The National Honor Society (NHS) elevates a school’s commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Earning and maintaining a chapter of NHS is a proud accomplishment for a school and its school leaders—particularly the administration led by the principal and the faculty council led by the adviser—in administering a national recognition program that celebrates holistic assessment of student achievement.
The national office provides the following resources to help advisers administer their chapter’s NHS recognition program:
- Adviser Resource Center with step-by-step guidelines, templates for bylaws and communications, handbooks, and comprehensive policy guidance.
- A vast peer network in the Adviser Online Community to share ideas, ask questions, and connect with your fellow NHS advisers.
- National Customer Care Center and Programs and Services Team, available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (ET) at 703-860-0200 and [email protected].
- Access to the NHS Store
- Principal and adviser monthly communications and targeted training opportunities via webinars
If you are interested in starting a chapter at your school, please review and share the following with the appropriate officials. Note that students and parents cannot apply to establish a chapter.
Step 1: Confirm Eligibility to Apply
As your school begins the process to apply to become an affiliate chapter of the National Honor Society, make sure that you meet the following criteria:
- Six faculty members who are available to serve as the NHS faculty council.
- This includes at least one chapter adviser and five voting members of the faculty council. Principals and assistant principals cannot serve in these capacities, nor can parents, volunteers, or individuals who are not employed by the school (retired faculty, former teachers, etc.).
- A majority of students must be enrolled full time. Part-time enrichment programs or other supplemental programs may not submit a charter application, nor can school districts on behalf of multiple schools within their district.
- Your school must be a diploma-granting institution.
- All nonpublic/private institutions must provide proof of accreditation from an accrediting agency recognized by NASSP. Institutions lacking accreditation may not submit a charter application.
Full- or part-time home-school programs or consortiums and individual home-schooled families are not eligible to apply for an Honor Society charter. Recognition is available through a separate organization, the National Home School Honor Society.
Finally, review the National Honor Society Constitution and make sure your school is willing to comply with these national policies.
Step 2: Complete a New Charter Application
If your school meets the requirements in step 1, you are ready to complete and submit an application for a chapter either online or by mail.
Complete an application online.
You can also download the new chapter application here.
The annual fee is $385.
Virtual schools: Download and submit this questionnaire with your application.
Private or nonpublic schools: You must provide proof of current accreditation with your application.
As you await approval, we encourage you to browse this website and become more familiar with the nation’s oldest and most respected student leadership recognition program.
Step 3: Get Ready to Begin
The national office will notify you by email with your login information once your chapter is approved. You’ll then receive a letter and welcome materials. You will also have access to the NHS Handbook and NHS affiliate-only portions of this website. These resources will help your chapter to develop:
- Chapter bylaws, including determining student membership criteria and an outline for completing service projects. Download a sample here.
- Selection procedures, including choosing an induction date for new student members. You’ll need to publish selection procedures and make it available.
- Discipline and dismissal procedures. Begin with Article X found in the NHS Constitution.
- Chapter service projects, meetings, and other activities to build and support an active chapter at your school.
Your adviser will also receive a series of emails welcoming them to the NHS family, with additional information to help them get their chapters set up and ready for induction.
We also suggest that you also follow NHS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If at any time you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care Center, available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (ET) at 703-860-0200 and [email protected].