Scholarship FAQ

What are some application tips?
Start Early

A great scholarship essay is not written overnight! Start early and allow time to work on your responses.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

You want your scholarship essay to stand out for its great content, not its grammatical errors. Ask a parent, friend, or professor to proofread your application before submitting.

Personalize the Response

Don’t make your essay a resume. Use the opportunity to share something about who you are, which is far more memorable.

Build on your Accomplishments

Remember that you are competing against a similar pool of applicants. Use the essay question as a way to prove to the scholarship committee that you are the worthiest applicant for the award.

How will I know if I’m selected as a recipient?

Both recipients and non-recipients will be notified of their status within eight weeks of the closing date.

When do scholarships open? Close?

NSCS scholarships open throughout the year, so make sure to check the scholarship page often. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, too! Generally our scholarships are open for two months, but don’t wait until the last minute to apply!

What are the eligibility requirements to apply?

We have two main eligibility requirements for our scholarships:

  1. You must be an NSCS member (current or alumni)
  2. You must have at least a 3.4 GPA (if undergrad)
How do I apply for scholarships?
  1. It’s simple! Log in to the member portal at using your username and password.
  2. After you log in, click the Scholarships tab.
  3. Find your scholarship — and note the deadline!
  4. Submit your application online.
  5. If this is your first time applying for an NSCS scholarship, you will need to fill out the General Application first.

Membership FAQ

Is NSCS a legit organization?

Absolutely. NSCS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1994 on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. We are a recognized student organization at more than 330 campuses across the country, and we are an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau. NSCS also belongs to the Association of College Honor Societies. ACHS is the only accrediting institution for college honor societies, so is a good resource for those who question our legitimacy. ACHS has a website dedicated to determining if an honor society is legitimate: Our bylaws can be found at

Learn more about NSCS legitimacy.

Is Joining NSCS Worth it?

100%. Given the assortment of programs, resources, connections, support, and savings, an NSCS membership truly is worth it. At a minimum you’ll get access to over $500,000 in scholarships and awards alone, plus nearly $100 million in scholarships via our new nationwide Hub PLUS for premium membership.
Follow the journey of these six NSCS members who realized that joining NSCS was truly worth with the one-time, lifetime fee ($97) and it was a valuable step in their college career.

How do I join?

If you meet the GPA requirements and you attend one of the more than 300+ colleges where there is an NSCS chapter, you’ll receive an invitation to join during your first or second year. If you fit these criteria but do not attend a college with an existing chapter, you can nominate yourself and become part of the NSCS National Chapter or even help start a chapter on your campus.

What happens when I join?

The national office will send you a confirmation email after your membership has been processed, you’ll receive a membership certificate, information about benefits, and a press release for you to share with local media. Additionally, you will be able to register for the membership portal where you can hear from your NSCS chapter officers about NSCS activities and services on your campus.

How do I get in touch with someone at NSCS?

Our mailing address is: 

2000 M St NW, Suite 480G
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-265-9000

Contact information for your chapter can be found in your invitation or by emailing us at

What support is available from the NSCS office?

NSCS has a small, full-time staff that communicates with chapter officers and visits with chapter campuses. These individuals have significant experience in higher education and are committed to promoting the overall development of students affiliated with NSCS. They can be reached Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:30pm Eastern Time.

What kinds of scholarships does NSCS have?
NSCS understands how difficult it can be to fund an education, so we’ve made offering scholarships to our members a high priority. These include Merit Award scholarships, Study Abroad scholarships, graduate-study scholarships, several program-specific scholarships, and much more.
I’m planning to transfer to a different school. What will happen with my membership?
Contact the NSCS national office at to transfer your invitation or membership to a different chapter. If you’re an NSCS member who is transferring to a school without an active chapter, you can still access all your national benefits and attend events at a chapter near you. You can also contact the national office for more information about founding a new chapter.
Can I join NSCS even if there isn’t a chapter at my school?

