I got a Mortarboard badge due to a bounty I received today. The definition of the Mortarboard badge is to have gotten the max rep for one day, but the FAQ states that bounty does not apply to the 200 daily rep limit. So technically, I haven't reached my daily limit, yet I still got the Mortarboard. I can understand why the system awarded the badge, but it doesn't seem entirely correct... does it?

3 Answers 3


The bounty will always be awarded even beyond the rep cap (in that sense the bounty doesn't apply to the rep cap), but afterwards, you won't be getting any more rep. In other words, upvotes before the bounty are awarded, upvotes afterwards aren't.* So you have reached the rep cap for today, hence the badge.

*This is not true anymore; bounties and rep cap have been fully independent for a while now.

  • 3
    The criticism mainly revolves around the fact that if you receive a bounty early in the SO 'day' you are capped, and don't get rep from upvotes, whereas if you receive the bounty late in the SO 'day' then all the rep you've gained is still counted, and you get the bounty. In other words, you may get more or less rep based on when the bounty answer is selected. I usually try to accept any bounties I set just before the SO 'day' ends so the answerer gets as much as they can out of it.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 25, 2010 at 20:21
  • @PollyWannaCracker: That's a very nice way of handling this. I can't believe I tagged you 'jerk', but it seems that I did. Now where do I change that again?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jan 25, 2010 at 20:38
  • The user tagging control panel is here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36893/… And now I do want a cracker.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 25, 2010 at 20:57

Actually, any rep you earn via any means, up to the first 200, counts toward your rep cap. Hence your bounty most likely put you at or over 200 for the day, and you have effectively rep capped.

The difference with bounties (and acceptance in general) is that they are immune to the effects of the rep cap. That is, at 200, you get nothing for upvotes -- but acceptances and bounties will take you over the 200.

This is how the legendary Jon Skeet averages over 200 per day.

  • He surely gets a nice boost from the uncapped +15 Accepted Answer bonus, too Jan 25, 2010 at 20:05
  • Yes, hence the " ... acceptances and bounties will take you over the 200." :) (I'm pretty sure most of Jon Skeet's extra comes from standard acceptances more than bounties.)
    – John Rudy
    Jan 25, 2010 at 20:22

You have hit the rep cap for the day, thus you earn the badge.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .