Can I Buy My Own Cords for Graduation

What to wear and how to look on your graduation day are all in your hands. From your ironed gown, shirts, pants to your graduation attire, everything is perfectly planned for. You wouldn’t want to look out of place on your graduation day, so you have to plan well for that day – you also need to find the time to plan for the journey after the commencement ceremony.

However, the question is, can I buy my own cords for graduation?

You can buy your own cord for graduation because most colleges order graduation cords from graduation attire retailers and sell them to the graduands. If you don’t want to get the cords from your college, you can buy them from elsewhere. You have the advantage of getting different colors and designs from these retailers. 

Colleges many times don’t award graduation cords during the commencement ceremony. The cords are given to graduands with honors. So many things have changed about graduation. Before your cords are like awards but now, you have to get them yourself.

You can buy them in the graduation shops of your college. They will verify your GPA and field of study before they give you the cords. Also, you can decide to get the cords outside the college. Some retailers can get you your desired graduation cords. Also, it is cheap which makes it affordable. Some of these retailers also work with various honors societies and colleges so you don’t have to be scared that they will get you something different.

Graduation Cords Meaning

Awards are given to graduands that have performed excellently in their academics. It is a way of motivating or appreciating them. Other graduands are awarded for their participation in clubs, military service, fraternity, and honors society.

Graduation cords are long cords that have tassels at the end. They are worn by outstanding students during their commencement ceremony. The cord is between 60 to 70 inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter. It is worn around the neck and it drops down on the graduation gown of the graduand.

There are different colors of the graduation cords. These colors represent the different fields of study, honors society, and clubs.

Graduands with Latin honors (highest GPA) also wear graduation cords. The colors and number of cords are dependent on the college.

Some colleges allow those graduating cum laude to wear a single graduation cord. It might be a solid color or braided color but it must be a single cord.

Those graduating Magma cum laude wear two graduation cords. The two cords are tied together. It can be solid colors or braided colors also.

Those graduating with the highest honors, Summa cum laude, wear three graduation cords. The cords are also tied together. Graduation cords are just an award for excellence for the four years you spent in the college.

Importance of Graduation Cords

It Represents Excellence

There will surely be outstanding students when it comes to academics. These students are rewarded with gifts, company positions, medallions, and so on. A way to recognize these outstanding students is that they wear graduation cords.

The color of the graduation cord varies depending on the department or honors society. The graduation cords can be single, double, or triple. The colors could be braided together or just left hanging down.

During a commencement ceremony, when you come across graduands with cords around their necks, know that they are the outstanding students of the college.

It Represents Honor Society

Honor society provides recognition for outstanding students in various fields of study. Students are invited to join society based on their academic performance. The students get to meet fellow members and many times networking is achieved.

Graduates from this society wear graduation cords during their commencement ceremony. The different honor society has their different color. These graduation cords are important because the graduands are representing their society and showing their affiliation.

It’s the Norm for Commencement Ceremony

Wearing graduation cords is necessary when it comes to graduation. It has been a rule for a very long time and can not be changed. It is one of the ways to recognize students that graduated with honors. A graduation attire of an outstanding student is not complete without a graduation cord.

Can I Buy My Own Cords for Graduation?

Yes, you can buy your own cords for graduation either from your school, online shop like Amazon, or from the market. When buying the cords, ensure to buy the one that matches your honors such as color and number of cords to buy.

Things have been made easier with the help of technology. If you don’t want to go to the graduation shop in your college, then you can get it online. If you don’t have a high GPA or you are not part of the honor society, you won’t be given the graduation cords.

But if you want to wear a graduation cord because you just want to be recognized as an outstanding student – you should have been more serious with your studies – you can get the cords on eBay or Amazon. This is just like wearing a hat to school even when the school prohibits it.

There are even retailers that sell cheap ones that you can get. No one will stop you on your graduation day to ask for your GPA. But it is better to earn the graduation cord because it’s a thing of pride.

Why Should I Buy my Own Cords for Graduation?

It depends on you. The main reason why people get their own cords for graduation is because they didn’t earn it or they didn’t face their studies. Some people even go as far as paying a membership fee to join an honor society. They attend few meetings just to get graduation cords. They didn’t graduate with honors. So they feel the only way to wear a cord is to join a society. Some people even buy their own cords because they want to feel outstanding and fool others whereas they did not earn it.

Reasons Not to Buy Graduation Cords for Graduation

Getting your own graduate cords for graduation might not go down well the way you planned it.

  • Fake Life: Trying to look like an outstanding student on your graduation day without earning it is living a false life. There’s nothing to gain from it. You are wasting money, time, and energy to get something that is not real. When you are found out, you will be seen as a liar.
  • Your Parents Might Find Out: Trying to get your own graduation cords for your commencement ceremony to fool your parents is not good. You could have made them proud by earning it instead of buying it. When they find out, they will be heartbroken because they feel they just wasted money. And again, it is guilty conscience that would want you to try to fool your parents. It only means you could have done better. Even if you don’t get to wear a graduation cord because of your GPA, be proud of yourself. At least, you did not fail.


Getting a graduation cord is not as tasking as it used to be before. Your GPA and department would be verified before you will pay to get the cords. In this century, you can get the cords online. Different retailers are ready to sell them at a cheaper rate. Instead of trying to just buy the cords, why can’t you earn them? You will be able to walk around with the cords, stoles, and medallions with pride. You wouldn’t just be wearing the cords for picture purposes alone.

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