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

You are watching: Whose who among american high school students

They’ve been nominated to who Who amongst American High institution Students, which “is a very special honor” completed by “only 5 percent of high institution students throughout the country.” Or named to the nationwide Honor Roll, which way “you have actually attained a level of success shared by a very little percentage of all students in the U.S.” Or have end up being an All- American Scholar, “which to represent the elite scholars across our nation.”

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


“This necessary historical registry will serve together a irreversible record the your accomplishments that will certainly last forever,” says the All-American Scholar web site.

In addition, the publishers offer to send news release listing nominees, i beg your pardon are periodically published verbatim in regional newspapers. And they say nominees are eligible for college scholarships.

But unbelievable say the publications room little an ext than appeals to vanity and are fixed the exceptional honors the publishers make them out to be. As well as accepting nominations indigenous high institution teachers and counselors, the publishers likewise pitch come students whose names are obtained from list compiled by marketers, movie critics say.

“They room trying to market books,” said Marybeth Kravets, a university counselor in ~ Deerfield High school in Illinois, who says students and also parents frequently ask her about the sales pitches from student- acknowledgment programs. “I tell parental to think hard about how they room using your children’s future university funds.”


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

“To admissions people, this things space not going come be crucial factor top top a student’s application,” she said.

Jon Reider, the director of college counseling at san Francisco college High School and a previous admissions officer at Stanford University, claimed he advises college student to simply toss out the sales pitches. He believes the publishers thrive on the myth that “you deserve to earn details credentials and join the American meritocracy.”

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

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

Teachers’ Book

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


The high school book was started in 1967 by Paul and also Ann Krouse, a suburban Chicago pair who speak on the company’s net site the they want to counter the an unfavorable image of adolescents in that era by recognizing “high-achieving, goal-oriented students.”

In 2001, the Krouses offered the company, Educational communications Inc., to castle Harlan Inc., a brand-new York City-based personal equity firm that also owns the high college yearbook firm Taylor Publishing and Commemorative brands Inc., an Austin, Texas-based issue specializing in course rings. ECI is now part of Commemorative Brands.

Jefferey Fix, the general manager that ECI, stated he has actually heard the criticisms of student-recognition books for years. Yet he stated his firm takes pride in that products.

“I think educators recognize the program and what we are trying to achieve with it, which is to honor and recognize students and encourage castle to walk on to greater education,” he said.

The firm has awarded an ext than $3 million in scholarships due to the fact that its inception and also now awards about $250,000 per year. The awards have traditionally to be $1,000 every student, however this year ECI will give a couple of $6,000 awards, Mr. Settle said.

Last year, The wall Street newspaper reported the ECI to buy names from the national Research facility for College and also University Admissions, a Lee’s Summit, Mo.-based company that asks teacher to offer students a inspection seeking names, addresses, grade point averages, and also other data. ECI acknowledged to the journal that it had derived student surname from national Research. Mr. Fix decreased to delve further into that matter.


Besides the flagship student book, which costs about $55 if a student’s picture is included, ECI has included other titles end the years, such as a high college athletes’ edition and Who’s Who amongst America’s Teachers. The latter volume, an initial published in 1990, is consisted of largely of teachers nominated by recipients of the student honor.

The teachers’ book likewise puts ECI in somewhat more direct competition v Marquis who Who, the publisher the Who’s who in America, that Was that in America, and also other volumes. Marquis, which is now part of the Anglo-Dutch publishing huge Reed-Elsevier Inc., has additionally published a volume referred to as Who’s who in American Education, which contains not just teachers, but likewise other educators and policymakers.

Who’s who in American education and learning has to be on a hiatus since its 1996-97 edition, yet the agency is publishing a brand-new volume later on this year, stated Fred Marks, the an elderly managing director at Marquis who Who, i m sorry is based in new Providence, N.J.

“There have actually been request to lug it back, and also we desire to be connected in together a publication since of the cultivation importance the teachers and education,” that said.

The agency distances chin from what that considers the vanity publication on the sector by stressing the large acceptance the its who Who publications as library reference volumes. However it acknowledges the there is also a market for marketing its publications to those who make it into them. The new Who’s that in American education volume will market for $235, Mr. Point out said.

No come Joe Blow

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

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

On its net site, nationwide Honor Roll says that anyone pertained to whether “this is a valid program” can speak to its offices with questions. A representative told education and learning Week last week come e-mail questions to the publisher, Lynn Romeo. She no respond.

At All-American Scholar, i beg your pardon is published by a Lexington, Ky.-based firm called the unified States accomplishment Academy, manager Robin Tomlinson said: “We’re fine known roughly the unified States. Yes sir nothing we’re trying come hide.”

She claimed the firm does not buy student names native marketers’ lists and accepts only those who have been nominated through educators or to be on your schools’ respect rolls.

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


The All-American Scholar publications sell because that $59.95 through a photo included, Ms. Tomlinson said, with some of those fees going come cover scholarships. The company says on its internet site that it has actually granted an ext than $740,290 in scholarships due to the fact that its beginning in 1980, or an median of around $32,000 a year.

While the sales pitches because that student-recognition programs with a brand-new cohort that students and their parents every year, some family members are simply saying no.

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David Loutrel, a dad in Anchorage, Alaska, recalls that his daughter, Sarah, got nominations last year for Who’s Who among American High institution Students and National respect Roll.

“We organized on come them about as long as it take it to check out over the letters and then drop castle in the trash can,” the said. “Everyone likes it when their child gets an honor. But when the honor comes through a price tag, it is type of amusing.”