Thursday, May 9, 2024

Food Fight: Ivory Tower Edition

 The Honor Society issued the following press release. 

In resolute defense of students, parents and the educational community, Honor Society® has filed claims in a federal lawsuit against Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and its CEO, Lynn Tincher-Ladner, accusing them of misleading students and attempting to monopolize the community college honor society market. Filed in the Southern District of Mississippi, the suit alleges that PTK's practices deceive students, educational institutions, and employers.

The lawsuit details several troubling practices allegedly masterminded by CEO Lynn Tincher-Ladner, including:

1. False "Top 10%" Claims: PTK is accused of falsely claiming in solicitations that invited students are in the "Top 10%" of their class to entice them to pay membership fees. PTK's criteria allow a much higher percentage of students to qualify. For example, at Oakton Community College, 44% of students meet PTK's 3.5+ GPA standard—significantly more than the actual "Top 10%." This misleads students both within and below the top 10% about the purported exclusivity of PTK membership.

2. Alleged Fraudulent Letters of Recommendation: Compounding the member invitation issue, Phi Theta Kappa issues letters of recommendation on behalf of its members, with CEO Lynn Tincher-Ladner's signature, claiming that the PTK member is in the top 10% at their school—without any basis. This deceives students, colleges, and employers about the actual merit of PTK membership.

3. Misleading Scholarship Claims: PTK allegedly promotes exclusive access to $246 million in scholarships, which are actually broadly available university transfer scholarships. This misrepresentation leads students to pay for PTK membership under false pretenses. Furthermore, Phi Theta Kappa allegedly advertises that its "average member gets $2,500 a year" in transfer scholarships, which is false. These alleged misrepresentations deceive students as to the benefits PTK provides.

These and other deceptive tactics, the lawsuit alleges, have allowed PTK to misappropriate significant sums from students, by exploiting their trust and aspirations. Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that PTK has sold and shared member data under false pretenses, further compromising student privacy and trust.

PTK has also allegedly engaged in anticompetitive conduct intended to exclude competition from the community college market, harming students as a result. Mikal Calvert, marketing director of Honor Society®, states, "Phi Theta Kappa's actions have unfairly restricted the choices for honor society memberships in community colleges, misleading countless students. This lawsuit aims to dismantle these falsehoods and advocate for a market that truly values inclusivity and excellence."

Honor Society® urges those affected by PTK's deceptive practices to come forward. "We must protect vulnerable students and educational institutions from these alleged predatory behaviors," emphasizes Calvert. "We encourage anyone who believes they have been misled by Phi Theta Kappa to contact their state attorney general's office or the Better Business Bureau."

For more information about the lawsuit, visit To post or follow the topic on social media, use #PTKlawsuit.

Call for Action: If you have insights or information about PTK's alleged deceptive practices, please email Your privacy and confidentiality will be respected.

About Honor Society®:

Honor Society® is a forward-thinking, technology-driven society dedicated to recognizing academic and professional excellence. For over a decade, Honor Society® has been at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and dismantling systemic bias and structural racism, providing a platform that encourages achievement at all levels. Committed to empowering its members, Honor Society® has reached millions of students and professionals across the nation, promoting inclusive excellence through personalized recognition, diverse programming, and wide-ranging career resources. As a pioneering leader in the honor society community, Honor Society® addresses critical issues often incumbent in historical honor societies, such as accessibility, equity, and inclusivity. It is a proud member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), reinforcing its role as "The Honor Society for All™." For more information about the society, visit


Anonymous said...

PTK is a joke. Got their letter after taking a few community college classes.

Anonymous said...

Wait, people actually believed this is real honor society? I'm 41 and have been through college, JUCO through post grad, and I was always under the impression this was a money grab that the not so smart kids paid to sound smarter to some folks. I wasn't that smart, but smart enough to know I wasn't a true honor student.

Anonymous said...

Serious allegations. I'm looking forward to a trial and finding of facts. If true, these kids got hosed by someone they should have been able to trust.

Anonymous said...

Is this any worse that the scheme our State Treasurer runs regarding college savings plans? Of course you won't allow this post since he advertises the scheme on here night and day at taxpayer expense.

When will Shad do an article about all the elected officials who use taxpayer funds for self-enrichment advertising? His continual ad is nothing but keeping his name out there for purposes of soliciting votes. Same as Fitch did it for years.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a rat's ass about Bobbie St. John's world travels and when he first opened a burger joint and invented the cheeseburger in France?

Anonymous said...

PSA. No matter what anyone tries to tell(sell) you, if you are in community college, you aren't not a true honor student.

Anonymous said...

This seems about as dumb of a lawsuit as possible. A quick review of the Honor Society website shows they are possibly a larger money grab than PTK. There is no GPA requirement necessary to join Honor Society and several links to buy merchandise. A quick google search says it costs a whopping $60 to join PTK for life and is paid one time.

