Academic Honors Criteria

Academic Honors criteria along with additional information about grades, graduation requirements, etc. can found in the Student Handbook in the Academic Information section.

Honor Rolls are a means of recognizing student achievement and effort. There are two honor rolls. Students are listed on the Distinguished Honor Roll if their grade point average for the nine weeks is between 3.5 and 4.0. Students will be listed on the Merit Honor Roll if their grade point average is between 3.0 and 3.49. If a student has a D or F grade, he or she will not qualify for an Honor Roll. Honor Roll information is sent to the local newspapers and posted on other school media.

Students who meet any one of the following criteria will be recognized at the Spring Honors Banquet in May:
1. Having been on the 3.5 Honor Roll for at least two of the first three grading periods.
2. Having membership in the National Honor Society
3. Seniors having placed in the top ten of their class.
Invitations to the Honors Banquet will be given to eligible students, but it is the responsibility of the students to inform the guidance office if he/she feels they are qualified to attend.

Any student in grades 11 and 12 in United High School is eligible for consideration for membership in the National Honor Society. All membership selection is handled through the school’s faculty council. National Honor Society is more than just an honor roll. Our NHS chapter established rules for membership based upon a student’s outstanding performance in the areas of scholarship, character, leadership and service. These four criteria for selection form the foundation upon which our organization and its activities are built.
1. Membership in the National Honor Society is based on scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Grade point average alone will not qualify a candidate.
2. The academic records of junior and senior students will be reviewed to determine scholastic eligibility. Eligibility is based on the maintenance of a 3.25 cumulative grade point average. Candidates must have been in attendance at United Local the equivalent of one semester. Some candidates may be ineligible for induction because of the one semester ruling. Many students, including students of military parents, are required to move with parents or guardians who have been transferred in their work. In these situations, the present school principal should seek a recommendation from the previous school principal pursuant to the candidate’s selection. Based on the recommendations of the previous principal, the Council will waive the semester regulation.
3. Scholastically eligible juniors and seniors will be notified and asked to complete a National Honor Society Information Form.
4. Faculty members will be invited to comment on the leadership, character, and service qualities of the candidates.
5. The Faculty Council* will review the Student Activity Information Forms and the faculty comments. Membership will be determined by majority vote of the Faculty Council.
6. Chapter bylaws and a copy of the National Honor Society Information Form are posted in the high school office, and reflect the policies of the National Constitution for the National Honor Society. Copies will be provided upon request.
*The Faculty Council consists of five faculty members appointed by the United High School Principal. The principal and the National Honor Society adviser are ex-officio members of the council.

Students may receive an Academic Letter for completing one or more of the following criteria. Students who accomplish more than one criteria will receive one letter and then continue to receive academic stars to pin on the letter in subsequent years.
1. Participation in a Varsity Academic Challenge with:
   a. Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
   b. Attend 2/3 of scheduled practices
   c. Participate in Varsity County Meet OR 50% of all league meets.
2. Achieve National Merit Semi Finalist Status
3. Earn an ACT score of 30 or more in one or more subjects.       
4. Achieve standards in relation to the criteria to earn a Honors Diploma.

The state of Ohio recognizes seven (7) types of diplomas. This includes (6) types of honors diplomas in addition to the standard/regular high school diploma. Criteria for each type of diploma are set by the state accordingly:

Current graduation requirements are in place for students graduating prior to 2023. Twenty-one (21) units of credit are required for graduation in addition to earning (18) points on state End of Course tests (see “What it Takes to Earn a Diploma,” on page 21). Beginning with the Class of 2023 (in addition to earning the (21) units for required and elective courses), Ohio students will be required to pass the Algebra 1 and English 2 End of Course Exams, and earn (2) Readiness Seals. * See the United Graduation Plan.
                     (see also ODE for clarification on honors diplomas)

(meet all but 1 of the criteria listed)
4 units of English, 4 units of Math (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and another higher level math course) 4 units of Science (must include Chemistry and 1 of the following: Physics, or Anatomy, or Advanced Biology), 4 units of Social Studies, 3 units of the same world language or 2 units of two world languages (United offers Spanish and American Sign Language), 1 unit of Fine Arts, minimum 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, minimum ACT score of 27 or SAT combined verbal and math score of 1280.

3. INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE HONORS DIPLOMA (meet all but 1 of the criteria listed)
In addition to Academic Honors Diploma criteria, the IB honors diploma is awarded for students who have a minimum of 4 units of world language (at least 2 in each language studied). Students must also complete a field experience and a portfolio of work related to the field experience.

(meet all but 1 of the criteria listed)
Similar to the Academic Honors Diploma, except world language requirement is 2 units. Elective credits must include 4 units of Career-tech and a WorkKeys score of 6 in Reading and 6 in applied mathematics can replace the ACT/SAT score requirement. Students must also complete a field experience and a portfolio of work related to the field experience AND earn an industry recognized credential or Career-tech assessment proficiency score.

5. STEM HONORS DIPLOMA (meet all but 1 of the criteria listed)
5 units each of Math & Science, 3 units of Social Studies, 3 units of world language, 1 unit of Fine Arts, 2 units with a STEM focus, a minimum 3.5 GPA, and 27 ACT/1280 SAT. Students must also complete a field experience and a portfolio of work related to the field experience.

6. ARTS HONORS DIPLOMA (meet all but 1 of the criteria listed)
4 units of Math, 3 units of Science, 3 units of Social Studies, 3 units of World Language, 4 units of Fine Arts, 2 elective units with a focus in Fine Arts, a minimum 3.5 GPA, and 27 ACT/1280 SAT. Students must also complete a field experience and a portfolio of work related to the field experience.

4 units of Math, 3 units of Science, 5 units of Social Studies, 3 units of world language, 1 unit of Fine Arts, 3 elective units with a focus in Social Sciences and/or Civics, a minimum 3.5 GPA, and 27 ACT/1280 SAT. Students must also complete a field experience and a portfolio of work related to the field experience.

Beginning with the graduating class of 2024, United High School will transition to a Cum Laude Honor System that aligns with new graduation requirements while encouraging excellence in multiple areas of achievement. This new honor system will replace the current Top Ten honor system, which will remain in effect through the graduating class of 2023. The Cum Laude Honor System provides a means of honoring students within a 3-tiered system: Cum Laude (with Honor), Magna Cum Laude (with Great Honor), and Summa Cum Laude (with the Highest Honor). Criteria begin with a minimum GPA of 3.5, includes an honors diploma requirement (1 of 6 possible) for the Magna and Summa Cum Laude levels of honor, but also includes Honors Points at each level of honor. Honors points are awarded for specific courses completed, Industry Recognized Credentials (IRC’s) earned, Diploma Seals, and ACT score. The chart below indicates the criteria for each level of Cum Laude honors recognition:

Cum Laude Points

* The class Valedictorian will be the student with Summa Cum Laude honors and the highest GPA
Honors points are awarded accordingly:

Advanced Placement and Dual Credit/CCP course 2 honors points each
ACT Score of 30 / SAT score of 1400 or higher 2 honors points
Diploma Seals (for 5 or more earned) 1 point
Pre-Calculus, Statistics 1 point each
Physics, Anatomy, Chemistry 1 point each
Psychology & Sociology OR Citizenship 1 point
Four-year program completion 1 point each
(Spanish, ASL, Visual Art, Agric. Educ. Band, Choir)


Graduating seniors who have completed/passed at least 4 of the following advanced courses will be designated as United Scholars:
Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, AP Honors English, Physics, AP Advanced Biology or 4 years of Foreign Language.

TOP 10 (through Class of 2023)
To be ranked in the Top 10 of the class, a student must have attended three years of an accredited public/private high school AND must have passed the following courses: Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. Chemistry, (3) units of the same Foreign Language or (2) units of two different Foreign Languages, and 1 unit of Fine Arts. A student who may not have been completed one of these courses, but IS receiving an Honors Diploma is also eligible for Top 10 Ranking.

At the high school level, the guidelines seek to recognize students who have achieved through the most challenging courses and through results of college admissions tests. Students must earn a 3.5 GPA and place in the 85th percentile in English, math, or reading on the ACT.