For Parents

My daughter is considering joining a sorority. What’s it all about?
Aren’t sororities expensive?
What are the housing requirements in joining a sorority?
Will my daughter be hazed if she joins a sorority?
What is a legacy?
Where can I send letters of recommendation and legacy forms?
How will my daughter’s academics be affected if she joins a sorority?
I wasn’t Greek in college – where can I learn more?



My daughter is considering joining a sorority. What’s it all about?
Although there are countless movies and TV shows that portray sorority and fraternity life, most of the time, these are extreme exaggerations based on stereotypes. In reality, joining a sorority at Penn State is one of the best ways for your daughter to get involved and find her niche at such a huge university. Not only does sorority membership provide instant opportunities for service and leadership positions, but most women at Penn State describe their sorority experience as being their “home away from home,” and their sorority sisters as being some of their best friends in a sea of over 40,000 undergraduates.

In short, joining a sorority is not about wild parties and drinking (or other shallow stereotypes)– it’s about making lifelong friendships, a commitment to service, academic excellence, and much, much more. We encourage you and your daugher to read through this website as well as the websites of our individual chapters to get a better feel for what sorority life at Penn State is all about.

Aren’t sororities expensive?
Many clubs and organizations at Penn State have yearly or semesterly dues to help pay for their events and activities for their members. Sororities are no different, with dues being used to pay for the upkeep of the chapter’s suite, community service events, scholarships, intramurals, and many of the social events offered. Annual membership dues vary per chapter, but an estimated range is anywhere from $350 to $600 each semester. During Formal Recruitment, chapters will disclose their financial expectations to Potential New Members before extending an invitation to join.

Additionally, most of our sororities’ national organizations offer various scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study. Should your daughter join a chapter, we highly encourage her to apply for these awards! Locally, the Penn State Panhellenic Council also offers scholarship opportunities, this year awarding a total of $1,500 to three outstanding sorority woman.

What are the housing requirements in joining a sorority?
There are no housing requirements to join a sorority. However, sororities welcome and encourage their members to live on the chapter’s floor in their respective residence hall. Due to chapter floors being located in newly renovated residence halls, the rate averages around $300 more per semester than traditional residence halls. The selection process to live on the floor varies chapter to chapter. Sororities will disclose their housing selection process to Potential New Members before extending an invitation to join.

Will my daughter by hazed if she joins a sorority?
Absolutely not. The Panhellenic Council has worked very hard to erradicate hazing at Penn State. The matter is taken very seriously and any reports of any type of hazing (like making a member feel uncomfortable for any reason) will result in severe, immediate consequences for the chapter. We are proud of our firm stance against hazing and it is not tolerated under any circumstance. Should your daughter feel that she is being hazed, we encourage her to contact the Vice President for Standards and report it immediately. Her report will remain confidential and the Panhellenic Council will immediately and fully investigate any allegations of hazing.

What is a legacy?
Although every chapter’s individual definition varies, typically, a legacy is the daughter, granddaughter, or sister of a woman in a sorority. Thus, if you or your daughter’s sister or grandmother is a member of one of our 19 National Panhellenic sororities, she is considered a legacy of that organization. Some chapters also include aunts, step-mothers, and other relationships in their legacy definition.

Chapters often give special considerations to legacies during the recruitment process, so it is of the utmost importance for your daughter to list any family connections she may have to a particular sorority when she registers for Formal Recruitment.

Where can I send letters of recommendation or legacy forms?
Please send all forms to the individual chapter at hand. Most chapters list their address and recruitment chair’s contact information on their individual websites. If you are unable to find the specific chapter’s address, feel free to mail letters of introduction or legacy forms to:

CHAPTER NAME
218 HUB-Robeson Center
University Park, PA 16802

How will my daughter’s academics be affected if she joins a sorority?
The GPA for sorority women is consistently higher than the all-women’s GPA at Penn State. In fact, each chapter has its own GPA requirements that members must meet in order to remain in the organization. Although joining a sorority does involve a serious time commitment, we realize that schoolwork comes first and do not expect a new member to sacrifice academics for sorority membership. Check out the Panhellenic Report Card for a detailed breakdown of chapter GPA averages.

I wasn’t Greek in college – where can I learn more?
We encourage you to look through this website as well as the websites of our individual chapters to get a better feel for what sorority life is like here at Penn State. Additionally, the Penn State Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life has broader information about Penn State Greek life on their website. For more general informaton about sorority membership, visit the National Panhellenic Conference’s website. Finally, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions that still haven’t been answered.