Upcoming Changes to the AAS Membership Dues Structure

New Membership Rates Go Into Effect June 15, 2022

Updating the AAS membership dues structure has been a project long in the making. While changes to dues often means increasing them, I have worked with the AAS Executive Director and Board of Directors to revise our dues structure with attention paid to our membership goals, namely:

  • Increasing access for contingent scholars (broadly conceived)
  • Expanding engagement with scholars based in Asia
  • Encouraging membership outside of the United States and Europe
  • Improving equity within the membership structure

To those ends, we have retained regular memberships indexed to income, added new membership categories, and altered dues for some existing income tiers. In the end, dues for approximately 80% of the membership will either decrease or remain the same. We expect that with our new dues structure, membership with AAS will be more attractive to individuals committed to Asian studies wherever they might live and work, and at any stage of their career.

AAS Membership Dues Structure, Effective June 15, 2022

Membership CategoryGross Annual IncomeOne YearTwo YearsThree Years
Retired Under $100,000$55$99$148
RetiredAbove $100,000$125$225$337
RegularUnder $15,999$40$72$108
Rate changes are set in bold in the table above

New Membership: Non-OECD Membership

Since joining AAS, expanding membership in AAS outside of the United States and Europe has been a goal I share with the AAS Board of Directors, Secretariat, and much of the membership. Thus far, AAS has not offered a membership dues rate for scholars living in economically disadvantaged countries or based at financially precarious organizations. 

The Non-OECD Membership rate is available to scholars residing in non-OECD countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This membership rate will require administrative approval. Individuals interested in this rate will submit documentation that attests to their employment with, enrollment at, or affiliation with an organization in a non-OECD country (a country that does not appear on this list of OECD members).

Multi-Year Memberships for Students

We are pleased to announce the introduction of multi-year student memberships. In the past few months, I have learned how engaged our student members are with AAS programs and AAS as a whole. In recognition of that consistent engagement, students will be able to purchase multi-year memberships so that they do not have to renew their membership every year. We ask that students purchasing a multiyear membership change to a regular membership upon completion of their degree.

Lowering Regular Membership Dues for Most Members

Through an examination of our membership data, we discovered that our members tend to be clustered in the bottom two tiers (student and under $15,000) and top two tiers ($76,000-$99,999 & $100,000+). As a result, less than 15% of members fell into the $16,000-$30,999 and $31,000-45,999 tiers. In looking at membership dues as a percent of gross annual income, the dues in the tiers between $16,000/year and $45,999/year were considerably more burdensome than their counterparts for higher incomes. Moreover, our members living and working in Asia were over-represented in these tiers.

To ensure that there is financial equity within our dues structure, we will be lowering the four lowest income-correlated rates:

  • Under $15,999 
  • $16,000-$30,999 
  • $31,000-$45,999 
  • $46,000-$60,999 

Increased Membership Dues for Top Earners

Starting on June 15, we will create new tiers at the top end of our dues structure. About 15% of AAS members earn more than $100,000. At this level in the previous dues structure, the percent of gross annual income was about half as much as for individuals in the Under $15,999 category. Rather than just a single rate for individuals making more than $100,000 per year, there will be three tiers:

  • $100,000-$109,999 
  • $110,00-$119,999 
  • $120,000+ 

New Category: Retired Memberships

One of the most consistent questions I have received from AAS members seeking to renew is whether we have a rate for retirees. While we have a retired registration rate for AAS Annual Conference, we have not had a retired rate for memberships. We are pleased to introduce a two-tiered retired membership rate, for individuals with annual retirement benefits above and below $100,000. 

Increased Dues for Associate Memberships

We will be increasing the cost of Associate Membership to the same level as student memberships. Student rates were set with the understanding that these individuals were on a limited income for a fixed period. Dues for Associate Memberships follow the same logic, and we could not justify that they were considerably cheaper than the memberships available to students.

Lifetime Membership Installments

Members will now have the option of paying for a lifetime membership in two installments. Half of the lifetime membership will be due in the first purchase and the remainder will be due the following year. Individuals will still be able to pay for the entire lifetime membership at once.