The National Honor Roll Scam

UPDATE: Since this article was posted,new information about the NHR has come to light. To read this information, click here.
These happy students are smiling because they have been inducted into the National Honor Roll. The National Honor Roll is NOT the same as the National Honor Society, a legitimate organization that recognizes academic excellence.

The National Honor Roll is a marketing scam.

THE SCAM

Today, we received a letter from the National Honor Roll, offering my oldest daughter the opportunity to be inducted into the Roll. My daughter’s school’s name was featured prominently on the letter, lending it an air of legitimacy, and at first making us think the letter had come from her school.

Of course, in order to be inducted into the National Honor Roll, my daughter must complete a detailed survey about her interests. If we want, we can buy the book that will list her name and bio. We can give the Honor Roll addresses of her grandparents who may want to buy the book. We can add a picture to your profile, but that will cost extra.

“Please”, I hear you thinking. “Don’t tell me you fell for that!”

Of course, I didn’t fall for it. As Jean Hagan said in Singing in the Rain: “Wadda’ think I am? Dumb or somethin’?”

But that’s not the real scam, you see. It’s just the tip of the iceburg. Because the National Honor Roll is a front for a nationwide mailing list of young high school students. A mailing list that the Honor Roll and its partner organizations then sell for profit to whoever will buy.

Each year, thousands of unsuspecting high school students are offered induction into the National Honor Roll. What is the qualification for this prestigious award for academic excellence? Not too stringent – a B average or above.

Here’s a link to the privacy policy of the National Honor Roll, and here’s what it says: From time to time, National Honor Roll may combine the information we receive online with outside records to enhance our ability to offer you products or services that may be of interest to you.

THE SCAM BEGINS IN YOUR CHILD’S CLASSROOM

How does the National Honor Roll find out your child’s name, address and personal information? Your child’s school provides it. That’s right. The school provides it, along with data mined from your child as part of in-class surveys handed out and collected by your child’s teacher. In my daughter’s case, she now remembers being asked to complete a survey in her Math class earlier this year. She was told it was for college.

I can’t entirely blame my daughter’s teacher (Well, I do blame him a bit). Most likely he thought that the survey results were being used to offer his students scholarships and college information. The surveys are sent to teachers from a “non-profit” organization called the Educational Reseach Center of America. ERCA is associated with something called the Student Marketing Group.

SMG is a direct marketing company that targets the youth market. ERCA does the dirty work for SMG, sneaking into our schools to mine our children’s personal data, all in the name of harmless surveys. To keep up their front, ERCA does publish the results of these surveys on their web site, and claims to send them to colleges, who probably file them in the wastebasket.

Here’s a link to ERCA’s privacy policy, and here’s some of what it says: Personally identifiable information also will be made available to certain other entities nationwide that wish to contact high school students or to help others do so. .. these include businesses that market interesting products and services to students and student achievement recognition organizations.

THE LEGAL RESPONSE

Elliot Spitzer filed for judgement against ERCA and SMG in 2003 for fraudulent and deceptive business practices. The Federal Trade Commission issued a judgement and a consumer alert against ERCA in 2003.Depite these rulings, it looks to me as if the ERCA and National Honor Roll are still up to their dirty tricks in 2006.

IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE FOR US

Even though I didn’t get caught in the National Honor Roll scam, it doesn’t matter. My daughter’s personal information is already on ERCA’s database, collected by her math teacher, and now being sent out who knows where. I have no idea if my daughter signed something on that survey that permitted her information to be used, and neither does she.

What upsets me is that we parents trust our children’s teachers and schools to protect them. And they are failing in that duty. I know it is not just my daughter’s school that has failed in this regard. These companies are thriving because they have found inroads into our schools nationwide, using the educational system as a marketing goldmine.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Feel free to link or email this post, or to pass this information on to anyone you know who has a child in school. And not just if they are in high school. The ERCA has collected personal information from children as young as 10 years old.

Tell your PTA and your school principal. Tell your child’s teachers. Work with your child’s school to develop policies that protect your child’s and your family’s privacy. Help develop curricula that teach kids (and their teachers) how to know when their privacy is being threatened or their personal information mined for profit. And simply, tell your kids not to fill out any surveys at school without them being sent home first.

Stop your child’s school from unwittingly mining your children’s personal information for profit-making entities.

