Students taking a full-time load, 12 or more hours, qualify for academic distinction through the Dean's List and the President's List based on the term GPA. The student receives an acknowledgment of the accomplishment via Polk State College email after grades are posted and validated each term. Adjustments are not made for grade changes that occur after that date. The Dean's List includes full-time students who have earned a term GPA of 3.50-3.99. The President's List includes full-time students who have earned a term GPA of 4.00.
Graduation honors are bestowed upon students with a qualifying cumulative GPA when they complete all program requirements and graduate. Graduation honors are based on the cumulative GPA as follows:
- Cum Laude Honor: Students graduating with a 3.50-3.74 GPA receive this honor.
- Magna Cum Laude Honor: Students graduating with a 3.75-3.89 GPA receive this honor.
- Summa Cum Laude Honor: Students graduating with a 3.90-4.00 GPA receive this honor.
A student who graduates with a 4.00 GPA is awarded the District Board of Trustees' Allen T. Cole Distinguished Academic Achievement Award. Graduation honors are part of the student's permanent record and appear on the diploma and official transcript. During the graduation ceremony, graduation honors are recognized based on the last term's GPA and adjustments on the student record are made when all grades are finalized.
Organizations that belong to a state, national or global charter which includes a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher as a membership criteria may wear regalia at graduation. Regalia is approved by the College's graduation committee.