NHS selection process is too hard


photo by newspaper adviser Damien Tippett

Mug shot of staff reporter Molly Ogden.

The prestige. The honor. The distinguishment. These are all perks that come with acceptance to the National Honor Society. NHS is one of the most competitive and esteemed groups on campus. Many students spend their first 2 years of high school working to qualify for an invitation for NHS.

Let us rewind for a second, just to makes sure you were paying attention. Many sophomores, juniors, and even seniors wait in anticipation for the invitation to apply.

Apparently, not “just anyone” can handle the grace and majesty of and NHS invitation. In order to receive a precious invitation, students must have a 3.8 GPA, weighted or unweighted.

One qualification that the NHS application committee looks for in students is “well rounded.” But what defines well rounded? NHS advisor Jason Myers commented that “the selection committee is always looking for well rounded people. Student athletes, people that are heavily involved here at Perry High School, we’re always looking for those kind of people.”

There is no specific rubric to follow that guarantees acceptance into NHS. There is no set number of clubs or hours that you must have in order to get in. According to the PHS Chapter Bylaws for NHS, “upon meeting the grade level, enrollment, and GPA standards, candidates shall then be considered for induction based on their service, leadership, and character through the application process.”

It seems most students do not know how to interpret these conditions, which is understandable since it is so vague. For example, many students have racked up dozens of service hours through church functions and organizations. However, according to NHS, if the church activity does not directly benefit the community, the service hours do not count because the service is only helping the church. But isn’t a church part of a community? Isn’t it true people are still being helped?

In addition to some hours not counting, NHS is very picky about the hours students submit and which organizations they come from. They like to see a “variety of hours.”. However, doesn’t it look a lot better when you’re dedicated to one organization and have spent a lot of time with them?
NHS also looks at student’s leadership experience at school and in the community. However, there are only so many leadership opportunities out there, and not everyone is cut out to be a leader. Students could be heavily involved in half a dozen clubs, but not be a leader in any of them. What type of weight would those clubs pull against someone else’s leadership experience?

Although NHS needs to stay fairly competitive to uphold a standard of excellence, there must be a uniformity in the way candidates are selected, as well as a consideration for students involvement in clubs and activities and a change in the way hours are considered.