How to Join

Who is eligible?

A college chapter of the American Advertising Federation may be formed on the campus of any institution of higher education offering a sequence of at least two courses in advertising or in subjects closely related, such as marketing, promotion or advertising design. The institution of higher education must be accredited by a recognized accrediting association. Community, junior colleges, portfolio schools or other two-year college level schools are eligible. To be eligible of membership and retention, a student must currently be registered for at least one course for credit within the institution. An incomplete course is not considered a course for credit.

Additionally, two or more institutions of higher education in the same district may form a membership partnership. Guidelines for group membership:

  • All institutions must be in the same district.
  • An average of 10 students per institution in the partnership must join. For example, if three institutions form a partnership, at least 30 students must pay their dues, but each institution does not have to provide 10 members each to the total count.
  • All members of the partnership must be listed in all materials. For example, if three institutions come together to form one National Student Advertising Competition, team, all three names of the institutions must be listed.

How many students do we need to form a college chapter?

The minimum number is 10.

How do we get up and running?

To officially become an AAF college chapter, please complete the following requirements:

  • Submit the 2014-15 College Chapter Application Form (use this same form for dues renewal and adding additional members)
    --Attach the completed roster template of college chapter members (minimum of 10 students)
    --Attach a copy of the academic institution’s advertising course catalog or bulletin
    --Attach a copy of the college chapter’s constitution

  • Send one payment for all memberships ($55 per student)

After you have submitted your materials online, your membership is subject to the approval of the AAF Academic Division. The Academic Division is a governing body of the AAF Education Services and comprises of approximately 30 academic and industry professionals, representing our 15 AAF Districts.

Once the college chapter application is approved, you'll receive a letter of welcome and membership cards for all members.

The AAF College Chapter Guide to Success can help you to successfully position your new AAF college chapter for long-term success. It provides suggestions on how to elect executive officers, to actively recruit members, to finance chapter activities and much more.

Once you're official, you'll receive a letter of welcome and membership cards for all members.

You'll want to choose a name for your chapter. You want to be recognized as a professional organization, not a social club. Choosing the correct name for your chapter helps to provide that professional identity. You should incorporate "American Advertising Federation" into your name. If you use the words, "advertising club," be sure they're followed by a "student chapter of the American Advertising Federation" or similar wording to avoid confusion with our local ad clubs. Then, in all campus directories, make sure you're listed under professional societies or organizations. On all printed or copied materials and on your chapter's Web page, you'll want to include the AAF logo. Click here to download the AAF logo.

You'll need to develop your own chapter rules, which must be consistent with AAF procedures and requirements determined by the AAF Board of Directors. Bylaws of the chapter must be consistent with those of the American Advertising Federation. Each chapter shall submit a copy of its bylaws to AAF. Any substantive changes to chapter bylaws shall be submitted to AAF (see "The Fine Print").

Each chapter determines and plans its own activities, with the advice of its faculty advisor. You elect your own officers and initiate new members.

FAQ: For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.

The rules.

A college chapter will retain its charter as long as it maintains an active program consistent with the objectives of the Academic Division of the AAF. Failure to pay student dues will be cause for review of charter, with possible revocation.

How much are dues?

National AAF student dues are only $55 per student for the entire school year (fall to spring). They are due annually by October 1st, with a minimum payment of $550 for 10 members. If your chapter does not form until the second semester, your dues must be received by mid-February with the application form and one check covering all dues payments. advisors do not pay dues. All memberships expire annually on August 31, and they cannot be transferred.

Each chapter can devise an additional dues structure to cover local chapter activities and may limit membership to those paying dues. Chapters often collect an additional $5 to $30 per year for local activities.

Each chapter should collect both the national and club dues together, deposit them in the appropriate account and then send one check for just the national dues to Education Services, American Advertising Federation, 1101 Vermont Avenue NW,Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Do not send individual students’ checks! Included with each chapter’s dues should be an electronic roster with separate columns for each member’s first name, last name, phone number, e-mail and position in the chapter as well as a copy of the university catalog pages describing its advertising or advertising-related courses. It is the responsibility of the club and its president to provide a single, guaranteed payment to the AAF.

You'll need a faculty advisor to make it official.

Each AAF chapter must have an academic advisor selected from the school's faculty. You must submit the name of your advisor on the application form. This individual will be your chapter's point of contact with the national office. (The advisor will be sent all hard copy mail.) The academic advisor shall have no vote in chapter business. However, the advisor may represent the chapter at any meeting of the Academic Division or at an AAF district or national conference.

You'll also need a professional advisor.

Why not benefit from the expertise of those who are already working in the advertising industry in your community? A professional advisor can serve as a liaison between your campus and the professional advertising community and can help locate and contact speakers, organize workshops, support industry immersion and provide funding for scholarships and NSAC campaign production. Local businesses and professional AAF ad clubs are usually eager to assist student chapters, but you must exercise some initiative in establishing and maintaining a productive relationship. Keep in mind, however, you may not solicit NSAC assistance from this professional.

So, how often do we meet?

Each AAF chapter will hold at least one official meeting each year, and it must be designated the annual meeting for the purpose of electing chapter officers and approving chapter advisors. It is recommended that this meeting be held prior to the AAF National Conference each June.

In addition, all chapters within the AAF districts may meet at such times and places deemed necessary and appropriate.

Who runs the chapter?

Each chapter must elect officers and appoint committees to conduct local business. Usually, you will need a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. The chapter president is responsible for maintaining an active program locally. Once you've elected your officers, forward those names to AAF national headquarters. Because it is likely that some of your officers will graduate at the end of the year they are elected, it is essential that all officers keep complete records of all the clubs activities and SAVE THESE RECORDS FOR THE NEXT YEAR'S INCOMING OFFICERS.

Depending on the size of your club and its activities, you may wish to designate other office titles. Many chapters' activities are organized and conducted by committees. Some committees commonly used in student chapters are finance or fundraising, social, programs, seminars, membership, publicity, newsletter and Web.

Unless an officer already has been designated to head a committee, the president usually names the committee chairperson. Careful consideration should be given to selecting committee chairs. Make sure the candidate is a good. dependable leader that works well with others.

The AAF College Chapter Guide to Success contains more detailed information on starting an AAF College Chapter; you can download it for free as a PDF, or you can contact Education Services at to request a printed copy.

To download the guide, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader software version 4.0 or higher. If you do not have Acrobat Reader software, you can download it for free at the Adobe Web site.