Graduation day is coming up, and you’re worried about how you look. It’s fine! After all, you would want to look your best for your last day in high school (or college), and those fancy-looking cords and tassels will add a lot to your graduation getup.
You have got the fancy gown and the cute hat with the tassel—but if you’re looking at this article, you must be missing one last part of the ensemble, the cords. “What are college graduation cords? Which cords should I get? Where do I buy them? How do you even wear them?” We will answer these valid questions of yours, and much more, with this article, where we will teach you how to pick and choose your cords for college graduation.
What Do the Cords at College Graduation Mean?
There are several different kinds of college graduation cords, each with its own meaning and role. They are not interchangeable, though some people may speak as if they are. A graduation cord has its own meaning and relevance to the student who wears them. Luckily, we are here to let you know the differences.
The cords you wear on your graduation gown are also known as “honor cords.” Students who have graduated with honors or are in an honors program are given honor cords to represent their higher level of academic achievement. In other words, this is something that mostly honor graduates and honor graduates only have to deal with. However, if you are a simple graduate who hasn’t earned any honors, you can rest easy (or easier)—the expectations pile on if you are.
Cords are not just simple accessories; they mean something that will help you decide which cords you need for your graduation. As we’ve stated, graduation cords are a token and expression of your academic excellence, and there are certain forms and colors of cords that are meant to signify just how far you’ve come as a student. Typically, this is reserved for college students who pursue specific and different degrees, but there is still a lot of variance for high school students.
So, what kind of cords can you get for college graduation? What do you need to leave the college with style?
What Kind of Cords Can You Get for College Graduation?
Graduation cords are known as ‘honor cords”, but they are not the only forms of cords. However, they are associated with high praise and honors, and thus, honor cords will be some of the most common kinds of cords you will find online.
What is graduating “with honors,” you say? However, there are three distinct graduating levels “with honors for honor cords.” These students have earned the highest appraisal and academic achievement for their school. Thus, they graduate with perks and recommendations on their transcript and a fancy sash around their shoulders.
“Cum Laude,” which is Latin for “With Praise,” is the standard form of honors graduation, associated universally with having a high GPA. Magna Cum Laude (“With Great Honor”) is the next step up in achievements. It indicates that you have the second-best grades in the class to be an excellent student. Finally, Summa Cum Laude (“With Highest Praise”) means graduating with some of the highest grades in your graduation year. Each of these achievements comes with its own graduation cords to signify your success.
As to what the actual cords look like or mean, that is ultimately up to their color. Graduation cords come in different colors that indicate your major or level of achievement. So what exactly do the different graduation cords colors mean? The colors, Mason, what do they mean?
What Do Different Color Graduation Cords Mean?
While any high school or college can use any sort of color for their graduation cords, these colors, too, have their own meaning, typically to show success in a specific academic field, like studying law, biology, finance, sports, and so on. Keep in mind that there are a lot of colors to go through.
- The gold honor cords are the most popular and typically given to students who got made high achievements in school in terms of GPA (or grade point average). The gold represents the rarity and value of the student’s achievements, and it works really well with the classic blue or red graduation gowns.
- The silver graduation cords are given to graduates with achievements in medical sciences such as veterinary science, agriculture, business management, and physics. Silver represents kindness, hope, and sensitivity to many, but really, it’s just a beautiful color!
- The royal blue graduation cords belong to any sort of achievement, so it is likely the most common color of graduation cords, but it is most often associated with leadership and social sciences. Notable fraternities use this color for their going graduates.
- The navy blue graduation cord is similar but associated with students who graduate in philosophy. The British Navy uses this color for its soldiers and graduates, which makes a bit of sense since it’s called “navy.”
- The sky blue graduation cords are given to graduates in education. The color is meant to symbolize honesty and intelligence. It is a simple color, but quite beautiful and serene.
- The red graduation cord is given to students with degrees in journalism, music, public health, conservation, and so on. It is often used to signify membership in societies and fraternities like Alpha Beta Kappa. The maroon honor cords indicate similar achievements.
- The orange graduation cords are worn by engineering graduates, with the color orange symbolizing individuality and creativity. Orange is also the color used for homeschooling programs, for those who cannot afford the generic experience of a school (or choose not to).
- Our last set of graduation cords are the black-colored cords, which are given to students who graduated with a college degree in businesses, such as commerce, education, accounting, or commercial science. The cords are black, much like the color of the business suits.
Whew! So many color cords, so little time. To summarize, your cords and their color are decided by the path you take in college and how well you do it.
Graduation cords are meant to represent academic achievement and success. What GPA do you need to get some of these cords, anyhow?
What GPA Do You Need to Get Cords at Graduation?
Your grade point average is the most common way for schools to judge your academic achievements and education, summarizing your grades and performances as a student.
To graduate Summa Cum Laude, you need a GPA of 4.0 (or higher in some schools) or basically the highest and most consistent grade out there. As we mentioned before, maintaining a high GPA is necessary for assuming Cum Laude / Magna Cum Laude / Summa Cum Laude honors. Your GPA has to be at least a very high level to gain these honors, usually around a 3.8+ GPA.
If you want the perfect, rewarding cords, you would have to be a student of excellent character (though we doubt you will only now start paying attention in school because we promise you sweet threads!).
You do not need the highest GPA to have cords; however, remember that any honors student can have graduation cords. The only grades you need to worry about are those that get you a degree (a C, as they say).
Once you get your final things done, there is only one last question: where do we even buy these dang things?
Where to Buy Graduation Cords?
Often, a school offers your appropriate graduation getup, including your gown, hat, and cords, with a fee. However, you can choose to buy and wear your own graduation cords. While you’re paying a nice fee for something you will probably never break out again besides to give your friends or family members, you can at least spend that one day looking your best.
If you want to buy a nice, cheap graduation cord, then you can get one from your local dollar store. It’s more common in those locations than in other pieces of the graduation article. However, if you want really good cords, you can shop in dedicated stores and shops such as the Honor Cord Company or Tassel Depot. The cords they sell are well made and put together, with little risk of falling apart.
We would say there is no wrong place to start buying graduation cords, so long as you know what you need to buy. If you’re already down here and you don’t know, then we haven’t done our job—and we suggest you give us a second look over.
Wrapping Things Up: What Cords Can You Get for College Graduation?
There are so many cords for a student to buy that it is almost overwhelming. Almost. With this article, you should have a clearer idea of what you can get to spruce up your graduation gown with the right college graduation cords and leave your college days behind you with style and pride. Hopefully, we have made your graduation getup just a bit more rewarding, and we will see you on graduation day! Congrats!