It’s that time of year again that every sorority girl has a love/hate relationship with- recruitment. No matter what side you are on, going through recruitment or putting on recruitment means that fall semester is starting and with fall semester comes dues! If you aren’t familiar with the term, dues are what sororities call their membership payments. Depending on what University you attend and that specific sorority dues can be anywhere as low as $300 a semester to as high as $4000 a semester. It all depends on what your sorority offers and provides. With that said, no matter what the amount is, it can be difficult to get those dues in on time – take it from me, a sorority treasurer. I have worked with over 100 girls and each one has had a different circumstance, ranging from mom and dad paying for it the second the bill goes out, to, working 30+ hours a week in order to pay for rent, dues and other living expenses. Here’s what I have learned though on how to make it work and how to feel better about all the money you are spending:
Ask about payment plans.
Most sororities across the nation offer payment plans. A payment plan is the alternative option to paying in full; my sorority, for example, allows you to pay in three installments if you are unable to pay upfront. These plans can be lifesavers and help you plan out your paychecks ahead of time so you know what portion has to go towards dues.
Look into “living in”.
Living in many sorority houses are surprisingly cheaper than you may think. This is because you are “living in bulk”- food is bought in bulk, utilities are paid in bulk, mortgages (if your sorority house still has one) are paid by bulk, the list goes on and on. By living in, you also combine many of your expenses into one nice package that can be paid (hopefully) in monthly installments.
Learn how your dues are broken down.
This is a very important step in feeling like you are getting your moneys worth when you are paying for a sorority. Within your dues are categories of what that money goes to- for example, wifi for when you hang out in the house, Monday night chapter dinners, monthly sisterhood activities, exchanges, date night, formal, and many more! Asking your treasurer these questions will help you feel 10x better and make her feel important too, as a bonus!
Find a job that is flexible with your sorority schedule.
Obviously one of the first steps for paying for a sorority is to get a job with as high hourly pay as possible. The key to getting the perfect set up though is to find a job that will work with your sorority schedule. This in some cases is even more important than the hourly pay because of the money you may save yourself by avoiding fines or time spent doing work offs and attending Standards meetings in order to get something excused (we all know time is money right?).
Understand fines specific to your sorority.
I said it: fines. The word that many sorority girls like to avoid when selling you on joining a sorority because of the scary connotation that goes with it. Let me break it down for you though. It is true that many sororities fine when you miss mandatory events. They do this for a variety of reasons, like needing high participation at an event to make it function. The good news is it is generally avoidable if you get it excused ahead of time, and often a “work off” (where you do a chore for the house or sometimes even extra service hours) are offered in place of the fine, depending on your sorority.
Shop for deals for sorority girls.
I cannot tell you how many times my sororities Public Relations and Marketing has sent out an email with a sorority specific coupon for things such as a free tanning salon or 10% off a local boutique. Deals for sorority girls are out there- you just have to find them.
Ask your parents/grandparents/etc. for $ for dues as a Birthday Present
This one has been huge for many girls in my chapter, particularly if they spend the time to explain why their sorority means so much to them and all the good that comes from being involved. Pro-tip: make sure to mention how much your sorority donates in time and money to non-profits and if your sorority has a good average GPA! Utilize the networking you now have!
This can come in handy when looking for a job, some extra money by babysitting or house sitting, or even when looking for scholarships. I would definitely ask your President if your chapter has a scholarship and put your name in the hat- you can never win, if you don’t try!
Wow, that was a lot, but I hope you walk away feeling really confident that you can pay to be in a sorority. It can be difficult, but if you find the right home for you – it is so worth it! After trying out some of these tips, make sure to have a conversation with your treasurer, give her a break from the spreadsheets, and ask for more information!