Is fraternity/sorority worth it?
Isn’t it just buying your friends?
We already know that fraternities and sororities have had a membership retention and engagement problem. But it’s worsening by the minute as members are asking “is this really worth it” (especially given the extreme circumstances of the present moment). During last week’s Phired Up Friday, we offered a free digital training offering insights on how to keep members and how to keep them engaged. The principles delivered during this session are applicable to the extremes of the current moment and the normalcy that we’ll soon (hopefully) return to.
Watch a recording of the full session below:
Or… Watch this shorter video.
And, when you’ve finished, read through some examples we came up with on how we might answer the question: “Is Fraternity & sorority worth the cost?” We hope they get you thinking about the ways fraternity or sorority provides value to you so you can craft your own unique way to talk about your organization’s value.
“Well, for me, sorority is an investment in a FULL college experience. I pay my dues because this organization rounds out my college life.”
“I wondered if my membership would be worth the dues I paid for my first semester. Then I started seeing myself grow, I got comfortable public speaking, learned how to work alongside others (especially learning to work with those I don’t see eye to eye with), got to manage a $5,000 event budget, and saw my test scores go up. I gained valuable life lessons but meeting some amazing friends to support me and build me up during it all was the cherry on top.”
“I didn’t have a stable family life and I wanted to change that in college. Sorority gave me the place to find my chosen family in women that loved me without condition.”
“Was it worth it? Hell yes- every moment of my college experience was challenged and supported by the community I became a part of. There is no price tag on experiences that shape seasons of our lives. ”
“It’s the lifelong aspect that makes it ‘worth it’ to me. Nothing else in college offers the promise of lifelong friends and career connections.”
“Sisterhood is more than friendship. It’s deep and it’s real. It’s forever. And it’s full of shared beliefs, values, and promises. That’s worth every penny to me.”
“I was tired of college just being about me. My grades, my relationships, my schedule. Nothing wrong with that but it stopped feeling fulfilling. Like it wasn’t enough. Fraternity gave me a way to change that. People to celebrate wins and fun times of college with, and help lift up or take the punch with when things were down. And of course lift me up when I was down. College became about we instead of about me which has been amazing. I don’t know if you can put a price on that but if so, ours probably costs less.”
“Oh I gladly pay dues (and I’m not exactly overflowing with money) because of all the amazing things we do! This is like the cruise ship of college. We’re constantly doing socials, service work, date functions, sisterhood retreats. It’s amazing!”
“I was really uncertain about the finances when I first joined. I’ve learned it’s worth every penny. These women are mentors and supporters and cheerleaders like nobody else I’ve ever met. They are my lifeline. I never would have found this in the dorms.”
“A perspective shift for me was when I realized that I don’t pay to the fraternity I pay through the fraternity. For me I paid for the experiences, for access to learning and leadership, and for access to opportunities I can’t get on campus (believe me I tried and it wasn’t the same). When I pay through fraternity my dollars actually go further than just something I do on my own.”
“I’m investing in other women with my dues. I don’t pay so I can get t-shirts and events (though that’s all great). My dues are an investment in uplifting women.”
“Aside from going to class, I didn’t feel like I had a great deal of purpose on campus before sorority. Membership in sorority gave me access to a significant number of opportunities, connections and experiences that I absolutely wouldn’t have without it. College life finally feels purposeful and fun.”
“Being in a sorority at my school isn’t just about having friends locally, I’m connected with thousands of sisters at chapters across the country and that’s not something you can get with just any club. There’s nothing like meeting a sister from another part of the country when you least expect it. Having friends (sisters) anywhere you go is an incredible thing.”
“Sorority membership isn’t just beneficial during college. Getting ready for graduation, there are a ton of alumnae in different cities who have been helpful in sharing my resume, recommend jobs to apply for, and connect me with professionals in my industry they know. Plus, they are super excited to welcome me into their alumnae chapter and help me get settled in a new city.”
“If I only wanted to pay for a diploma, I’d have taken online classes. I want an experience. Fraternity is tradition; it’s building a legacy I can come back to after graduation, it’s belonging to something bigger than myself.”
“I didn’t think I could afford fraternity. I’m a first generation student with multiple jobs. I don’t get $$ from my family. I had to decide if joining was “worth it.” I did the soul searching and I did the math. You should, too. I remember that I wasn’t 100% sure but I decided to take a leap of faith. Now I can tell you looking back, I made the right choice.”
“I get it. It ain’t cheap. Everyone joins for a different reason. You have to figure out yours. For me, it just made things easier. And it looked fun! It was a group I wanted to be with that was doing stuff I liked doing. The fraternity made it easy for me to have the best day of my life any day of my life.”
“Everyone told me ‘frat guys are just paying for friends.’ Not true. What’s really happening is my friends and I are putting our money together to do stuff that we decide is fun and worth it to us.”
“This place is my home away from home. I love the brothers! They look out for me. Keep me on track with my goals. Support me. To me, that’s priceless.”
“I’m only learning theory in the classroom. And paying a small fortune for it. In the fraternity I’m learning how to lead people, manage conflict, run an organization that’s like a small business…. This sounds weird, but I’m getting real world value from the fraternity that’s more useful than my classroom education.”
“Here’s the truth. It ain’t free. To me, it’s worth it. But it ain’t cheap. I work some overtime and weekends during the summer so I have enough money to pay dues. If you’re willing to do a little extra work, you can pay for it all upfront.”
“My parents help me pay for school. I showed them that people who join fraternities get better grades, are more likely to graduate, find internships, and land better jobs. They felt like giving me additional support and resources was worth the cost of dues.”
“Let’s be real. You don’t need to pay dues to party, drink, or whatever. You can do that stuff without joining. Landing a better internship, getting a higher paying job, building skills that will accelerate your career… those things are worth the cost that most guys are wasting on Friday nights.”
“A credit hour here costs $250. So the normal 4 credit class costs $1000. I’ve had classes that I didn’t learn much, didn’t get to know the professor or anyone in the class, I dreaded even going. Fraternity costs a fraction of that one class. I know every one of these guys, they care about me, and I know the fraternity is helping me become a better man. I haven’t really thought of it like this before, but fraternity might be the best value on campus.”
“What I noticed around me were the higher achieving, more social in a good way, and more likely to be successful people. Even when I had to work through college to pay my treasurer something every two weeks I found value in being around high performers. It made me better. Friends who were not in these organizations missed out on their college experience. They missed out on relationships. Knowledge is great, but if you aren’t connected it won’t take you very far.”
“Anything worth doing costs you something, When you want to make good grades it might be a sacrifice of getting up early to study, or getting a tutor. If you want to be healthy the cost is in the time you spend to workout, get a membership or take a class on campus. To pursue a significant other you give up part of who you are which costs you something. Fraternity costs something.”
“I’ve never been in an organization like this before. Yes, I’ve done student council and honors societies that cost me next to nothing. But I realized my dues were worth it when I saw how deep the relationships went. I’m growing myself, my friendships, my network, and my career all at the same time. No other organization offered me the ability to do that and that makes my dues worth it for me.”
“My dues are worth it to me because of all the individuals that I get to help impact through my membership. My dues helped host a 5k that donated $20,000 to the Ronald McDonald house in town which provided rooms and meals for families in need for two whole months. I see my dues going toward impacting women internally too. I get to mentor those younger than me and help them grow as individuals in their life and career skills. Watching how sorority has an internal and external impact on people around me makes my dues worth it.”