How to Get Cords for High School Graduation

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If you’ve ever been to a graduation ceremony or seen a video of one, you’ve probably noticed the colored ropes draped around the graduates’ necks.

These twisted ropes are referred to as honor cords. They are colored differently depending on the graduates’ academic achievements in specific disciplines as well as the societies and organizations to which they belonged.

This post will go over the meanings of various color honor cords as well as some ways to earn honor cords in high school.

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What are High School Graduation Cords?

Graduation cords are long, thin colored ropes with tassels on both ends that graduates wear around their necks at graduation ceremonies.

These ribbons are given to graduating students with honors academically or who participated in extracurricular activities.

Some of the outstanding awards presented to students include cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude, and Magna Cum Laude but each institution has its unique set of standards.

Many graduates wear cords at graduation ceremonies, and this is something that most people are aware of.

Although they are only colored ropes, their meaning is vast. They are all proof of the student’s sense of success and dedication to their chosen extracurricular activities.

Different Variations of Graduation Cord

The length of the graduation cord varies depending on your academic GPA. For example, if you excelled in your studies, you will be given a Latin cord along with your graduation diploma.

Graduation cords from a good GPA can also be included on your CV or graduate school applications to boost your chances.

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The Three Latin Graduation Cords Variations

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Summa Cum Laude
  • Cum Laude

Cum Laude

In Latin, it means “With Praise.” Many traditional universities will state that a student “graduated with honors” rather than Cum Laude. To be eligible for this honor, the graduate must have a 3.5 GPA.

Magna Cum Laude

This phrase means “With Great Honor.” To receive the honor, most universities will need the graduate to have at least a 3.75 GPA.

Summa Cum Laude

It is Latin for “With Highest Honor.” It is the most coveted academic award, and you must have at least a 3.9 GPA to be eligible.

Graduation Honor Cord Colors & Their Meanings

Graduation cords are rope-like decorations that are draped over the graduate’s neck, allowing the two tassels to fall down the gown. The Association of College Honor Societies has established a standard palette of graduation cord colors.

Some colleges may construct their own color-specific graduation honor cord traditions. This guide contains information on all of the major graduation cord colors, as well as their related degrees, awards, and clubs.

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#1. Gold

Source: Graduationproduct

This is one of the most popular colors for graduation cords because it contrasts so well with a black gown. It also signifies a variety of honors.

For example, the Spanish National Honor Society, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, and Beta Club use gold cords. It’s a universally recognized color for any academic discipline. Gold symbolizes prosperity, love, compassion, and wisdom.  

#2. Silver

Source: Amazon

Following that, silver graduation cords distinguish graduates with degrees in oratory, veterinary science, and other medical sciences. It is also utilized in agricultural, business management, and physics departments. Silver represents elegance, generosity, optimism, and sensitivity.

#3. Royal Blue

Source: Gradshop

This eye-catching hue of blue may be used to identify almost any discipline. However, it is most commonly seen in the fields of leadership, community service, and other social sciences.

Royal blue cords are also used by Phi Kappa Pi, Alpha Kappa Mu, ASGA, Distributive Education Clubs of America, and FFA. The color represents dominance, dependability, and refinement.

#4. Navy Blue

Navy blue is another graduation cord color. This traditional blue cord looks stunning with a black hat and gown. Most significantly, it frequently features Philosophy grads. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers wears it with a silver cord.

Furthermore, the hue has been used by the British Navy since 1748. Since then, several fleets throughout the world have adopted it. Navy blue is associated with knowledge, commitment, and wisdom.

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#5. Sky Blue

Source: Gradshop

This gentle blue color represents Education grads. Eagle Scouts also wear sky blue cords at their graduation ceremony. Many fraternities and sororities, like Phi Beta Kappa and Gamma Phi Delta, use sky blue as well. The hue represents integrity and intellect.

#6. Red

Source: Gradshop

Graduation in red Honor cords highlights degrees in journalism, music, public health, conservation, and a variety of other fields. Furthermore, the strong cardinal red represents participation in society.

The Spanish National Honors Society, ASGA, Gamma Sigma Alpha, and Alpha Beta Kappa are among them. Red cords represent bravery, willpower, and strength.

