Frequently Asked Questions
How does a woman join/how does sorority recruitment work?
Sorority recruitment practices vary from campus to campus. Attend sorority recruitment information events, if they are available, or visit the College Panhellenic office on the campus where you are enrolled to find out specifics of the sorority recruitment process. Make it a priority to visit your campus fraternity/sorority life website and search for information on “sorority recruitment.”
For more general information about recruitment, visit http://www.thesororitylife.com/Recruitment-101/index.aspx.
What is the new member process like?
Each sorority has its own new member education program. The purpose of the program is to educate a new member on the organization’s values and to fully explain its history. Typically the programs are fun and interesting and lead up to initiation. The programs may last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the sorority.
Does everyone get a bid?
The purpose of the recruitment process is to allow PNMs and the chapters to decide on the best fit. The truth is that not everyone finds a place to join, but every effort is made to provide opportunities for involvement to any young woman who is interested in a sorority experience. The process is referred to as “mutual selection,” because the preferences of both the potential members and the chapters are used to match women to their new “homes.”
Do I have to register/apply for recruitment, or should I just show up?
You need to register for the sorority recruitment process through the office of fraternity and sorority life or the College Panhellenic on your campus (see question No. 1). There may be a fee to participate in recruitment, and you should check for registration deadlines, because some campuses have early deadlines with fee discounts.
How does housing work?
There are different types of sorority “housing” on campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Those that offer sorority housing may require members to live in the sorority’s chapter house. However, at many campuses there are only suites or lodges, and women simply live in campus housing but can use the sorority space for meetings and to study. Other campuses have no housing at all for sororities. Here’s an article about sorority housing that may help: http://www.thesororitylife.com/newsDetail.aspx?id=12. You need to investigate what type of housing options are available on your campus and what the live-in requirements may be for chapter members.
How much does it cost to be in a sorority?
Being in a sorority is like many member-based groups. Most NPC organizations require a one-time initiation fee and some form of dues. This money is used to fund the chapter’s operations, social events and programming. It also allows the inter/national organization to continue providing resources and support for the local chapters. The costs vary from campus to campus and may be affected by the type of housing provided. The campus fraternity and sorority life office has basic information on the average costs of belonging to a chapter.
How will I know which group is right for me?
Each NPC organization has its own mission, creed and values that its members strive to live by; however, all NPC organizations provide members with friendship and opportunities for personal growth and development, leadership, scholarship and fun. To choose an organization that is right for you, participate in the sorority recruitment process. That will give you the opportunity to meet members of all chapters on campus and get the best idea of your options. The sorority recruitment process, through mutual selection, allows you and the chapters to decide on the best fit. When you go through the recruitment process, it is important to keep an open mind and take notes after each round to remember the conversations.
If you want to start preparing before recruitment, do some research. You can learn about the different inter/national organizations and chapters on campus to get a better idea of what each group represents. The inter/national website for each of the 26 NPC organizations is available by visiting this page on TheSororityLife.com: http://thesororitylife.com/College-Prep/Member%20Groups.aspx. Also check local chapter websites by going to the links provided by the College Panhellenic or by using a search engine.
What if I discover the sorority I selected is the wrong one for me?
Once you accept a bid to a sorority, the new member period begins. This period normally lasts six to eight weeks. If, before initiation, you decide that you are not ready for the commitment, you can break your pledge from the organization. If you would like to participate in recruitment again, you can do so during the next primary membership recruitment period on campus, which is once a year. In other words, it is important to know that if you accept a bid to a chapter on your campus through primary recruitment and break that pledge, you are not eligible to join another sorority until the next primary recruitment period. However, if you do not receive a bid during primary recruitment or decide you would like to withdraw from the process, you are eligible for continuous open bidding (COB).
COB takes place outside the primary recruitment process, but only chapters that have openings can participate. Therefore, you have the most options through the primary recruitment period. We encourage everyone to keep their mind and options open during that time.
What should I do now to help me get into a sorority when I go to college?
If you want to start preparing before recruitment, do some research. Learning about the different inter/national organizations will help you get a better idea of what each group represents. You can also use the resources NPC provides: facebook.com/thesororitylife, twitter.com/TheSororityLife and TheSororityLife.com.
Is it hard to balance sorority membership and academics?
Many sorority women are able to balance academics, a job, sorority membership and other activities on campus, but everyone is different. You might want to talk to some sorority women on your campus or ask College Panhellenic officers to find out the time commitment required at each chapter. You can also read this article published in The Sorority Life News: http://www.thesororitylife.com/newsDetail.aspx?id=26. In general, it all comes down to how you manage your time and what your financial needs are.
If I am a sophomore, should I bother going through recruitment?
Recruitment is a great place to start learning more about sorority life, regardless of your year in school. At some campuses, nonfreshman students are matched at a higher rate than at other campuses. It depends on the number of women participating in the recruitment process and on the campus culture. Contact the fraternity and sorority life office on your campus to ask specifically if upperclass PNMs are common.
Can I join a sorority if I am on or am going to be on an athletics team?
Athletes are often sorority members, and sorority women welcome the chance to support their sisters on the field or court.
What about other Greek-letter groups that are not NPC organizations?
Many campuses have other organizations that women can join that are not NPC sororities. Some sororities belong to other umbrella groups, such as the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO) or the National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC). There are also local, professional and service-based sororities, and sometimes they are associated with the College Panhellenic but function in different ways. The best way to find out about these organizations is to ask the fraternity/sorority life office at your campus.