Opinion: NHS Dues

The Mt. Greylock National Honor Society (NHS) is a group of exemplary students deemed to be worthy of national recognition. These students have shown to be proper models in the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Mt. Greylock students are supposed to look up to these students and strive to match their example in the pillars. But, despite the NHS being an incredible distinction, the students selected are required to pay a fee of thirty dollars. Over two years, the typical period a student spends in NHS, that fee becomes sixty dollars.

Our best students are required to pay extra money for their accomplishments. In the adult world, an award comes with a monetary reward, not payment. Why does Greylock not do the same? While teachers preach that high school is preparing students for real life, the school is destroying the principles behind motive for success. They send the message that accomplishments, such as induction into NHS, will bring just another fee to high school students constantly plagued with fees. Success is not being rewarded but punished. Students are being taught that distinction does not bring prizes and awards but yet another fine.

The rewards that come with a National Honor Society membership are not enough to outweigh the money students are forced to pay. The students are required to complete ten hours of community service, which can be reward in and of itself due to college’s expectations that prospective students help in their community. However, community service is not a privilege awarded to NHS members as any student can take the initiative to perform community service. Colleges do not value community service associated with NHS any greater than other service. Often, the reason teachers and administrators give for the fee is that National Honor Society students wear tassels on their graduation caps. This excuse is a ploy to convince students that the fee is actually going toward something. In reality, the fee is just in place to legitimize NHS as a Greylock club. But other clubs at Greylock should have a fee because students sign up for the club. A student is chosen for National Honor Society and must be considered one of the best students at Greylock. The honor should be rewarded not met with yet another fee for students.

Students are already contributing enough money to the school, we do not need to provide sixty more dollars. Every sport or theater production requires participating high school students to pay 120 dollars, along with class dues upwards of 400 dollars. Over the course of a high school career, a student active in extracurricular activities, the type of student that typically makes National Honor Society, will pay over a thousand dollars to the school. Greylock can and should allow the sixty dollars extra to slip away from their collection pot in order to provide exemplary students with a gift. The money the school loses by relieving dues for NHS is not substantial enough to offset the positive principle of rewarding students. There would be a slightly higher motivation for students to excel at the level of a NHS student if the cap and tassel at graduation and, more importantly, the esteem that comes with the honor, comes without a another price tag. If the purpose of NHS is not to motivate students to excel, then there is no real purpose.

In conclusion, the dues associated with the National Honor Society are a ridiculous fine with no legitimate reason behind them. Students should be rewarded for their achievements that led to induction in NHS. People claim that the dues are in order to pay for the tassel that NHS students wear at graduation. But a simple tassel does not cost sixty dollars, in fact some websites can ship tassels for as low as one dollar each, and, even if it did, should be given as a gift to the students who dedicated themselves to the school and improved the academic legacy of Greylock. Students should be rewarded, not charged, for their excellence.

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