Is NSHSS Hard to Get Into?

Thursday, January 04, 2024
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The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) is an international academic honor society. Our organization recognizes students who have proven they are high achievers. Once students have met the criteria to join NSHSS and enrolled in the organization, they are lifetime members. 

Interested students and their parents often ask if earning an NSHSS membership is difficult. Generally, they ask this question for two reasons. First, they want to know the criteria for joining the NSHSS. Second, they want to be sure it is worth pursuing. 

Here’s the information you need to help answer those questions.


What are the Criteria for NSHSS Membership?

Students who wish to join NSHSS will find the criteria quite rigorous. However, what sets our scholars apart is the organization's recognition that there are several ways to demonstrate academic performance. Because of this, students who wish to join must provide proof of at least one of the following:

Top 10% class rank

Total combined International Baccalaureate score of 36 or higher

26 or higher on the ACT

Minimum of 1280 on the SAT or 1150 on the PSAT

3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale

IGCSE Grade of A or higher

AP Exam score of 4 or higher on any exam


Additionally, students can be nominated by a teacher or school counselor to receive a membership invitation. These qualifications ensure that students who join meet the highest standards of achievement. More information on membership criteria and other details can be found on the FAQ page.


Is It Worth it to Join NSHSS?

The short answer is yes, it is absolutely worth it. Students who take the steps required to join are glad they did so. Membership in the NSHSS can benefit students as they apply to colleges and universities, but it offers so much more



Students who join can apply for scholarships to help them pursue higher education. These scholarships help pay for college, graduate school, summer programs, and even opportunities to study abroad. 

The National Society of High School Scholars awards more than $2.5 million yearly scholarships. In many cases, recipients are the first in their families to attend college. Scholarships are available in a wide range of academic disciplines, including:





Visual Arts




Academic excellence

These funds can truly make a difference for students struggling to find ways to pay for college. And these funds go all over the world. Students awarded scholarships live and attend school in more than 170 different countries.


Leadership Opportunities

Students who join can pursue several leadership opportunities to get the most out of their membership experience. Members may become ambassadors for the organization or join the Collegiate Council.

These programs help students grow into the leaders of tomorrow by participating in all sorts of activities, such as conducting virtual workshops and in-person events, mentoring younger students, and polishing their public speaking skills. And it does not stop once you leave school. Alumni who wish to stay involved can join the Fellows program, allowing these opportunities to continue into the professional world.



Through NSHSS, there are countless opportunities for students to immerse themselves in new experiences and connect with other scholars. Students may take part in academic tours, webinars, and panels

There’s also the Global Student Voices series, where students from around the world meet to discuss their passions, talents, academics, and experiences as members.


A Lifetime of Connections

Getting into the National Society of High School Scholars may be challenging. This ensures our organization maintains high standards and that students who join are true scholars. However, students who try to join and participate are glad they did. 

Membership comes with a lifetime of connections to other scholars and partnership organizations. Read more on our membership, testimonials, and qualifications to learn more about NSHSS. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.


We are always happy to welcome any new students into our community. We are a proud organization with much to be thankful for. And our wish is to give back. We want to empower, embolden, and emblazon students to enter the world and become who they were meant to be. Through membership with NSHSS, you will meet interesting and inspiring people who can help you succeed. We are here for you. So please, come and join us!