4-6 weeks for processing) By fax to: (703) 535-6490 (allow 2-3 weeks for processing) or join online immediately.

Should we send applications to SHRM with individual checks?

It is preferable to send an individual check or money order with each application. Sending a group chapter check with a group of applications makes more work for the chapter and makes it difficult to track payments in the event of a future problem or question on an application. Plus, holding applications until one group check is created will cause unnecessary delays in the start of membership services for your applicants. If your chapter collects local dues in addition to national dues, have the applicants write two separate checks, one to the local chapter and one to SHRM. Then forward the SHRM check with the application to the national office and keep the local dues for your chapter.

How do students renew their memberships?

Students can renew their memberships in one of two ways:

  • Return a renewal invoice with payment.
  • Fill out a new student membership application and check off 'renewal' on top.

Both methods have the same result. If a student receives an invoice and he/she is still a student, or will be graduating but beginning a graduate program, the student may renew as a student member. If the member is no longer a student when their membership expires, or is about to graduate, the member should choose the conversion option and convert their membership to full professional status at the special half-price rate. Click here for more information on converting to full membership.

What should we tell a student who wants to join but is not eligible for national student membership?

If an applicant does not meet the necessary qualifications for national student membership, they can still join and participate in SHRM. Give them the following options:

  • Join the Society as a regular associate, general, or professional member for $199 and then participate in the student chapter activities and/or the local professional chapter.
  • Join your chapter as a "local-only" member. Pay local dues and participate in student chapter activities. (If your chapter offers this option.)

How do graduating student members convert their memberships to professional status?

A special offer is made to student members who are graduating. They can upgrade their membership to a regular SHRM associate, general, or professional membership for half-price. A regular membership normally costs $199, but for student members, the first and second year of professional membership is just $99.50 each year, a savings of $200. To take advantage of this offer, students must apply within six months of the expiration date of their student membership. Example: a student member graduates in May and their membership expires in June. They can apply for conversion in July, August, September, October, November, or December, three months after the expire date (not the graduation date).

Chapter Management

What does the chapter need to do in order to be recognized as active by the national office?

To be recognized as an active, affiliated SHRM student chapter, your chapter must first have completed the affiliation process and received a chapter charter. After receiving a charter, the group must maintain membership of at least 8 national members as of November 30th each year. In addition, a Student Chapter Information Form must be submitted each year by September 30th to notify the national office of chapter contact information and current officers. Participation in the annual Merit Award competition is strongly encouraged, though not required to maintain your charter. If your chapter has been inactive for an extended period, it may be necessary to complete the affiliation process again to re-charter the chapter. Contact Student Programs if you are in this situation.

Can we use the SHRM logo?

Yes. As an affiliated chapter, you are entitled to use the SHRM logo for chapter newsletters, correspondence, posters, T-shirts, etc. However with this privilege comes the responsibility to use the logo correctly. Following are some guidelines for its use:
  • Reproduce the logo only from camera-ready artwork provided by SHRM. Do not modify the design in any way.
  • The logo may only appear in the colors 100% black, 100% blue (Pantone 282) and 100% gray (Pantone 424). The background may be any color, but the "HR" must "reverse out" meaning it will also be the background color.
  • The logo must always appear with the registrada symbol (R) which identifies it as a registered trademark.
  • You may not use the logo on business cards, as this implies SHRM's endorsement of the individual or organization. Instead, use the statement "Member, Society for Human Resource Management."

Note: Be careful not to mislead people with statements on business cards such as "President, Society for Human Resource Management." If you want to include your position as a chapter officer, be sure to state it clearly (e.g., "President, University of Texas student chapter, Society for Human Resource Management").

Chapter Membership

Why are members still listed on our chapter roster who have already graduated?

When a student joins the Society, they receive twelve full months of membership regardless of when they graduate. Students appearing on your roster still have active student memberships even though they graduated during the membership year. These students will be included in your chapter's membership count until their memberships expire or they convert to regular membership.

If you do not wish to have them included in your membership count or listed on your roster, please complete the SHRM Student Chapter Roster Update Request form requesting that the students be removed from the chapter's membership roster. The students will be assigned to "member-at-large" status. This means they will still be national members, but they will no longer be recognized as members of your chapter.

Why are some of our chapter members not listed on the roster we received from SHRM?

​Members missing from a chapter roster is usually due to one of three factors:

  • The student is a member of the local chapter but is not a national SHRM member. Only national student members are listed on the rosters generated by SHRM.
  • The student just applied for membership within the last 4-6 weeks. If an application was received recently by the national office, the membership may not have been recorded in the database yet, so the member would not appear in the chapter listing. (If applications are held for days or weeks by the local chapter, this will further delay processing.)
  • The student is a national member, but is not coded to the correct chapter. If no chapter number is provided on the application, members are sometimes assigned to the wrong chapter by mistake.

This can easily happen at schools with several chapters at different campuses, or at schools with both a graduate and undergraduate chapter of SHRM. To prevent this, be sure to note the correct chapter number on the application before mailing it to SHRM. If you suspect that members may have been assigned to the wrong chapter, please contact the Student Program Manager to have the records corrected.

Can students from other schools without chapters participate in our chapter activities?

Yes, if approved by your chapter. Students from other schools will not be officially counted as members of your chapter, but they are welcome to participate in your activities if your chapter members feel it is appropriate. If there is sufficient interest in SHRM at another school, encourage the students there to begin their own SHRM chapter.

Merit Award

What is a Merit Award?

The Student Chapter Merit Award program recognizes chapters for outstanding activities and programs in four broad areas:

  • Chapter Operations
  • Chapter Programming and Professional Development of Members
  • Support of the Human Resource Profession
  • SHRM Engagement

Section 1 of the Merit Award Application (Year-end Report) is required of all chapters regardless of award eligibility. All active SHRM student chapters, regardless of their size, are eligible to compete for award level status.

The Student Chapter Merit Award Planning Workbook is available on or about April 1 each year in the SHRM Student Member Center. The planning workbook should be used as a tool for planning activities throughout the year. The online year-end report outlining the chapter's activities for the period April 1 through the following March 31 is due no later than April 15 following the end of the award year period. Some supporting documentation is required. All submissions are online - hard copy submissions are not accepted. Contact the Student Programs Department for more information.

Why should my chapter apply for a Merit Award?

Completing a Merit Award Year-end Report is a way to review and evaluate your chapter's progress towards its goals. Just as a company has a mission statement, your chapter should have a unifying purpose. Winning a Merit or Superior Merit Award or an Honorable Mention distinction provides you with national recognition for a job well done. Plan to participate this year and enjoy the following rewards:.

  • National recognition. Feel the pride that comes with being part of an award-winning chapter. Winners are publicized online, to the professional chapters, and at the Society's annual conference. Professional SHRM members participate in a similar award program, so they understand the value of this accomplishment.
  • Opportunity to share what you've learned. Successful programs reported in Merit Award Year-end Reports are communicated to other chapters through the "Idea Book". Your experiences could help other students enrich their chapter programming.
  • School recognition. Demonstrate the accomplishments of your chapter in a tangible way to other student organizations on campus. Display your award certificate for everyone to see.
  • Satisfaction of doing your best. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Develop the habit of doing your best in all the activities you undertake. This quality is impressive to potential employers.

Do you have any tips for successfully competing for a merit award?

Yes. For more information on how to compete for a merit award, click here.

How do I get a copy of the Merit Award application?

The Student Chapter Merit Award Planning Workbook outlines the scope of work for the academic year. It can be downloaded here. The year-end report is an online form available here on or after May 1 of the award year.



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