How Much Does it Cost to Be in a Sorority?
You’re hoping that by joining a sorority, you’ll finally have the social life you’ve always wanted. It looks like fun, you can make friends easily, and maybe even network your way to a high-paying job. But it all comes at a price. So how much do sororities cost? You may end up paying hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars just to join one, and it may not be worth it. Take a look at these sorority costs, then decide if you really want to try for a spot:
Sorority Membership Fees
Yup, you read that right – you need to pay just to join a sorority. The fees vary depending on the sorority and the chapter, but they can cost upwards of $3,000 per semester.
For example, at the University of Central Florida, a student will pay anywhere from $956 per semester at Delta Zeta to $2,346 per semester at Delta Delta Delta. Some sororities cost more because they include meals, and prices for membership or chapter fees may go up if you don’t stay in-house. Sounds weird, since they don’t need to put you up, but sororities still need to cover their costs.
Keep in mind that this only includes insurance and membership dues to your local chapter and national organizations. You’ll still need to buy things like your membership pin and sorority-related clothing, all of which can add up to hundreds of dollars.
Sororities are serious about participation, and they may fine you just for being late. If you pledged to be at events like chapter meetings, you’re expected to attend unless you have a very good reason for your absence. Your sorority may fine you for infractions like missing an initiation ceremony, chapter meeting, or formal pledging ceremony.
Events and Gifts
Sorry, ladies, but you may find yourselves paying even more to be part of a sorority. You’ll likely end up buying new outfits, for one. You may have to follow specific dress requirements, especially during events like recruitment and pledge ceremonies. Sometimes that involves buying several different shoes, dresses, outfits, and even jewelry. Finding low cost but chic places to shop is key. For example, we’ve found a few good options in shoes with BornShoes.com and dresses at PinkLady. For the ultimate savings and fashion crossover, we even found pre-owned designer handbags and jewelry at Luxe, like Louis Vuitton and more.
All of this can easily set you back a few hundred dollars, if not more.
You may also be obligated to buy presents for your pledge sisters. It’s usually small – customized shirts, candies, picture frames, or books, for example. But while those individual purchases aren’t huge, they can add up to hundreds of dollars over time.
While this last point may not directly impact your wallet, it does cost you. During the pledge process, your free time will be completely taken up. After that, the sorority will expect you to attend meetings, work on various projects, or even just spend time in your chapter house. This doesn’t include any other social events that your sorority puts on, which will depend on how demanding your chapter is.
These obligations can cut into the time you could otherwise spend working at a part-time job, studying, or even sleeping. That means that if you don’t have good time-management skills or a good discipline regimen, you’ll get in trouble fast.
With All Those Sorority Costs, is Greek Life Worth It?
The answer is up to you. While you’re shelling out thousands of dollars for this experience, it does come with its advantages.
By joining a sorority, you can gain valuable experience, like planning events and holding leadership positions.
You may also make connections that will help you with your career long after college is over. Even if that’s not the case, you may have the opportunity to meet and bond with a smaller circle of people who will eventually become your lifelong friends.
However, if you’re barely scraping by and don’t feel like spending all that extra money, that’s okay, too. Just because you don’t join a sorority doesn’t mean that you won’t have the opportunity to make valuable connections or have an active social life.
If you do choose to join, do your research. Many colleges disclose sorority costs like membership fees, so don’t hesitate to look up what you’re getting into and for how much.
You should also look for organizations that are a good fit for you. That means finding ones that have the same interests or values that you do. You’ll also want to look at what types of extracurricular activities they have. If you plan on living in the sorority house, you might want to take a tour to see if you can imagine yourself living there.
No matter what you choose, just make sure that your decision is an informed one. And don’t let sorority costs be the only decision-making factor.