Is Greek Life Worth It?

What Is Greek Life?

Collectively referred to as “Greek life,” fraternities and sororities are value-based, undergraduate organizations that are mainly associated with colleges and universities. At their core, they provide academic support and help young college students develop social and leadership skills.

Benefits of Fraternities and Sororities

Academic Support

One of the lesser-known aspects of joining a fraternity or sorority is the academic support members receive. Many organizations actually provide an array of academic resources, such as on-hand tutors, study files, and coursework from popular classes. Some school chapters also have GPA requirements that members must uphold.

Social Life

Perhaps the most well-known benefit of Greek life is the ability to build instant connections and create lifelong friendships. Many students struggle in their early college years to meet new people and find a social circle, but sororities and fraternities help foster these tight-knit connections right off the bat.

Networking Connections

You’ve probably heard that joining a fraternity or sorority increases your chance for success after graduation. And generally speaking, that’s true. Once you become a member of a fraternity or sorority, you benefit from a strong alumni network.

Philanthropy

A significant part of Greek life is the philanthropic contributions and activities that members support. Many chapters focus heavily on community service projects and fundraisers, often raising thousands of dollars each year for charities and groups in the surrounding community.

Other Factors to Consider Before Going Greek

Cost

It’s no secret that Greek life can be expensive. Between Greek apparel, suits and dresses for social events, and membership pins, you can expect expenses to pile up throughout the year, in addition to chapter dues.

Risk of Hazing

Currently, all but six states have anti-hazing laws, and virtually every college and university prohibits harmful hazing activities. Unfortunately, it’s still fairly common. Although there have been many reports of hazing-related incidents in sororities in recent years, the practice is far more prevalent in fraternities.

Time Commitment

Not every student has the availability to meet the commitments of Greek life. During the pledging process, which can last 6–10 weeks, you can expect to spend all your free time attending meetings and events. Once pledging is over, you’ll be required to attend house meetings, chapter events, and fundraisers throughout the year.

Lifestyle

Some fraternity and sorority chapters throw parties every weekend, while others may only host a few events throughout the year. Parties can be an attractive feature of Greek life, but if you need time to wind down or study over the weekend, this lifestyle could overwhelm you.

So Is Greek Life Worth It?

Before you make a decision, take some time to research the fraternities or sororities at the schools you’re considering. Some campuses feature a vibrant Greek life, with thousands of participating undergraduate students. For example, more than 35% of the undergraduate population at the University of Alabama — about 11,000 students — belongs to a Greek organization.

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