Yes! You can become part of the NSCS National Chapter or may be able to help start a chapter at your school. For more information about how to become a founding officer of a new chapter, contact and to join via self-nomination, please go to our join page.

I’m interested in starting a chapter at my college or university. How do I do that?

The NSCS national office can give you more information about how to found a chapter. Please contact

What does the Chapter Advisor do?

The Chapter Advisor assists and guides the officers and acts as the chapter’s liaison and advocate to the administration. He or she also plays an integral role in planning and executing the fall Induction Ceremony and the annual membership invitation season.

Why are all the contacts in the invitation letter students?

Each chapter of NSCS is a registered student organization, and all chapter officers are undergraduate students. Each chapter has a Chapter Advisor (an on-campus faculty member or administrator) who oversees the chapter.

What is the NSCS Leadership Summit?

The NSCS Leadership Summit is a gathering of NSCS members, officers, advisors, partners, employers, sponsors, speakers, and staff to meet and exchange ideas, inspiration, and practical information for college and far beyond. Participants will discover what it’s like to work in particular industries, get tips on writing resumes and cover letters, hear motivational speakers, and have fun.

Should I put my NSCS membership on a resume? Is it something people are going to recognize?

Yes, we encourage you to list your membership on your resume. NSCS has a nationwide network of partners, including universities, corporations, associations, and nonprofits. NSCS is well recognized among these and many other companies and institutions.

How is NSCS governed?

NSCS is governed by a Board of Directors that includes business and education professionals and students from around the country who represent a host of disciplines. The board sets the policy direction for the society and is responsible for overseeing the fiscal and operational efficiency of NSCS. The day-to-day operations are overseen by NSCS’ Executive Director, Scott Mobley. Additional information can be found in our bylaws.

How involved do I have to be?
Chapters plan activities like networking events, social gatherings, and community service projects. However, there is no minimum involvement requirement or time commitment for NSCS membership.
What is the press release I received (or will be receiving)?

A press release is a written, formal announcement of your membership. We encourage you to distribute the release to your local newspaper, newsletter, or bulletin. Included with the release are instructions for distribution.

How many chapters are there?

We have chapters at nearly 300 colleges and universities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Is NSCS only for first- and second-year students? Is it just for undergrads?
Students are invited to join in their first or second year of college. However, once you become a member, you’re always a member. Members of all class standings are encouraged to be involved in their chapter; they can take advantage of NSCS’ benefits throughout their college career and even after graduation.
What if my GPA drops below a 3.4?

Since all NSCS members met our academic criteria, we will never revoke someone’s membership. If a student’s GPA were to drop during a challenging semester, we hope the student would use NSCS’ resources to improve future grades. However, a low GPA may affect scholarship eligibility for some of our scholarships, most of which require a GPA of at least 3.4.

How is the membership fee used?

The membership fee is used to provide a variety of benefits and services to members. These include funding for chapter activities, a personalized diploma, Induction Ceremonies, networking and career resources, scholarships, awards, programs, and events. The fee also helps offset NSCS’ administrative costs. NSCS is a 501(c)3, a nonprofit organization, so all income is used for the development and operation of the society.

What is the membership fee?

The fee for a lifetime membership is $97. This one-time fee grants members access to NSCS resources and services. There are neither chapter nor annual dues.

How was I nominated? How many others from my school were invited?
NSCS works with the appropriate office at each school to identify eligible students for NSCS membership. Because populations vary from school to school, the number of invited students isn’t constant across campuses.
What are the criteria for admittance?

We invite first- and second-year college students who have a minimum GPA of 3.4 or higher and are in the top 20% of their class. To receive an invitation to join NSCS, students must attend a college or university where there is an active chapter or where NSCS has an agreement with the school to provide eligibility data for the purposes of inviting students to join.