UPDATE: Click here for new information about the National Honor Roll.

______________________________

I just realized that this the second time this week that someone has tried to involve me in a scheme that invades personal privacy. (See April 3 post) Okay, who wants to be third?

Category: Considerations

109 Responses to The National Honor Roll Scam

  1. I wasn’t sure if the National Honor Roll was real or not but I know now it isn’t, I filled out the application form about four months ago and I finally got a response back, but I sent no money to them. I’m extremely angry and flustered right now about this fraudulous scam. I’d really like to do something about it, but I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve been used and I’m a high academic achiever. The true honor society is the “National Honor Society” not this piece of junk. Isn’t there any way to capture those idiots that start these scams?

  2. Anonymous:

    Boy, so I hear you. We felt the same way.

    You and your fellow students can get together and let you school know how you feel about your information being given out without your understanding of how it really was to be used. (I expect you gave your permission somehow on the curvey, these guys are pretty saavy.)

    Ask your parents to write a letter to the principal and the PTA (That’s what I did.)

    I’m not sure there is ore we can do. They have a “privacy statement” that probably makes this all legal.

    You’ve learned an important lesson at a very young age – don’t give out information unless you know how it’s being used.

    Now get out there and make us proud!

  3. My counselor is a complete idiot. I showed him that letter when I first got it and he said it was legit. He didn’t even check it for me or anything, so I ended up doing it myself and went straight to the main “site” of it. Some people are complete imbeciles these days. And I still do wonder how those “people” get our personal information anyway. It was obvious in the second letter that it is a scam, but you don’t know until then. Those people actually put in the “P.S” of “Purchase our memorabilia”. What the heck is that b/s? What kind of academic distinction is that? When I was inducted into the National Honor Society at my school last year we didn’t have to pay for anything and each of us got information and letters of recommendations that we needed. This is extremely frustrating. I have to warn my friends now, one of them is even runner up for valedictorian of my graduating class. I wish I could take legal action.

  4. Greetings all:

    Here is a comment I posted to College Confidential 1 Nov 2004:

    Let me share with you what I know about the National Honor Roll. It is a scam organization. They are targeting high school students all across the nation. Last year my daughter received notification. Don’t be fooled. Their letterhead is fancy, and they even claim to be located at a prestigious Pennsylvania Avenue address in Washington, DC. The address they use is 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, that is the address for Mail Boxes Etc. If you have any doubts, go to the Mail Boxes, Etc. web site at http://www.mbe.com/ and click on the icon “locate a store globally.” The icon is in the upper right hand corner of their web page. I contacted the Mail Boxes, Etc. store in Washington, DC. Here is the full address and telephone number: 2020 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20006-1811 – USA, phone (202) 457-8166. I know for a fact that they rent out a mailbox to National Honor Roll. I have the advantage of working in Washington, DC, so it is easy for me to follow up on a false Washington, DC address. The Mail Boxes, Etc. store is located about 3 blocks from the Farragut West metro stop. This is one of the metro stops that is close to the White House. National Honor Roll claims to be in Suite 8000. There isn’t a Suite number at 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue. The number 8000 stands for the mailbox number for National Honor Roll. A courier picks up mail from this mailbox. It could be a different courier every day. The manager of UPS confirmed this information.(Even though you can find 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue through the MailBox, Etc. web site, the establishment at 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue is actually called the UPS store. I took a picture of this establishment for my records. It is a tiny little business. If anyone would like to take a tour to see the National Honor Roll mailbox, please send me an e-mail at lkirkla@yahoo.com I’ll take groups of up to 20. It is a very nice walk. It is on the George Washington University campus.)

    The phone number for “National Honor Roll” is (202)737-0715. It re-routes callers to a New York
    telephone number. The address in New York is 300
    Merrick Road, Suite 206, Lynbrook, NY 11563. The phone number is 516-593-0555. This is the same address for Student Marketing Group. The state of New York filed a petition against Student Marketing Group on July 8, 2002. Please see the .pdf file at
    http://www.epic.org/privacy/student/smgpetition.pdf

    Student Marketing Group collects information on students and sells lists. Unsuspecting teachers pass out surveys to students. The students do not know their personal information is being fed back to National Honor Roll and Student Marketing Group. You see, the teachers are also being sucked into this scam.

