The National Society of High School ScholarsNSHSS

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How do I apply for NSHSS scholarships?

Visit to sign in to your member dashboard. Select “Set Up Your Password” if it is your first time signing in. Once you’re in your member dashboard, select “Apply for Scholarships.”  Scholarship applications appear on student dashboards only.

Will I receive NSHSS scholarship email invitations if I unsubscribe from NSHSS email?

No, if you subscribe from any NSHSS emails, you will no longer receive scholarship email invitations. Be sure to set your NSHSS contact preferences to “allow” to receive scholarship notifications. To edit your contact preferences, sign in to your member dashboard at, and select “My Profile.” 

What if I the scholarships I am eligible for do not appear in my dashboard?

Make sure that your NSHSS contact preferences are set to “allow.” When you update your contact preferences, it should take less than a day for the scholarship applications to appear on your member dashboard.  Also, make sure that you are signing into your own dashboard.  Scholarship applications do not appear on parent dashboards.

What do I need to apply for an NSHSS scholarship?

Start researching scholarships in advance. NSHSS scholarship opportunities are listed year-round at Click on the plus sign by each scholarship for details. You can review the essay prompt and begin drafting your essay. A resume, transcript, educator recommendation, and a headshot are also typically required.  You do not need to submit multiple transcripts and recommendations.  Once these are submitted, they may be used for any NSHSS scholarships you apply for.  Once you submit the application online, it is closed.  So be sure to read the descriptions before applying.  You may want to open and read through the application first without submitting it to make sure you have all the information that you need.  If you open and close it without submitting it, you will be able to re-open it.

When should I apply for NSHSS scholarships?

All NSHSS members who are eligible for a particular scholarship, receive an email invitation when the scholarship opens that includes instructions for application submission and the scholarship deadline. It is best to apply as soon as possible.  Scholarship applications begin opening annually in the fall and throughout the winter and spring.

What scholarships should I apply for?

Consider each scholarship essay prompt and only apply for scholarships for which you would be a strong candidate. Some scholarships support students with interest in STEM fields, students with extensive community service experience, students who will be first generation college students, etc. Most NSHSS scholarships are merit-based.

What are my chances of winning an NSHSS scholarship?

Since NSHSS scholarships are exclusive to NSHSS’s diverse members, scholarships are offered to students with interests in the arts and humanities, STEM-fields, leadership, and more. Consider how closely your essay aligns with the essay prompt. The number of applicants for each NSHSS scholarship varies, so the most effective way to increase your chances of winning is to be selective and apply for scholarships best suited for you and your interests.

Can I submit materials in any format?

No, your application lists specific, acceptable formats for all materials--such as the essay, resume, and headshot. Your application will not be considered if you submit documents in a format that is not listed in the application.

Can my essay contain less or more words than the specified word count?

Yes, word counts generally provide approximate guidelines, but keep your answers close to the number of words requested.  If a scholarship response must not go over a certain word or character count, that will be indicated in the instructions.

What is an educator recommendation?

An educator recommendation supports your reputation as a student, e.g., your academic performance and motivation, demonstrated leadership, emotional maturity, school activity participation, and community awareness and involvement. Each NSHSS scholarship application contains the online recommendation link to provide to one of your educators. If you already have a recommendation letter from one of your educators, have your educator include your recommendation letter in the online recommendation form through the optional upload feature.

How many educator recommendations do I need?

One. One educator recommendation is required for each academic year. If you apply for a scholarship offered in December, that recommendation will be applied to all of your scholarship applications submitted until June of the following year.  However, you may have more than one recommender if you wish.  For example, you may wish to have a science teacher recommend you for a STEM scholarship, or a writing teacher recommend you for a literary award. 

When should educator recommendations be submitted?

The educator recommendation must be submitted by the particular scholarship deadline.

Can my application be submitted before my educator recommendation is submitted?

The application and educator recommendation may be submitted in any order, but both must be submitted before the scholarship deadline. Your educator recommendation is linked to your membership and applied to all NSHSS scholarships submitted during a particular academic year.

What should my resume contain?

Your resume should contain your contact information, your academic standing (prospective academic titles of success, e.g., valedictorian or salutatorian) and awards, your leadership activities, extracurricular activities, community service, and references. Do not include activities and awards prior to high school unless your achievement is outstanding, e.g., winning the National Geography Bee or founding a charity at a young age.

Should I list my weighted or unweighted grade point average?

If you are enrolled in honors, AP, or IB courses, list your cumulative, weighted grade point average. If you are enrolled in regular-level courses, list your cumulative, unweighted grade point average. Transcripts will validate the grade point average and rigor of coursework in either circumstance.

Should my transcript be official or unofficial?

You may submit either your official or unofficial transcript—whichever is easiest for you to attain. Your educator recommendation will support your academic reputation along with your cumulative official or unofficial transcript.

How many transcripts should I submit?

One. One most recent official or unofficial transcript containing your cumulative grade point average is sufficient for all NSHSS scholarships offered in a particular academic year. If your transcript is not uploaded in your application, it must be submitted via email or mail by the deadline date.

How should I submit my transcript?

Submit your official or unofficial transcript by uploading it into your application or emailing it to If you do not have access to a digital copy of your transcript, you may mail your transcript to the NSHSS International Headquarters at 1936 North Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30319. Please be sure to include the scholarship title above the mailing address on the envelope.  Some schools subscribe to an electronic transcript transfer system.  The scholarship email address above should be used for any such transfers.

Which transcript do I submit if I’m currently enrolled in both high school and college?

If you are dually-enrolled, submit both transcripts from both institutions.

What is a headshot and why is it required?

A headshot is a photograph of a person from the neck up. Headshots are required for possible website posting and press releases in case an applicant becomes a scholarship recipient. Scholarship recipients are also featured in the monthly, digital newsletter, The Scholar’s Journal.

What time is the deadline on a scholarship’s deadline date?

NSHSS scholarship applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on the deadline date.

How do I know my application was successfully submitted?

Visit to sign in to your member dashboard. Once you’re in your member dashboard, select “Apply for Scholarships.” You will see the following message next to successfully submitted applications: “We are currently processing your application for this scholarship.” You will also receive a confirmation email upon applying.

How and when will I be informed of the scholarship results?

Applicants are typically notified roughly 4-6 weeks following each scholarship deadline. This may vary for each scholarship as we may rely on internal and/or external scholarship committees. All applicants are notified of the results via email.  Recipients also receive an official mailed letter.

If I become a scholarship recipient, how will my scholarship funds be disbursed?

Most NSHSS scholarship funds are sent directly to the recipient’s college or university. Some scholarships, such as the Academic Paper Awards and the Visual Arts, Video, and Literary Competitions award the applicants cash prizes. The method of funding is listed in the scholarship details at

At which colleges or universities can NSHSS scholarship funds be used?

NSHSS scholarship funds may be used at any accredited college or university internationally.

How can I maximize my efforts to attain scholarship funding?

Develop and maintain superb organizational skills. Routinely update your resume, and keep a headshot and transcript handy to plug into any scholarship when needed. You should only be creating the essay for each varying essay prompt. Do not try to fit a previously prepared college admissions essay or scholarship essay into a prompt for which it does not fit. The best essay will be one you create specifically for a particular scholarship essay prompt.

Visit for more scholarship tips from NSHSS Scholarship Director Dr. Susan Thurman.

For questions regarding NSHSS scholarships, contact us at


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