National Honor Society

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National Honor Society

Kaitlin Rauh, Newbie Reporter

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What do entertainer Taylor Swift, first lady Michelle Obama, baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., and Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak have in common? They were all members of the National Honor Society.


Welcome to the organization the world’s highest achieving students have been proudly adding to their résumés since 1921. NHS is not a regular club, but a club where the nation recognizes outstanding high school students. It is also more than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.


Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities. NHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

Four main purposes have guided chapters of NHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership; and to develop character in the students of secondary schools. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.

How can you become a member? First, you need to see if you are eligible. Students in grades 10–­­12 who meet the requirements for membership outlined by their school’s chapter are eligible to be invited for membership.Each chapter is required to publish its qualifications for membership, which is based on the four pillars of NHS.

The first one is scholarship. Per national guidelines, at a minimum, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent standard of excellence.

Second is service. This involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation.

Next is leadership. Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, and idea contributors. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.

Last is character. The student of good character is cooperative; demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability; shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintains a clean disciplinary record.

Joining NHS is a longer process than most clubs, and you need to be a person that can make time and commit to NHS.

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