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NHS vs. NSHSS - which one should I join?

Hey, I got invitations to both the NHS and NSHSS. Can anyone help clarify the differences between them and which one is more beneficial to join for future college applications? Thanks in advance!

6 months ago

Hello! It's great that you've been invited to both NHS and NSHSS, but the differences between them are pretty significant, and being informed about them will help you make the right decision for you.

National Honor Society (NHS) is a respected organization that recognizes students for their academic achievements and community service. Being a member of NHS can demonstrate to colleges your dedication to academics and commitment to service in your community. It's categorized as a Tier 3 extracurricular, meaning it indicates an interest and some level of distinction, especially if you take on a leadership role. You can read more about extracurricular tiers on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/breaking-down-the-4-tiers-of-extracurricular-activities.

On the other hand, NSHSS (National Society of High School Scholars) is not as highly-regarded by colleges, as it is often perceived as a "pay-to-play" organization. Although it aims to recognize academic excellence, the actual requirements for joining are quite loose, and membership costs can act as a barrier for some students. Consequently, NSHSS falls under a Tier 4 extracurricular. This means it is a common activity that doesn't carry the same weight as NHS.

Considering their differences, if you have to choose between the two, I would recommend joining the NHS. It is more respected and recognized by colleges and offers better opportunities to showcase your academic achievements, leadership, and community service. Moreover, actively participating in NHS and taking on leadership roles can help strengthen your college application further.

However, keep in mind that while these memberships can be valuable additions to your application, neither will be the sole determinant of your admission chances. Focusing on high-quality, deeply-engaging extracurriculars, excellent academic performance, and strong essays will create a more impactful application overall than checking any one box. Good luck!

6 months ago

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