Bottom line: It's not 1996 anymore. NHS applicants are a dime a dozen. Most of the class behind me in highschool was in the NHS and involved in all these "Gee golly gosh shucks darn it I'm smart!" academic programs like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Most of them were social disasters and psychological wrecks by their Junior year. There are a few self-important universities where such things are well regarded but they are on nearly every application to an Ivy League school. I know this to be true because my father interviews applicants for a very prestigious Ivy League school on a regular basis as part of his alumni activities. They want diversity in their student's academic and social backgrounds. Not cookie-cut brainiacs of different ethnicities.