Student News

What Is a Sorority?

Are the rumors true? Find out about sorority life.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

June 09, 2023

What Is a Sorority?
Why do people join sororities? Get the details on sorority life.
Sorority life has been glamourized and dramatized by “Bama Rush,” as seen on TikTok, and movies like, Legally Blonde and Neighbors 2. But are any of those accounts true to sorority life? At its core, a sorority is a social organization found on a college campus that seeks to provide sisterhood to its members through common goals, like academic achievement, philanthropic contributions to the community, and lifelong friendship. Throughout college, members of a sorority work together to run the day-to-day aspects of an organization as well as toward its growth. While it’s true that some chapters of sororities have deviated from their original intent, most Greek organizations on college campuses have held true to their standards and foundational initiatives.

Sorority Life

Day-to-day sorority life is much like the student life in any other college setting. Members live in a sorority house that functions similarly to a dorm. Sorority housing offers sleeping dorms, study quarters, and three separate meals daily. Though some sororities do not have a sorority house on campus, members of a sorority may request to live near one another to help establish an environment similar to what is found in a sorority house. Many sorority members have jobs or responsibilities that contribute to the everyday running of the organization. These include roles like risk management, recruitment, philanthropy, and event planning.

How to Join a Sorority

The process for joining a sorority varies from campus to campus and sorority to sorority. However, there is a general flow to showing interest in and becoming a sorority member.


Many people unfamiliar with the Greek system wonder, “Is it hard to get into a sorority?” While there are campuses where it’s very competitive, most sorority recruitments are organized so that there is a place in a sorority house for every individual that goes through rush.
Rush is an event that takes place in the fall or spring, where individuals who would like to join a sorority can visit the different houses and interview with current members. Typically, these visits and interviews occur over a series of “rounds.” Each round, sororities determine who they would like to invite back to the next round, and individuals rushing may choose to accept or reject the invitation back to the house. At the end of the rush period, individuals will receive invitations to join a house.


Once an individual has accepted their final invitation to a house, they are considered a “pledge.” A pledge then goes through a process of learning exactly what it means to be a member of that particular sorority. Pledging is typically a multi-week process that includes informational meetings as well as social events. The goal behind pledging is to make sure individuals are ready to commit to the Greek organization.

Hazing and Initiation

Technically, hazing is prohibited in all sororities and illegal in most of the United States. However, some chapters still practice hazing. Hazing includes, but is not limited to the following: • Alcohol consumption • Isolation • Humiliation • Sleep deprivation • Sex acts or nudity • Physical abuse • Forced eating • Animal abuse • Kidnapping • Other illegal activities Some sororities may require pledges to go through a hazing process to become members. If this happens at any point during the process, it should be reported immediately. A majority of sororities comply with state laws and headquarter policies and prohibit hazing in any form. Their pledge process consists of educational and social events, which are not mandatory but highly encouraged. Once pledges have completed the pledging process, they are initiated into the sorority. Initiation is a ceremony during which pledges learn more about exclusive aspects of the sorority and officially become part of the organization. NOTE: If you, or someone you know, experiences hazing at anytime during the recruitment, pledging, or membership process, it should be reported immediately. You can notify the student life center on your college campus, the national headquarters of the Greek organization, or local authorities. Hazing is not limited to Greek organizations. It can happen on athletic teams, student organizations, or to gain admittance into specific student housing. Again, hazing should be reported to the proper individuals and authorities immediately. Hazing can result in serious injury and death.

Should You Join a Sorority?

Is joining a sorority worth it? It depends on who you are and the type of college experience you want. Going through the recruitment and initiation process will educate you further on what sorority life is truly like, and you may learn that the benefits outweigh all the stereotypes.

Benefits of Joining a Sorority

Some say that joining a sorority is just “buying your friends” or all about partying and image. However, there are very tangible benefits to becoming part of a Greek organization:


When individuals join a sorority, they typically do so because they’ve met women from the organization who inspire them or are similar to them in one way or another. Because of this, it’s easy to establish and continue friendships. The relationships feel organic. It’s not uncommon for women in sororities to maintain these friendships for their entire lives.

Academic Support

Sororities have academic standards that members must meet in order to remain eligible to stay in the organization. When members fall below these standards, they are oftentimes put on “probation” from events or required to participate in some type of tutoring. Sometimes, these standards are even higher than those of the college or university. Because of this, members of sororities take academics seriously – or are given tools to improve when their academics begin failing.

Service Opportunities

Like academic standards, sorority members are oftentimes required to perform a set amount of community service hours each year or semester. These can be completed on their own or during designated events. It is not uncommon for sororities to host their own community service events throughout the year. During these events, members of the sorority have various jobs, responsibilities, and time commitments for involvement.

Leadership Development

Within the sorority, there are many different roles that members need to fill in order to run day-to-day operations, weekly meetings, and campus-wide events. Essentially, sororities run like a business. Because of their structure, a sorority is a great place for members to take on leadership roles and grow in their skill set. The typical trajectory for an individual is to begin in a support role as a new member and move into a prominent leadership role by their junior or senior year.

On-Campus and Post-Grad Networking

Finally, joining a sorority allows members to network with other members in Greek organizations across campus as well as with sorority alumni after graduation. Greek organizations have their own form of government on college campuses and oftentimes host events with one another. This structure allows members of different Greek organizations to meet and work with another, providing real work-like experience and connection. After graduation, sorority members will find that there are job networking sites by organization as well as alumni groups and events in cities. The shared Greek experience on a college campus results in real-world connection and opportunity.

Sorority Scholarships

To qualify for sorority scholarships, be sure to update your Fastweb profile with your Greek organization affiliation. Check out a few sorority scholarships below:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Graduate Merit Scholarship

Deadline: 8/15/23 Award Amount: Varies Available To: Graduate Students The Alpha Kappa Alpha Graduate Merit Scholarship is available to full - time students. You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate community service and involvement to be eligible for this award.

aKDPhi Aprileen Coh Scholarship

Deadline: Coming Soon Award Amount: $1,000 Available To: College Students The aKDPhi Aprileen Coh Scholarship is available to members of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority who embody the vision of the foundation to drive positive change in the world through their unique passions and skillsets. Undergraduates must be enrolled on a full-time basis.

Kappa Kappa Gamma Marisol Scholarship

Deadline: Coming Soon Award Amount: 75% of tuition Available To: College Sophomore to College Senior Students The Kappa Kappa Gamma Marisol Scholarship is available to sophomore-level and above undergraduate students who are members of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. To be considered for this award, you must be enrolled on a full-time basis, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate extreme financial need. Selection is also based on an academic or professional reference.

Pi Beta Phi Sorority Scholarship

Deadline: Coming Soon Award Amount: Varies Available To: College and Graduate Students The Pi Beta Phi Sorority Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who are members in good standing of Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

Alpha Phi Sorority Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: Coming Soon Award Amount: Varies Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate Students The Alpha Phi Sorority Foundation Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who are members in good standing of Alpha Phi Sorority. Selection is based on academic merit, financial need, and recommendations.

Delta Delta Delta Sorority Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: Coming Soon Award Amount: Varies Available To: College and Graduate Students The Delta Delta Delta Sorority Foundation Scholarship is available to members in good standing of Delta Delta Delta Sorority. Selection for awards are based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of the two.

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Kathryn Knight Randolph

Associate Content Editor

Kathryn Knight Randolph is the Associate Content Editor at Fastweb. She has 17 years of higher education experience, working first as an Admissions Officer at DePauw University before joining Fastweb. In b...

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