    The bottom line is that National Honor Roll is a vanity press. A vanity press means anyone can publish anything for a fee. Colleges throw away stuff sent to them from the National Honor Roll because it is considered unsolicited junk. They claim your name and profile can be published free in the book, but why would you want them to do this? You do not want to have your personal information on the streets. Call them right away and have your name taken off their list. And while you are at it, ask them why they are scamming the American people.

    I encourage all to file a mail fraud complaint against the National Honor Roll. Postal Inspectors base mail fraud investigations on the number, substance and pattern of complaints received from the public. Here is the URL to the Postal Inspector’s web page https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/welcome.htm In the lower left-hand portion of the screen is the link to ‘File a Mail Fraud Complaint’

    So, how do they get students’ personal information? Well, they share the same office and survey information with Student Marketing Group in Lynbrook, New York. But, there is a third element involved in this scheme. Student Marketing Group gets their information from Educational Research Center of America, Inc., otherwise known as ERCA. ERCA is the organization that sends the surveys to teachers all across America. Teachers pass these surveys out to their students. Of course, students think these are “safe” surveys because the teachers are passing them out. Teachers collect the surveys and place them in postage-paid envelopes. They mail them back to 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 7799, Washington, DC 20006. Hmmmmmmmmmmm! Does this address sound familiar? Yes! It is the same address as National Honor Roll at Mail Boxes, Etc. on the George Washington University campus. In this case, the 7799 is not a room. It is ERCA’s mailbox number. ERCA claims their phone number is (202) 393-7799. The (202) is a Washington, DC area code. E-mail address is info@studentresearch.org I haven’t tried the phone number or the e-mail, but I can guess that the phone number re-routes callers to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Please see the Federal Trade Commission report involving Student Marketing Group and Educational Research Center of America at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2003/01/ercaconsent.htm
    Happy reading! By the way, National Honor Roll claims they give away scholarships. Does anyone know if these scholarships exist? (I recently saw happy little scholarship winners on their web site. Of course, to continue this scam, they have to somehow look as if they are a legitimate business.) Who receives these scholarships? Does Lynn Romeo, the publisher of National Honor Roll, give these scholarships to her nieces? nephews? herself? Please advise.

    The people in Lynbrook, New York will tell you that their Headquarters is in Washington, DC. If you ask them anything about the “Headquarters” they will tell you, “well, it is really our processing center.” I have talked with Jane, Wendy and Linda in the Lynbrook, NY office. They are all very evasive about the organization. They won’t tell you anything about the courier who they hire to pick up the mail. When they get tired of you asking legitimate quesitons, they will transfer you to the voice mail of Lynn Romeo. Of course, Lynn Romeo doesn’t return your calls.

    Let’s stop these people.

    Every educator, librarian, parent, congressman,
    journalist and anybody else who cares about the safety of our nation’s children should be concerned. Please forward this information to everyone you know.

    Want to learn more? Please visit the Better Business Bureau web site at http://www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?compid=W8000570&national=Y to see the Better Business Bureau Report.

    (Also, I recently noticed that National Honor Roll is posting scanned copies of thank you letters from senators and governors. I suggest we start a letter writing campaign. I have already written to all of them. I suggest you do the same.)

    -Kirk

  5. In addition, I even got the Washington, DC government involved. A DC employee told me that National Honor Roll is not registered or licensed to do business in Washington, DC. Therefore, I doubt that they are paying DC taxes. No need to take legal action. Just notify the DC government of your concerns. They will do the legal work for you. Please send me an e-mail. I will give you a point of contact.

  6. Dammmmmmmm I wish i knew this years back , this is how my stepchild keeps getting junk , credit cards offers & regular spam junk.

  7. Anonymous
    #1 – Ditto.

    #2 I have no idea if the scholarships are real, I suspsct that they are real. With all the profit this company must, I’m sure there’s a little extra cash around to keep the cover going. Think of it as their cost for doing real business, wchich is selling your personal data…

    #3 I don’t think there is anything you can do except weed throught he junk mail and spam emails as they arrive.

  8. i just got a letter and i have no clue what to do! my parents are so proud and i hate to burst their bubble and tell them this whole National Honor Roll thing is fake!
    does the president know??? i remember doing a survey at school…HElP are all this rumors real??

  9. Dear Anonymous –
    Tell you parents. If I were your Mom, I would be very proud of you for finding this out on your own, and learning an important lesson early on.

