Students prepare applications for NHS deadline


Caden McDermott

Senior Connor Buerkel works on his NHS application. The application requires 40 hours of volunteer work and is due Sept. 15.

Eligible junior and senior students are preparing their National Honors Society applications to submit to Principal Matt Durst before the Sept. 15 deadline. 

National Honors Society is a nationwide organization which elevates a school’s commitment to scholarship, leadership, character, and service. In order for eligibility, students must have a 3.5 GPA or above, meet 3 points of leadership criteria, and complete 40 hours of community service. 

“Our requirements are very difficult. I will tell anybody that they are hard, I mean like hard,” Principal Matt Durst said. “We have students every year who get denied because they do not meet the leadership criteria.”

Due to the pandemic, students are only required 3 leadership criteria points, one less than previous years. Service hours have also been adjusted.

“We now only require 40 hours of service, allowing 10 hours from an extracurricular sport and 5 hours from a club,” NHS faculty council member E.B. Smith said. “We have tried to lessen the workload and account for COVID.”

With the deadline quickly approaching, many students getting ready to submit their applications are scrambling to get their final service hours or type their essays on leadership criteria. 

“This last week I have volunteered about 10 hours,” senior Connor Buerkel said. “The help sessions have been very helpful, though. My application wasn’t very good before I went in.”

There have been two help sessions thus far, both taking place before school on Wednesdays. 

“Students brought in their applications, we gave them feedback and checked service hours,” Smith said. “It was kind of just a doublecheck before the deadline.”

Although the doublechecks have been helping to ease the nerves, applicants are still very worried about getting denied.

“I haven’t really thought a lot about getting denied until recently,” Buerkel said. “But now I am seeing that it is a real possibility. I hope I get accepted. I really put a lot of time into this.” 

The reality is that some students will not get in and they will be given specific reasons as to why they do not get in. Durst and other counselors sit down and have the tough conversations with those questioning their denial.

“My biggest fear is that students see this as a reflection of their character,” Durst said. “Getting in does not decide if you are a good kid or not. This has nothing to do with you as a person.”