Honors student/Honor student

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Google is giving me a mix of these two and I am not sure if these are two different things or it just depends on the use in different parts of the world.

Honors student seems to imply that someone is part of those who will receive the summa, magna and cum laude award for academic excellence, or part of the top 10 performers in class (1st honors, 2nd honors, etc.)

The second one . . . I can’t give a proper definition based on my understanding. It sounds right and I tried to consult the dictionaries but it does not bear any meaning to me.

>non-native speaker here<
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  • Usage varies from one university to another.

    Where I teach, an honors student is enrolled in an "honors program" that comes with opportunities for deeper study than the normal program, special seminars and so on. Participation in this program is noted on transcripts but is not the same as Latin honors (cum laude, etc.). An honor student is one who is doing well in his studies: typically on the Dean's List except in the last semester, when it would refer to Latin honors at graduation. However, I don't think this is universal usage.
    In a BrE context, I don't think honour student is a term used - but we certainly have honours students. There are systems where you can graduate in 3 years with a general (non-honours) degree - in places like Scotland or Australia. You can stay on for an additional year in the honours programme and graduate with an honours degree as opposed to a general degree. (This can be a Class 1, Class 2: 1 [second upper], Class 2:2 [second lower] or Class 3 honours degree.)

    In England, the term isn't much used because almost everyone graduates with an honours degree anyway.