What Is the National Honor Society?


The National Honor Society is an organization for high school students who demonstrate remarkable scholarship, service, leadership and character. Individual high school chapters of the National Honor Society push students to pursue further engagement with school activities and community service.

Founded as a national organization in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Honor Society grew quickly from one club in 1921 to more than 1,000 by 1930. By 2014, more than a million students are members of the NHS in chapters across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C, many U.S. territories and Canada. Individual NHS chapters operate according to two sets of regulations, the NHS national constitution and the chapter's individual bylaws.

To be considered for membership in the NHS, students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors, and they must attend a particular school for at least a semester. The national NHS constitution specifies that members must have a cumulative scholastic average of 85, a grade point average of a 3.0 or a comparable level of achievement, though individual schools may raise these minimum achievement standards. A faculty council votes to approve or deny new members. Some famous members of the NHS include football player Troy Aikman, actor Alan Alda, businessman Lee Iacocca, writer Rod Serling and comedian Jon Stewart.