The way a fraternity or sorority house is set up can range significantly from school to school.  Some look more like houses, while others look like small hotels.  Some have cooks and serve food on a regular basis, while others leave the members to fend for themselves when it comes to their meals.  Some have cleaning people to come and tidy up for them, others are again, on their own.

My fraternity was fairly large, housing between 50-70 members during the years I was there, with a house capacity of around 80.  We had a cook to make us regular meals (except on the weekends), so it was almost like living in a dorm again.

Here are some of the advantages I realized while enjoying life within such an environment.

Support System

Being at college can be an exciting, yet frightening time.  Many people are left feeling deserted after they’ve left all their high school friends and arrive on campus, clueless and alone.  A fraternity or sorority can provide a sense of belonging and a support system that for some, could keep them from abandoning their college education.

The Greek system can also provide sources of support for tutoring, textbook sharing, study support, rides back home during breaks, and a variety of other items that a student without such a support system could be left paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to obtain.

All-inclusive

Similar to a dorm-style environment, a fraternity could provide many of the necessities of college life for one all-inclusive price.  Water, trash, electricity, local phone service, and meals were included in the price of rent at my fraternity, making budgeting easier and reducing the chance of overspending on these items individually.

Safety and Savings in Numbers

Fraternities often take a bad rap for the “dangers” involved in fraternity life, and yes, I did stupid things when I was in a fraternity.  I also did stupid things at the dorm in which I lived, and at the apartment at which I lived after graduating…in fact, I still do stupid things.  If you’re going to do stupid things, you’re going to do them, right?  But anyway, about the only time you hear about a fraternity in the news is when the occasional hazing or drinking related death occurs.  You rarely hear about all the philanthropic, fundraising, and community service events they participate in or organize.  You don’t hear about the fraternities and sororities that graduate our next generation of leaders, or when other brothers take a member to the hospital who has returned home from the bars after drinking too much or sit up with him all night while he sleeps to make sure he’s okay.

You don’t hear about brothers networking to get other brothers jobs or interviews or coaching them through resume building and interviewing techniques.  You don’t hear about brothers letting other brothers stay at their houses after college when they’re on vacation or in town visiting.

I really could go on and on, but I simply want to point out that both personally and financially, there is a support system involved in many fraternities — during and after college — to which no real monetary amount can be attached, but is there nonetheless.

Social Events in House

Having the luxury of social events being held in house, kind of goes along with the “safety and savings in numbers” point.

Kids can get in trouble both legally and financially by heading out to the college town bars.  I however, found that I could socialize on a regular basis in the safety and comfort of my own fraternity house.

This saved me money on cab fare or gas to local hangouts, and having to pay for costlier beverages and cover charges for outside events and locations.  We had djs and great bands in a social atmosphere, all for a social fee of $500 a year, which might at first sound like a lot of money, but when compared to what many students spend at the bars each year can pale in comparison.  It was also the price of my car insurance deductible, which was only one late night accident away.  Plus, I met my future wife at one of these events, and how can you put a price on that?

 

Disclaimer:

The author is not a licensed financial or educational professional.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.