Latin Honors are usually given to college students. However, some high schools have also started awarding them to their highest performing students. There are several different Latin Honors available, and each one differs in the level of education that it can be awarded in and the GPA score that it refers to.
A Cum Laude (which means “with honor”) GPA is one of several Latin Honor GPAs given to students for their excellent academic achievements. There is no standard set of criteria for these honors, meaning that it isn’t just high grades that will get you there. It usually also includes extra activities and general dedication to studying.
A Cum Laude GPA is the most common honor given to students and is the equivalent to a GPA score between 3.5 and 3.7. However, requirements differ from one school to another, which is decided by how popular or prestigious the high school is, and which universities students will proceed to go on to.
A Magna Cum Laude GPA translates to “with great honor” and is a higher distinction from the Cum Laude GPA. The GPA score for this honor ranges between 3.8 and 3.9. For some schools, this is the highest possible honor to receive because very few students will ever reach above a 3.9 score. This is usually awarded to about 10% of students in the US.
A Summa Cum Laude GPA translates to “with highest honor”. This is usually given to students who are in the top 1% of the class and is not presented often as it is a very difficult score to achieve. Although the criteria depends from one school to another, it is usually reserved for students with a perfect 4.0 GPA score, and in some cases even more.