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 11 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 Council, 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) Conduct the business of the College Panhellenic only during the campus academic year, (2) Promote the growth of individual chapters and the sorority community, (3) Organize and sponsor a women’s-only membership recruitment program, (4) Encourage the highest possible academic, social and moral standards, (5) Coordinate activities, establish orderly procedures and provide programming in addition to recruitment, (6) Adjudicate all matters related to the NPC Unanimous Agreements, College Panhellenic bylaws and/or other governing documents, College Panhellenic membership recruitment rules, College Panhellenic code of ethics and College Panhellenic standing rules, (7) Act in accordance with National Panhellenic Conference in condemning all forms of discrimination and committing to welcoming all women, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, body type, sexual orientation and abilities, within the Panhellenic sisterhood, (8) Actively support the mission of its host institution, (9) Promote good public relations, (10) Give service to the community and campus, and (11) Promote friendship, harmony and unity among members, chapters, faculty, administrators and campus groups.
What is the cost to join a sorority?
Each chapter has financial requirements, which families should discuss before considering joining a sorority. 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 information about the financial obligations specific to each chapter, especially as 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 a 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 become members of a fraternity or sorority in 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 or follow our instagram @umcph for the most updated information. Recruitment counselors will be available during primary recruitment events to answer questions. Also, feel free to email the College Panhellenic Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters of Recommendation
What is a letter of recommendation? Do I really need one?
A Recommendation/Reference letter (also called a REC or RIF) serves as your introduction to the sorority, so that active members can get to know you in advance of primary recruitment in the fall. You may choose to have a recommendation or reference letter sent on your behalf to each of our chapters, and we encourage all potential new members to participate in this process. However, recommendation letters are not required to participate in the primary recruitment process, they are more like bonus points!
Reference and recommendation letters do not guarantee a bid for membership. Instead, they will help the chapters to learn a little about you in advance of primary recruitment. Many of our sororities strongly encourage a reference from an alumna before a woman can join; however, they are not essential for any sorority and most will accept a third-party letter as well. Every year we have women participate in recruitment that did not have a recommendation prior to the start of recruitment. If a chapter is interested in you becoming a member, they are well equipped to obtain the information they need to invite you to the next round or extend a bid to membership.
Who writes recommendation letters?
Each chapter has a unique policy on letters of recommendation. Some chapters require that recommendation letters come from an alumna of that chapter but, most chapters accept third-party recommendations from a coach, teacher, etc. You can find more information about what each chapter expects here.
Sororities at the University of Mississippi will not accept any gifts sent by PNMs or their families. Any item sent to a chapter by a PNM or their family before and during formal recruitment will be considered a gift and will not be accepted.
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 11 NPC sororities participating in primary recruitment at the University of Mississippi, please do not worry! Recommendation letters are not required, they are just highly encouraged.
We suggest that you consider family, friends, parents’ work colleagues or other people in your life who may be sorority alumnae. Another option is to acquire third-party recommendation letters from adults who are non-greek.
For more information regarding recommendation letters, download our Chapter Recommendation Letter Guidelines.
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. The National Panhellenic Conference and its member organizations promote an accessible and inclusive recruitment, meaning that if you are a legacy of that organization, you are not guaranteed a bid to that organization.
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?
The primary recruitment process takes place before classes begin. However, you may be attending extended orientation or various campus welcome events. We ask that recruitment be a priority, but if you need to be excused from an event for any reason there will be a form to fill out from your recruitment counselor. If an emergency arises on the day of your round, please let your recruitment counselor know immediately.