Being a “broke college student” is a well-known title for most young adults going to school. But what about the thousands of members that take on additional costs by being involved with Fraternity and Sorority Life?
According to the Fraternity and Sorority Life website, for the 2012-2013 year the per term average cost for fraternity live-in members is $3,906 and the average cost for sorority live-in member is $2,474.
Sorority and fraternity dues pay for a variety of different things including new member fees, badge fees and additional facility fees for both live-ins and live-outs. According to the FSL website, when all of these are added together, the sorority with the highest price of 2013-2014 for new members in the fall is Alpha Phi with $1,131. The fraternity with the highest price for new members in the fall is Sigma Chi with $640.
These fees are subject to change and can vary from chapter to chapter.
According to Sigma Phi Epsilon’s president Casey Davis, fraternity dues go to a variety of categories such as recruitment funds, house improvements, philanthropy events, the national fraternity and the International Fraternity Council.
Sierra Gamelgaard, a junior in Gamma Phi Beta, says that she knows that being a part of FSL is expensive, but it’s worth it to her.
“In the future, when I graduate, there are going to be so many connections that come from it. I’m going to have over 100 sisters who are going to be all over the place who will always help me,” Gamelgaard said. “Nowadays I feel like connections are so much more important.”
Being in a sorority is more difficult for Gamelgaard because she pays for her school tuition, as well as her sorority dues. Therefore, she needs more help when it comes time to pay. Members can apply for a payment plan to potentially ease the stress of paying for dues and other expenses.
“They offer payment plans every term, and that’s what our financial vice president does. I obviously can’t pay it all at one time, so I’ll talk to her and pay monthly until I can pay it off,” Gamelgaard said. “They’re willing to work with you. They want to keep you in the house, but also you need to pay to be in the house cause you’re paying for a lot of things that happen.”
For some, like Gamelgaard, the cost of FSL is not important in comparison to the benefits.
“I work hard for my money, and this is what I want to spend it on,” Gamelgaard said. “I want to be a part of this community.”
For others though, the cost is not worth the community or connections that it may bring.
Junior Camille Carona went through recruitment as a sophomore. She said she dropped during the recruitment process after realizing the costs that were involved.
“I dropped out on preference night, and it was at that point that I realized that I wouldn’t be able to afford being in a sorority,” Carona said.
Some members do have the advantage that their parents will pay for their involvement in a fraternity or sorority. But for students like Carona, who pay out of state tuition, that can be more difficult.
“I knew my parents weren’t going to pay for it because Greek life wasn’t something they cared very much about and school was already so expensive,” Carona said. “Adding on house fees for something that isn’t required or necessary, there’s no way in hell and I wasn’t about to ask my parents.”
Follow Lauren Garetto on Twitter @laurengaretto