If you are used to being an excellent student, then you may want to nab the highest honors in college as well. In this case, you are probably curious about whether or not college has a valedictorian position for you.
Well, you can discover this and more below:
Can You Become a Valedictorian in College?
Most colleges don’t have a valedictorian although this tradition often depends on the institution – some may appoint such a leader – instead of this position, students are highlighted for their academic distinctions or other accomplishments with numerous students receiving such rewards upon graduating.
Why Don’t Colleges Have a Valedictorian?
Well, for one thing, there are far more students in college. In high school, you probably had a few hundred students graduating. In college, this number climbs to thousands.
Due to this, it isn’t as easy to choose students based on their academic achievements alone. You may have dozens of students who are considered truly elite and you may be unable to choose between them.
It is also not as easy to compare students. Some degrees and courses are simply more difficult than others. Thus, a higher GPA alone may not be enough to pinpoint an excellent student.
There is also the fact that colleges aren’t as focused on academia solely. Instead, they celebrate sports, arts, and various other abilities and endeavors. As valedictorian is largely GPA based, it falls short in naming excellent students.
Which Colleges Do Have Valedictorians?
As mentioned, there are some universities that do still have valedictorians. These are:
- University of Southern California
- Columbia College
- Capital community college
- Hudson County Community college
- Kingsborough Community College
- Benedictine College
- Bristol Community College
- Anne Arundel Community College
If you are curious about whether your chosen university has this practice, reach out to the administration. They will be able to tell you whether or not this tradition is carried out at your school.
You should know that the process can be different from that in high school.
For instance, more than one student is typically chosen for this honor. It is most common to have two valedictorians although some schools may have more.
How Do You Become Valedictorian in College?
The criteria can vary from one school to another. It is important to check on the specific guidelines that your school has.
Although a high GPA is required, most people are looking for well-rounded students. As such, you may have needed to have an internship, completed volunteer work, and perhaps even been a part of some kind of club or team.
If there are more than two students up for eligibility, it is quite common for the university to form a committee to make the decision. The members of the committee will compare the students more closely and choose the two best options.
What are the Alternatives to Valedictorians?
Just because colleges don’t have valedictorians don’t mean that students aren’t lauded for their hard work, accomplishments, and dedication.
It is simply that colleges offer other opportunities to students. These tend to be fairer as more students have a chance of achieving them.
First, you have the honors program. Now, this program isn’t available in every college but most universities do have them.
You have to apply for this program. To be eligible, you will have to complete a certain number of credit hours and have a minimum GPA of 3.5. Depending on your school, there may be other requirements as well.
This is a long-term program that can look very good on your resume. However, it does mean that you have to maintain a high academic status throughout your college career.
Then, there is Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. You don’t have to apply for these. Instead, if you meet the GPA requirement for these, you graduate with these honors.
The requirements do differ from university to university. However, for even the lowest honor, you will need to have a GPA that is greater than 3.7.
Additional College Awards
Every college has its own reward and award system. There are many that will offer awards for distinctions in particular fields such as Science, Math, Business, etc.
You may also be awarded for leadership roles that you held in college. A well-written thesis or dissertation may be presented with a distinction as well.
To get a full list of the awards, contact your college administration. They will also be able to provide you with the requirements that you have to meet for each of these distinctions or honors.
What are the Advantages of Not Having Valedictorian in College?
The valedictorian position is quite limiting. For one thing, so few people are able to achieve this. And, due to the selection process, it doesn’t mean that the best or most well-rounded student is actually receiving the award.
Having other awards and honors increases the chances of your hard work being noticed. And, there is less competition. You can be a great but not perfect student and still get the commendation that you deserve.
This is the other issue with valedictorians, there is just too much competition. This can cause undue stress on students and in the end, it may be all for nothing if you lose this permission.
The system set up in college is a much fairer one. It also makes your academic career far more enjoyable.
The fact that there are awards for so many different achievements and subjects is also a lot better. It shows that each field is vastly different and that you can’t really compare one degree to another.
Once again, this makes it a more just opportunity for you, particularly if your field of study is a difficult or competitive one.
Can You Become a Valedictorian in College?
Most colleges do not have a valedictorian although there are a handful that do – universities instead rely on other awards, honors, and accolades – unlike the valedictorian position, these positions are based on more than just GPA and consider overall academic performance.