Kim asked, "Is the NSHSS (National Society of High School Scholars) Legitimate?"

Kim: "What about the National Society of High School Scholars? I was a part of the National Honor Society in public school, so I was super excited to get the invitation for NSHSS for my homeschooled daughter. My husband is unsure of it (its legitimacy and value) since it requires a $75 membership fee. I love the idea of her having a cord/stole to wear when she graduates, but don’t want to waste money and time on something not worth it."

My answer: 

There are a lot of people who swear it’s not a real organization or that it’s a scam. They would be wrong.
It is real. They do have scholarships. It’s a one-time fee. It’s been around for decades AND there is a collegiate component that has chapters on hundreds of college campuses.
(Remember the decades of disinformation around chiropractic that said it was quackery? That was started by the AMA and it was deliberate. It was only stopped by a court order.)
You probably have heard of the NHS, The National Honor Society, a different organization in traditional schools (not all schools). I’ve heard people say it’s confusing and makes kids think they are part of NHS. 
It’s been said that your dog can get into NSHSS! Well, how legitimate was President Obama’s nomination for the Nobel peace prize when all he did was get elected? Literally, he had not been in office long enough to do anything. If that were the case every president should get one. Does that delegitimize the Nobel peace prize? Some would say, "Yes!"
However, I don’t feel being in any honor society makes a difference in college applications if it’s the ONLY accolade in your "honors and awards" section. You're not getting any kudos points for being a "member" of any club. Besides, if you qualify for any honor society, your GPA and test scores already tell the college that you have the grades. Having an honor society take up limited space on the college application isn't necessarily the best idea.
The mom who asked the question is homeschooling her teens. NHS is only for traditionally schooled students. As a homeschool student, assuming the child has the stats, she can do an internet search for ESA (Eta Sigma Alpha) National Home School Honor Society. If there is not a local chapter, there is a way to join the National chapter. The criteria for acceptance is actually HARDER than for the NHS.
And yes, both of my kids were in ESA and NSHSS, and we used the ESA honor cords instead of the stole and the NSHSS medal at graduation.
You can read the about section of the NSHSS website. They have chapters in more than 26,000 high schools in more than 170 countries. NSHSS was established in 2002 by Claes Nobel- a distant relative of the same person who the Nobel peace prize is named after. The NHS has 13,553 chapters.
What about the cost? 
NHS costs a $45 initiation fee plus $20 each year. For many, the fee is covered by the high school which is why most parents and counselors think it's free. It's not.
The NSHSS $75 fee is a much more reasonable lifetime fee.
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 higher
Score 4 or higher on an AP exam
Total combined IB test scores of 40 or higher
Top 10% rank in class
Requirements for NHS Membership
 GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent
Voluntary unpaid service (no specific requirement)
Leadership in school or outside of school (no specific requirement)
High character qualities (no specific requirement)
Decades ago when the average GPA was 2.0 to 2.5, having a 3.0 or a 3.5 was something to crow about. Today the average high school GPA is above 3.0 anyway. Pretty much anyone qualifies. The bottom line, today colleges don't care about either honor society.

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