Spanish Honors Society: What You Need to Know

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April 16, 2024
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

The Spanish Honor Society, or Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, is an organization that helps students of Spanish or Portuguese reach their academic goals. Keep reading to learn more about the society and how it can help you.


The Spanish Honors Society is dedicated to high academic achieving Spanish or Portuguese language students. Since its inception, it has grown to over 3500 chapters and offers many scholarships to members as an avenue to help them achieve their goals. 

Keep reading to learn more about the Spanish Honors Society and why you should join.

What is the Spanish Honors Society?

The Spanish Honors Society, or Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, is an honor society for high school students enrolled in Spanish and Portuguese. 

The SHH was formed in 1953 to have a place for those learning Spanish or Portuguese in high school to gain access to scholarships and awards that will help them in their.

The Spanish Honors Society tries to help ambitious students of Spanish or Portuguese to reach their educational goals after high school. Their goal is to help members maximize their potential through academics, leadership, and networking so that they can go on to high achievement in college or university.

To do this, the Spanish Honors Society awards students from all over the United States different scholarships and grants, providing activities that allow them to connect with students with the same academic goals. 

On average, the Spanish Honors Society gives out $160,000 to students each year, meaning hundreds of students are able to achieve their goals. 

If you’re a Spanish and Portuguese student looking for academic distinction and networking opportunities, the Spanish Honors Society might be a great option for you. Keep reading to learn more.

Spanish Honors Society Requirements

In order to get a Spanish Honors Society in your school, there are a few requirements. First, a Spanish or Portuguese teacher in your school who is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) has to be willing to start the club.

The teacher will have to be a member of AATSP for at least one calendar year, which for the association means Jan. 1- Dec. 31. For an example of how this works, if a teacher were to join AATSP in September of 2022, they would not qualify to start a society until Jan. of 2024.

Once there has been an established interest and a qualified teacher to start the Spanish honors society, the teacher would have to fill in some forms and pay a one-time fee of $35 (as of 2022). After this is processed, the teacher would have to decide which students to invite to join. 

This being an honors society, there are some academic requirements in order to be considered. We will cover the requirements to join the Spanish Honors Society below.

How to Get into the Spanish Honors Society

To get into the Spanish Honors Society, your Spanish or Portuguese teacher has to nominate you based on your academic achievements. The student must be in at least 10th grade, maintaining an honors average in the study of Spanish or Portuguese for a minimum of three semesters.

According to the Spanish National Honors Society, each Spanish Honors Society group can determine for themselves what the definition of “honor average” will be. This means that each chapter of the SHS is able to decide what grades students will have to achieve to be recommended for membership.

That being said, the Spanish National Honors Society emphasizes that the society is for students with high academic achievements. It reminds new chapters of this as they decide how students will qualify to be part of their individual Spanish Honors Society. 

Since the society was created for students with high academic standing, it would do the society a disservice if it included students that do not fit this criterion.

Why Join the Spanish Honors Society?

Joining the Spanish Honors Society gives students great opportunities they may not otherwise get. Numerous scholarships are given out each year to high school students that can help them down the line pay for university or college.  

With post-secondary education being so expensive, students with the academic prowess to get into the school of their choice but possibly not the finances, it can be a really tough decision as to what school to attend after high school. 

Being able to apply for the different scholarships that the Spanish Honors Society awards each year means these students might have better opportunities than they would without them.

Students who join the Spanish Honors Society also get unique opportunities to travel with fellow members to help them better understand the world around them. An example is the Bertie Green Junior Travel Award, which is given annually to select students.

Students in their Junior year of high school are allowed to apply, and the winners are given a trip to a Spanish or Portuguese-speaking country.

This award not only gives the students an opportunity to network with other students in the Spanish Honors Society around the country, but they are also able to learn from the culture they immerse themselves in, which broadens their horizons and gives them a unique perspective on life outside of the United States.

For instance, the society plans summer trips that allow eighteen students to travel to Costa Rica for one week. There, students will learn more about the culture and traditions of the Costa Rican people and get a chance to apply and incorporate their Spanish skills. 

This unique opportunity is why Spanish or Portuguese students should consider joining the Spanish Honors Society.

Being a member of the Spanish Honors Society is great to put on a resume or your college application. Not only does it show your involvement in extracurriculars, but it also shows your dedication to academic excellence.

Being a member of the Spanish Honors Society will show colleges that you are a high-achieving student. It will also show your long-term dedication to a course of study. This can be especially important to any student who wants to continue their study of Spanish or Portuguese in their post-secondary education. 

For these students, membership in the Spanish Honors Society will help prospective schools just how dedicated they are to their studies and knowledge of Spanish life and culture.

FAQs: Spanish Honors Society

Here are a few common questions about the Spanish Honors Society.

1. Is The Spanish National Honors Society Worth It?

The Spanish National Honors Society is worth joining as it can give you access to scholarships that you would not have access to otherwise. It also allows students to network with each other, giving them the opportunity to find people with similar goals and interests.

2. What Is The Spanish Honors Society Called?

The Spanish Honors Society, called Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, was coined in 1959.

3. What Qualifies You To Be a Member of The Spanish Honors Society?

To qualify as a member of the Spanish Honors Society, you have to be in the 10th grade, take at least three semesters of Spanish or Portuguese, and have an Honors average.

Final Thoughts

Joining the Spanish Honors Society is a great way to network with other students while gaining access to scholarships that can help you achieve your academic goals. By being a member, you will find people with the same goals as you and have something to put on your college application to help you stand out.

All in all, joining the Spanish Honors Society can be a worthwhile step for any Spanish or Portuguese student who wishes to attend post-secondary education.

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