FAQs: Everything You Need to Know About the National Honor Society for High School Students


If you have a GPA of 3.0 or above, you may be eligible for the National Honor Society (NHS). The NHS is a great way to stand out on your college application, especially if you take advantage of all that the program has to offer. Here’s more information about the NHS, including how to apply for the National Honor Society Scholarship Program.

What is the National Honor Society?

The National Honor Society recognizes outstanding high school students, from sophomores to seniors. As the first national honor society, it is the “oldest and best-known student recognition program” for high school students.

The four pillars of the NHS are scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Every chapter has a set of qualifications that students must follow that fall under each of these pillars, including annual meetings and service projects that benefit the school and community.  

Who is eligible to join?

Eligibility for the National Honor Society depends on your school. Academic qualifications vary, so you’ll have to check with the chapter at your school. But first, if you want to become a member, you’ll need to check if your school has a chapter (see Chapter Finder).

What are the benefits of joining?

Joining NHS provides another avenue for you to get involved at your school and stand out to college admissions. Along with adding a valuable experience to your resume, you could be eligible to apply for the National Honor Society Scholarship, detailed below.  

What is the National Honor Society Scholarship?

The scholarship is supported by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Last year, $2 million in total was awarded to students last year, distributed among 600 recipients to varying degrees.


Who is eligible?

High school seniors in the National Honor Society can apply the scholarship. To apply, you must still meet the requirements for the NHS, which is a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, or a cumulative B.

When and how do I apply?

Applications will become available in October 2019. The NHS advisers will provide application information to the eligible students, which allows students to log into the online application.

How many awards are granted?

A total of 600 students will be awarded a scholarship each year, and the amount of each award varies. Here is a breakdown of the award distribution for the 2018-19 academic year, as listed on the NHS web page:

    • 1 National Winner – $25,000 scholarship

    • 24 national finalists – $5,625 scholarship

    • 575 national semifinalists – $3,200 scholarship

    • Total scholarships awarded: $2 million

Interested? Here are some tips for applying

Make sure you meet the qualifications based upon the four pillars of NHS. Even if you get into NHS your sophomore year, you’ll need to continue to keep your grades up to sustain your membership. In terms of service, your chapter will have a set amount of hours per year that you’ll have to dedicate to community service, whether on your own or through the chapter. Keep your conduct in check, as you’ll need to have a clean record to be considered a member or be considered for a scholarship. Show your leadership by being involved in your school or community through sports, volunteer opportunities, and/or clubs.