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For Parents & Families

NSU's Farquhar Honors College considers the parents, guardians, and families of our current students and alumni as an extended part of the Honors community. A growing number of volunteers, advocates, and donors have emerged from this important group. We are committed to offering parents and families of Honors students helpful resources and opportunities for engagement with the college and university.

Click here to learn more about the value of the Honors College in an essay by NSU President George L. Hanbury II.

The following information is helpful for parents and families of prospective and current Farquhar Honors College students. Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions designed for students.


How do students apply to the Honors College?

Students interested in the Honors College must complete the online application and two essays. Applications are accepted from incoming undergraduate freshmen, transfer students, and current students.

When is the application deadline?

Applications are reviewed on a continuous basis academic year-round, and we recommend students apply as early as possible. Applications open August 1st, and close March 1st for current students and May 15th for incoming undergraduate freshmen and transfer students.

When will my student find out if he/she is accepted?

Five to seven weeks after we receive the Honors College application, decision emails will be emailed to both the student's NSU email address and the personal email address indicated on their application. For inquiries regarding your child's Honors application, please email

What do faculty look for in an application essay?

A successful application essay reflects the following attributes:

  • utilizes as much of the word allowance as needed to convey what makes the student distinctive
  • offers depth and creativity
  • serves as a vehicle to introduce the student to faculty
  • has been carefully proofed for typographical and grammatical errors


How is an Honors course different?

Honors courses are more interactive, discussion-based, and hands-on than other courses, but are not necessarily more challenging. Honors students get direct interaction with faculty and are often asked to present portions of the material themselves. These courses might include a field trip or other hands-on learning experiences not offered in other courses. Honors seminars (which begin with the course prefix HONR) are unique courses offered only as Honors courses. Honors sections of regular courses (which include an “H” at the end of the course number, like CHEM 1500H or BIOL 1500H) generally cover the same content as non-Honors sections of courses, but present the material in different ways.

Are Honors courses more difficult?

Honors courses are typically smaller, more interactive, discussion-based, and more hands-on compared with other courses, but they are not designed to be more difficult. Honors students have direct interaction with faculty and are often invited to lead discussion of the material. Honors courses might include a field trip or other hands-on learning experiences.

What benefits will my student get from being in the Honors College?

The most important benefit to being in the Honors College is that students are a member of a close-knit and engaged community of peers and faculty who celebrate academic excellence. Honors students receive supplemental scholarships, access to unique and distinct lectures, the opportunity to participate in research and travel study, and an array of engaging and interesting co-curricular programs.

Are there award ceremonies for Honors students? Are parents allowed/invited to attend?

Students are honored at the Fall and Spring Honors Banquets, Honor Society inductions, and commencement. Parents and families of Honors students are invited to attend the Honors College Induction Ceremony, Spring Honors Banquet, Honor Society inductions, and all commencement ceremonies.


How can Honors College students meet and interact?

The Honors College hosts an array of co-curricular programs designed to broaden student experiences (trying something new) and meeting Honors students and Honors faculty. Honors students play a big role in defining and shaping these programs (including lectures, visits to local parks for kayaking and horseback riding, seeing a theatrical production or an opera, and social events). The Honors community has two leadership groups for students who are interested. The Honors Student Advisory Board is the governance group that represents fellow Honors students' interests in meetings with Honors College administration. The Honors Advocates serve as the program planning and implementation team serving the Honors community.

Why should my student get involved in undergraduate research?

Research participation provides students with a valuable experience and serves as excellent preparation for graduate school and beyond. Students gain a personal connection with their studies and the process of discovery. Research opportunities for Honors students can be explored in any major, discipline, or area of interest.

Is being in the Honors College equivalent to being accepted into a national honor society? Can my Honors student join a national honor society, too?

Membership in the Honors College is a distinct honor from membership in national honor societies. Many members of the Honors College are eligible and invited to join national honor societies. Honor societies can be an additional valuable resource to build a professional network.

Is there housing specifically for Honors students?

At this time, there is no specific housing for Honors students at NSU.

If my child lives at home, how can he/she get involved in Honors events?

Students can stay informed of Honors College events through periodic newsletters, the Honors College website, through email invitations from the Honors College, and by following the Honors College Instagram. Click here to review the university’s Academic Calendars. Honors College events are not limited to those living on NSU’s campus.


What happens if my student’s GPA falls below the required minimum?

All Honors students must maintain a 3.5 GPA to remain in the Honors College. Reviews are completed following each semester. Students may be given a chance to petition to retain their scholarship and/or remain in the college if their GPA falls below the requirement.