What are some specific benefits?
In addition to recognition, networking, career resources, leadership development, community service, and mentoring opportunities, members can apply for exclusive scholarships and awards, attend special NSCS programs throughout the country, have access to a variety of career development tools others must pay for, and are often courted by recruiters for major employers. In addition, NSCS works to get its members discounts and deals on the things they’ll need most, like car insurance, textbooks, travel, and more.
What does NSCS do and why should I join?
The National Society of Collegiate Scholars is not your average honors organization. We recognize academic achievement and provide opportunities for members to develop leadership skills. Members positively change their campuses and communities by participating in service activities as they prepare for future endeavors like internships, graduate school, and careers. Along the way, members often make valuable connections with fellow high-achieving students. This involvement can make college a more rewarding experience.
How is NSCS different from other honor societies?

NSCS engages college students in their first and second year of school, while other honor societies invite students who are further along. NSCS also embodies diversity by embracing students of all academic disciplines.

NSCS awards $500,000 in scholarships, awards and chapter funds to support our members. In addition, your membership is more than just an academic achievement or a line on a resume. Active chapters provide members with professional and personal development opportunities and encourage them to participate in community service.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) is a non-profit academic honor society providing a lifetime NSCS membership in return for the lifetime membership fee that is paid to join NSCS regardless of the amount. Once an eligible student joins NSCS, personalized and verified credentials will be prepared for the member, access to member only benefits will be activated, chapters and campuses will be notified, etc.

For these reasons, once an eligible student (or someone on behalf of the eligible student) joins NSCS, the membership fee will not be refunded.

Induction FAQ

What is the Induction Ceremony?

The Induction Ceremony is a public event that formally recognizes NSCS’ newest members. New members will receive an NSCS pin, meet their chapter officers, and learn more about opportunities in the chapter. Each Induction Ceremony is different, but many have a Distinguished Member or keynote speaker. Family and guests are welcome to attend the one-hour ceremony, and attire is business casual. As always, check with your chapter officers to confirm the details of the event, as each chapter adds their own unique touches to the event.

Do I have to attend the Induction Ceremony?

No. Although new members are highly encouraged to attend their Induction Ceremony, attendance is not required for membership. Once your membership fee is paid, you are an official member of NSCS for a lifetime. Please note that only members who attend their New Member Induction Ceremony will qualify to apply for the Induction Recognition Award.

I missed my Induction Ceremony, what do I do now?

Please contact your Chapter Officers to set up a time to pick up your pin from them. There will be a Second Chance Online Induction Ceremony in February (exact date – to be determined). You will find out more details about the Second Chance Induction via email.

Will I receive my NSCS Membership Certificate as well?

No. You will not receive your NSCS Certificate at your Induction Ceremony. After joining NSCS you should have received a Digital certificate and press release to your preferred email address. If you did not receive your email, please contact us at


I am a member or guest with special needs. Will I be accommodated?

Absolutely! Please contact your chapter officers and check the Facebook event page for specific questions/details.

How long does a New Member Induction Ceremony last?

On average, one to two hours.

Will food be served?

Please check with your chapter regarding these details.

Is there a dress code for this event?

Yes. Business casual attire is preferred. For men this means dress pants and a nice shirt. You may even want to wear a jacket and tie. For women this means a nice dress, nice skirt and blouse, or a nice pair of dress pants with a blouse and possibly a jacket.

How do I collect my pin if I am unable to attend my New Member Induction Ceremony?

Members who are unable to collect their membership pin at the Induction Ceremony should be able to receive it at the next general member meeting following the chapter’s New Member Induction Ceremony. Details will be sent via email, so please ensure that your email address is current by editing your member profile at

What will I receive at my New Member Induction Ceremony?

In addition to recognition for your academic achievements, you will receive an official NSCS membership pin.

What time should I arrive to my New Member Induction Ceremony?

We recommend that guests arrive to check into their New Member Induction Ceremony 30 minutes prior to the start time.

Am I allowed to bring guests? If so, how many?
Yes, family and friends are welcomed to attend the ceremony. On average, two guests per new member are allowed, but this varies by chapter. Please check with your chapter officers regarding space accommodations.