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Criteria for Selection

Four Criteria Used In the Selection

“NHS is more than an honor roll. Each member must not only demonstrate good grades, but also strength in each of the remaining three criteria. This is not an election, nor is membership automatically conveyed because a student has achieved a specified level of academic performance.”

-National Honor Society Handbook, 17th edition



The scholarship requirement set by the National Council is based on a student's cumulative Grade Point Average. The required cumulative GPA at Greenwich High School is a 3.55* or above at the end of junior year. In all cases, only those students who meet this scholarship requirement for membership to the National Honor Society are then eligible to submit a packet. The GPA requirement cannot be appealed.

*The cumulative GPA cannot include modified grades or curriculum.



The Greenwich High School requirement is 60 hours over three years. Service is generally considered to be those actions undertaken by the student done with or on behalf of others without financial or material compensation. (Please contact Ms. Haley if you are a transfer student).

Students may begin documenting their service hours the summer before ninth grade. At least 45 hours must be completed by spring of junior year and the full 60 hours of service must be completed prior to the beginning of senior year. Those completing the remaining service requirements the summer after their junior year must submit a plan of completion as part of their packet. If all other criteria for membership have been met, a conditional acceptance will be issued pending completion of those service hours. All service must be documented (please see “how do I document my service hours” for information).

Volunteering your time to do something is NOT necessarily going to count as community service. Stop to consider how your actions benefit the community as a whole. If you are not sure ask the NHS adviser before you make a commitment.


(this is not an all-inclusive list. Contact the NHS adviser if you have questions)

GHS Service Clubs (Hand-in-Hand, Habitat for Humanity, etc.)

Peer tutoring in GHS or at local schools or organizations

Volunteering in any capacity at a middle or elementary school (theater, sports, tutoring all count)

Volunteering at non-profit organizations

Teaching Sunday school, Hebrew school, etc.

Mission Trips

Can count up to eight hours of service per day, excluding eating, sleeping, worship and recreation time. Travel to and from a mission trip cannot be counted.

Hospital, GEMS, etc. (training hours are included)

Fund-raising for non-profit groups

(this includes fund-raising for school clubs where money is donated to others and not used by the members)

Scouting service projects or volunteer efforts (not time in meetings)

Volunteering as summer camp counselor, including Bible School (As of June 2015, Counselor in Training is not accepted, see "Not Accepted")

Off-Beat Players Theater group

Working on political campaigns and at election polls

Coaching or other involvement in youth sports below the high school level

Refereeing for youth sports below the high school level

Volunteering at summer youth sports, arts and music camps (but not as a Counselor in Training)

Volunteering to help in summer school, any grade

Unified Sports

Direct school service (peer mentors, college night, student tour guides)

Faith-based activities outside of worship hours (ie helping to set up for a pageant, cleaning facility grounds, assisting at spaghetti dinners, coffee hours, fairs, social action committees, service through a youth group). Please see “choir” section under Not Accepted.


(Please contact the adviser with questions)

Marching Band

Performance time counts, rehearsal time does not

Church choirs

Please see "not accepted" for details on what can be counted

Tuition-based music programs

These fee-based programs do not meet the service requirements, except for the time spent performing for the public at free events (ie. mall holiday concert, senior center concert). These programs include (but are not limited to) Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic, Norwalk Youth Symphony.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

This is typically a family commitment; students may count hours spent at the mandatory training classes and walk and talk assessments. These hours must be specifically documented.

Individual tutoring, not school-based

(tutoring of relatives is not accepted)

Students who wish to count hours for tutoring individual students outside of school must provide documentation from a school official at that student’s school (teacher, principal, guidance counselor). Parent signatures will not be accepted.


(These are activities)


This is considered  training that would lead to a paid counselor position the following year. Full-fledged volunteer counselors, however, can count their hours. Please contact the adviser with questions.

Civil Air Patrol

This is considered leadership training and career development

Working at a business even if you are not paid

Volunteering to help a professional person or group on a project (ie helping to create a short film, volunteering computer skills at a business or for a self-employed person. Your actions benefit the person or business, not the community)

Performing in a play, stage crew

Theater is an activity with the exception of those programs where members are working one-on-one with special needs students, such as in Unified Theater. Volunteering on a stage crew for younger students (ie middle school) is acceptable.

Playing on a sports team

However, volunteer youth coaching would count, volunteering as a referee would count. Unified Sports counts.

Managing a high school sports team

This is an activity, as is score-keeping, etc.

Choirs and other activities that occur during worship time

Choirs are considered an activity; service hours can only be claimed for time outside of the worship service, ie: performances in the community, or for time spent assisting with the choir (working with younger members, organizing music, assisting the director). This aligns with the new federal guidelines of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which the GHS chapter of the NHS is using as a template for its service requirements. Under these guidelines, the following activities can be performed: Volunteering to teach Sunday school (mentorship), volunteering for arts and crafts or recreation at Vacation Bible School, painting, cleaning, or work performed for the church, mosque, or synagogue, community service activities performed as a youth group, mentoring children after school, mission trips (excluding eating, sleeping, recreation and worship time). This means that ushering, participation in the choir, playing music, babysitting in the nursery, or other activities that are practiced during worship hours are not counted.

Activities done for able-bodied neighbors such as moving, painting, and lawn care

Babysitting for private families

Club Fund-Raising

School clubs or fund-raising for school groups where the money is used for club activities and not donated to a non-profit group.


Leadership will be recognized as offices a student has held in school or community organizations, as well as leadership outside of elected positions in other co-curricular activities offered on or off campus. A successful applicant will be expected to document one or more of the following:

Demonstrates initiative in promoting school activities
Exercises positive influence on peers in upholding school ideas
Contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school
Delegates responsibilities

Exemplifies positive attitudes
Inspires positive behavior in others
Demonstrates academic initiative
Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility, conducts business effectively and efficiently, demonstrates reliability and dependability

Is a leader in the classroom, at work and in other school or community activities

Is willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude



Character is probably the most difficult criterion to define. The Faculty Council is charged with considering the positive as well as the negative aspects of character. A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities: respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship. Students will be required to submit three character rating scales (two must be from a GHS staff member) and a brief essay. The faculty council will also review administrative records including disciplinary referrals, violations of the athletic code of conduct and/or violations of the GHS Academic Integrity Policy (honor code).

The list of academically eligible juniors will be reviewed at the end of first semester. Students found in violation of school rules or the honor code will be informed upon invitation that they must submit an additional essay addressing the violation as part of their packet.

Significant disciplinary referrals or a school suspension may seriously jeopardize a student's candidacy. According to the National Council, a candidate will be able to demonstrate an outstanding record of conduct and behavior with regard to school and community rules, guidelines, laws, and policies or be able to demonstrate sufficient sustained growth and improvement over time to compensate for previous offenses. The faculty council will carefully weigh all of the information supplied when rendering its decision.

A student who exercises outstanding character:

Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously

Cooperates by complying with school regulations

Demonstrates the highest standards of academic honesty, academic integrity, reliability, and perseverance

Shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others

Models desirable behavior in the school and community