Founded in 1967 by Paul and Ann Krouse, "Who's Who Among High School Students" created a national registry for high school students based on merit and academic achievement in the form of a commemorative book featuring student portraits and biographies. The Krouses wanted to praise high school students who were achieving academically and reaching their goals to contrast with the negative image of teenagers as troublemakers.
In 2001, the Krouses sold their company, Educational Communications, to Castle Harlan, a company based in New York that also specializes in selling high school yearbooks and class rings. In 2007, the company ceased its operations due to increased public scrutiny and decreased sales. In one year, the sales of the high school books decreased from $1.1 million to $300,000.
"Who's Who Among High School Students" is not affiliated with the older "Who's Who Among University and College Students." The books cost between $50 and $60 to purchase, depending on whether students elect to include a picture with their biography. While the company does offer scholarships totaling up to $3 million since its inception, amounting to about $250,000 per year, college admissions officers and administrators discourage students from including the recognition in any applications or resumes as it is not considered a legitimate honor program.