Joining a Fraternity or Sorority Skip Navigation

Joining a Fraternity or Sorority

Membership in a Greek letter organization is a lifetime commitment. Choosing membership means working with a group of men or women who can exchange and stand for common goals and ideas.The fraternity and sorority experience during the college years is a gateway to many rewards and connections later in life. Each of the chapters develops a special bond often called brotherhood or sisterhood. Both are nurtured through common work, service projects, intramural activities and shared successes and challenges. Throughout the student's life, membership will be an unwritten bond of friendship no matter what course his/her life takes.


A student needs to be an active student in their sophomore year to be eligible to join a fraternity or sorority. There is a minimum academic standard to participate in recruitment set by each governing council. All fraternities and sororities require a minimum 2.5 GPA to be eligible. Additionally, each individual organization is able to set a GPA standard higher than this prescribed minimum.


Each fall semester, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils sponsors formal recruitment – an opportunity for eligible non-affiliated students to become acquainted with the various Greek letter organizations. During formal recruitment, eligible non-affiliated students have the opportunity to visit all of the fraternities and sororities to meet the members and decide which, if any, of the chapters best suit their needs. The recruitment process is one of mutual selection in which fraternity and sorority members invite individuals to be a part of their organizations, and likewise, potential members select the chapters that are best suited for them. Recruitment at Colgate is alcohol-free: that is, NO alcohol is allowed at any formal recruitment activity. Even if students are unsure about joining an organization, recruitment offers a great opportunity to meet new people.

Advantages of Membership

Becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority will provide you with a number of experiences that will help you prepare for life after college. These advantages include developing leadership skills by chairing a committee or assuming an executive board position; succeeding academically with the help of organized study hours; increasing awareness and knowledge of a variety of topics such as risk management, multiculturalism, and civic engagement; and developing enduring friendships and memories that last long after graduation.

One of the tremendous assets of affiliation with a Greek letter organization is the nationwide network of alumni/ae members of the organization. As a student prepares for entry into the career world, alumni/ae members can assist in career networking through their knowledge of where jobs are and who is hiring. In addition, fraternities and sororities will assist students in developing transferable skills that will be needed in the career world, such as management, leadership development, communications and more.

Cost of Joining a Fraternity or Sorority

Joining a fraternity or a sorority does have a financial commitment. The chapters are self-supporting through dues paid by their members. When students join a Greek letter organization, they also agree to pay dues and fees while in school to maintain membership. Although chapters may make accommodations for special needs, students should discuss the financial obligations with their parents and families before deciding to join. Each chapter has different dues for membership that cover such things as chapter and national dues, dues to the Greek governing council, social activities, resources and other miscellaneous costs. Specific financial information for each organization is available during recruitment.