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Greek Life: Gauging Campus Impact

February 15th, 2016

Sorority and fraternity (Greek) life on college campuses can be powerfully important in social life, minimally important, or not at all.

Is Greek life for you? If you’re asking yourself this question it’s important to consider that universities use Greek membership statistics to reflect the level of involvement on campus. Unfortunately, objective data do not always tell the full story, so in addition to asking your counselor or tour guide for information it’s useful to find other ways to determine the relative impact of sororities and fraternities on campus social life.

More students and parents have been asking us about this lately, so Shrop Ed’s own Ashley Drapp offers tips today that can guide exploration into Greek life on college campuses.

Here are Ashley’s suggestions of questions to ask to help you get a full assessment of Greek life at your college of choice:

  • How many students rush at the beginning of freshman year? Some schools have Rush Week the week before first semester begins, some rush the first week of fall semester and others do not rush until 2nd semester. If most of the Greek “Rush” happens the week before standard start, social bonds may be formed during this time and freshmen who arrive after the Rush period may feel left out.
  • Out of the number of students who rush, how many students actually join a fraternity or sorority?  Many may rush, yet a smaller number may join.  Is this because it’s difficult to receive a membership bid, or is this because many prospective members determine during Rush that Greek life is not for them?
  • What is the percentage of students involved in Greek life during their freshman year? If high, it may be harder during freshman year to find other students who are not affiliating with fraternities or sororities.
  • What is the percentage of students who stay in their fraternity or sorority during all four years of college?  Many students at large universities do not remain in their fraternity or sorority during all four years of college, and this attrition affects the percentage of overall students reported to be involved in Greek life.  This is why statistics reported about overall campus involvement may not tell the full story.

There are many websites to use as resources for these statistics.  US News and World Report published two articles listing colleges and universities with the highest percentages of male and female undergraduate students in fraternities and sororities in 2014.

Peterson’s, an online college resource, posted a great article that also brings up some important factors to consider when thinking about becoming a member of Greek life.  We think it will be helpful as you ponder how you’d like to structure your social life at college.  Read more here>>

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