How to Write a National Honor Society Essay

Table of contents

What is NHS?

This is an American organization that has chapters in secondary schools, public and private, across the country, in American territories, and in Canada. The organization was formed to provide recognition and membership to high school students who possess exemplary academic and personal qualities. There are four core values that are the backbone of admission – scholarship, leadership, service, and character. 

Admission into NHS involves a student application to the national organization and, after a review, acceptance or rejection. That application includes a lengthy and detailed form, recommendations from three teachers, and, ultimately the National Honor Society Essay.

How Does a Student Apply for Membership?

Generally, students are nominated by teachers and then go through the application process. For a detailed explanation of the application process, you should check out a YouTube video, produced by the society itself. You'll find the link in the External links section.

The National Honor Society Essay

The NHS essay is largely a personal one. You must speak to your personal journey in some way – a journey that has led you to believe that you are a good candidate for membership. One prompt is simply, “why should I be in the national honor society.”
There will be several prompts from which you may choose, so read through them carefully before selecting one that you believe will be the best for you to present yourself in the best light. Another common essay prompt is how you overcame one or more challenges that you have faced.

Sample Essays

There is a number of online writing services that will provide you with NHS application essay samples. But be careful when using these as models. There is a number of services that use ESL writers, and they will not be up to the standards expected by NHS. And finding actual samples that exemplify the standards of a winning essay will be difficult. 

NHS does not publish samples, and a search on YouTube will not as well.

You are far better off looking to your own high school English teachers who will probably have NHS application essay samples that they have kept for you to review. Beyond that, you need to have a full grasp of what constitutes an exemplary personal essay in general. And there are plenty of samples of personal essays out there to look at. 

Now, there is also a National Junior Honor Society, founded and organized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). This organization’s mission is to recognize middle/junior high school students who are already showing the four qualities for ultimate NHS admission. This is a nurturing organization that will help these students prepare for their high school years and successful membership in NHS. There is also an essay requirement, and in learning how to write a national junior honor society essay, students should rely on their English teachers as advisors and coaches.


You might be asking the question, “Why NHS membership is so important?” The answer lies in your college and career future.

NHS students have far more opportunities for scholarships and admission to top schools in the nation.

For that reason alone, it seems like membership is a good path.

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What’s next and what’s missing?

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