Being in a sorority is an absolutely amazing experience. It creates lifelong friendships. It helps you network. And it makes you become a better, more well-rounded person. That being said, going Greek isn’t exactly priceless. Not even close. But in the moment, you don’t realize the price tag you’re ringing up. A koozie here. A date function there. It’s all part of the experience, and you (or your parents) are happy to pay it.
Until of course, you graduate and realize exactly how much you spent.
A recent blog post on Credit.com calculated just how much it costs to be in a sorority for four years and it. is. dizzying.
First, you have your recruitment fee, which amounts to about $50. Then, your new member dues. In this article the author, Christine DiGangi, calculated hers at $656. Which is on the lower end.
So that’s $706 just to start. And you’re not even initiated yet.
Then, an average semester of living in-house (which most sorority girls say you have to do at least once) was broken down. Here are the shocking results.
Dues to the national fraternity: $50
Dues to the chapter: $412.50
Entertainment & social events: $75
Liability insurance: $15
Technology fee: $12.50 (house printers and computers)
Room charges: $2,670.36
Board charges and food: $797.64
Telephone: $50 (Seeing this years later, I’m like WHAT? I never used the phone, nor did I even bring a phone to hook up in my room. Ugh.)
Vending machine income: $37.50 (I still have no idea what this is for.)
Resulting in a total of $4,120.50 for the semester.
In the article, Christine breaks down each year and semester, citing changes in the economy and increases in housing. Then, she adds in the things “you choose but sort of have to buy.” Things like gifts, shirts, costumes, entertainment (what’s being in a sorority without froyo and Chipotle?), and so on. The author calculated this amount to at least $1,620.
If you’re starting to sweat a little bit, don’t worry. It gets worse. Ready for the final calculation of what four years in Greek life costs?
At least $16,015.21 for four years in letters.
At least. And keep in mind, the author states that her chapter (back in 2008) was one of the cheaper ones on campus. She lived in-house and had a meal plan. But still, if this doesn’t make you feel something, then you need to revaluate your financial situation. So what does this mean? That being in a sorority isn’t worth it? That you’d be in a better position after college if you hadn’t donned some letters? That no one should ever join Greek life because it’s a total rip off? Not necessarily.
This means that when you sign your name at initiation, be aware of what you’re getting into. Be smart. You don’t need every single shirt. You don’t have to go to every single happy hour. And you don’t need to take triplets if you don’t love them all. But above everything else, make sure to get your money’s worth, and have a hell of a time because the final price tag might be big. But the laughter, the memories, and the support system you have for the rest of your life? Those are the things that are priceless..