#7. Purple

Source: Gradshop

Purple is used by several prestigious groups, including the Science National Honor Society, HOSA, and Kappa Delta Pi.

This majestic color is also the official color for dental and legal students. Graduates of urban planning and architecture can also benefit from color. Purple represents ambition, inventiveness, and commitment.

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#8. White

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This formal and clean color is frequently used to honor Humanities and Arts graduates. Additionally, Alpha Kappa Mu, Sigma Theta Tau, the French National Honor Society, and the Music Honor Society all wear white cords.

White is associated with purity, spirituality, and opportunity.

#9. Black

Source: Gradshop

Finally, graduates of business administration, accounting, and business education wear the traditional black graduation cord. Black represents power, authority, and prestige since it is the absence of color.

#10. Emerald Green

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Medical graduates, as well as students who have been acknowledged for their community work, frequently wear emerald green. Moreover, several Greek organizations have incorporated emerald green into their cord color schemes.

Emerald green is used by Kappa Delta Pi, Sigma Lambda Alpha, and Phi Sigma, for example. The hue represents growth, regeneration, and happiness.

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#11. Maroon

Generally, maroon graduation honor cords highlight holders of forestry and theology degrees. They also denote participation in honor organizations such as Alpha Sigma Lambda, Delta Epsilon Sigma, and Omega Chi Epsilon.

Furthermore, numerous colleges, like the University of Chicago, Boston College, and Texas A&M, utilize maroon as their official color. The color can represent self-assurance, enthusiasm, and strength.

#12. Orange

Engineering graduates, as well as Tau Beta Pi members, frequently wear orange cords during commencement. Orange represents uniqueness and the creative spirit. Many homeschooling programs also use bright orange cords to identify graduates.

#13. Forest Green

Source: Amazon

The meaning of the graduation cords varies depending on the school to reflect existing traditions and symbolism. For example, forest green is often worn by Medicine graduates, while silver cords are worn at other times.

In the Biology and General Sciences departments, forest green is also a prominent color. The hue is associated with hope, development, and rebirth.

What are the Earning High School Graduation Cords and Their Requirements?

It’s fair to be anxious about where you’ll get so many high school graduation cords when the time arrives.

Honor cords are given to students who achieve in both academics and extracurricular activities. Cords are available from a number of retailers. These are just a few ways how to obtain one.


Volunteering has the potential to benefit both the giver and the recipient. Kids frequently acquire high school graduation cords in this manner. Giving back to the community is also a great way to make an impact.

However, if you want to get an accomplishment cord or additional adornments, talk to your guidance counselor or the department that issues the cords.

Extracurricular Activities

Many students enroll in extracurricular activities in order to acquire their high school diplomas.

Also, students can increase their chances of getting a diploma by engaging in a variety of extracurricular activities and organizations.

Student government/council, key club, and numerous community service programs are a few examples.

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Good Academic Prowess

Students who succeed academically or are members of one or more national honor organizations are also awarded graduation cords.

A strong work ethic, as well as the capacity to think outside the box, will be required. Only students who have finished a degree program are admitted to academic honor societies.


What do two gold cords mean?

Double honor cords can be worn during graduation in several different ways to denote a multitude of different things.

Cum laude, summa cum laude, and magna cum laude, for example, might be used to indicate that a student has graduated with honors or high honors.

How do you wear double cords?

If you are using double or triple-tied cords, the knot, or the center of the cord, will sit precisely behind your neck

The cord’s tassels dangle down evenly on both sides. Before leaving the changing room, fasten the string at the back of your gown with a safety pin to ensure the ideal appearance.

Do you keep graduation cords tied?

Cords should be hung immediately after you receive them so that they don’t get crumpled on graduation day.


Graduation High school and college cords are valued assets for students.

Many students with cords are proof of the time and efforts they put into obtaining these awards

In conclusion, cords are given to students that succeed in extracurricular activities, voluntary service, and academics.


  • schoolandtravel – High School Graduation Cords (Meaning, Significance, GPA Requirements)
  • graduationsource – Graduation Honor Cord Colors & Their Meanings


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