What's the Deal with Those Honor Society Invitations?

Last week, three clients asked me about a solicitation from some group called the National Honor Society for High School Students.

Is it worth doing?  Is it for real?

I’ve fielded these questions for years.  It’s time I set the record straight.

First, while the NSHSS might be selective on its face (meaning not everyone is “invited” to “apply” – not “order” – for admission for a very reasonable 60 bucks), I’ve never heard of an admission officer admitting a kid because of their membership in this exclusive society.

Sure, their letter cites quotes from students and families admitted to Harvard and other equally prestigious colleges…

…but I think the main reasons why these guys got into top schools was not because of their NSHSS membership (or bumper sticker or “free” t-shirt that you get along with your $60 fee), but probably due to impossibly high SAT scores, a transcript loaded with A’s in AP courses and plenty of meaningful extra-curricular activities.

Just a guess.

As I was gently offering this opinion to one of my students over Skype, she told me I want to apply, so shut up!

So I dropped the subject…temporarily.

Later that evening, I sent her this (the first page is the actual letter she received, the rest is all me).