California Scholarship Federation (CSF) is an honor society that recognizes students for academic achievement. In San Gabriel High School (SGHS), CSF exists as one of the handful of clubs that offers cords and stoles for graduation. SGHS’s CSF follows the general semester membership requirements posted on the official CSF website where membership eligibility is based on students’ grades. Applicants must have at least 10 CSF points. The grade criteria can be found at <https://csf-cjsf.org>. Along with a copy of applicants’ report cards from the preceding semester, applicants also have to turn in five dollars with the application form.
While the school chapter does follow official CSF guidelines, the SGHS’s club should consider following in Mark Keppel High School (MKHS)’s footsteps and add more requirements for students to qualify for a cord. In addition to having at least 10 CSF points, the MKHS CSF chapter has meeting requirements, mandates students to attend at least one fundraiser and requires them to have at least 10 service hours with at least five of the hours directly through the club. Although the CSF cord is harder to obtain at MKHS, the cord is more meaningful and reflects the main federation’s motto: “Scholars for Service.”
There should be more student involvement in CSF, especially because of the prestige that is associated with wearing cords and stoles at graduation. Many critics see the club as a means to obtain a cord simply by paying for it, thus undermining the work that comes with maintaining grades that qualify for the minimum 10 CSF points. While there is not any major problem with SGHS’s CSF chapter, the club should definitely consider heading in a more active direction in the future. This could mean opting out of the five dollar application fee and adopting the one function point requirement at MKHS to fund cords and stoles, holding meetings or releasing notices about CSF and its purpose, or adopting MKHS’s CSF’s system altogether.