National Society of High School Scholars (Not to be confused with NHS)


May 21, 2020
Hello. I just received an invitation to be a member of the National Honors Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), but I am not sure whether or not I should join. I read some articles online of people saying that it's not worth it to join and it counts for nothing on your resume. For those people who work alongside the people in the admissions process, how highly do you value it when you see someone was a member of NSHSS? Do members of NSHSS get looked at the same as members of the National Honor Society (NHS)? I got accepted into both, but I am not sure which path to follow. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all in advance.


May 22, 2018
“Accolades” such as this seem very thin. This particular program requires money on your part, so hardly a merit-based honor open to anyone who’s truly deserving. Even NHS is somewhat limited, because it’s not available in every high school. For example, DD had a stellar transcript and test scores, but no NHS because her highly rated school didn’t participate. She received three offers of appointment.

I’m not in Admissions, so don’t know for sure how these are seen. But this much I know: Take the hardest classes your school has to offer — especially in STEM — and excel at them. Do exceedingly well on the SAT/ACT. All that will make NHS and NSHSS superfluous.


Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
5-Year Member
Apr 9, 2017
DS ‘s received this invitation. I suspect every person on this forum, in school, also did.
I actually called our school counselors about this because I had my own questions. And received, from them, the same info @demolition did.

-it’s not noted on any graduation info/program.
-students cannot wear the cord they send with their gowns.

You go into a database of thousands. Maybe it allows You to apply for some scholarships (which, odds are, you won’t receive), but that’s about it.

It further solidified my opinion that the ‘honor’ is extended to anyone, when all four of my children received it, plus all 6 of our exchanges students.

A bigger question (since probably all applying to a SA are eligible) is WHY did you join. WHAT did you do that was impactful as a member?

SA’s will easily find things that are ‘resume enhancers’. Those are meaningless. And may be actually a negative bc one may ask you what you did for that organization. Why did you join? Just for the title? That’s doesn’t sound very good.

We keep the letter bc mom thought it was neat. Now they have been tossed.


15-Year Member
Jun 9, 2006
These types of "awards" aren't limited to high schoolers. They exist in college, in grad school, and in the working world. How to tell it's entirely or mostly a scam?

They want money. Usually lots of money. Most legitimate honor societies don't require any money to be part of them.

They want you to pay to receive a book / magazine with your name in it or for a write-up/article about you. Or a plaque / desk ornament of some sort that you can put in your office.

Invitations are sent to almost everyone -- at a school or in a profession.

They get more sophisticated as you move along in the world. Saw one that had members of a certain profession solicit their business associates / clients to provide input into an article about them. Turned out, the organization wanted the business colleagues to pay for the "article." To the tune of $10,000 - $100,000. It was nothing more than a money grab for their magazine organization. And the subject of the article ended up very embarrassed when he/she learned that the magazine was shaking down their friends for money.

Old Navy BGO

10-Year Member
Jan 5, 2012
They want money. Usually lots of money. Most legitimate honor societies don't require any money to be part of them.
^ This --- Follow the money, and remember -- many of these organizations can be very creative on how they generate money from the honor. The one I seem to recall is "Who's Who?" They used to make their money by selling the book.


15-Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
I agree with the above comments. I think it is also misleading the name of their organization is very similar to the National Honor Society, which is a well-known organization. Any of these so-called 'honors' asking you to send them money to join is nothing but a money making venture for those who make a business out of running it. If you find numerous classmates all getting these unsolicited invites, you can be sure it is simply a mass mailing with flimsy criteria. If all they do is recognize students for their achievements, college applications already have several ways to determine who the top applicants are. The type of 'leadership' SA's are looking for isn't something you buy from a mass mailing. Save your money and toss it in the trash.


Father of USMA '24 Cadet
Feb 13, 2019
It's a joke. Don't do it. Each of my kids, of widely-varying grades and academic abilities, received the same pitch, so it has nothing to do with merit. Just pitch it.

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
10-Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
I recall when I received an invitation to be listed in “Who’s Who of High School Students,” back in the 20th c. Of course, it took money. My parents sat down with me, and I vividly recall how they took that opportunity to discuss phone call scams, TV requests for money, stuff that came in the mail, how car buying worked (but that undercarriage protection package right now!), etc.