Latin Honors (Cum Laude) -- FAQ

  • Parkway School District does not rank students within their class but uses the Latin Honors, or Cum Laude system.  Instead of assigning a specific number to students as ranked against their peers, the Cum Laude system categorizes the students for the following academic accomplishments:

    • Summa Cum Laude: Students with grade point average of 4.0 and above
    • Magna Cum Laude: Students with grade point average of 3.75 - 3.99
    • Cum Laude: Students with grade point average of 3.5 - 3.749

    Because the district uses the Cum Laude system, we do not provide class rank data or percentile.  Per advisement from college and scholarship representatives, if an application asks for your student's class rank, these sections should be completed as follows:

    • Rank: 0
    • Total # in Class: 0

     To further help answer some of your concerns, the following Q & A was created by Parkway School District to answer commonly asked questions:

    1.  Why does Parkway use the Latin Cum Laude System?

    Students will not need to be concerned about ranking in the "top 10" to recieve academic recognition.  They are able to take course that are related to their career paths, to explore and to build a strong academic foundation, even if they are not honors or AP classes.

    2.  Are there other schools in the area that recognize students by using the Cum Laude System?

    Yes.  Clayton, Francis Howell, Hazelwood, Ladue, Rockwood, Webster Groves, Principia, Incarnate Word Academy, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, Wentzveille, and St Charles School District. 

    3.  What are some of the reasons these schools do not use class rank?

    Reasons given include:

    • Students would have an advantage when competing for scholarships
    • Reward more students for their effort
    • To be consistent with surrounding districts
    • Wanted students to explore an array of courses without fear of impacting a class rank
    • To increase the importance of the transcript and what students chose to take as an individual, and not just to be a number

    4.  What affect will this have on admission to colleges and universities?

    None.  After polling selective to highly selective colleges and universities, including Washington University in St Louis, Vanderbilt, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Chicago, Princetone University, Harvard University, St Louis University and Purdue University, it was unamimous that eliminating class rank woudl not impact admission.  The majority of the directors of admission stated taht they recalculated the grade point averages, consdier the rifor of course taken, time spent in and out of school on extra-curribular activites, letters of recommendation, personal statements, written essays, leadership skills and if reuqired, admissions test scores.

     5.  Will Parkway School District recognize a Valedictorian of the class?

    No.  The compeitioin for first place in the class could prohibit students from purusing courses taht are aligned with their career choice since some of these classes may not be honors or AP classes.