Membership Eligibility and Selection

Membership in the National Honor Society ™ (NHS) is based upon a student’s achievements in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. NHS membership is one of the highest honors a high school student can receive; therefore, it is selective and by invitation only.

Selection Process

In March, the NHS Adviser will compile a list of sophomores and juniors who meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher (no rounding will be done)

  • at least 25 hours of documented community service hours

Note: All 25+ hours must be completed and documented in accordance with the guidelines for the Florida Bright Futures Program by February 28. This is the school’s only official record of a student’s community service hours. If you are not familiar with this process, contact your guidance counselor.

  • clean school discipline record

  • regular school attendance

The NHS Adviser will send the names of the students who meet the above criteria to all Ida S. Baker High School faculty members requesting recommendations based on the NHS pillars of character and leadership. Students must have at least six recommendations. Faculty recommendations will be submitted to the NHS Faculty Council along with the students’ other credentials for review.

Students must receive a majority vote of the Faculty Council in order to be selected for membership. (The NHS Adviser is not a member of the Faculty Council and does not vote on membership.)

Qualifying students will receive a letter notifying them of their eligibility to join NHS and will be given the opportunity to review the membership requirements. They must then return their acceptance form to the NHS Adviser accepting or declining membership by the given deadline.

Membership is not official until a student is inducted into NHS in a special ceremony, which will be held in April.


“Selection to NHS is a privilege, not a right… Membership is granted only to those students selected by the Faculty Council in each school” (National Honor Society Handbook, 15th edition, p. 23).  

“Chapters are not legally or constitutionally obligated to share with parents and students information concerning specific students not selected for membership in the Society” (NHS Handbook, 15th edition, p. 34).

An appeal should only be filed in extenuating circumstances, as the Faculty Council carefully considers all candidates and has final and binding authority on membership. Students who are not selected for membership but believe they met all of the above guidelines should do the following:

  1. Carefully review the guidelines and selection process posted above.

  2. Verify your current GPA and Florida Bright Futures service hours with your guidance counselor to make sure they met the minimum requirements. You may not submit additional service hours at this time. The deadline is February 28.

  3. Discuss your discipline and attendance record with your guidance counselor.

  4. Reflect on your relationships with your past and current teachers and whether you would expect to receive positive recommendations from them in regards to your character and leadership. Have you gotten to know any of your teachers or club sponsors well enough for positive recommendations? Do you participate and show leadership in classes and after school activities? Do you do your work on time and without complaints? Do you act respectfully toward your teachers, coaches, and peers? Do you help others? Do teachers frequently need to remind you about classroom expectations?  Have you plagiarized or cheated on an assignment? Do you show good sportsmanship?

  5. If you have considered all of the above and still wish to appeal the decision of the Faculty Council because you believe an error has been made, you must submit a formal printed letter (no emails) to the NHS Adviser within 3 school days of the day invitations are distributed. The appeal should be written and signed by the student, be addressed to the “IBHS National Honor Society Faculty Council,” and state the specific grounds for your appeal in 150-300 words. The NHS Adviser will present the written appeal to the Faculty Council, who will review it and make a decision within 5 school days.

  6. Appeals decisions are final. If you are a sophomore, however, you will be considered for membership again as a junior. Spend the coming year working to increase your GPA, log service hours, build relationships, and show character and leadership in classroom and on the field.