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Academic Honors

High School Academic Honors:

Honor Roll

The term honor roll is generally used to recognize high school students who achieve a high GPA score or high marks in their coursework. Honor roll status is achieved by scoring a GPA of 3.5 or above on the 4.0 GPA scale. Honor students are not only motivated to score high marks, they generally participate fully in the day to day activities of the school including leadership and volunteer opportunities, organizations and clubs, and other extra curricular activities.

If your goal is to be accepted by your university of choice, or to qualify for early acceptance into university it is important to know their GPA requirements ahead of time so you can work towards that goal.

Colleges and universities do not only consider a high school students overall GPA although it may be their first level of elimination. After that, they consider a student's level of motivation by reviewing other attributes like leadership skills, volunteer activities, their involvement in clubs and organizations, and participation in the community. They are looking for well rounded students who like to get involved.

How to Achieve Honor Roll in High School

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AP Classes

Advanced Placement(AP) courses offer college level curriculum and examinations to high school students. AP courses must be audited by the College Board to determine that it satisfies the AP Curriculum. AP tests are scored on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 = no recommendation and 5 = extremely well qualified. Most colleges require a minimum score of 3 or 4 to receive college credit. Completing AP courses also helps high school students qualify for scholarships. Often AP courses are given a weighted grade to reflect the difficulty of the course. If a student takes more AP classes he can potentially score a higher cumulative GPA.

A student who has achieved honor roll status on numerous occasions may be awarded an academic letter.

Academic Letter

Academic Award, Academic Letter

An academic letter is intended to recognize and reward high school students who demonstrate
and maintain academic excellence over the course of the year.

A high school student who consistently achieves honor roll status and maintains a GPA score of 3.5 or above may be awarded an academic letter.

Academic courses are English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and a Foreign Language.


College or University Academic Honors:

Academic Honor - President's List

Those students named on the college President's List will have earned a semester grade point average(GPA) of 3.9 or higher on a 4.0 scale. They are normally required to be enrolled in a certain number of credit hours and have no course grade below a 3.0 GPA. These requirements can vary slightly from institution to institution so it is important to find out what the requirements are in your school.

Academic Honor - Dean's List

The Dean's List is a list of students, compiled by the college or university, who have attained a high level of scholastic achievement during an academic term or year. The criteria used to determine if a student is named to the Dean' List varies from school to school but generally a student must be enrolled full time (usually 12 credits per semester) and must achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Some schools may require a high class ranking and no grades below a certain level regardless of the cumulative GPA. In addition, to be considered for the Dean's List, some schools may require the student to participate in extracurricular activites or to participate in some kind of campus service.

Latin Honors

The grade point average(GPA) requirements for Latin Honors vary slightly and may be particular to a specific college or university. These honors are mainly awarded to undergraduates for work that is above average. At graduation, students may be recognized by special sashes or cords over their gowns and the academic distinction is recorded right on their certificate.

The table below demostrates two ways a college or university might determine which students qualify for Latin Honors based on class rank or grade point average. This is a simplified method and some schools may require students to participate in exclusive seminars or classes, complete an honors track and take honors exams. Students interested in graduating with honors should talk to their faculty for clarification and guidance.

Latin Honors Breakpoints Percentile
summa cum laude 3.90 GPA or higher Top 5%
magna cum laude 3.80 - 3.89 GPA Next 10%
cum laude 3.65 - 3.79 GPA Next 15%

Benefits of Graduating "With Honor"