It was the summer of my junior year that I found myself opening an elegant letter, one that was embellished with a hand-written script of my name and the name of my school. It was very pleasing to the eyes, and to the ego as well. It went on and on about how wonderful I was and how extraordinary of a student my records have shown. And so I immediately became suspicious.
After a showering of compliments, the letter quickly resigned by telling me that I only needed to pay a one time $60 fee to become a member of their prestigious organization, and if I wanted to I could spend even more money on their spirit wear! I have recently seen a few Spartans sporting this stylish gear, so I thought I would shed some light on the matter.
Although it sounds obviously alarming, it was actually well written and could be interpreted as convincing by many. However, after consulting the Internet, I confirmed that the National Society of High School Scholars was indeed a scam. It was not a scam by law per se, but it might has well been. It promised the chance for a plethora of scholarships, which it may have abided to, but still, paying for a chance of a scholarship is the equivalent of gambling, which is illegal for minors. Furthermore, the organization claims to have acquired 120,000 members in the last four years, totaling 7.2 million dollars in membership fees alone, of which only $150,000 are awarded every year in scholarships.
Well there must be other benefits, right? There are, but they are also only false promises. The organization establishes events for leadership building, career skills, etc., but according to self-reports made online, they are always held at obscure destinations and are expensive to attend. You could however use your status as a NSHSS member as an application booster since it requires a “high-standard” of academic achievement, but it will probably do more harm than good as colleges are fully aware of the organization’s credibility. If you were however in dire need of some clothing brand surveys, you can rest assured that your money was well spent due to the NSHSS’ partnership with Abercrombie & Fitch.
It is also apparent that the NSHSS relies on its deceiving name to lure optimistic parents and students. Similar to the National Merit Scholar, a competitive award to be the recipient of, and the National Honor Society, it is no wonder parents eagerly join the National Society of High School Scholars. In the end, it only serves to feed off of your sense of accomplishment and should be avoided at all costs (pun certainly intended).