    (Remember, this is not the same thing as the National Honor Society – that is legitimate. If you got into that, then you should be very proud!)

    Good luck!

    (And try not to worry too much – the worst thing that can happen to you from this scam is extra junk mail and some phone calls during dinner time from telemarketers. Keep it in perspective, tell your parents and everything will be just fine. And tell your school, so they know not to hand out outside surveys in class.)

    Oh yeah, one more thing –

    Stay in school and don’t do drugs.

    TBTAM

  10. Where is the legitimate evidence?are you willing to take this problem to court? If I was you I would not because th simple fact remains: that there is really just not ENOUGH evidence to even try to bring up the issue. So you can keep complaining, but you will get nowehere. One more thing, Who started this? Let me guess an angry stuck up kid who did NOT get into the program? I would be pleaesed to find out when th ekid stops throwing tantrums everytime he/she does not get what she wants.That will happen alot!!!!!!!!!!

    Sincerely ,
    Ashley a member of the NHR

  11. Ashley:

    None of this is to disparage your enrollment in the program. You have every right to join the National Honor Roll, and to be proud of your academic accomplishments (I don’t know your grades, but I assume you have a B average or above, since that is the requirment for invitation to join).

    AS for evidence, I believe the facts of the organization as oresented here are evidence enough.

    As for legal action, I would encourage you to read the complaint filed against the NHR and the findings of the NY state attorney generals office about this oprganization. They have indeed been cited for fraudulent business practices.

    If you still are angry, I would recommend that you talk to the school or your parents about this, and see what they think. All I know is how I felt about what happened to my daughter. And I was not happy.

  12. i hear you all i got a letter two days ago and i dont even know if it is real but my mom is so excited i dont want to say nothing but i got this letter and i dont know if i fill this form or not but it does sounds like bs to me.

  13. All I can say is WTF. I have been on my son hard to bring his grades up. I received the letter two weeks ago and the profile application today. I was concerned because I say my son’s progress report just a week prior and could not believe my eyes. So, I started looking for answers and found this site, thank you. Of course, my son has A’s and B’s and I thought that this Honor Roll was icing on the cake. I am still proud of my son, but having to explain to him that this is a scam is a real blow to his self-esteem.

  14. I just got the letter today, my cousin (whom I live with) didn’t think it was real either. Just to be sure I am going to bring this letter to my Leuittenat Commander. This really sux to find out like this, I was so excited and I’ve been working so hard. This really makes me mad.

  15. Thanks for this website. I had a bad feeling about this when I read the fine print. You know the part about ” the data you provide to NHR will be used to communicate with you regarding education-related products and services…It can also be provided to commercial entities wishing to notify high school students about products and services of particular interest to them”. I did go to my children’s schools this year to sign a privacy form to restrict them from giving out my child’s info. Can you believe that they gave me a hard time and tried to brush me off!! I demanded it. Their response was “you do know this means your daughter’s name will not be on the school’s honor roll(which is published in the newletter) if you sign this and no colleges will receive her info either”. Big deal. Protecting my child’s info is more important!!
    With all that said my high schooler did receive a letter from NHR. I think it came from a form she filled out about college last year in one of her classes. She didn’t know. Some people are just rotten to do this to children.The love of money can be the root of
    alot of evil.
    Thanks

  16. heh i got the same thing yesterday. at first i didnt know what to make of it. then i started thinking i would have been notified in school. that is what made me start thinking it was all a big scam.

  17. I got the letter too…
    why not just send the form back w/o any money…
    what’s the harm in getting published in the newspaper

    post back if u find this is a good idea

  18. THIS IS HORRIBLE!!! I am a very high academic achiever and i just recieved this letter in the mail yesterday. I can’t believe what I just read. I was so proud of myself and my parents were too. I do remember filling out a survey in my history class. As i said above, I am a very high achiever in school, and to think that i was about to get a national award for it. It really does hurt.

  19. So is anyone not going to send money and just fill out the form online….so u could be published…do u think we would be published…
    i was so excited
    i wanted to have my picture in the newspaper but NOOOOOO!
    I hate this..
    How much time does Kirk have on his hands
    I spent a lot of time filling out that form
    I Hate this
    CAN SOMEONE ANSWER MY RESPONSES

  20. Anonymous:
    As long as you don’t mind sharing your personal information, go ahead and fill in the form and get yourself in the paper. There is apparently no charge for you to be in the commemorative edition, and then a link to this is sent to your local newspaper, who can use the info if they want to do an article about you.

