National Honor Society

Recognizing students for distinguished
Character, Scholarship, Leadership, and Service

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 recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of character, scholarship, leadership, and service. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921. 

Selection for membership in the National Honor Society represents the highest honor and trust that can be bestowed upon a student in high school. Membership in the society is indicative that the student has attained and is demonstrating and promoting all of these qualities, and is exerting an effort to improve conditions in the school and community. Today, it is estimated that more than one million students across America participate in NHS activities. Four main purposes have guided chapters of NHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools.

NHS members have exclusive access to robust tools and resources to help prepare them for their college journey and career:

  • College admission and financial aid planning options, including webinars, virtual events, and an NHS-customized scholarship search tool
  • Service projects, both by the chapter and individual, allow you to build teamwork capabilities, hone project management aptitude, and make friends—all valuable life skills
  • Help with financing college education through the prestigious NHS Scholarship program, which—since its establishment in 1946—has awarded more than 16,000 scholarships totaling more than $13 million to seniors who best reflect the values of NHS
  • Leadership development, motivation, and inspiration gained through your own chapter’s work as well as three LEAD Conferences and NHS State Summits held in select locations annually

The Mesa Grande Academy Chapter of the National Honor Society was established in 2000. NHS membership is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good standing with a 3.7 GPA or higher. Students who maintain good standing and complete all NHS requirements graduate with honors and are recognized with an honor cord at graduation. Students who are seeking a higher level of involvement are highly encouraged to seek an officer’s position.

Membership is not automatic.  It is an honor and is recognition of outstanding leadership experience, service to others and good character, as well as academic achievement.

Application Process
Once a year, after fall semester, students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades who meet the following requirements will be invited to apply for membership:

  • Character: minimal behavior write-ups
  • Scholarship: cumulative GPA of 3.7 or above

As part of the application, students will be asked to turn in the following:

  • Proof of meeting all 4 pillars (Character, Scholarship, Leadership, Service)
  • Recommendation letters from 2 non-related adults, discussing how the student meets the 4 pillars
  • An essay on why you want to join NHS and what character means to you
  • Community service or unpaid work experience (cumulative, starting from the beginning of Freshman year):
    • Sophomores: 40 hours (25 required by MGA + 15 additional)
    • Juniors: 80 hours (50 required by MGA + 30 additional)
    • Seniors: 120 hours (75 required by MGA + 45 additional)

The members of the Faculty Council, which consists of three voting faculty members, will review the applications, recommendations, and school records. The chapter advisor shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Faculty Council. Those candidates receiving a majority vote of the Faculty Council will be invited to join the Mesa Grande Academy chapter of NHS. Once a student is inducted into NHS, they are a lifetime member as long as they live by the standards set by the National Honor Society.

Expectations of Members
Upon acceptance, students will be given a contract to sign affirming their understanding of the requirements. Members are expected to attend regular meetings, and participate in service projects with their fellow NHS members.  

Activities Not Counted as National Honor Society Service
Any activities that you receive payment or credit for do not count as community service for National Honor Society.  Similarly, activities that do not specifically serve the community, such as playing in a band, singing in a choir, or attending youth group do not count as service hours.  An exception to this rule is when those activities do provide direct service to the community.  For example, if your band plays at a charitable event or if your youth group assists the elderly, that is legitimate community service.  Additionally, family activities do not count as community service.  These include housework, yard work, caring for siblings, assisting parents at home, or other activities that do not serve the broader community. Finally, common favors to competent friends and neighbors that do not serve the broader community are also not considered community service. These include helping friends with chores, providing services to private (for profit) businesses, pet care, and private babysitting.  One exception that can be counted as public service is offering tutoring to other students, which requires approval by any teacher.