Have you ever wondered what high school graduation cords mean? If you have, you’ll find your answer right here in this article.
Graduation cords have different meanings as they’re awarded for a variety of academic achievements like excellence, hard work, leadership skills, community service, and contribution to extracurricular activities. Therefore, these rope-like structures created out of entwined thick strings, with tassels attached to both ends come in many colors classified by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). Each color has its meaning connected to the student’s triumphs and honors, and the academic institution’s traditions. So, if want to receive an honorable graduation cord that represents excellence you better work hard and takes high school seriously.
High school students proudly wear their graduation cords on their graduation day because they reflect the student’s accomplishments. High school graduation cords are much more than a rope-like accessory, they symbolize students’ academic success and a sense of pride. We’ve done our homework cords-wise to help you understand the high school graduation cords, stoles, and colors meaning, as well as the high school graduation cords requirements, so you’ll be able to wear them on your special day fully aware of their unique meaning and importance. Let’s start from the beginning! Here’s the answer to the first question:
What Do High School Graduation Cords Mean?
High school graduation cords mean that you have excelled in high school or you have contributed to extracurricular activities. That’s why high school cords are worn by grad students at graduation ceremonies as proof of their excellence and commitment in high school. But that’s not all! Many students who are members of a certain group or club wear high school graduation cords as a token of their status. However, Latin honor cords for outstanding academic performance are always related to students’ GPAs:
- Cum Laude: to be awarded this high school graduation cord you need to have a GPA of at least 3.5, or as the Latin words say finish high school with praise;
- Magna Cum Laude: to receive this high school graduation cord you need to have a GPA of at least 3.75, or as the Latin words say to finish high school with great honor;
- Summa Cum Laude: to receive this high school graduation cord you need to have a GPA of at least 3.9, or as the Latin words say to finish high school with the highest honor.
It’s quite an honor to receive a Latin cord with your graduation diploma, so don’t forget to mention it in your resume to increase your admission chances when applying for college.
High School Graduation Cords and Stoles Meaning
High school graduation honor cords also known as graduation ropes are awarded to students with academic achievements during high school. The honor to wear high school graduation cords goes to top students and members of student associations, clubs, and honor organizations during their initiation ceremony as an acknowledgment of their achievements.
High school graduation stoles also known as sashes are awarded to high school or university students on their graduation day. Stoles for high school graduation come in different colors and are often decorated with logos or designs representing different achievements or memberships. Stoles can also be custom-made to show students’ cultural heritage, and extracurricular and volunteer accomplishments.
High school cords and stoles are used for the same purpose. The only difference is that high school cords are mostly used for academic awards and success, while high school stoles can be used for more than just academic achievements. High school stoles can be used for just about anything!
High School Graduation Cords Colors
As we’ve already mentioned high school graduation cords come in different colors and every color is used to show a specific achievement. Here’s a detailed description of the high school graduation cords colors and their meaning:
1. Gold High School Graduation Cord
If you wear a gold high school graduation cord it means you’ve graduated with high honors as a member of the National Honor Society or you had a cumulative, unweighted GPA between 3.75 and 4.0. Gold is a symbol of high honors and marvelous academic performance. Gold is one of the most desirable graduation cords colors because it shows a variety of honors, and symbolizes success, love, empathy, and wisdom. Gold cords are also used by the following students’ associations, sororities, and clubs:
- The Spanish National Honor Society
- Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority
- Beta Club
2. Black High School Graduation Cord
If you’re a high school student with exceptional leadership skills and strength, you’ll have the honor to wear a black high school graduation cord. Because black symbolizes power, sophistication, prestige, and authority it’s used to show that a student did well in a variety of disciplines such as business administration, accounting, economics, political sciences, community service, and many other areas. If you have the honor to wear a black high school graduation cord it means you have the necessary strength for the next step in the world of education, business, and science. The power of black is used by many academic honor societies for its cords to represent membership or merit within their chosen field.
3. Red High School Graduation Cord
High school students with a cumulative, unweighted GPA between 3.5 and 3.74 have the opportunity to wear the red high school graduation cord. If you wear a red graduation cord it also means that you’re a member of a couple of societies, clubs, or associations:
- The American Student Government Association
- The International Thespian Society
- The Spanish National Honors Society
- Gamma Sigma Alpha
- Alpha Beta Kappa
Red graduation cords as a symbol of courage and willpower represent degrees in different disciplines such as journalism, music, public health, conservation, and many more.
4. Silver High School Graduation Cord
The silver high school graduation cord that represents hope, kindness, and elegance is awarded to students who will pursue an educational degree in medical and veterinary sciences. Sometimes it’s used for excellence in business, business management, physics, and agriculture. In some schools, the silver high school graduation cord symbolizes community service. High school students who contributed to their community by volunteering 150 hours will have the honor to wear the silver cord on their graduation day. Also, silver graduation cords identify graduates with oratory and other exceptional skills.
