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Joining a sorority or fraternity can be a great way to network in college and after graduation — but it can also be expensive. With chapter dues as well as the price of attending social events, you could end up spending thousands of dollars per year on Greek life.
However, there are a few ways to potentially pay for it, including scholarships and student loans.
Here’s what you should know about paying for Greek life:
- How much does a sorority cost?
- How much do fraternities cost?
- Benefits of joining Greek life
- How to pay for Greek life
How much does a sorority cost?
The cost of joining a sorority varies depending on which school you go to and which sorority you join. On average, you can expect to pay around $2,000 or more the first year.
Keep in mind that later years might cost less because you won’t have to pay upfront fees again.
For example, here’s an estimate of what you can expect to pay over four years if you join a sorority at Auburn University:
Here are some of the costs you might encounter when becoming a sorority member:
- Membership dues
- National and local dues
- Housing and meal plan fees
- Facility fees
- Badge fees
- Pledge fees
- Technology fees
- Social dues
If you decide to take out a private student loan, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
Learn More: How to Pay for College
How much do fraternities cost?
Like with sororities, the cost of joining a fraternity varies depending on the school and which frat you decide to join. Some fraternities might charge $3,000 per year while others could cost much more, depending on the school and whether you stay in fraternity housing.
Here’s an estimate of what it could cost to join a fraternity at the University of Georgia without housing or a meal plan. Keep in mind that if you decide to sign up for a meal plan, the cost per semester could rise to over $10,000 per year.
Here are some of the costs you might encounter when joining a fraternity:
- Membership dues
- National and local dues
- Housing and meal plan
- Facility fees
- Initiation fee
- Social dues
You can find out how much you’ll owe over the life of your federal or private student loans using our student loan calculator below.
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With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan, assuming you're making full payments while in school.
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Benefits of joining Greek life
Although joining Greek life can be expensive, the potential benefits could make it a good investment. Here are some of the advantages you might enjoy as a member of a sorority or fraternity:
- Allows you to become part of a community
- Provides personal and professional enrichment through volunteer work and philanthropic events
- Could boost your resume if you take on leadership roles within the organization
- Peers and members of alumni groups could be helpful for career advancement
- Fraternity or sorority housing might be cheaper than other on-campus housing (depending on the school)
How to pay for Greek life
If you’re thinking about joining a sorority or fraternity but aren’t sure how to pay for it, follow these three steps:
1. Look for scholarships and grants
There’s also no limit to how many you might be able to get, so it’s a good idea to apply for as many scholarships and grants as you might be eligible for.
A few institutions that might offer scholarships and grants include:
- Local or national businesses
- Nonprofit organizations
- Professional associations in the field you’ll be studying
Additionally, some sororities or fraternities provide scholarships or grants that could help you offset your costs.
2. Ask about payment plans
In some cases, you might be able to set up a payment plan that could help make the costs of Greek life more manageable. For example, at the University of San Diego, sorority members have the option to pay dues over three to six months, depending on the sorority.
If you’re thinking about joining a sorority or fraternity, be sure to see if any payment plans are available to you.
3. Consider student loans
If scholarships, grants, and other financial aid aren’t enough to cover your Greek life expenses, student loans could be another option.
Just remember that whatever you borrow in student loans will have to be paid back — so be sure to borrow only what you need to keep your future costs as low as possible.
There are two types of student loan to choose from:
Federal student loans
If you need to borrow for school, it’s usually a good idea to start with federal student loans first. This is mainly because these loans come with federal benefits and protections, such as access to income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs.
To apply for federal student loans, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your school will use your FAFSA results to determine what federal student loans and federal student aid you’re eligible for. You might also qualify for school-based scholarships depending on your FAFSA information.
Private student loans
After you’ve exhausted your federal student loan options, private student loans can help fill any financial gaps left over. Keep in mind that these loans are offered by private lenders and don’t come with federal protections.
However, private loans do provide some benefits of their own, such as potentially higher student loan limits and no application deadlines.
If you decide to take out a private student loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find a loan to suit your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.
|Lender||Fixed Rates From (APR)||Variable Rates From (APR)||Loan terms (years)||Loan amounts|
|2.91%+||1.48%+||5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 (depending on loan type)||$2,001 to $200,000|
|3.23%+1||1.03%+1||5, 10, 15||$1,000 to $350,000
(depending on degree)
||0.99%+2,3||5, 8, 10, 15||$1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance|
|3.75%+||1.08%+||7, 10, 15||$1,000 to $99,999 annually
($180,000 aggregate limit)
|3.0%+7||2.17%+7||7, 10, 15||$1,000 to $200,000|
|3.83%+8||1.69%+8||5, 10, 15||$1,001 up to 100% of school certified cost of attendance|
|3.75%+||N/A||10, 15||$1,500 or $2,000 up to school’s certified cost of attendance
(depending on school type and minus other aid received)
|3.5% - 12.6% APR9||1.13% - 11.23% APR9||10, 15||Up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance|
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Lowest APRs reflect autopay, loyalty, and interest-only repayment discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2,3College Ave Disclosures | 7EDvestinU Disclosures | 8INvestEd Disclosures | 9Sallie Mae Disclosures