Frequently Asked Questions
What is sorority all about?
“Sorority,” specifically at the University of Mississippi, is not a term that is taken lightly. Although each sorority offers a different experience, our 10 organizations work as a cohesive unit to form the university’s Panhellenic community. To be a member of this community means to share morals and values with a group of exceptional women, to be challenged academically, to grow through leadership and involvement opportunities, and to give back to the university and Oxford community through philanthropic efforts. Our sororities promote sisterhood and love and encourage women to commit in order to find their home away from home.
Within the Panhellenic Association, the object shall be to develop and maintain women’s fraternity life and interfraternity relations at a high level of accomplishment and in so doing to: (1) Consider the goals and ideals of member groups as continually applicable to campus and personal life; (2) Promote superior scholarship and basic intellectual development; (3) Cooperate with member women’s fraternities and the university administration in concern for and maintenance of high social and moral standards; (4) Act in accordance with National Panhellenic Conference unanimous resolutions, policies and best practices; and (5) Act in accordance with rules established by the Panhellenic Council as to not violate the sovereignty, rights and privileges of member women’s fraternities.
What is the cost to join a sorority?
Each chapter has financial requirements, which families should discuss before considering to join a sorority and maintain membership. Financial requirements may include membership dues, a meal plan, house fees, as well as room and board if you live in the sorority house. As prospective members, students need to talk with active members during recruitment events to learn more, especially when payments are due following Bid Day.
New Member First Semester
Members Residing Out-of-House (Per Semester)
- High: $2,950.00
- Average: $2,160.00
Members Residing In-House (Per Semester)
- High: $5,350.00
- Average: $4,210.00
Note: In most organizations, the first year of membership may be more expensive as new members pay one-time fees for items such as membership pin, new member books, etc.
The dues for each sorority vary from chapter to chapter. However, dues are most commonly used on meals, staff salaries, chapter house maintenance, social events, international and local dues, educational programming, leadership development and materials, and community service projects. Again, be sure to ask specific questions about finances during recruitment!
Is it difficult to balance sorority life and academics?
Time management is the key. Many sorority women are able to manage sorority responsibilities, jobs or internships, academics and involvement in other campus organizations. If you are interested in joining a sorority but have concerns about the time commitment, feel free to ask members during recruitment how they balance their time!
How will I know which organization is right for me?
Each sorority has its own mission, creed, and values that it lives by; however, overall, Panhellenic organizations strive to provide members with friendship, opportunities for personal growth/development and fun. To choose a chapter that is right for you, you should do some research, attend Panhellenic recruitment events and visit organizations’ social media pages. Formal recruitment is a process designed to allow you and the chapters to decide on the best fit. As you go through the process, be sure to keep an open mind, ask questions, and be yourself!
Once I join a sorority, will I be able to eat meals at the chapter house?
The University of Mississippi requires all freshmen to have a university meal plan. Students can choose any meal plan that works best for them.
When students join a fraternity or sorority, their membership dues include meals at the house, when available. Typically this is breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday, with dinner not available on Fridays and no meals on Saturday or Sunday. If students are members of a fraternity or sorority in the spring semester of their freshman year, there is an opportunity for them to switch to a Greek meal plan, which you can learn more about here. For more information about meal plans, view the Dining FAQs or contact Ole Miss Dining Services.
How do I obtain information about recruitment once I get to the University of Mississippi?
Read through this website, visit us on Facebook, tweet us a question on Twitter, or check out our Instagram. Recruitment counselors will be available during recruitment events to answer questions. Also, feel free to email the College Panhellenic Council at email@example.com
Letters of Recommendation
What is a letter of recommendation? Do I really need one?
A Recommendation/Reference (also called a REC or RIF) serves as your introduction to the sorority, so their members can get to know you in advance of primary recruitment in the fall. These official forms, which are unique to each individual sorority, are provided by the national organization for their alumnae members to fill out on behalf of potential new members.