Can being in the Honors College harm my student’s grade point average?

Not likely. Because Honors students are typically bright, mature, and well-motivated—and because the environment in Honors classes is especially conducive to learning—Honors students tend to earn high grades in their Honors classes. Each year, over 70% of Honors students earn a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Do Honors courses award higher weighting on grades?

No, NSU does not use differential weighting for grades in any classes.

When are grades posted?

Grades are normally posted one week after the final day of the semester.

Can my student’s Honors professors send periodic grade reports to me?

No. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), only students have access to their grades.

Why doesn’t the university send grade reports to parents?

Legal provisions prohibit the release of personally identifiable information, including grades, to anyone other than legally authorized persons. By law, students are permitted to inspect, review, and challenge grade information. Students may obtain more information from the Office of the University Registrar.


Do Honors courses cost more than non-Honors courses?

No, there is no additional cost for Honors courses or to be a member of the Honors College.

Does the Honors College offer scholarships for incoming/current students?

The Honors College Scholarship is awarded to students in their first year in the Honors College. The $500 scholarship is renewed for students who maintain a 3.5 cumulative NSU GPA, are active in the Honors College, and maintain good academic standing. Click here to learn more about other available scholarships.

Is the Honors College scholarship different from the Dean’s Scholarship or the President’s Scholarship?  Are there additional scholarships for Honors students?

Scholarships awarded through the Honors College are distinct from the Dean's Scholarship, the President's Scholarship, and other NSU merit-based awards. Criteria for award and renewal may vary. It is possible for Honors students to receive several institutional scholarships (which may be capped at the total cost of tuition). Click here for more information about scholarships offered through the Office of Financial Aid.


What are the requirements for my student to stay in the Honors College and retain the Honors Scholarship?

Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA to remain in the Honors College. Reviews are completed following each semester. Students are invited to petition to retain their scholarship and/or remain in the college if their GPA falls below the requirement.

How can my student maintain good standing in the Honors College?

To retain good standing in the college, Honors students actively work toward one of the Honors citations, take Honors courses, attend co-curricular Honors activities, and maintain a cumulative NSU GPA of 3.5 or higher.


Do Honors students get special recognition on transcripts and/or diplomas?

Students who successfully complete an Honors citation receive a notation of this achievement on their NSU transcript and a medallion at commencement. All Honors courses are noted on the student’s transcript, showing prospective employers or graduate and professional schools the enhanced education the student received.

If my student is enrolled in the Honors College, does that mean he/she will “graduate with Honors”?

Honors students may receive several Honors by the time they graduate. Students may earn both a General Citation in Honors and a Research Citation in Honors (meriting a cherished medallion at commencement). This is also noted on the transcript. Students who participate in the Honors in Major program during senior year will graduate “with honors,” be acknowledged at commencement, and earn a distinct notation on their transcript. At time of graduation, all Honors students in good standing will be presented a distinct pin certifying successful participation in the Honors community. Students who are members of national academic honor societies will wear cords, sashes, and medallions acknowledging their outstanding achievement in their programs of study. Students who earn a 3.8 (or higher) cumulative GPA, and have earned a minimum number of credits at NSU, will be recognized as “Graduating with Distinction.”

How will the Honors College help my student get into graduate/professional school?

The Honors College provides opportunities in and outside the classroom to advance personal and professional goals of all students. The college encourages and supports student involvement in research, mentorship from faculty, academic and professional hands-on experiences, and networking. Participation and achievement in activities like these enhance a student’s application and recommendation letters when applying to graduate/professional school.

Are Honors College Students successful after graduation?

Honors students have shown positive success after they graduate—both regarding entry and strong performance in graduate/professional school as well as successful professional engagement following studies. Honors students take advantage of unique workshops, research experiences, internships, and engagement with faculty that all serve to help students excel after graduation. In addition, Honors courses focus on the key outcomes sought by employers: effective writing and speaking skills, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. Click here to read a number of profiles of successful Honors students on the Honors College website. In the future, we hope to have a story about your Honors student!

What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

FERPA is a Federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records. It applies to any educational agency and institution that receives funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education. 

What is an "education record"?

This refers to any record, with certain exceptions, maintained by the institution that is directly related to a student, including but not limited to handwriting, photo/video/audio tape, or print.

What Parents Need to Know

NSU considers all students as independent, regardless of age; therefore, education records are not shared with parents without prior written consent from the student.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education FERPA website.

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