Cost of Greek Life
Club & Greek

The Cost of Going Greek

Financial information was distributed for the first time at Monmouth University’s Spring Formal Recruitment, during which, potential new members underwent the process of becoming a member of one of the six Panhellenic sororities on-campus.

Approximately 260 women participated in recruitment this year at Monmouth. In order to be eligible for the recruitment process, a woman must have a minimum grade point average of a 2.5 or higher and a minimum of 12 college credits.

Women must meet all of these qualifications to be a member of an organization on campus. While the list of qualifications is lengthy, there is one important qualification that seems to be purposefully hidden from the women who go through this process.

Financial stability is a crucial requirement for a potential new member who hopes to join an organization. Each of the six Panhellenic sororities, eight Interfraternity Council chapters, and three Multicultural and Professional Greek organizations at Monmouth pay membership dues.

These fees go to the organization’s national headquarters to finance resources and insurance for each chapter. At Monmouth University, dues range between $100 to $600 a semester.

After multiple instances of new members denying their membership offer on Bid Day or disaffiliating from their organizations because of financial reasons, the Monmouth Panhellenic Council decided that the implementation of financial boards in each organization’s room was necessary.

Michele Kaplan, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life said, “Last year, we had a handful of women leave the new member process and cite financial reasons as the reason they left. Based on that information, we realized that the range we gave PNMs at the PNM Orientation was not enough information, so we wanted to make sure the information was readily available to them and that each group was being transparent.”

Daniela Climenti, a senior communication student, went through recruitment last year and was only aware of dues because of friends in organizations. “It really wasn’t talked about thoroughly when I went through and I honestly would have went into it blind if I didn’t have someone close to me explain what dues are,” Climenti said.

Gina Crowell, a senior communication student and Vice President of Panhellenic Recruitment, said that many Recruitment Counselors claimed that women in their groups throughout the weekend strongly identified with a particular organization’s values and members, but they felt that their dues were too expensive. “By providing a financial board in each room girls know a rough estimate of the fees before they accept their bids,” said Crowell.

With this information, a potential new member can make a well-informed decision about whether or not a particular organization or Greek Life, in general, will fit into their budgets.

While it was mandatory for these organizations to display financial information, it was up to the individual chapter on how they displayed it.

Corrin Treretola, a freshman biology student who went through recruitment this year said, “All of the rooms had the information, but some rooms had big boards. In certain rooms, I didn’t really see anything and the information seemed almost hidden.”

The purpose of having the information readily available to potential new members is to give them all of the information necessary to facilitate their decision and to give them a realistic view of what they could potentially be paying in the future.

When asked if requiring the organizations to provide financial boards for potential new members proved to be effective during this recruitment process, Kaplan said, “I really will not have an accurate read on this until the new member process is completed.”

The cost to ‘go Greek’ has been shrouded in mystery for what seems like years. The Panhellenic Council has made strides to help women have their best Greek experience, and hope to keep improving the process for them.

Meaghan Wheeler, a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi and senior history education student said, “It would have been nice to know the cost of the dues going into it, but I really feel like it wouldn’t have changed my decision and would have been worth it no matter what. It isn’t cheap to join a Greek organization, but the memories and friends that you make are priceless.”