5. Purple High School Graduation Cord
If you excel in technical education or you’re a member of the National Technical Honor Society, then the purple high school graduation cord is your color. Purple cords are also used by the following societies:
- Science National Honor Society
- National Honor Society
- Kappa Delta Pi
- HOSA- Future Health Professionals
At the university level, purple graduation cords are reserved for dentistry, law, architecture, and urban planning graduates. If you’re an ambitious, devoted, and creative student then you’ll wear the purple graduation cord with nothing but pride!
6. Maroon High School Graduation Cord
Maroon high school graduation cords are awarded to students who are members of the following honor societies:
- Delta Epsilon Sigma
- Omega Chi Epsilon
- Alpha Sigma Lambda
Usually, forestry and theology students wear maroon graduation cords at their special graduation ceremony. Many universities (Boston College, and the University of Chicago) use maroon color as their official color because it represents passion and confidence.
7. Blue High School Graduation Cord
Different shades of blue are awarded upon high school graduation and worn by students with honor:
- Royal blue symbolizes superiority, sophistication, virtue, and discipline, and the royal blue graduation cords are awarded to students for social sciences, leadership studies, and community service. Royal blue is proudly worn by the societies’ members such as Alpha Kappa Mu, American Student Government Association, Phi Kappa Pi, and Distributive Education Clubs of America;
- Navy blue represents intellect and wisdom and the navy blue cords are awarded to philosophy graduates. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers pairs the navy blue cord with silver. The British Navy as well as many other navies around the world have also adopted the navy blue color;
- Sky Blue is a symbol of intelligence and honesty. No wonder sky blue graduation cords are awarded to education graduates, as well as Eagle Scout graduates who wear sky blue cords to their initiation ceremony. Sky blue is also used by many clubs, fraternities, and sororities like Phi Beta Kappa and Gamma Phi Delta.
8. White High School Graduation Cord
White high school graduation cords are a symbol of purity and infinite possibilities. Usually, humanities and arts graduates wear white graduation cords as well as the students in the Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) program. The French National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor use white graduation cords with other colors. The following societies at the university level also use white cords:
- Sigma Theta Tau
- Alpha Kappa Mu
- The Music Honor Society
- French National Honor Society
If you wear white high school graduation cords it means you’re fully aware of the endless possibilities that await you!
9. Orange High School Graduation Cord
Orange high school graduation cords are awarded for the individuality and strength of the graduating class as they open the next academic chapters in their life. So, if you wear an orange high school graduation cord, it means you’re recognized as an exceptional student ready to face the next phase in education and life. As a symbol of creativity and individuality, orange graduation cords are awarded to engineering graduates and homeschooling program graduates. Usually, engineering graduates wear orange cords during initiation. Orange cords are also reserved for Tau Beta Pi members.
10. Turquoise High School Graduation Cord
Turquoise high school graduation cords mean tranquility and balance. The honor to wear turquoise graduation cords goes to performing arts and public administration graduates. Students who are members of societies like Alpha Kappa Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha also wear turquoise graduation cords on their special graduation day. If your graduation class wears turquoise graduation cords, then you’ll surely find a balance between your future academic challenges and life.
11. Forest Green High School Graduation Cord
Forest green highs school graduation cords show growth, rebirth, and hope, and are awarded to students who excel in biology and general sciences. This cord represents the student’s devotion and dedication to educational progress. Unlike high school, at the college level, forest green graduation cords are a symbol for medicine graduates, even though they sometimes use silver cords, depending on the educational institution. Forest green graduation cord is accepted in the Biology and General Sciences departments.
12. Emerald Green High School Graduation Cord
Emerald green high school graduation cords are awarded to high school students who have been recognized for their community service and volunteering work. Many student associations have adopted the emerald green graduation cord as it symbolizes regeneration and well-being. These are some of the organizations that use the emerald green color:
- Kappa Delta Pi
- Sigma Lambda Alpha
- Phi Sigma
If you excel in science, or you’re dedicated to your community and helping people, you’ll probably wear an emerald green high school graduation cord at your graduation ceremony.
High School Graduation Cords Requirements
Since you know the meaning of the high school graduation cords, it’s time to see what requirements should you meet to get as many high school graduation cords as possible. As mentioned above honor cords are awarded to students with excellent academic performance. But. That’s not the only way to be awarded high school graduation cords. Make a difference by getting involved in the following activities if you want to wear more than one high school graduation cord at your graduation ceremony:
- Community service and volunteer work;
- Participate in extracurricular activities;
- Become a member of one or more national honor societies;
Regardless of the high school graduation cords’ color and their meaning, one thing’s for sure! It’s an honor to wear as many high school graduation cords as possible. To make that happen excel in high school, make a difference in your community, be involved outside the classroom, give your contribution as a society member, and wear your high school graduation cords with pride!