The Ultimate Guide To High School Graduation Cords (EVERYTHING To Know)

Wondering what graduation cords you can get for graduating high school? In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about high school graduation cords – what they are, what colors you can get, how to earn them, and more.

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graduation cords for high school

Ever wondered what those cords are that hang around some high school graduating students’ necks? Or are you wondering how you can qualify for a graduation cord?

If either of these is the case, then you are in the right place. Knowing all the facts about graduation cords will make you better prepared to head down the path to receiving one.

Here’s everything you should know about graduation cords – what they are, what colors you can get, how to earn them, and more.

Graduation Cords Meaning

Before we get into it, let’s go over what graduation cords even are.

Graduation cords are accessories that drape around your neck on top of your graduation gown. They are essentially colored ropes with tassels on the end.

These cords indicate the student’s achievements during their time in high school.

You can get cords for academic success, extracurricular activities, and other achievements.

What Cords Can You Get For High School Graduation?

graduation cords for high school

You can get several different cords for your high school graduation, with different colors representing various achievements.

Typically, high schools hand out graduation cords to students who show hard work and diligence in their studies, extracurricular activities, and service (volunteering).

The meaning of the colors could vary depending on your school.

Latin Cords For High School Graduation

You will receive a Latin graduation cord for your academic achievement if you get the required overall GPA to qualify.

There are three levels to this cord, and they include:

  • Cum Laude – You will need to get at least an overall GPA of 3.5 to qualify to graduate Cum Laude.
  • Magnum Cum Laude – You will need to get at least an overall GPA of 3.75 to qualify to graduate Magnum Cum Laude.
  • Summa Cum Laude – This level is the highest academic achievement that you can get. You will need to get at least an overall GPA of 3.9 to qualify to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Those who have received this honor will typically wear two or more gold graduation cords.

This color typically represents high academic achievement, such as a high GPA or the wearer belonging to one of the National Honor Societies.

Academic Cords For High School Students

High GPAs are not the only way to get an honor cord for high school graduation.

There are several other options you can work towards to receive this honor. You can join one of your school’s honor societies or dedicate yourself to academics. 

You don’t necessarily need to get the grades to receive an academic honor cord. Instead, you could prove your worth through hard work and dedication to the academic sphere.

Some examples of typical academic cord colors include:

  • Purple cords: Many schools like to use purple as their color, but it is also a popular choice for honors societies, such as the Science National Honors Society. 
  • Black cords: High schools often award black graduation cords for bringing awareness to those who have excelled in some leadership role or displayed academic strength. 
  • Silver cords: Some schools use silver cords for community service achievement or as secondary academic achievement.
  • Blue cords: There are several different hues of blue used for honor cords, but overall this color typically represents achievements in community service or leadership studies.
  • White cords: This color typically represents achievement in the humanities and arts fields, but you will also see it awarded to Academically and Intellectually Gifted program members. 

Extracurricular Cords For High Schoolers

There are many extracurricular activities that you can partake in that will reward you with a graduation cord when you graduate.

A few examples of extracurricular activities and their associated cord colors include:

  • Rho Kappa (blue and white)
  • National Eagle Scout Association (red, blue,and white)
  • Japanese National Honor Society (white and red)
  • National English Honor Society (gold and blue)
  • Reserve Officer Training Corps (blue, white, and red)
  • International Thespian Society (red)
  • American Student Government Association (red or red and blue)

All you need to do is find out your school’s requirements regarding cord eligibility and fulfill those requirements. 

How Many Cords Can You Wear For High School Graduation?

graduation cords for high school

The number of cords you wear to your high school graduation will depend on your achievements, with some students wearing several different cords and others wearing only one or two.

There is typically no limit to the number of cords your school will allow you to wear.

How Do You Get Cords For Graduation?

There are several ways to get an honors cord for your high school graduation.

The basis for all graduation cords is hard work and dedication, whether your focus is on your studies, your society of choice, or a group to which you dedicated time. 

Let’s examine some routes you could follow to earn a cord for high school graduation.

Join Extracurricular Activities

One way to get a graduation cord is to join a couple of extracurricular activities. These include clubs and groups both within and outside of your school. 

Several fantastic options are available to you, and choosing one that suits your likes and personality will be beneficial in the long run.

You will want to spend more time doing something you love rather than something you find tedious.

Some options include joining the student council, community service organizations, drama club, or scouts.

Be Part Of National Honor Societies

There are several honors societies you could join to help you on your journey of getting a graduation cord for high school.

Examples include the Spanish National Honors Society, the Science National Honors Society, the French National Honors Society, and the Music Honor Society.

Participate In Volunteer Work

If you are passionate about helping people, volunteering could be the right path for you to get your graduation cord.

Volunteering in some form of service can be rewarding for you and for those who you are helping. 

One thing to remember is if you try to get an honor cord through service, you must ensure that you follow all the requirements for your chosen service path.

In some cases, and depending on the type of service, they might require you to put in a required number of hours to qualify. 

Do You Have To  Buy Your Own Graduation Cords In High School?

Many high schools will hand out Latin cords to those who qualify for them. Some schools require you to purchase your honor cord for graduation.

In these instances, you will find that it is relatively easy to purchase one of these cords from a third-party seller, either in-store or online.

How To Wear Graduation Cords

You will wear your graduation cord over your gown. You should first put on your graduation gown and stole (if you are wearing one).

From there, you can drape your graduation cord around your neck by holding the middle, lifting it over your head, and allowing it to hang around your neck so that each end falls directly down your front.

If your cord is too long, tie a knot in the middle and then tuck this knot away under your gown’s collar.

Once your graduation cord is in the right place, you can use a safety pin to fasten it to your graduation gown.

Frequently Asked Questions About Graduation Cords

The following are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help ensure that you have all the information regarding graduation cords.

Do You Get Cords For AP Classes?

Most schools do not offer graduation cords for excelling in AP (Advanced Placement) classes.

However, some schools will reward students who pass three or more AP exams with a level 3 or higher.

What Is The Difference Between Cords, Stoles, And Sashes?

The main physical difference between cords, stoles, and sashes is the material from which they are made.

Typically, cords are made from colored rope with tassels, whereas stoles and sashes are made from fabric. For graduation purposes, stoles and sashes material is usually satin.

Another significant difference between cords, stoles, and sashes is what they represent.

Stoles and sashes can mean several things, including a club or organization you belong to or your cultural identity.

Typically you would receive a graduation cord in recognition of some form of academic achievement.

Can You Wear Graduation Cords And Stoles At The Same Time?

Yes, you can wear these two items at the same time. Usually, you put on your stole first and then lay your graduation cords over it.

Can You Just Buy Cords For Graduation?

If you qualify to wear a graduation cord to your high school graduation and your school or organization does not provide one, you can purchase one online or in-store.

Several third-party sellers supply graduation cords. Ensure you order the correct color leaving enough time for delivery if you order online.

This post was all about graduation cords for high school.

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