    You can also opt out of the sharing of your information by sending an email to privacy@nationalhonoroll.org.

    Don’t let this give you any bad feelings about yourself. ou got the letter because you ahve a b average, that’s no small accomplishment. And 25 kids will get $1000 each towards college, and that ain’t bad either.

    Just understand that the primary goal of this organization is not to recognize academic excellence, but to make money. Just like the Publishers clearinghouse that has a sweepstakes. The problem is have with this marketing scheme is that it preys on kids and parents by making them feel good about themselves, and they use that feeling to get your personal infromation and sell you products. And that just isn’t right.

    I seriously doubt that college admissions officers pay any attention to this in considering your college application.

  21. hey guys!
    i too got the national honor roll and i too wanted to be in the newspapers…
    unfortunately, i already sent the money…not to buy the book but for the picture…
    so yea…what can i do…
    i wish i can cancel the check…
    why dint i find this site b4

  22. Yeah ok I just got a letter from the NHR today…. it’s sooooo good I know I’m totally retarded lol.

    Yeah sure when my dad told me this in my car while driving home from school, I was thinking “oh my gosh! no way!!!” But then almost instantly I was all like “wtf?? my gpa average is a b+, how the heck am I supposed to be one of the smartest people in america?”

    And I have friends waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay smarter than me, so I asked them if they got one too and they didn’t soooo tht’s when I was just like ok now this is totally bogus.

    So yeah now here I am sitting here finding out the truth. Not bummed though at all, just think it’s kind of funny everyone thought I was smart enough to get in NHR wen I told them about it lol.

  23. Anonymous –

    You sound kind of down on yourself. I don’t get it. A B+ average is nothing to sneeze at – be proud of what you have accomplished! Don’t let the fact that the National Honor Society is not what it appears affect how you feel about yourself. Remember it’s not about awards and rank in class – it’s about figuring out who you are, doing your best work and ultimately finding out what you love to do in life. In the end, success is determined by finding the joy in doing what you love, and doing that to the best of your ability. Not in comparing yourself to others or being smarter than someone else.

  24. I got a letter sometime in the past week. My mom does all the filing and clerical stuff on sunday nights. She told me to save one of the NHR letters and to fill out info for annother. I frequent annother site, collegeconfidential.com, so I knew instatnly that it was bogus. The fact that it charges you money should be an instant red flag. I googled NHR and this was the first page to pop up, so I showed it to my parents and they were like “wow, now we dont have to spend money on a stamp”. There should be a comprehensive list off all the scams like NHR and Whos Who and it should be mailed by schools to each student to prevent people from throwing away money.

  25. Hello all:

    I live in the Washington, DC area. I know the city very well. Come on over and take a tour of the tiny little mailbox store. Or, better yet, just give the mailbox store a call. Again, here is the phone number (202) 457-8166. Actually, it is called the UPS store. It is affiliated with Mailboxes, Etc., but the Mailboxes, Etc. name isn’t used for business purposes. Here is a pic of the store: http://www.gwhatchet.com/directory/index.cfm?event=viewRecord&record_id=3073 The Hatchet got the address wrong. It is 2020 Pennsylvania, not 2000. The Shops at Pennsylvania Avenue uses the 2000 address. The Shops is a small mall on the George Washington University campus. At the very back of the Shops is the UPS store. To all the skeptics, go ahead and throw your money away. Nobody is stopping you. However, you would be wiser to invest your money in stocks.
    -Kirk

  26. To file a complaint against the National Honor Roll, notify the Washington, DC government. Send your written complaint with supporting documents to the following address:

    Government of the District of Columbia
    Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
    Office of Investigations
    941 North Capitol Street, N.E.
    Suite 9400
    Washington, DC 20002

    Please be advised, National Honor Roll is not licensed or registered to do business in the District of Columbia.

    Be proactive. It’s time to shut them down.

    -Kirk

  27. Dude, I too recieved this letter in the mail today! Only to be dissapointed especially my mom! I knew this was a scam from the beginning, mostly because my friends are super smart and none of them recieved this…then at that point I started getting fishy! Also, what kind of legimate Honor Roll makes you send money for your high achievement? Im glad I didn’t send it in and glad this blog was here to inform me before I actually sent it out!

