What You Can Do To Better Your Chances Of Getting Into NHS

What You Can Do To Better Your Chances Of Getting Into NHS

Emma Spoonauer , Co-Editor in Chief

For high school students, getting into the National Honors Society can be a pretty big deal, and during your freshman and sophomore years, it’s important that you set yourself up to be a good candidate. 

The first step would be to ensure you have a GPA of 3.75 or higher, since this is the requirement for you to be invited to apply. This GPA is only derived from the beginning of your freshman year to the beginning of your junior year, so don’t worry if you got poor grades in middle school. During your freshman and sophomore year, make sure you get mostly A averages in your classes to keep this GPA up. 

Let’s say you’ve now been selected as a candidate for NHS, what’s next? You’ll have to fill out an application packet which will be scored on the point scale 0-4, 0 indicating a student is “lacking” the qualities desired, and 4 indicating that the student is “outstanding” in the qualities desired. Candidates are evaluated in the areas of service, leadership, and character. 

A portion of your application will be based on the community service you have done since the beginning of freshman year. You want to guarantee that you have enough hours to show that you are a leader of service. There is no minimum amount of hours technically required, but past NHS members have suggested that around 60 hours is a reasonable goal you should set for yourself to present in your NHS application. There are many different places you can volunteer, such as events via a club you join at FTHS, foodbanks, and even hospitals. I signed up to volunteer at my local hospital, CentraState, where they provide four hour shifts weekly. When signing up for a session, which usually lasts around 3-5 months, you’re committing yourself to up to 60 hours, something that will look great on your application. When doing this community service, it’s important that you document it. The organization requires that your service reports be completely filled out, including signatures, contacts, and phone numbers. To make the documentation process easier, NHS has their own service hours sheet you can print out and ask whatever advisor is running the event you’re volunteering at to fill out. 

Another part of your application is leadership. There are many ways to demonstrate leadership in your application. To name a few, you can work your way up to a leadership position in any club you join, list various awards on your application that you’ve earned, and keep your leadership in mind when answering any questions they ask in the application. The best way to attain leadership positions in clubs or any other organizations you’re a part of is to join anything you’re interested in or have time for and get involved! Your involvement and dedication to these groups will demonstrate your interest and reliability, making you a perfect choice for a leadership position when there’s an opening. Being a leader in general is not as easy. You have to assert yourself in workspaces through expressing or incorporating your own ideas into various projects and be someone others look to for guidance, all while maintaining teamwork rather than bossiness. This definitely isn’t simple, but something that’s helped me become more of a leader is to be as kind and helpful as possible to my peers. Treating someone as your equal will make them feel valued while helping them with anything they need will result in them looking to you for guidance or to rely on when needed.

The final section of your application is character. The main thing to be focused on here is the character evaluations you will receive from staff and community members of your choice. Although it may seem obvious, choosing people to evaluate you who know you well and see you in a mostly positive light is very important. For staff members, your mind may immediately go to asking teachers you’ve had, but I believe it may also be helpful to ask your club advisors or coaches. Getting a different perspective from someone who knows you’re character from an extracurricular activity rather than from being a student is definitely beneficial. If you may not be the best student in class but truly shine in your extracurriculars, you may want more advisors or coaches to fill out your evaluation than teachers. Who you ask is all relevant to what areas you thrive in, so make sure who you pick is tailored to this. For community members, examples include a boss or manager, someone you care or babysit for, or an advisor for community service events. It could really be anyone you interact with frequently outside of school that you feel knows your character well. Aside from the evaluations, you can also showcase your character in questions they ask you in the application.

Overall, trying to get into NHS can be stressful, but once you know what’s expected of members you can create a plan of action to make certain you will be a great candidate!