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The letter start showing up at the dwellings of high institution students in early spring.

You are watching: Who is who among american high school students

They’ve been nominated to who’s Who among American High school Students, i m sorry “is a really special honor” accomplished by “only 5 percent the high school students throughout the country.” Or called to the nationwide Honor Roll, which means “you have actually attained a level of success shared by a very little percentage of every students in the U.S.” Or have end up being an All- American Scholar, “which represents the elite scholars throughout our nation.”

Thousands of student send in your biographical sketches, and sometimes their pictures, too, for publishing in the yearly books. And also many proud parents and grandparents eagerly fork end $40 come $60 because that a copy of the tomes.


“This crucial historical registry will certainly serve together a permanent record the your achievements that will certainly last forever,” states the All-American Scholar internet site.

In addition, the publishers market to send news release listing nominees, which are occasionally published verbatim in regional newspapers. And also they say nominees room eligible because that college scholarships.

But skeptics say the publications are little an ext than appeals to vanity and also are hardly the superior honors the publishers do them out to be. Besides accepting nominations native high college teachers and counselors, the publishers additionally pitch to students whose names are obtained from lists compiled through marketers, doubters say.

“They room trying to market books,” stated Marybeth Kravets, a college counselor at Deerfield High college in Illinois, who says students and parents regularly ask her around the sales pitches from student- recognition programs. “I tell parents to think hard around how they are using their children’s future university funds.”


Ms. Kravets notes that the publishers execute offer at the very least some scholarship money, and also that no one is compelled to buy the publications to it is in included. However she advises against including together honors on college-admissions applications.

“To admissions people, this things are not going to be crucial factor ~ above a student’s application,” she said.

Jon Reider, the director of college counseling at san Francisco university High School and a former admissions officer in ~ Stanford University, said he advises student to just toss the end the sales pitches. The believes the publishers thrive on the myth that “you deserve to earn particular credentials and join the American meritocracy.”

Recent discussions ~ above CollegeConfidential.com, an internet listserv because that student and parent questions about college admissions, were also harsher in your assessments of student-recognition programs. “I definitely wouldn’t usage it on one Ivy or other selective institution application, uneven you are trying to intentionally create the impression you are a naive bumpkin,” said one current posting.

Said another: “The couple of people I understand who have these type of who’s Who and Honor Roll publications grow an ext and more embarrassed by the publications over the years.”

Teachers’ Book

Perhaps the best known that the programs is who’s Who among American High institution Students, i m sorry is unrelated to the publisher of the 105-year-old Who’s who in America reference book.


The high school book was began in 1967 through Paul and also Ann Krouse, a suburban Chicago pair who say on the company’s net site the they want to respond to the an adverse image of adolescents in that era by recognizing “high-achieving, ambitious students.”

In 2001, the Krouses sold the company, Educational interactions Inc., to lock Harlan Inc., a new York City-based personal equity for sure that likewise owns the high school yearbook firm Taylor Publishing and Commemorative brands Inc., one Austin, Texas-based issue specializing in course rings. ECI is now part of Commemorative Brands.

Jefferey Fix, the general manager the ECI, claimed he has actually heard the criticisms of student-recognition books for years. But he said his agency takes pride in that products.

“I think educators recognize the program and what we space trying to attain with it, which is come honor and recognize students and also encourage them to go on to greater education,” that said.

The agency has awarded much more than $3 million in scholarships because its inception and now awards about $250,000 per year. The awards have actually traditionally been $1,000 every student, but this year ECI will provide a couple of $6,000 awards, Mr. Resolve said.

Last year, The wall Street journal reported that ECI purchased names native the nationwide Research center for College and University Admissions, a Lee’s Summit, Mo.-based company that asks teachers to provide students a inspection seeking names, addresses, grade suggest averages, and other data. ECI acknowledged to the newspaper that the had derived student surname from national Research. Mr. Fix decreased to delve more into the matter.


Besides the flagship college student book, i beg your pardon costs about $55 if a student’s snapshot is included, ECI has added other titles over the years, such together a high school athletes’ edition and also Who’s Who amongst America’s Teachers. The latter volume, very first published in 1990, is consisted of largely of teachers nominated by recipients of the student honor.

The teachers’ book also puts ECI in somewhat much more direct competition through Marquis who’s Who, the publisher that Who’s that in America, who Was that in America, and also other volumes. Marquis, i m sorry is now part of the Anglo-Dutch publishing large Reed-Elsevier Inc., has additionally published a volume dubbed Who’s who in American Education, which has not simply teachers, but additionally other educators and also policymakers.

Who’s that in American education has been on a hiatus since its 1996-97 edition, yet the agency is posting a new volume later on this year, stated Fred Marks, the senior managing director in ~ Marquis who’s Who, i m sorry is based in brand-new Providence, N.J.

“There have actually been requests to carry it back, and we want to be associated in together a publication due to the fact that of the growing importance the teachers and also education,” that said.

The company distances chin from what it considers the vanity publication on the industry by stressing the vast acceptance that its who Who books as library reference volumes. Yet it acknowledges the there is additionally a sector for marketing its publications to those who make it into them. The new Who’s that in American education and learning volume will market for $235, Mr. Clues said.

No to Joe Blow

Name recognition, or confusion, appears to it is in a subtle part of the plan for some publishers.

The nonprofit nationwide Honor culture warns on its internet site the some colleges have perplexed it with national Honor Roll, a for-profit issue based in Washington.

On its web site, nationwide Honor Roll states that anyone came to whether “this is a valid program” can contact its workplaces with questions. A representative told education Week last week come e-mail concerns to the publisher, Lynn Romeo. She no respond.

At All-American Scholar, i m sorry is released by a Lexington, Ky.-based firm called the joined States success Academy, manager Robin Tomlinson said: “We’re fine known approximately the unified States. There’s nothing we’re trying to hide.”

She said the agency does no buy student names native marketers’ lists and accepts just those who have been nominated by educators or were on your schools’ respect rolls.

“Teachers obtain strict criteria to follow,” she said. “It simply can’t be Joe Blow.”


The All-American Scholar publications sell for $59.95 with a photo included, Ms. Tomlinson said, with several of those fees going to cover scholarships. The agency says on its internet site the it has granted much more than $740,290 in scholarships due to the fact that its inception in 1980, or an median of about $32,000 a year.

While the sales pitches for student-recognition programs with a new cohort that students and their parents each year, some households are just saying no.

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David Loutrel, a father in Anchorage, Alaska, recalls the his daughter, Sarah, got nominations critical year because that Who’s Who among American High institution Students and also National honor Roll.

“We held on come them around as lengthy as it took to check out over the letters and then drop them in the rubbish can,” he said. “Everyone likes it when their kid gets one honor. Yet when the honor comes v a price tag, that is kind of amusing.”