How to Pay for the Cost of a Fraternity or Sorority

There Are a Lot of Resources Available If You Know Where to Look

Young woman weeding in organic field
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Let's just be honest: Joining a fraternity or sorority can be expensive. Even if you don't live in the house, you likely have to pay dues, for social outings, and for all kinds of other things you weren't expecting. So how can you manage to pay for the cost of "going Greek" if money is already tight?

Fortunately, most fraternities and sororities understand that not every student can pay the full cost every semester.

There are lots of places to look if you need a little extra financial help:

  • Look into scholarships. If your Greek is part of a larger regional, national, or even international organization, it may very well have scholarships available. Talk to some of the leaders in your campus chapter to see what they know or whom you should contact for more information on scholarships.
  • Look into grants. There may also be grants available, coming either from your larger organization or from organizations that simply want to support students who are involved in Greek life in general. Don't be afraid to do some searching online, check in with your campus financial aid office, and even ask other students if they know of good resources.
  • Take a paying job within the organization on campus. If you're lucky, you can work within your fraternity or sorority and get an actual paycheck or things paid for indirectly (e.g., your room and board covered). Start asking around as soon as you realize you might be interested in this kind of arrangement; you'll likely need to apply for positions in the spring if you'd like to start working in them in the fall.
  • Take a paying job within the larger organization. If your fraternity or sorority is very large on a regional or national scale, they likely need help keeping things running smoothly. Ask if there are positions that you can apply for -- and work in -- from your campus. The larger organization might need ambassadors, people who can write newsletters, or folks who are great at accounting. You never know what you might find open, so start asking around as soon as possible.
  • See if you can trade your skills for financial arrangements. Perhaps you have some mad skills at gardening. See if you can trade your labor in building, growing, and maintaining an organic garden for your sorority or fraternity in exchange for having your annual dues waived. Or if you're skilled in fixing computers, ask if you can work a few hours a week keeping everyone's machines happy in exchange for a discount on your room and board costs. You got into college because you're smart and resourceful, so don't be shy about using those skills to help you create a financial arrangement that works for you -- and your desire to remain involved in your fraternity or sorority.