What are Honor Cords for?


Honor cords are given to high school and college graduating students who have earned academic excellence. This is to give recognition to the hard work and achievements of the students. Graduating students who deserve this honor can wear them throughout the ceremony. You will notice that these honor cords come in pairs that are knotted together in the middle. These are generally 60 inches long and are twisted together to represent the cord. You can find different colors for these honor cords. They can come in two color combinations up to three different colors that are twisted together. It is necessary that you know the essence of these cords to every graduation. This article will help you understand what these cords are for.

The highest honors given to a graduate is “summa cum laude” which means “with highest praise”. The main requirement to qualify for this honor is to achieve an average of 3.9 out of the possible 4.0 grade point. Another academic achievement is the “magna cum laude” which means “with high praise”. The grade point requirement for this excellence award is 3.75 to 3.89. The “cum laude” honor is achieved by students with a 3.5 to 3.74 grade point average. These different levels of academic excellence are represented with specific colors. The colors can be determined by the university which means it can vary from one university to another. Each of these designations are honored with the honor cords.

Another main purpose of honor cords is to honor graduating students who have demonstrated outstanding excellence in their chosen field of study. Each field of study like the arts or sciences can be distinguished by certain colors and in some universities a combination of colors. This type of distinction can be awarded to a student who has consistently excelled throughout the whole course like an honor cord for excellence in sciences.

Members of school organizations are also given the distinction to wear cords on graduation day. These organizations may be in the form of the Student Council, vocational societies, fraternities and sororities acknowledged by the school. These organizations have their own colors to signify their identity. The color of the cords will easily distinguish the members during the ceremony. For students who are members of various organizations can wear more then one set of cords.

The specific school of study can be represented with specific colors. These colors can be seen in the tassels and in the honor cords. The tassels are attached to the cap which hang from either side of the cap. The position of the tassel depends on the requirement of the school.  With the many colors designated for each purpose, it could be confusing to identify them. This is why the school usually provides a list of this colors and what they represent to the attendees. This will help the attendees recognize the different meanings of the various colors.

The honor cords are basic essentials of the graduation apparel. This is why it is also important that you know what they are meant for. Make your graduation day special and put on your best gown and cap and march down with pride along with your honor cords.

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