6 Honor Societies to Join for High School Success

Thursday, December 14, 2023
Honor Societies You Might Not Have Heard Of

As a high school student, you may have heard of some honor societies you can join and the potential benefits for your education and future.

It’s true: Joining high school honor societies has many benefits, including networking opportunities, meeting new people and friends, access to scholarship opportunities and internships, college application support, educational information, career development, and more – not to mention that admissions offices are big fans of these organizations!

However, you can join several different types of high school honor societies based on your interests and goals.

We've highlighted six of the best, most respected honors societies you may want to consider!

1. National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS)

The National Society of High School Scholars, or NSHSS, recognizes top-notch scholars, gives them a community to thrive, and helps them prepare for college and beyond. Members also gain opportunities like scholarships, leadership opportunities, and networking events. NSHSS and our partners award over $2.5 million in scholarships annually.

NSHSS requires members to showcase academic achievement and commitment to the community. The organization does not have chapters but instead brings together scholars from all over the world to support and learn from each other, creating a worldwide community of high-achieving members.

Students pay a one-time fee of $90 to join NSHSS, but membership lasts a lifetime, and students can remain involved in society post-high school and even post-grad school if they so choose.

2. National Association of African American Honors Program (NAAAHP)

In 1990, a group of honors directors from about 20 Historically and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities met at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, to create an honor society to address the specific needs of honors education for African-American students. That's when the NAAAHP was made.

This particular honor society has many goals to help its students succeed, including promoting a challenging and engaging curriculum and supporting honors programs at HBCUs and PBCUs. They also encourage community service and involvement and facilitate African-American student enrollment in graduate and professional schools. The NAAAHP seeks to foster an environment of scholarship, knowledge, and African-American cultural appreciation.

Students who become members enjoy various benefits, including access to the NAAAHP Annual Conference. This conference features student presentations and events like an academic quiz bowl, an “Honors Got Talent” competition, a debate competition, a Model UN, and more.

While teachers, faculty members, and institutions can join at other levels, a student membership is $20 per year.

3. National Spanish Honor Society (Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica/SHH)

Formally organized 1953 as the Spanish National Honor Society, the SHH is an honor society for high school students enrolled in Spanish and/or Portuguese courses. It is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) to recognize high school achievement in Spanish and Portuguese and promote interest in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian studies.

Teachers who are members of the AATSP can start a chapter at their high school and bring in student members after paying an initial $35 charter fee. Once that’s done, each chapter must pay $5 per student initiated into the society, which may fall to the students or be sponsored.

Each year, the SHH contributes more than $160,000 through student member awards, including college scholarships for 60 high school senior SHH members and Student Travel Awards for 24 high school junior SHH members.

The SHH also publishes the student journal Albricias so that student members can submit essays, poetry, short articles, photography, and artwork for publication. Award-winning student contributions to the journal receive cash prizes for their work and can add the win to their college admissions profile!

As another benefit, the SHH website includes a “Swap Shop,” which encourages SHH members to share ideas and network, creating a community of scholars studying Spanish and Portuguese, even if you aren't at an honor society high school.

4. Mu Alpha Theta

Mu Alpha Theta, the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society is another honor society comprising chapters at various high schools and two-year colleges throughout the country. This society aims to inspire a keen interest in, develop substantial scholarship in, and promote the enjoyment of mathematics in high school and two-year college students.

The society provides a way for schools to recognize and encourage students who enjoy and excel in mathematics and even organizes a national convention for students and teachers to participate in math-related events and interact with other math enthusiasts from across the country.

Mu Alpha Theta also rewards outstanding extracurricular achievement by offering special awards, scholarships, and grants to students and faculty advisors and provides mathematics competitions to participating members at their schools.

5. Quill and Scroll

Quill and Scroll is a high school honor society that encourages, supports, and recognizes individual student initiative and achievement in scholastic journalism across mediums. Its eight guiding principles are truth, learning, leadership, loyalty, ambition, integrity, judgment, and friendship.

Since the society's founding in 1926, school charters have been granted to more than 11,300 high schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 29 foreign countries. To be eligible for a charter, schools must produce a magazine, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, broadcast program, or website.

Members can access specific Quill and Scroll scholarships and contests and submit their work to the Q&S Magazine or online to The Digital Scroll.

6. Tri-M Music Honor Society

The Tri-M Music Honor Society is the only national honor society for student musicians in the United States, welcoming students in grades six through twelve. There are chapters through all 50 states.

Students who become members have the opportunity to perform music and contribute positively through community service. The organization focuses on developing confidence, creativity, critical thinking, compassion, and many other leadership skills to serve students in college and beyond.

Interested musicians can start a chapter at their high school. Once they send a membership form and a $100 activation fee, they’ll receive all the resources they need from Tri-M to start their chapter and get going.


High school honor societies span subjects, communities, and goals – meaning there is one for every qualified student! You can find an honor society to help you reach your goals and interests.

Whichever organization you choose, there are endless ways to get involved!