Do Colleges Look at NHS?

Do Colleges Look at NHS?

Many high school students dream of going to college. However, this requires some criteria, one of which is membership in the National Honor Society. This article entails how authentic National Honor Service is as a criterion.

Colleges do look and recognize the relevance of the National Honor Society (NHS). Being a member increases the chances of the applicant being offered admission into college. However, beyond being a member of the National Honor Society, a college applicant must consider other factors.

Why Colleges Look at NHS ?

NHS was the first honor society started by an association of principals in the year 1921. It is a body that anchors its activities on these values:

Values of NHS

I) Scholarship

II) Leadership

III) Service

IV) Character

The above values produce well-formed students who feel obliged to give back to their societies. We can say that this is a major reason why colleges look out for membership in the National Honor Society(NHS) as a criterion for admission. To understand fully why they do that, consider the paragraphs below, which explain the NHS concepts of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. 


This is the most important factor for the National Honor Society. They promote scholarship and academic excellence by ensuring that every student applying to be a member has a minimum of 3.0 GPA on a scale of 4.0 GPA. This shows that it is a body that encourages students to take their academics seriously, by showing them that without good grades, they cannot be a part of the National Honor Society. 


Students who want to be a part of the National Honor Society must have the capacity to lead. It shows that society is concerned about the growth in the skill of its members. Leadership skills can be gotten by heading teams, clubs, projects, etc. The NHS believes that this is a key factor that would be of utmost importance to students in terms of managing themselves and managing others. 


Giving back to the community is paramount for the NHS. Students need to volunteer in different communities to acquire volunteering experience. This only shows that they can channel a part of their lives to the common good of the community. We live in a world that requires altruism to grow, so the NHS believes that constantly emphasizing that students have volunteering experience before they apply is a way of making the world a better place.


The formation of moral character is key in the National Honor Society. Students must have no criminal record. They should exhibit good moral standards and avoid societal violence. The essence of this is to ensure that the mindset of the student is formed in the right way, that scandals are not normalized, and that a huge percentage of their lives is being guided by some ethics and code of conduct. 

From the aforementioned, we can say that every student who is a member of the NHS, to a great extent has what it takes to be a full-fledged college student. 

Why NHS is Not Enough ?

Any committed member of the National Honor Society ordinarily can be said to have all it takes to be a college student. But is this the case? Does being a college student only require having NHS experience? Are there no other factors that should be considered? The following captures why the NHS can be said not to be enough criterion for college application.

I) Other platforms with similar values 

II) Losing the spirit behind the values

III) Criteria are too limiting 

Other Platform with similar values

There are many other platforms with similar values that give room for scholarly, leadership, volunteering, and character development. For instance, high school students may join organizations like Girls and Boys’ Scouts, which do lots of volunteering, or they can decide to volunteer on their own. 

Losing the spirit behind the values 

This happens when high school students volunteer, not because of the charity behind it, but because of the favor they hope to get from it. Sometimes, many students spend so many hours volunteering, or heading one or two teams with the sole aim of gaining the favor of the NHS. It indeed encourages students to study, serve and have good leadership and moral attitudes, it nonetheless, should ensure that these students understand why they are to be guided by these values. 

Criteria are Too Limiting 

Intelligence at times is not measured by academic performance alone. There is the ability to think critically, there is the ability to be creative, and there is the ability to solve problems and provide answers to difficult questions. Denying students on average academic standing access to the NHS can be said to be a reason why colleges should not make it a major criterion for admission. 

The reasons above have shown that although the NHS grooms students well, and prepares them for the various challenges that come with college life, some loopholes should not be overlooked. The factors exploring why the NHS membership is not enough criterion for admission must be considered. Colleges should be more liberal and open-minded when it comes to granting admission to high school applicants, this way other factors are considered and the system is free and fair. 


The NHS is very formative and has aided many students in acquiring scholarships to the colleges of their choice, but it should not be look as a major factor in determining the eligibility for admission into colleges. One is suggested to take a look at the website and brochures of colleges to be sure of the exact eligibility criteria. Although the NHS is not a necessity, having it certainly won’t hurt much.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What does it take to be a member of the NHS?


You have to meet up with the criteria of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

2) Is it advisable to be a member of the NHS?


Yes, it is advisable. It equips you with life skills and brings out the best in you.

3) Does being a member of the NHS guarantee admission to college?


It depends on the college. For instance, Mizzou university places more emphasis on students’ high school grades. 

4) Since being in the NHS gives me lots of opportunities, should I ignore my area of interest?


It is advisable to stick to your passion. Besides, there are opportunities everywhere. You only need to make research.