Have your children received a letter in which they’re invited to join an organization called “The National Society of High School Scholars” (NSHSS)?
Is The NSHSS a Scam?
You’re not alone. A lot of people have reported that their children have gotten a similar invitation. The organization claims that they offer scholarships and other helpful resources.
In this article, we will see in much more detail what the NSHSS is and whether or not it is a scam.
What Is The National Society of High School Scholars?
The NSHSS is an organization that was established in 2002. The organization was established by Claes Nobel, a descendant of the man who founded the Nobel Prize. The organization was co-founded by James Lewis, who is responsible for starting the Golden Key International Honour Society.
The Board of Directors also has some other influential figures, such as writer Maya Angelou and other Nobel Laureates.
On the website, the NSHSS claims that it is the leading honor society in the world. It claims that it has the highest number of memberships among this type of organization.
Apparently, around 750,000 people have accepted the invitation and joined the organization so far. These people come from 160 different countries.
The Organization’s Requirements
The organization says that the invited students must meet the following criteria: They should have a GPA of at least 3.5 and an SAT score of 1750. They can also qualify with a score of 26 on the ACT or a score of 200 on the PSAT.
According to the organization’s website, they also accept students who are in the top 10 percent of their class. Many students get invited to the organization due to being recommended by an instructor in their school.
Claims of the Organization
The organization claims that it is an inclusive honor society and will take in students who meet any of the eight requirements of admission.
They also claim that if you become a member of this organization, you will have a benefit when it comes to college applications because you can put NSHSS in your resumes.
Benefits of this Organization
NSHSS boasts that it has a lot of member benefits. These benefits range from scholarship opportunities to free webinars and leadership programs.
The organization claims that it gives out more than $2,000,000 in scholarships to its members annually. These scholarships are given to members in over 170 countries. All students who are members of the organization are eligible to apply for these scholarships in their preferred majors.
A lot of qualified college counselors advise you to skip any scholarship offers that you need to pay for. Despite the organization’s claims that there are a lot of opportunities open to the members, the chance of actually receiving these rewards is very small.
Returns to the Students
In reality, the organization only gives out about ten scholarship awards of around $5,000 per year. Besides this, there are also around 75 awards for another type of scholarship award, which is worth $1,000. These are only given once a year.
Other than that, there are a few more STEM scholarships that the organization gives, which are worth either $1,000, $2.500, or $5,000. Only 20 such awards are actually available to the members.
Assuming that the organization takes in around 15% percent of its members on the fee waiver, the organization would still be generating around $5,000,000 per year. It gives out very few benefits in comparison to this gigantic revenue.
In financial terms, the returns are not good at all. The NSHSS is using up a lot of money and not giving the return to its members, with only a relatively small amount of the enrollment fees being given back as scholarships.
Is It a Scam?
The NSHSS only sends out their letter at the end of the year or in the summer break, when most guidance counselors aren’t available. This is a little sketchy, and it is commonly believed that this is done so that people act on a whim and make a decision without contacting a professional first.
College Confidential and other college websites also contain a lot of comments with mixed reviews of the organization. Some people outright claim that it is a scam, while others simply say it is not worth the money and that it’s like playing a lottery.
Almost everyone who has either joined or heard about the organization agrees that it’s unlikely to be a scam. They do also all say that while there may be some benefits given to the members, it is definitely not worth the money, time, or effort.
Students with memberships in the organization also don’t receive an advantage when it comes to college applications.
The $75 is worth more if they’re spent somewhere else, as it’s most likely not worthwhile to join this organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the national society of high school scholars legitimate?
A lot of counselors haven’t heard about the NSHSS and would think it’s a scam. It is however a legitimate organization, and it was established by a very respectable person. It’s of low value relative to the money you need to spend, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an outright scam.
2. NHS vs. NSHSS: Which is better?
A lot of parents believe that the NSHSS wouldn’t particularly give a student an advantage when it comes to college admissions. Membership in the NHS is definitely a more respectable award.
3. What is the GPA required for the NSHSS?
The applicants must have a high school GPA higher than 3.5 on a scale of 4.0. Or alternatively, they should have more than 1280 in the SAT.
The NSHSS is definitely a legitimate organization, but it sure gives out far less than it gets. This is a little shady, and it might be worth thinking twice before paying the membership fee. However, if you feel like your child should be in it, you should go ahead and apply for your own peace of mind.