Carrollwood Day School is the most recent secondary school in the United States to be inducted into the Cum Laude Society. This is the highest and most prestigious academic honor a secondary school can earn in the United States. Carrollwood Day School is 1 of 3 Cum Laude Society/ IB secondary schools in Florida and 1 of only 15 Cum Laude Society/ IB secondary schools in the United States (out of approximately 27,000 public, private, and charter schools).
Membership is based on a formal application that includes a myriad of evaluative criteria (college standardized test scores, college admission, IB passing rate, institutional financial strength, curriculum, faculty culture and earned degrees, long term strategic planning, academic growth, facilities improvement, classroom size, and budget management). The application also consists of a site visit from a regent in the Cum Laude Society. The Cum Laude Society regents (from eight designated geographical school territories in the United States) meet once a year to review formal applications from potentially qualified secondary schools. On December 2, 2019, Carrollwood Day School was notified of their inclusion in the Cum Laude Society.
Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society is dedicated to honoring scholastic achievement in secondary schools. The founders of the society modeled Cum Laude after Phi Beta Kappa and in the years since its founding, Cum Laude has grown to 383 secondary school chapters (out of 26,407 secondary schools in the United States), approximately two dozen of which are located in public schools and the remainder in independent schools. Membership also includes chapters located in Canada, England, France, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
This honor is both for Carrollwood Day School as an institution as well as an honor for individual students. Up to the top 10% of the junior class and the top 20% of the senior class can earn membership into the Cum Laude Society. This is the most prestigious academic honor a student can earn and is a very favorable variable in the college admission process.
Thank you to Joe Runge, Director of College Counseling, for contributing this article.