Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why Fraternities and Sororities Are Not Stupid: Reason 4

Graduating on time: it is a more likely outcome if you are in a fraternity or sorority.

Reason 4: Members of fraternities and sororities have been found to persist to graduation at higher rates than other students.

A study by Auburn University found the four-year graduation rate for students in fraternities and sororities to be just over 80% while only 70% of unaffiliated students graduated in four years. We put our heads together and brainstormed a few ways our brothers and sisters subtly and not so subtly encouraged us to make it to graduation (and in a timely manner at that).

First off, fraternities and sororities automatically create an environment of people with similar goals. When you're surrounded by brothers or sisters who want to succeed and progress academically, it makes it a lot easier for you to stay focused on your academic goals. By studying in groups, even when you're all working on different things, you have people pulling you through your next test or big paper. Additionally, by having a network of people with different areas of study, it is a lot easier to get help in a class you may have to take from someone who has a major in that area. If you're an English major struggling in economics, it's a lot easier to ask a brother who is majoring in business than someone you don't know in the business school.

Whenever you have a chapter of 20-300 people, there is a high likelihood you will find someone with your same major. By having a built-in cohort, you have created a learning community that increases your chances for academic success and university engagement (Zhao, 2004). 

Think about it: when you have classes together and similar material to study, you can think more critically and deeply about concepts, thus better understanding the material. In addition, by connecting with older members in your same area of study, you have an invaluable resource for knowing which classes to take to achieve your goals and more information about what you can do with your major. It's pretty hard to make those connections without a fraternity or sorority.

So, more than the general student leader experience, membership in a fraternity or sorority (if done right) can provide a dedicated network to help you succeed academically and push you towards graduation. Doesn't sound so stupid to us.

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