Sororities do expect potential new members (PNMs) to complete the recommendation letter process as outlined by their national sorority. Visit their national and local websites to learn more about their recommendation letter process, including forms, mailing addresses, deadlines and who to contact.
You can find more information on our local chapters at the University of Mississippi here.
The individual completing the recommendation for the PNM should mail it directly to the local sororities. PNMs should not send test scores or transcripts to local sororities. Sororities at the University of Mississippi have requested that PNMs refrain from sending photo collages, videos, and any food items, including during formal recruitment.
Who writes recommendation letters?
An alumna of a sorority can fill out a letter of recommendation for a potential new member. The alumna can be from any university or college; however, she must be in good standing with her sorority. Some sororities also allow current collegians to submit letters of recommendation as long as they are not a current active member of the chapter to which they are sending the recommendation.
What is Meant by Additional Letters of Support and Are They Required?
Additional “letters of support,” are personal handwritten letters on stationery from a sorority alumna, who has a personal relationship with a PNM, recommending her for membership. “Letters of Support” differ from Recommendations/References in that they are not on the official sorority recruitment information form and are often sent to the chapter either alone or as supplement to the recruitment information form. While commonplace in some areas, “Letters of Support” are neither encouraged nor recognized at The University of Mississippi.
What if I don’t know anyone who could write me a letter of recommendation?
If you cannot find a letter of recommendation for each of the 10 NPC sororities participating in primary recruitment at the University of Mississippi, please do not worry! Recommendations are like extra credit—it’s great if you can get them, but they are not required.
We encourage you to consider family, friends, parents’ work colleagues or other people in your life who may be sorority alumnae. After exhausting the first option, another avenue is reaching out to local alumnae Panhellenic associations, which represent all 26 inter/national sororities within the National Panhellenic Conference.
To support students attending the University of Mississippi, we have provided a brief listing of Alumnae Panhellenic Associations here. You can also search on the National Panhellenic Conference website to find an Alumnae Panhellenic Association in your area.
Can I go through Primary Recruitment as an upperclassman?
Yes! Most PNMs may be first-year students, but upperclassmen also are encouraged to register. Provided you are a full-time female student and have not been initiated into another NPC sorority at the University of Mississippi or on another campus, you can participate in primary recruitment.
If I am a legacy to a sorority, will I automatically receive a bid?
College Panhellenic Council encourages all women going through the Primary Recruitment process to keep an open mind. For Primary Recruitment 2019, 93% of women who indicated they were a legacy of a Panhellenic organization received a bid for membership to a sorority at the University of Mississippi.
Is there a required GPA to receive a membership invitation through Primary Recruitment and open bidding?
As required by the National Panhellenic Conference, there is no GPA requirement to participate in Primary Recruitment at the University of Mississippi. However, some sororities have individual requirements to extend a membership invitation. For a sorority to extend a membership invitation, the typical GPA is 3.00. Women who have below a 3.00 GPA are advised that they are at a greater risk to be released from the Formal Recruitment process due to their academics. With the number of women who participate in the Formal Recruitment process, GPA tends to be a characteristic all groups strongly consider, especially after the first round of Primary Recruitment. Being released from Formal Recruitment or receiving a membership invitation through the Formal recruitment process is due to a wide variety of factors that are ultimately up to the sororities. GPA is only one of those factors, but much weight is placed on it.
The Panhellenic Council created grade zones to show how academics may factor in Formal Recruitment.
Green Zone = Your options are not likely limited based on your GPA. (3.0 + )
Yellow Zone = Your options are more likely to be limited by your GPA. (2.8 – 2.99)
Red Zone = Your options are very likely to be limited based on GPA. (2.79 and below)
What if I am going to miss or be late for an event during Primary Recruitment?
Panhellenic will obtain your school schedule prior to recruitment week, so the recruitment counselors will know when you will be late to or absent from a party.