Tassels of all different colors are worn at high school and university graduation ceremonies all over the country. While most graduates will wear a single tassel on their mortarboard hat, students graduating with honors, members of special clubs and organizations or students who have achieved a certain GPA may be eligible to wear additional tassels.

Mortarboard Tassels

The decorative mortarboard tassel is worn on the right side of a graduate's hat, then moved to the left side following receipt of their diploma. While high school tassels are usually identical, universities may have a different color of tassel for each different major, so that the audience of the graduation ceremony can identify which program they completed. These colors vary from school to school. Often, tassels are accompanied by charms which display the graduation year. Select students may wear additional mortarboard tassels which signify membership in an organization such as the National Honor Society.

Honor Cord Tassels

Honor cords are another part of graduation dress, worn by students who have achieved a certain high GPA. The eligibility for wearing the honor cord varies from school to school. These long cords have one or two tassels on the ends, and students hang them around their necks to identify them as high achievers.

Souvenir Tassels

Many students keep their graduation tassels as a memento of the event, either hanging them from their car's rear view mirrors or keeping them in a special drawer. Since most students only have one tassel, many opt to purchase smaller souvenir tassels as bookmarks or keychains. These tassels look similar to the graduation tassel and can be given to friends and relatives as gifts.