Graduating College with Honors: Benefits and Subtleties

academic cap and diploma placed on green grass

You have probably seen movie scenes with college students wearing honors regalia, and the whole audience applauding them. Have you ever imagined yourself in shoes of such a student? Would you like to know how your effort can be rewarded after graduation? In this article, we will try to understand what graduating with honors means and what the benefits of it are.

What Is All the Fuss About?

There are two types of students – the first one just tries to survive through college and get a diploma, the other is all about different programs, opportunities, and honors. It doesn’t matter which you relate, as the following information will still be useful to you.

So, almost every college has a few types of honors that students can obtain – Latin honors, English honors and Organization honors (be sure to check out which your learning institution offers). Every high school and college establishes certain rules about these honors and the criteria that you need to meet in order to become an honored scholar.

Latin honors are:

  1. Cum Laude – as for Latin “With Praise,” typically a student with a 3.5 GPA.
  2. Magna Cum Laude – as for Latin “With Great Honor,” a 3.7 GPA.
  3. Summa Cum Laude – “With Highest Honor” is one of the highest honors a student can get which requires at least a 3.9 GPA.

Such honors commonly imply receiving an honor cord (black, silver and golden respectively or the colors that a learning institution chooses) during the graduation ceremony. The fact of getting such an honor is indicated in your transcript. Check out the simple tips for you on how to become a top student without struggling.

English honors can be received by the academic department which reviews seniors each year to pick the most deserving ones based on the grades in their major or other qualities. They can also provide you with a recommendation in addition to the honor.

Organization honors are given by clubs and organizations to the most contributive students. There are various chapters of the National Honor Society in different learning institutions which offer special benefits for their members, such as help with a career start, discounts, tours, and activities.

What Are the Benefits of Graduating With Honors?

When it comes to the effort put in the studying process, one can reasonably ask “Will my effort be rewarded? Is studying hard worth it?” The reality of the modern world is that no one can tell you for sure if your future employer will be looking at your GPA. There are a lot of vacancies that value experience or your communication skills more than your grades.

Of course, there might be a chance that honors will affect the final decision if you and another candidate have pretty similar resumes and experience. Then, probably, the decision will be made based on the smallest advantages.

So, here are the five benefits that are characteristic for graduation with honors:

  1. The possibility that it will be considered as an advantage when applying for a job. So, when a recruiter is looking through a resume, he or she might find that candidates are almost equally good and suitable for a particular job. If you provide an excellent resume and don’t mess up your interview, the fact that you graduate cum laude or with other honors will increase your chances of getting the job.
  2. This is a little extra for your diploma. There is nothing bad about having some extra touch on your diploma. If you have such an opportunity, our advice would be to take it and don’t bother about the efficiency of the effort you put in your studies.
  3. A special treatment. Of course, honored students have certain benefits within their learning institution or when deciding to continue their careers in academic circles. Such benefits might be — an opportunity to travel abroad for academic studying, honors program, research grants, club membership, etc.
  4. An extra thing to be proud of. When reaching another step in your life or having another accomplishment, you should think not about the output but about the value of it for yourself. If you know that you will be proud of yourself receiving a cord at the ceremony, why worrying about whether your choice was right?
  5. Merit-based scholarships for honored high school graduates. This is the main reason why high school students try so hard to stand out from the crowd and obtain honor when they graduate school. Receiving a financial award is definitely worth trying and is one of the main benefits of graduating from high school with honors. You might also find some information about graduating without debt useful.

So, as you can see, there are some obvious benefits that every honored student can count on. However, if you are graduating without honors, it doesn’t mean that you are somehow worse than honored students or that your resume will value less. It’s more about the type of person you are than about wearing an honored cord at the graduation ceremony. Check out some of our tips that will help you to make your graduation unforgettable.

Common Questions About Graduating With Honors

What percent of college students graduate with honors?
If taking Harward as an example, 2% of students receive summa cum laude, less than 2% get magna cum laude, and about 4% graduate with cum laude honors.

In the undergraduate colleges and schools this percentage is higher – 5% for summa cum laude, 15% for magna cum laude and 30% for cum laude.

How to graduate with honors in high school or college?
The main factor of obtaining an honor is getting high grades. But you can also be considered as a candidate for the honor for:

  1. Your participation in various activities
  2. Club membership
  3. Outstanding research programs
  4. Significant accomplishments in sports or studying

So, these were the main benefits and facts about graduating with honors. We hope that you found this information useful, and wish you good luck with your studies.

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