The Best College In Each State For Fraternities And Sororities

by David Luther
Rankings - 3 years ago

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There are about as many opinions of Greek (fraternities and sororities) organizations’ merits as there are letters in the Greek alphabet — there are in fact 24 opinions — and even more opinions on which school has the best Greek life.

Proponents of fraternities and sororities laud the intangible skills people learn from the organizations like “mindsight”, leadership, and networking — but we also found that a heightened Greek presence on campus raises its members GPAs.

Skeptics think it’s all just a bowtied elitist ploy to get wasted in expensive houses and exclude the have-nots.

Each side can make valid points, but no matter where you fall on the Greek approval spectrum, a Gallup survey showed that there are definitive, tangible benefits to participating in Greek life.

Which got us wondering: which schools have the best Greek life? Well, we did our Zippia thing and ranked them all — we’ll tell you how we did it, but first the top ten.

  1. Alabama
  2. Cornell
  3. UIUC
  4. UGA
  5. Mizzou
  6. University of Michigan
  7. USC
  8. University of Florida
  9. University of Oklahoma
  10. University of Kentucky

How we determined the best Greek life school in each state

There are other entities out there that have attempted rankings like this before, but they fall short in one of two ways: they are either data-less, subjective and bro’d out — or they focus too much on government data and lose some of the intangible social value that comes with Greek membership at certain schools.

Our criteria sought to not only place value on the potential academic and career benefits, but on the prestige that comes with membership. Basically, we didn’t want any schools on our list that didn’t contribute to both a successful academic school week and a fun weekend.

Specifically, our criteria are:

  • The total number of chapters at the school (Larger presence is better)
  • Count of Greek Rank reviews and discussions
  • Greek organizations’ GPAs
  • Involvement in Greek life at each school

We ranked the schools within each state by those criteria, and then we ranked the best-in-state against one another.

As an example, Auburn has a fantastic school for Greeks and the entire state of Hawaii doesn’t — but Auburn didn’t make this list because Alabama blew all of the competition out of the water in Alabama.

Greek membership: raising GPAs up and throwing down

You may notice from scanning the list of the 50 best below that there are a number of prestigious universities amongst the bunch, which contributes to these facts about post-graduate success for members of Greek organizations :

  • Since 1825, all but two presidents have been Greek.
  • As Alumni, Greeks give approximately 75 percent of all money donated to universities.
  • 85 percent of the Fortune 500 executives belong to a fraternity and 76 percent of Congress.

New York Times columnist David Brooks emphasized the value of empathizing with others to become successful, a skill that all politicians have.

“What explains success in life, what should you actually be thinking about if you’re a college student? Well, you should think about IQ and studying and getting the skills, that’s obvious. But you should also think about traits like mindsight – the ability to look into other people’s minds and really tell what’s going on there. That’s the skill that politicians have.”

So there may be something to be said for the networking and interaction abilities that they pick up in their undergraduate years — but is that just a byproduct of coming from families that instill those capabilities and tend to have the money to pay dues that average more than a $1,000 a semester?

Well, it probably is, but even then despite their reputation for being wild partiers and socialites, fraternity brothers and sisters surprisingly tend to outperform the undergraduate body as a whole.

In fact, literally every school on this list did just that.

And the higher the Greek engagement on campus, the higher the GPA

We also found that there’s a statistically significant correlation between the percentage of Greek participation and the Greeks’ GPAs, which some attribute to better study habits, organizational skills, and external motivation to get good grades.

Greek organizations maintain minimum GPA standards, and the IFC rewards its members who excel academically by giving annual awards to the chapters and individuals who achieve excellence in academics.

At some universities, the organizations serve as set study groups and provide mentors for various mentors, hosting regular study times and study sessions — some even mandate study time and retain a catalog of previous exams to assist members.

Additionally, belonging to a fraternity or sorority increases one’s chances of completing a degree, with 71% of Greeks graduating versus 50% of non-Greeks.

We can’t know for sure why there’s a correlation between Greek presence on a campus and its’ members GPAs, but we suspect it has to do with prestige and competition — or simply that engagement is good for academics, like with we do with college football.

The organizational bodies and boards post their semester grades, and it may be that more competitors increase the quality of the academic competition.

Here’s a full list of the 50 best universities for Greek life

College Chapters Greek Involvement Mean GPA
Alabama 59 34.0% 3.33
Cornell 62 33.0% 3.35
UIUC 78 25.0% 3.26
UGA 55 23.0% 3.43
Mizzou 54 28.6% 3.25
University of Michigan 65 17.0% 3.45
USC 50 27.0% 3.35
University of Florida 56 15.0% 3.38
University of Oklahoma 42 31.2% 3.19
UK 50 29.0% 3.29
IU 67 18.0% 3.14
Ole Miss 38 42.0% 3.10
Penn State 76 17.0% 3.22
University of Texas at Austin 56 14.0% 3.31
University of Maryland, College Park 61 17.0% 3.28
UNC 45 20.0% 3.34
University of Washington Seattle 52 15.5% 3.37
OSU 68 10.0% 3.31
University of Arkansas 38 30.0% 3.29
USC 48 24.0% 3.16
LSU 46 22.3% 3.12
ASU 59 9.0% 3.25
KSU 43 19.0% 3.30
University of Wisconsin, Madison 52 13.0% 3.26
UD 50 20.0% n/a
University of Tennessee 42 18.0% 3.19
JMU 41 18.0% 3.00
University of Nebraska, Lincoln 46 20.0% 2.89
UConn 40 15.0% 3.27
University of South Dakota 13 22.0% 3.28
University of Rhode Island 30 20.0% 3.07
Rutgers 58 10.0% 3.19
University of Iowa 34 17.0% 3.03
University of Minnesota Twin Cities 48 7.0% 3.22
University of Oregon 35 11.0% 3.10
University of Colorado Boulder 36 13.0% n/a
WVU 35 10.0% 2.88
University of North Dakota 20 12.0% 3.10
University of Vermont 18 10.0% 3.09
University of Maine 28 13.0% 2.95
BU 25 13.0% n/a
University of New Hampshire 22 14.0% n/a
University of New Mexico 13 5.0% 3.24
Boise State 18 6.0% 3.10
UNLV 28 5.0% 2.84
University of Montana 10 6.0% 2.92
University of Utah 17 5.0% 3.09
University of Wyoming 14 n/a n/a
University of Alaska, Anchorage 6 n/a n/a
University of Hawaii at Manoa 4 n/a n/a
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