What is the National Honor Society?
The National Honor Society is an organization for students (grades 10-12) that promotes leadership, service, character, and scholarship. There are over one million students participating in NHS activities today, in all 50 states and territories of the United States. The National Honor Society was started in 1921 by an association of principals. It was the first honor society created across the country. Over 100 years old, the NHS is one of the most recognized educational and leadership groups.
There are five core values of the National Honor Society, which are character, scholarship, leadership, and service.
Character means the force within each individual which distinguishes that person from others. Members of the honor society must demonstrate qualities such as respect, responsibility, trust-worthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship to show that they have good character.
Scholarship means a commitment to learning. Members of the honor society must keep learning at all times because, for the honor society, knowledge is something very valuable. Leadership refers to being a leader in influencing your peers in doing the right things.
Leadership: To be a good leader, sometimes you have to put other’s wishes in front of yours, and leadership is always needed, which is why the honor society values it.
Service refers to the willingness to help others without compensation or recognition. It is important for members of the honor society to help their community, thus service is an important value of the honor society.
The Purpose of the National Honor Society
The purpose of the National Honor Society is to elevate students’ and schools’ academics, student leadership, and community engagement. The NHS benefits students, communities, and colleges.
What Are the Benefits of Being in the National Honor Society?
There are several reasons why high school students may be interested in becoming members. In addition to the benefits listed below, the NHS offers a sense of community and pride in its members.
1. College Scholarships
The National Honor Society offers college scholarships to its members in good standing. There are over 400 scholarship programs with the NHS each year. They also have a database on their website with many other options that accept NHS members.
2. College Admission
Your NHS membership is a very appealing addition to your college application. In addition to this, the National Honor Society holds webinars to help you get the inside scoop on how college admissions work, and how you can submit the best application for your college goals
3. College Planning
NHS also offers college planning services, including step-by-step guides and webinars for preparing for college, as well as information on various top colleges on their website.
4. Service Projects
Finally, the NHS gives you many resources for participating in community service projects. They have a large database of community service opportunities that members can access. NHS keeps members accountable for completing the service hours, which also looks great on your college application or resume.
Who is Eligible for the National Honor Society?
All United States high school students in grades 10-12 with a minimum GPA of 89.5 or better are eligible. However, students must first be invited to apply for membership into the National Honor Society by the school’s faculty council.
What Happens if I Am Denied Membership?
If, for whatever reason, your application for NHS membership is not approved, reach out to the NHS advisor, Mrs. Robertson. Perhaps a recent change in grades affected your GPA, or perhaps you didn’t have enough community service hours. If your application is not approved, reflect on your actions the past year, and how they may or may not align with NHS values.
Whatever the reason, you may apply the following year with a higher GPA and/or a stronger application.
What Do National Honor Society Members Do?
The first thing you will do as a member of the National Honor Society is attend the local induction ceremony with your NHS peers. This usually includes special appearances from guests, guest speakers, official welcomes from local leaders, reciting the NHS pledge, and an opportunity to meet with other NHS members.
Throughout the rest of the year, National Honor Society members will attend chapter meetings, work to make their community/school better, and document volunteer hours completed in the service of others.
Is a National Honor Society Membership Worth It?
NHS members are seen as leaders. They actively engage in community and service, and have strong academic performance. Being an NHS member shows commitment to service, leadership, and academics, which in turn gives college admission committees a better picture of who you are and how you might succeed at their institution. NHS membership is not only a valuable addition on your college application, it gives you many leadership opportunities to grow and prepare for both college and life in general.
I pledge to maintain high scholastic standing,
To hold as fundamental and worth
An untarnished character,
To endeavor intelligently and courageously
To be a leader,
And to give of myself freely in service to others.
In so doing, I shall prove myself worth
Of a place in the National Honor Society.
I pledge myself
Always to seek the light of truth,
To hold scholarly habits,
To engage in worthy service,
And to lead forward in all things
That shall advance the welfare of the school.
Bishop High School NHS Advisor:
Mrs. Robin Robertson