  28. This is very unfortunate and I am very sad that this is the case with NHR. However, I must say that my son was having a lot of difficulties in school, making D’s and F’s and getting into trouble. I prayed for a solution to whatever was bothering him and put him in a private christian school. It took a year for him to get adjusted but for the first time since entering middle school (he is now a 9th grader), he is on the A honor roll, and is in honors classes. He is taking classes I didn’t even take until I was a senior in high school. He also now plays sports and is involved with other student associations in the school. I am praising God every chance I get for this complete turnaround in my child. He is truly a new person and so motivated and proud of himself. Needless to say when we got this letter from NHR, this was just icing on the cake. He read this letter to family and friends who were so proud of him. To tell him this is a scam would really be upsetting to him. I know it’s possible that in the future a friend or family member could be offered the same and find out it’s bogus and tell my son, but I don’t care. I would pay a bogus company $5000 to give my child the boost to his self-esteem that this has given him. If they really do publish a book, and my child sees himself in it, then that’s all I’m concerned about. I am concerned about my child’s privacy, but I can endure some annoying calls for what this has done for his feeling about himself. Who knows, you never know who’s hands the publication will get into that will really take note and offer an opportunity of a lifetime to these children. After all, just because the company may be doing this for money, doesn’t make these children any less the high achievers that have strived to be. Money should mean nothing to us when it comes to the lives of our children and what makes them happy. NOW I am not for lies and deception, but from what I am hearing the company does to what they say they will do, you just have to pay for it and they will make money by selling your name to other educational companies. Okay, not good but don’t most companies make money using deceptive practices, especially nowadays. I guarantee we are spending money on somebody’s products or services who even more wicked, and we have absolutely no idea we are doing so. I know a lot of people will not agree with me, but I really love my son and I’m proud, bogus company or not, and once his name is in the book and he sees it, I will deal with each company individually that calls my house. Bottom line…All things work for good for those who love the Lord. So I know he will ultimately be Blessed not matter what this company does with the money. Thanks for “listening.”

  29. Check out the “Scholarship Recipients” page on their website: http://nationalhonorroll.org/index.cfm?page=item&itemid=75

    I don’t mean to ridicule the students who supposedly recieved these scholarships, but this page will give you a clue as to the caliber of this organization.

    According to the website, “This Scholarship’s objective was to encourage National Honor Roll inductees to contemplate the reasons they are proud to live in America. Ten students were chosen to receive this award. The students chosen were those with the most compelling, well-thought-out and expressed ideas.

    Here’s an example of one of the winners, cut and pasted:
    “I am proud to live in America because we are free and able to do whatever we choose to do, we have many choices: food we eat, clothes we wear and what religion we practice. Many countries in the world don’t have these choices. I am proud of this country for the way we deal with Democratic issues, such as the way our President is elected. Also, our Military is a Volunteer Program. Another reason I am proud to live in America is the fact that I can have a good education. I am proud to be an America.”

    Apparently, the judges were not honor students.

    –Ben

  30. Thanks for sharing, Ben. The grammar misuse on that page is absolutely appalling. I am guessing Lyn Romeo randomly selected the winners. Hiring judges to scrutinize the essays would take away from NHR’s profit margin.
    -Kirk

  31. Well, i’m a senior in high school and my mother unfortunately fell for this scam. last year she sent them about 60 dollars. The thing is, that I told her it was B.S. but she was so PROUD of the “honor” that she sent in the money despite my warning. IN FACT!!! In the mail I JUST received a letter from them. “Upon review and acceptance, [your daughter] will join our roster of America’s leading students. Only a very small percentage of all high school students will be published.” Gee, i wonder why? UH, could it be…. because it’s A SCAM!!!!?!?! Well, at least my mom won’t fall for it this time.
    She was just about to.
    Wait until i show her this blog! (and translate it to her LoL)

  32. omg, i can’t believe i just saw this site…i applied for an ERCA scholarship, which Kirk mentioned was a part of the whole scam? They first notified me that I was a semi-finalist and asked for my social security number along with the rest of my supplementary materials and I was an idiot and gave it to them. I was later notified that I received the scholarship, but is my personal information (SSN) going to be compromised now because I gave it to them? I’m really mad…I was suspicious that they asked me for my SSN, but I didn’t think much of it at the time?

