What is the National Honor Society?

Article Details
  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Scientists have determined that crocodiles evolved to become vegetarians at least three times in their existence.  more...

December 10 ,  1948 :  The UN adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  more...

There are many awards and honors available to high school students, but one of the most recognized is membership in the National Honor Society. This organization is established in high schools in all 50 states of the US and is considered the “gold standard” of academic achievement.

The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as a means of honoring academic achievement, good character and leadership potential. The organization seeks to inspire students to continue to excel academically, and also to render service in their communities.

Students in grades 10-12 are eligible for membership in the National Honor Society if their school has an active chapter. The students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (or 85 percent) and should be of good character. School principals nominate students for the NHS, usually on the recommendation of the NHS faculty adviser for the school. When the student is accepted for membership, he or she and all the other candidates are formally inducted into the society.

National Honor Society chapters must complete a service project of some kind every academic year, in order to stay active within the national organization. Chapters also have regular meetings to conduct business and plan service projects. Like other clubs, they elect officers and raise funds for the organization. Students must maintain their grade point averages and pay their annual dues to remain active and members in good standing.


A major benefit of being a member of the NHS is the eligibility for college scholarships. Most scholarship selection committees see being a member of the NHS as a great asset for any student and will automatically consider this student for the scholarship. The NHS also offers its own scholarship to its members, if they are recommended by their chapter advisers. However, students applying for other scholarships, especially those based on academics and service, will find their road to acceptance made easier by membership in the NHS.

The National Honor Society sells jewelry, such as pendants and pins, that allow students to show their membership in the NHS, but the society also provides a way to recognize students at their graduation exercises. Seniors in good standing with the NHS can purchase a white satin stole with the NHS emblem to wear with their graduation robes. Many NHS students also wear a white tassel on their mortarboards, with the NHS emblem. This ensures the National Honor Society students are recognized for their achievements and hard work even as they receive their diplomas.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 7

As expensive as college is, being able to be a part of the National Honor Society can make a big difference. Every little bit helps when it comes to getting college financial help.

I was able to receive a National Honor Society scholarship just because I was part of this group.

When I was in high school, I kept good grades, and was involved in a number of things both in my school and the community.

I went to a small school and all of these things added up to a lot of money when I was ready to go to college.

When I was applying for colleges, being able to show I was a member of the NHS really improved my chances of getting accepted just about anywhere I applied.

Post 6

It was not until my senior year of high school that I was able to be a member in the National Honor Society.

I still have a pendant from a necklace my parents gave me when I was accepted. I remember filling out an application and completing a National Honor Society essay as part of the process I went through.

I don't remember our chapter being involved in any community service projects. Since I was not a part of this group until my last year of high school, they might have already completed this before I was a member.

Post 5

I became a member of the National Honor Society when I was in 10th grade. I remained in this organization for the remainder of my high school years.

It has been so long ago that I don't remember much about it other than being included in a ceremony at my high school.

I maintained high enough grades to meet the National Honor Society requirements every year that I was eligible.

Being included in this organization is not only about getting grades, but also having good character and being active in leadership roles.

Post 4

@jcraig - It may be one of several things that colleges look at but it is usually the biggest things they look at when determining scholarships.

Being a member of National Honor Society shows to colleges that you are a good student and have been recognized for being so.

Some colleges do put very high emphasis on grades, as you said, but for a lot of colleges they more or less care that you meet their requirements and by having extra curricular activities, like National Honor Society, it helps out a lot if someone is on the fence in regards to being accepted into the college.

It may be one of several things that colleges look at, but it is something that is very important and something that a lot of people look at first when students apply.

Post 3

@kentuckycat - I feel like National Honor Society is simply another organization that a young student can use to pad their resume when applying to college.

Fact is there are tens of thousands of high school students that make National Honor Society every year and it is not necessarily a major accomplishment when looking at it at the large scale of things.

I believe that there are many things that colleges look at and National Honor Society is one of several of them. There are more important things such as grades that play a factor into colleges selecting people to attend.

Post 2

@jmc88 - You are absolutely correct in that it is an honor to be accepted into the society.

I was lucky enough to be accepted when I was a junior in high school and several of my classmates who applied were not as lucky as I was.

I feel like when colleges look at applications and they look at all extra-curricular activities this is the first one they look at in order to see if the person was a great student.

Each college I applied to said it was a big deal that I was in National Honor Society and the college I went to ended up giving me a several thousand dollar scholarship due to me being in National Honor Society.

Post 1

I was in National Honor Society when I was younger and I have to say that it really looks good on your college applications.

I felt very fortunate to be accepted into National Honor Society because they seemed to not just let anyone in. I know someone in my class that was not let into National Honor Society simply because she did not have the community service or extra curricular activities part up to their standards despite having extraordinarily high grades.

National Honor Society looks at a lot more than just grades and it is an honor to be accepted.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?