Outstanding Achievement Award FAQ

Who can create a student account?

  • All active and current members of a National Junior Honor Society chapter. Student accounts are needed to apply for the NJHS OAA. Students can also create accounts as a record of membership with the national office but choose not to apply.

What does “get verified” mean?

  • Once a student creates their account on the NJHS website a notification is sent to the student’s adviser to verify that they are an NJHS member. Advisers can also review the instructions and tutorial video here. Once verified, the student can login to complete and submit the NJHS OAA application online. Unverified students will not have access.

Tip for Advisers: Provide your students with your school ID # so that they can easily find their school and create an account! You can locate your School ID in your profile after you log in to your account and view “My Institutions.”

How does the adviser verify an account?

  • Whenever any student accounts are created and linked to a school, the NJHS adviser will receive a notification e-mail in the evening with a list of all students who created accounts on that day. This e-mail does not send out instantly, as many of our chapters have a large number of students, and this process is more manageable for the NJHS adviser. The e-mail notification includes instructions for how to verify students.
  • Even before the NJHS adviser receives the e-mail, they can log in at any point and see the unverified student accounts linked to their school. To do so, adviser can log into the NJHS website, click on “My Account,” and navigate to the “Roster” menu on the right side of the screen. The roster has several tabs including “unverified” for students awaiting verification. The adviser can check a box next to their name and click on the “verify” button to confirm that the student is a member of their chapter.
  • If an adviser does not have an account, does not see the roster, or is missing a student from the roster, then that adviser should contact [email protected] for support.

What is the difference between membership/account verification and application certification for NJHS advisers?

  • Verification—NJHS advisers verify that the student who created an account on the NJHS website is a member of their chapter. Advisers should verify all members of their chapter. This is done regardless of the member’s standing in the chapter (good standing, on probation, etc.) and their eligibility for the NJHS OAA. Unverified members cannot access the NJHS OAA application.
  • Certification—This is exclusive to the NJHS OAA application process. While working on the application, students complete a request for the NJHS adviser to provide a certification. When a student does this, it sends an e-mail to the adviser with a unique link to complete a recommendation for the student. Each NJHS adviser must complete an adviser certification form certifying that the member is in good standing and providing additional detail about the student. This certification is due before the application deadline, as the student will NOT be able to submit their application until this is completed.

What does “good standing” mean?

  • NJHS members “in good standing” are active members who are up to date on their NJHS chapter obligations (GPA, service activities, meeting the chapter’s expectations for character and leadership, etc.). Students should refer to their NJHS chapter’s bylaws for what constitutes “good standing” and check with their NJHS advisers to confirm they meet all current membership obligations.

What is an ideal candidate?

  • An ideal applicant for the NJHS OAA will:
    • Demonstrate a service mindset by seeking out and voluntarily fulfilling needs to help others.
    • Commit to learning, growing, and making the most of educational opportunities.
    • Take ownership and responsibility as a leader, in title or in action, in school and community.
    • Display perseverance, honesty, integrity, and ethical and compassionate decision-making.
    • Exemplify good citizenship through a demonstrated commitment to supporting and bettering the local community.

What will students be asked to provide in the application?

  • While completing the application, applicants will be asked to:
    • Provide detailed information about activities and experiences related to scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. The student completes three sections of the application, while the other three are “requests” as detailed below. The three sections are: Student Background and Essay, Service Profile, and Leadership Profile. In each section, students have an opportunity to share their experiences and personality.
    • Request an Adviser Certification from their NJHS Adviser, which acts as a short recommendation form and confirms the applicant is currently in good standing with a local NJHS chapter. The adviser certification must be completed in the application portal and no external documents or communications will be accepted. The certification is different than the verification process, as it provides more detailed information about the applicant.
    • Request a Recommendation from one non-adviser, non-family member adult who can speak to the applicant’s commitment to the pillars of NJHS. The recommendation must be completed in the application portal and no external documents or communications will be accepted.
    • Request a Parent or Guardian Consent form from one parent or guardian who grants permission for the applicant to share information with NJHS.

When are award recipients announced?

  • Students, parents or guardians, chapter advisers, and principals will be notified in March via email. To receive the award, recipients must complete an acceptance form to confirm receipt. Applicants that are not selected to receive a scholarship will be notified via email following the award acceptance deadline.

How do winners receive their award payments?

  • Parents/guardians must establish a 529 account as part of the New Mexico Education Trust Board’s 529 college savings plan: The Education Plan. NJHS will then deposit $500 into the account. Please note that a parent/guardian will be required to be the 529 account holder with the student named as the beneficiary. Accounts are managed by Ascensus, a financial management company and third-party administrator of financial accounts—such as retirement and 529 accounts—in the United States. Learn more about Ascensus here.

Is the award renewable?

  • No, this is a one-time award. Recipients are not eligible to apply again, but a nonrecipient can apply multiple times during their time as an NJHS member if they are still in good standing.

I have an existing 529 account. Can the funds be deposited there?

  • No. Funds for this award are only deposited into accounts held under The Education Plan. However, funds from existing accounts can be rolled into this account.

Are international students eligible to receive the award?

  • NJHS members from any affiliated school may apply, but U.S. federal law requires that the 529 College Savings Plan Account owner must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien at least 18 years of age, a state or local government, a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code, a custodian under a UGMA/UTMA, or another type of legal entity, such as a trust or a corporation, with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number and U.S. residential address. International students may still apply to receive the distinction and recognition, but the award amount may only be disbursed as stated here.

I’m a previous recipient and I have an existing account. How do I access it or who do I contact with questions about disbursement?

  • Call Ascensus at 1-888-917-7139. Staff at the NJHS national office cannot access your 529 account. This is private financial information and only the account holder and the account management company can access it.

What if I have a question that isn’t answered on this page?

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