  33. Linda:

    Take the money! They probably need your ssn to report it to the IRS as income. As for the rest of your information, they already have it, so you might as well be paid for it, right?

    AS I’ve pointed out, this group indeed gives out some scholarships, and you were one of the liucky ones. Thet have to have a legitimate front business in order to be legal, and the scholarships are it. I would say, however, that a measly $25,000 (25 – $1000 scholarships) is nothing in terms of a cost to them for the information they are getting and selling for millions I am sure…

    The problem I have with this group is that their main business, which is selling mailing lists and personal infromation, is not upfront, but only clear when you mine their site for privacy disclaimers. They play it as if their main business was giving out scholarhips and recognition. And they play with kids and parents self esteem and pride to do it.

    They are slime.

  34. I fell for the scam as you guys put it, as for the father that couldn’t tell his son the truth you do get a book with the picture and everything in it. The book is huge I spent two hours reading through my state to see people from my school or other schools that I might know. The book isn’t really worth the money.

  35. so i just got one today. i thought that i was so smart but now its all a scram. this suck. but at least i found out this site before i do any thing stupid.

  36. I knew this whole NHR was total bs. I got this letter and Im like, “sure, looks nice, something is up though.” Sure enough, I read the first line about academic excellence, and right away I know this is 100% bs to the next friggin dimension. My grades arent even nice to look at, hah. Thats the good stuff about knowing that there isnt a such thing as a free ride.

  37. i probably going to consult my counsilor for this. But im doubting it’s for real and my parents are so innocent about. they didnt even make any effort to research about this whole thing. Good thing i got bored and researched about. thank you guys

    anel

  38. I got the letter two days ago, and i was shocked. I mean I don’t have extremely high grades, and I’d expect a ‘National honor Roll’ program to have higher standards. so I thought it was some big mistake or something, so i did some research. And i came to this website and a whole bunch of others making me think it was a scam. so, what should I do, ignore it? Not reply them or something? I’m so confused…

  39. ANONYMOUS:
    I would talk to your parents or your school counselor about what you should do.

    Remeber, the scam here is not that you don’t deserve recognition for your hard work, but that the recognition comes at a price – the loss of your privacy and a lifetime of junk mail.

    Some folks like the mail, and enjoy sifting through it all looking for cool stuff – if that’s you by all means send in your info and try for one of those $1000 scholarships. Just know it’s sort of the same thing as trying for a free ipod on the internet. For sure you will get a lot of spam mail, but there’s always the chance you could be the one who also gets the ipod.

    Take care.

  40. Meh. I was filling out college applications and was going to list the National Honor Roll as an honor/award that I received, but I misplaced the papers they sent me. I tried to google a directory to double check the dates, and I found this blog.

    I even took the profile survey and all those papers to my counselor went I got it and he just congratulated me and ((humbly)) took credit for it, since he nominated me and some others in my school.

    What a cheap trick. I’m glad I didn’t buy any of their junk.

  41. yea i got the letter. its kind of stupid because i havent done much for my hough school or my community and i got this which really confused me. I did the survey in my english class and i guess now its a fake.
    well thanks.

  42. I also got a letter in the mail this year and I was pretty excited and then my mother told me it was a scam. I wanted to send the letter back after I had filled it out then I did some research and found it is not to legit and now I’m glad I did not and I hope that someone puts a stop to this. I never did a survey as far as I can recall but who really knows.

  43. I was wondering if there has been any legal action against National Honor Roll. Are all programs like NHR fake? I was nominated by my teacher for the United States Achievement Academy (USAA) and I also recieved mail from that Who’s Who thing. Do any of you know if these programs are frauds as well? And what do they do with student information?

  44. OH MY GOD!
    I FEEL FOR IT!!!
    :'(
    I WAS SOOO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR THIS…
    I HATE THIS…
    I BOUGHT THE BOOK TOO…
    -___-
    i am going to contact the police or something if i dont get my book!

  45. Anonymous – THe only legal action I know was what Eliot Spitzer has done in the past. Disclaimers and privacy notices are there, and I suspect they were on the survey your filled out in school. No one ever reads those things, though, especially if the survey is given out at school. Students are reluctant to refuse to do something their teacher gives them to fill out. It’s an abuse of power, if you ask me..

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