The National Honor Society (NHS) is an organization that recognizes outstanding achievements by high school students across the country. The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) recognizes similar achievements by middle school students. Students in the NHS and NJHS are expected to display excellence in scholarship, leadership, service and character--characteristics that have been associated with the organizations since their inception in the 1920s.
The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). It was the first nationwide honor society, and the concept spread quickly. By 1930, there were more than 1,000 NHS chapters across the country. The organization has continued to grow over time, and according to the National Honor Society website, more than a million students participate in NHS and NJHS today.
Each chapter of NHS and NJHS is governed by the national constitution of the organization, as well as by local bylaws of the chapter. The national constitution was developed by the National Council, the governing body of national NHS and NJHS chapters, while routine activities of each chapter are regulated by national office staff.
In order to be a member of the National Honor Society, students must perform well across a variety of areas. All NHS members must maintain a grade point average of 85 percent, or meet a standard of excellence deemed equivalent by the school's chapter. They must also perform acts of community service, demonstrate leadership ability, prove to be of good character and understand the concept of civic involvement. Since some of these qualifications are vague, each chapter of NHS may determine its own specific standards for membership.
There are several benefits to being a member of the National Honor Society. Since the organization is nationally recognized, membership can be denoted on resumes, scholarship applications and college applications. There are also scholarships available only to members of NHS, and national conferences are available for leadership and service training opportunities.
Famous NHS Members
Students in the National Honor Society today can consider themselves part of a long history of participation in the organization. Many actors, politicians, athletes, musicians and other famous people were involved in NHS. They include:
Actors: Alan Alda, Meryl Streep, Jon Voight
Politicians: Bill Bradley, William Cohen
Athletes: Troy Aikman, Dan Jansen, Cal Ripkin Jr.
Musicians: Gloria Estefan, Van Cliburn, Maria Fortuna
Advantages of Graduating With Honors in High School
Graduating with honors doesn't just mean you get a special rope for your graduation robe. Completing an honors program shows maturity and...
What Is the National Scholars Honor Society?
The National Scholars Honor Society is an honor society for college undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and those who have earned their...
What Is the Junior National Honor Society?
The National Honor Society is a well-known organization that recognizes high school students for their outstanding scholarship, service, citizenship and leadership. The...
What Is the Goal of the National Honor Society?
The National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are two arms of an organization dedicated to recognizing excellence in...
National Honor Society Requirements
The requirements for membership in the National Honor Society, long considered the premier extracurricular organization for high-achieving college students, can vary from...
What Is the National Technical Honor Society?
The National Technical Honor Society was created to recognize student achievement in career and technical education. The society has a vision to...
How to Write a Letter of Honor
Letters or honor, character references or recommendation letters are an important step in the application process for a job or college admittance....
Four Pillars of the National Honor Society
To be inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS), students must excel in various ways. When students become juniors in high school,...
Gifts for the National Honor Society in High School
Being asked to join the National Honor Society (NHS) is a result not only of getting good grades but also because the...
Responsibilities of a National Honor Society Member
The National Honor Society acknowledges the hard work and contributions to the community of outstanding high school students. With chapters in high...