NHS‎ > ‎

NHS Selection Process

What is the National Honor Society?

The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921. It is important to understand that chapter membership not only recognizes students for their past accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

Membership is awarded by a vote of a faculty council, representing the faculty as a whole. Membership is "an honor bestowed upon a select group of students by the faculty council...' in accordance with the National Honor Society Constitution, and is not a right accorded the academically eligible student. Membership in the National Honor Society is an award from the Pine River High School faculty and, as any award, is a privilege and not a right of any student.


Pine River High School Selection Process

The Pine River High School chapter of the National Honor Society has developed its selection procedure to comply with national standards and guidelines. However, the selection procedure used at Pine River may vary slightly from that of other schools, as national guidelines allow each chapter to modify its selection process to meet local needs.  Once selected, members have the responsibility to continue to demonstrate excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

Who is Eligible?

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who are enrolled as full-time students at Pine River High School are eligible for consideration as members. In order to be academically eligible, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher. Grade point averages are figured based on the student's performance during their freshman year. Grade point averages are not rounded up. In order to be eligible, the student must have attended Pine River High School for a minimum of one semester.

Steps in the Selection Process

In the fall of each school year, the chapter adviser confirms grade point averages with the guidance office and compiles a list of those students who meet or exceed the grade point average requirement. The guidance office and administration confirm the eligibility list.

Academically eligible students in good standing will be given an invitation letter and a date for the initial informational meeting.  At this meeting a NHS packet will be handed out which includes information for those students who wish to continue the selection process. Included in the packet are a letter with details about the steps to be taken, a Student Activity Information sheet, essay requirements and rubric, letter of recommendation forms, selection process details, the By-Laws, and selection criteria. For further consideration in the selection process, eligible students must attend an information meeting and return the Student Activity Information Sheet, Essay, and signature page by the given deadline. Receiving the NHS Packet is in no way an indication or guarantee of future selection

A faculty council meets and each potential member is evaluated in the areas of leadership, service, and character. Faculty members will rate the students essays according to the provided rubric and consider the recommendation forms received. 

According to national guidelines, students are selected for membership based on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Selection takes into account a candidate's grade point average, involvement in school and community activities, leadership positions held, and evaluations from the members of the high school faculty.  Again, selection for membership in the National Honor Society is an award from the faculty and is similar to any other scholarship or award in that it is a privilege and not a right of any student.

National guidelines prohibit any type of quota system for selection. There is no set number or percent of students who will be selected each year. Final decisions as to selection and non-selection are the determination of the NHS Faculty Council (with input from the information gathered from each candidate as well as input from the high school faculty). A majority vote of the Faculty Council is necessary for selection. The adviser and principal have no vote. Decisions of the Faculty Council are final, as per the National Constitution.

According to national guidelines, “Chapters are not legally or constitutionally obligated to share with parents and students information concerning specific students not selected for membership in the Society.” It is the practice of the Pine River High School chapter that all information used by the advisers and Faculty Council during the selection process will remain confidential. However, the advisor will give general information to the parents and student concerning the reason(s) for selection or non-selection.

Those students who are selected for membership will be “tapped” during the school day and notified with an invitation to the induction ceremony. Non-selection students are also notified. Those students who are selected for membership are required to attend an informational meeting that provides them with information about the induction ceremony and obligations that accompany membership. Attendance at the induction ceremony is required to become a member.


Pine River High School Faculty Council

The NHS Faculty Council shall consist of three-five voting faculty members appointed annually. Faculty Council members may serve more than one term. The chapter adviser(s) shall be ex-officio, non-voting member(s) of the Faculty Council, will provide information from the prospective members and faculty, and strive to keep the process fair and consistent. No principal or assistant principal shall serve as a member of the Faculty Council or attend the selection meeting as per the National Constitution. Decisions of the Faculty Council are final. The National Constitution has no appeal for non-selection.

The Faculty Council is charged with final decisions regarding selection and non-selection of students for membership into the National Honor Society. Additionally, the Faculty Council determines the grade point average needed for selection, and reviews the policies and procedures of the chapter each school year. The NHS Faculty Council will review, make changes as needed, and vote to accept the By- Laws of the Pine River Chapter each year.

The names of Faculty Council members will remain anonymous and will not be shared with any staff or faculty member, student, or parent. In addition, in order to maintain its anonymity, the Faculty Council has appointed the chapter advisers to represent it in matters of discipline of members.