Some months ago, I posted about the National Honor Roll, a stealth marketing scheme disguised as an academic achievement award and scholarship program.
The scheme starts with surveys that our children are asked to complete in the classroom, supposedly for college information. The info then gets shared with the National Honor Roll, the scholarship cover organization, while its partner the Student Marketing Group creates a huge marketing database that they then sell for profit. Read more about it here and here.
If you have any doubt as to the true nature of the National Honor Roll, note this press release below from Nelnet, a publicly-traded student loan finance company:
For Release: 3/29/2005
Contact: Sheila Odom, 402.458.2329
Nelnet announces acquisitions of Student Marketing Group and National Honor Roll
(LINCOLN, NE) – Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE: NNI) announced today it has acquired Student Marketing Group, Inc. and National Honor Roll, L.L.C.
Student Marketing Group is a full service direct marketing agency providing a wide range of products and services to help businesses cost effectively reach the middle school, high school, college bound high school, college, and young adult marketplace. A division of Student Marketing Group, College Bound Selection Service provides marketing services and college bound student lists to college and university admissions offices nationwide. In addition, Student Marketing Group operates AllScholar.com, a free scholarship search Web site.
National Honor Roll recognizes middle and high school students for exceptional academic success by providing publication in the National Honor Roll Commemorative Edition, as well as scholarships, a College Admissions Notification Service, and notice to local newspapers and elected officials.
“Student Marketing Group and National Honor Roll each bring a strong reputation and a wealth of different experiences building marketing relationships with students and schools,” said Stephen Butterfield, Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Nelnet. “These acquisitions will further diversify our revenue stream and provide an opportunity to leverage their intellectual capital and wealth of direct marketing expertise in our future operations.”