Is NSHSS Hard to Get Into?

Monday, April 11, 2022
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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 a student has met the criteria to join NSHSS and enrolled in the organization, they are a lifetime member. 

Interested students and their parents often ask if it’s difficult to earn an NSHSS membership. Generally, there are two reasons they ask this question. 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 is 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?

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 have the opportunity to 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 million in scholarships each year. In many cases, recipients are the first in their families to attend college. Scholarships are available in a wide range of academic disciplines, including:

  • STEM
  • Sustainability
  • Music 
  • Leadership
  • Visual Arts
  • Medicine
  • Literature
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Academic excellence

These funds can truly make a difference for students struggling to find ways to pay for college. 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 conducting virtual workshops and in-person events, mentoring younger students, and polishing their public speaking skills. 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 all over the world meet to discuss their passions, talents, academics, and experiences as members.

A Lifetime of Connections

Yes, it may be challenging to get into the National Society of High School Scholars. This is to ensure our organization maintains high standards and that students who join are true scholars. However, students who make an effort 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.