Check out, another site I earn revenue from ads on

Is NSHSS a Scam?

The short answer is “No!” NSHSS is not a scam.

NSHSS is an authorized organization. NSHSS was founded in 2002 by James Lewis and Mr. Claes Nobel. NSHSS has a growing list of respected partners like the CIA, U.S Army and UC Berkeley. They are committed to supporting young people’s academic progress as they move from high school to college and into their careers. Unfortunately, those who have not had any firsthand experience with NSHSS often make false statements about the society. These false, misleading, and often libelous claims regarding NSHSS are defamatory.

For your review, we have identified and corrected the following false statements.


Scam Buster #1 – Who Gets Invited To NSHSS?

Quote “NSHSS invites random students, regardless their achievement.”

ResponseNSHSS recognizes outstanding students who have met any of the following requirements.

  • 3.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (4.0 Scale) or Higher (or equivalent such like 88 on a 100 point scale).
  • 1280 SAT score and higher
  • 1150 PSAT score and higher
  • 26 ACT score and higher
  • Score at least 4 on any AP exam
  • Scores of 36 or more on the total IB combined test scores
  • IGCSE Grade A or Higher
  • Class’s top 10%

An educator may recommend many students. Get more information here.

If a student would like more details, they can reach out to Member Services who can provide those details: or 866.343.1800 M-F 8a to 5p EST.

We are proud to be an inclusive honor society. Students must meet at least one academic requirement in order to become a member. Students excel academically in many ways, and we believe they should be recognized and supported. One student might have a high ACT/SAT score but a low GPA. Another student could have a poor GPA but a high GPA. We welcome both. Our members are active students who are goal-oriented, academically focused, and actively involved in their communities. The 2020 Career Interest Survey shows that our members have an average GPA of 3.72 and that 76% expect to become involved in activism or politics. Harvard, Stanford, and UCLA were also among the top universities for NSHSS members. Look at our be More grant winners, who have created a tracking system to assist autistic students, a non-profit to fill the funding gap for school fine arts, and a system that will provide clean water for families living in Ethiopia. Our members are truly brilliant. You can read more about this topic on the blog “Is NSHSS hard to get into?” “” and “Why did NSHSS send me a letter?” 

Unfortunately, NSHSS is quite a fraud. Although it is legitimate, scam is not the word. However, it sends invitations out to thousands of high school students. It uses a generous PSAT/SAT cutoff to do this and attempts to get them to pay money to join. It’s not competitive and is more of a signal that it can be paid money. This won’t increase your chances of getting in and it won’t help your admissions profile.

NHS through your school can be a better honor society because it is more competitive, based upon real merit, doesn’t require payment for anything (which is often a sign that something’s not competitive).

Kim: “What about National Society of High School Scholars?” I was part of the National Honor Society in high school. I was thrilled to receive the invitation for NSHSS for our homeschooled daughter. It requires a $75 membership fee, which my husband isn’t sure of. Although I love the idea that she will have a cord/stole for graduation, I don’t want her to spend money or time on something not worthwhile.

Many people swear that NSHSS is a scam. They would be wrong. It’s true. They do offer scholarships. The one-time fee is non-refundable. It has been around for decades. There is also a collegiate component with chapters on hundreds college campuses. Remember the years of misinformation about chiropractic, which claimed it was quackery. It was intentional and was initiated by the AMA. The court ordered it to stop. The instigator may have been The National Honor Society (NHS), a different organization found in traditional schools. It’s confusing for kids to believe they’re part of the NHS, I’ve heard. You can allow your dog to join NSHSS, it’s been claimed! How legitimate was President Obama’s nomination to the peace prize, when he had only been elected? He had barely been in office for long enough to accomplish anything. If that were true, every president should be awarded one. Is this a delegitimization of the Nobel peace prize Many would agree! Some would say yes! There are ways to join the National Chapter if there is no local chapter. Acceptance criteria are actually more difficult than those for the NHS. Yes, my two children were both in ESA/NSHSS, and we used ESA honor cords at graduation instead of the stole or the NSHSS Medal. You can read more about the NSHSS website. There are chapters in over 26,000 high schools across more than 170 countries. NSHSS was founded in 2002 by Claes Nobel, yes that is the same Claes Nobel after whom the Nobel peace prize has been named. There are 13,553 chapters in the NHS. How much does it cost? The cost of membership to NSHSS is $45 plus $20 per year. Requirements for NSHSS membership:3.5 Cumulative GPA (4.0 Scale) or higher (or equivalent such as 88 on a 100-point scale)1280 SAT score or higher (new exam 2016)*1150 PSAT score or higher (new exam 2016)*26 ACT score or higherScore 4 or higher on any AP examTotal combined IB test scores of 40 or higherTop 10% rank in class Requirements for NHS Membership GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalentVoluntary unpaid service (no specific requirement)Leadership in school or outside of school (no specific requirement)High character qualities (no specific requirement)

nshss scam

Is NSHSS worth the money? | NSHSS scam

While the short answer to this question is “yes”, there’s one catch: one must make use of the Society’s benefits in order to truly experience its value. Is NSHSS worth the effort? Simply put, the National Society of High School Scholars provides students with many opportunities and benefits that will help them achieve their academic goals and pursue their career aspirations. Students are also connected to other high-achieving students.

NSHSS membership is worthwhile because it offers students the opportunity to discover and gain the skills, recognition and support they need to succeed now and in the future. We have listed the top benefits of NSHSS, which make it worth it.


Other resources:
You can check out my post on the National Society of High School Scholars

About me
sarah lim

Check out, another site I earn revenue from ads on

I'm Sarah Lim
My Skills

Web Developer

Social Media + SEO