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Everything You Need To Know About College Sororities & Rush Week

The decision to rush a fraternity or sorority when you get to college is a big one. It can feel super overwhelming, especially if you school has a vibrant Greek life on campus. So what all do you need to know before you take the plunge? That’s where this handy guide comes in.

We’ve answered all the biggest questions you might have when it comes to Greek life, rush week, sororities and everything in between. That way, you’ll be an expert by the time the fall semester rolls around.

If you’re just starting college, you need to check out our go-to guide to everything you need to know about college.

What Is A Sorority?

At its base level, a college sorority is an organization comprised of a group of women for social purposes. While some of the finer details can vary between houses, most share these common elements:

  • Elements of secrecy
  • Single-sex membership
  • A selection of new members through a two-part process (rushing and pledging)
  • Ownership of a residential property where members live
  • Greek letters, ciphers, badges, passwords, colors, flowers, and other unique identifiers

What Do Sororities Do?

There are plenty of things sororities do for their members. The offer housing, host activities and events, and provide a sense of community to young women at the collegiate level. It can also provide academic, leadership, and career opportunities.

How Do You Join A Sorority?

Joining a sorority usually requires you to attend rush events (sometimes known as rush week). This allows the organization an opportunity to get to know you and help them decide if they want you to become a member. It also lets you learn more about each Greek house on campus.

What Is A Sorority Rush?

As we said previously, rushing is the chance for you to make your best impression on the Greek house you want to join while you’re in college. Rush week can vary greatly from school to school (or even between organizations), but it’s usually an open house or series of events.

What Is Rushing In College?

Rushing is the act of learning about each different Greek organization on campus. It can vary, sometimes being relaxed and casual to being a formal event. Sorority rushing tends to be more formal than fraternity rushing, and they usually involve themes and requirements.

5 Things You Need To Know About Rush Week

1. You’re Expected To Visit Every Greek House On Campus

You probably already have an idea of what organization you want to get a big from, but you should definitely visit every house on campus, especially if you’re planning on joining a sorority. Aside from the politeness aspect of it, it looks good to your potential future brothers and sisters that you’re genuinely invested in Greek life. Plus, a lot of frats and sororities do partner events with other houses, so getting to know members of the other organizations will put you one step ahead of everyone else.

2. The Events They Throw Are Actually A Time For You To Learn About The Fraternity Or Sorority

While most rush week events are usually socials or mixers, this is really a time for you to ask questions and learn more about each organization. Think of it like an informal job interview: the better impression you give, the more likely they’ll remember you once it’s time to send out bids. Have a few good questions memorized that you can ask some of the members in order to get some insight and show you’re dedicated.

3. There’s Way More Than Just The Parties

Of course everyone knows that frats and sororities have parties on campus, and that’s a contributing factor to why some students decide to rush in the first place, there’s a huge aspect of Greek life that pop culture usually fails to acknowledge. Fraternities and sororities engage in loads of philanthropic work every year, raising more than $7 million for various charities annually. Participating in your house’s respective charity work isn’t optional, so be ready to volunteer.

4. You Might Not Get A Bid

Brace yourself in case the worst-case scenario happens. There is the reality that you don’t get a bid from any of your top Greek organizations. If this happens, don’t panic—most universities do multiple rush weeks throughout the year. Fall rush week gets the most attention because that’s when so many new students are coming in, but you’ll always have the chance to rush again in the winter or spring if you don’t get a bid.

5. Getting A Bid Doesn’t Mean You’re Automatically In

Congratulations, you’ve gotten a bid! But getting a bid doesn’t mean you’re a100% in yet. Getting a bid just means you’re a pledge. Once you’re a pledge, there’s still an on-boarding process of becoming a full-fledged member. While this varies greatly in length of time and difficulty between organizations, you’ll still have to meet certain criteria. Once that happens, you’ll officially be a member!

What Is Bid Day For Sororities?

Bid Day is the last day of sorority and fraternity recruitment. This is when new members get their offers to pledge from the Greek organizations they attended during rush week. They’re then allowed to “run home” and officially become a member.

What Is Greek Life In College?

Greek life is simply the collective of fraternities and sororities on your respective college campus. It can also refer to all of the events, parties, or the entire community of students who decide to rush and pledge during their time in college.

How Much Does It Cost To Be In A Sorority?

Unfortunately, joining a sorority isn’t cheap. There are fees to for registration during rush week, social fees, chapter dues, and room and board charges. Depending on where you rush and what sorority you attend, it can range anywhere from $600-$6000 per semester, in addition to your annual tuition, rush fees, and alumni fees.

People Also Ask…

What Are Sorority Sisters?

“Sisters” are the other girls in your sorority. While this can be a huge number of girls if your college has a robust Greek life, the one you’ll be hanging out with the most is your “Big”, or the upperclassman in charge of helping you navigate your new life in your sorority. You’ll eventually be a Big and get your own “Little” to take care of, too.

It seems like information overload, I know. But we promise that you’ll be able to handle Greek life and rushing a fraternity or sorority with ease. Just take it one step at a time and surrender to the process. Fingers crossed you get a bid!

Want more back to school advice? Here are 12 questions to ask on your college tour, along with the best checking accounts to open once you’re in college.