Scholarship FAQ

Who can apply?

High school seniors who are active National Honor Society (NHS) members in good standing of an affiliated NHS chapter are eligible to apply for the scholarship. There are no limits to the number of applications per chapter.

Students’ NHS membership must first be verified by their adviser after the member creates a student account on the NHS website. After verification, members use their login to access the NHS Scholarship application.

What is the difference between membership verification and scholarship application certification?

Verification: NHS advisers verify that the student who has created an account on the NHS website is a member of their chapter. Advisers should verify all members of their chapter. This is done regardless of the member’s standing in the chapter (in good standing, on probation, etc.) and their eligibility for the NHS scholarship. Unverified members cannot access the NHS Scholarship application.

Certification: This is exclusive to the NHS Scholarship application process. Each NHS adviser must certify that the member is in good standing, currently a senior enrolled at their high school, and submit that certification by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

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What does “good standing” mean?

The phrase “seniors in good standing” pertains to active members of the current graduating class who are up to date on their chapter obligations (GPA, service activities, meeting the chapter’s expectations for character and leadership.) Refer to your NHS chapter bylaws for what constitutes “good standing.” Members should check with their NHS advisers to confirm they are meeting all membership obligations.

What are the application dates and deadlines for NHS Scholarship application process?

The application dates and deadlines for the 2020–21 program year are as follows:

  • October 1, 2020: Application process opens.
  • December 1, 2020: Deadline for student application, adviser certification, and one recommendation. All completed materials must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on the deadline date. Applicants are responsible for verifying that all materials have been submitted.
  • July 1, 2021: Deadline for accepting the scholarship, deferral requests, and any updates to mailing address or institution name.

When are scholarship recipients announced?

Recipients and chapter advisers are notified in April 2021. Recipients are also announced on our NHS Scholarship program page in May. Applicants not selected to receive an award will be notified via email following the award acceptance deadline, July 1, 2021.

How do winners receive their award payments?

Scholarship checks are mailed to applicants’ home addresses in August 2021 and made payable to their college or university. Recipients will be asked to provide detailed information about their destination institution upon receiving the award. All required information must be received by July 1, 2021, so that check processing can be initiated on time.

Is the scholarship renewable?

No, this is a one-time award.

Do NHS Scholarships expire?

Yes. Scholarships expire after four years. Recipients must use all funds within four years.

Can I request to defer my scholarship award distribution?

Yes, however the funds must be claimed within four years. Requests to defer must be made by emailing by July 1, 2021. If requests are not made by the deadline, the check will be issued for the full amount of the scholarship in August 2021.

Are students required to use their entire award during their freshman year of college?

No, though they will receive the full amount of the award during their freshman year unless alternate disbursement is otherwise requested. The recipient and their college or university may decide how much of the amount to apply toward their freshman year. Any requests to change the disbursement amount must be received by July 1, 2021.

If a recipient decides to attend a different school than the one provided on their acceptance form, whom should they notify?

Please email by July 1, 2021 with any changes.

Where can these funds be used? What can the funds be used for?

Funds may be used at a U.S. college or university, military institute, or trade school.
Funds can be used for education-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, course materials and supplies from the campus bookstore.

With regard to financial need as a consideration, do students have to receive free or reduced-price lunch in order to apply for the scholarship?

Students do not have to be participating in the National School Lunch Program, but they must meet the income eligibility requirements if they indicate eligibility on their application. The response to eligibility is optional, it is not required. It is important to note that scholarship selection is based on the four pillars of NHS—scholarship, service, leadership, and character—and financial need is also a consideration. The indication of need is not exclusionary. If a student does not demonstrate financial need, they are still eligible to apply for, and possibly be awarded, a scholarship.

Who can I contact regarding general questions about the NHS Scholarship program?

Please send program questions to