Full disclosure I attended a Mississippi community college, had a GPA that allowed me to join PTK and it was a minimum 3.5 back then. At least two of the IHLs and Mississippi College came to talk to PTK members at my school and had scholarships available for members. I attended one of those and earned my four year degree. It was clear the scholarship was from the university and not PTK to entice students to enroll. Would they have offered had I not been a member? Perhaps but I didn't seem to think paying for PTK was a big hurdle nor was I pressured into it, but it was probably half as much back then.

Honor Society advertises it's inclusiveness which always raises a red flag for me. PTK could be just as big of a money grab as the lawsuit indicates at this point but this just seems like a big nothing burger and an attempt to smear an organization with little merit behind it.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how much of an honor PTK is, but I do know that the chapter at Hinds is very active and does a lot of worthwhile projects and hosts good speakers.

Anonymous said...

There are also many commercial "honor" student societies and tour groups in DC that prey on our high schoolers. You see the "National Super Special Honor Society" stickers on cars and then the parents buy a "tour" of DC to "meet important national officials" and they basically are doing the old high school tour at much more expense. A kid doesn't know that a Deputy Junior Administrator in some Fed agency is just some mope and that they are being led around by interns looking for a paycheck.

They usually all come back to a UPS rental mailbox with a "Penn Ave" or NoVa office building address. Multiple schemes at each address.

The parents? How are they supposed to know better? And how do they tell the kids you are being scammed, not special? Sorry folks doing stuff like this but there's always been con artists preying on rubes, pilgrims, or tourists.

Evelyn Wood said...

at 3:19 PM - I hope you're not one of my graduates.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's a scam now but in the 90's it cost me something like $50 to join PTK at Hinds and it gave me $1200 a semester for four semesters at MSU, which at the time was the full cost of tuition. I'd call $4800 for $50 a pretty decent rate of return at the time.

Anonymous said...

Hinds transfer student here again, looks like from MSU's website you can still get a PTK transfer scholarship for five semesters (up from four when I did it), currently for $1000/semester for a 3.25-3.49 GPA or $2000/semester for a 3.5+ GPA.

Not sure what the scam is.

Anonymous said...

Hey now!

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (in Jackson Mississippi) non profit 990 filings could make a person think there is real money involved.

Saul Goodman said...

From the comments here, I think you all are above average intelligence and looks. Send me $60 each and I'll include you in my latest edition of "Who's Who in Jambalaya Land".

Anonymous said...

Many, (but not all) of these so called "honor frats" haze just like the standard social fraternities & sororities.
University marching bands may be worse.

Anyway, I don't think they make new members drink bleach.

Yeah I know ... not all Pike ( Pi Kappa Alpha ) chapters are like Ole Miss ... but still.

Anonymous said...

Sounds just like the old “Who’s Who” books that you paid to be listed in like it was an honor…. What a scam…

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, everyone already knows this, but the "honor" students coming out of Mississippi's public school system are FAR from high achieving. They "teach to the test" (meaning the ACT) and droves earn well above 30 score, which decades ago anybody who tested that high was headed to Vanderbilt medical school on scholarship.

Mississippi K-12 and the community colleges (13th and 14th Grade) are money funnels for state/federal dollars via hook and crook, and any possible way they can portray that they're "educating" teens. (30 is the new 18). No education is necessary, just a social security number to milk.

Anonymous said...


If 30 is the new 18, be sure to tell the mediocre private schools in the Jackson area to stop touting how many seniors are part of the 25+ club on the ACT.

Cuts both ways.

Debbie Downer said...

30 is certainly the new 18. Prep for my ACT in the 1970s consisted of sharpening a few #2 pencils. Nowadays much of the teaching is geared towards the test and most students take prep courses. This waters down the test and widens the gap between who do and don’t have access to test prep resources.

Anonymous said...

Expect nothing less from this lame, narcissistic, sociopathic excuse for a CEO. Look in to her history. This isn’t her first rodeo.

Anonymous said...

You all should google "phi theta kappa and sexual harassment" or "phi theta kappa and embezzlement" ...

Anonymous said...

Remember, this whole thing started over a trademark infringement case that PTK filed against Honor Society, with some success. A little surprised that Kingfish would act as a stenographer for just one side here and not at least put in a little bit of context.

In greenlighting that suit to go forward, Judge Reeves said,

"The Court agrees with Plaintiff. PTK Honor Society has sufficiently and plausibly alleged that it is the owner of the PTK EDGE trademark and that Defendants' mark creates a likelihood of confusion."

Filing a counterclaim when you're getting your ass kicked is easy. Winning it is hard.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of yall have kids who couldn't make it at any of the "mediocre" private schools.
Or maybe you couldn't either.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS