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Old 08-15-2012, 05:04 PM
jll jll is offline
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Unhappy Alabama Sorority Costs...Can anyone help?

Hi There
I am a mom with a daughter going thru recruitment at Alabama. She is having a great time and has a full card for skit day which is going on right now.

Here is my question...on the UA site it lists the average cost of membership for new members at around $2400 per semester. We are finding in doing a lot of digging that this is very much at the low end. Some houses are over $4000 per semester for the first year, and that is living out of house.

Honestly, I have had to advise her that she needs to cut those houses that are at $7000 to 8000 a year or more. But there are a number of houses that we cannot find the cost for online. Does anyone know what the cost is of the houses at UA? I did call UA Greek Affairs and they do not have a listing of each house.

D has been told that if she asks about costs, she can be cut because they will think that she cannot afford it. It seems like such a catch 22. I would hate for her to have her heart broken once she gets a bid if we cannot afford it.

How do we manage this? I feel like a bad mom at this point, but we did do research before it all started and were unable to find much on costs. I have the costs of only about 7 of the houses.

If anyone knows any of the real costs please PM me...I would greatly appreciate it. I also need to give this info to one of her roommates who is on a limited budget too.

Thank you for your help and understanding
Old 08-15-2012, 05:19 PM
BAMA2 BAMA2 is offline
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My daughter just graduated from Alabama. She was in what I understood to be one of the sororities with the highest dues. Out of house they were $4000 A YEAR. In house, is actually a really good deal because the dues arent that much different and you have your housing costs taken care of. I could be way off but I have not heard of any houses being $4000 a semester. That would mean if you were an in-state student you would pay more in sorority dues than you do in tuition!! You could always call the Greek Life Office. They should be able to give you specifics. You don't have to identify yourself when you call.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:23 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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There was a thread here last year or the year before on this same topic. There is NO way to tell how much it is exactly going to cost because there are too many variables:
does she want a jeweled badge or a plain one; how many tee shirts does she JUST HAVE TO BUY; how many socials can she just NOT STAND to miss; etc, etc, etc. The first year is more expensive because of pledging fees, badge fees, house corp fees andmany others that vary from chapter to chapter. Her food service will get switched to the house so that will wash out as you've already paid that....I assume.

I don't understand how parents let their daughters go thru recruitment with a dollar limit. Seriously, she visits every house and HAS to accept every invitation if she has a time slot or else she will be released. That's the system. So you want her to fall in love with a group of women and then bail? Really? Did you not think that through? If $2400 is the average, you know there are plenty out of the 17 that are higher. Let her find her place and then do whatever you have to do to pay for it. You knew the odss were it would be higher. Let her get a job to pay part of it. There are lots of ways to handle this besides making her go thru this emotional roller coaster of recruitment and then quit. Give up your lattes and pay the tab.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:26 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
Let her find her place and then do whatever you have to do to pay for it.[...]Give up your lattes and pay the tab.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:27 PM
BAMA2 BAMA2 is offline
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There are definitely many add-ons that can make the experience more expensive. But when the Greek Affairs website specifically says that the avearge cost to live in is $3400 and the average cost to live out is $2100 (both figures are per semester) then I think it would be very misleading to parents to find out that the costs were 2 or 3 times that amount. Certainly, there are more people who have experience at Alabama than I do but girls from our hometown are in a number of different sororities there and I have never heard numbers like $7-8000 being discussed!
Old 08-15-2012, 05:36 PM
jll jll is offline
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I did call the Greek Life office and they have no information. I do have info from about 7 of the houses and they are all more than $4000 a year for the first year new members.

Titchou...honestly if it was just a few 'lattes' it would not be a big deal. We did do our research before she started..unfortunately the information on the Greek Life site is inaccurate and there was no way to find that out until she was in the thick of recruitment. I am not talking about 'Extras'. I am only talking about first year fee's which I believe include parlor fee's, education, out of house fee's, new member fee's, food, etc.

Your advice 'to do whatever I need to do to pay it' is neither practical nor realistic. Thanks for taking the time to post.

If anyone at all can help me with real information on cost of houses please PM me. I have the costs for the following: Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Chi O, DG, ADPi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Chi-O, Alpha Gam and Alpha Phi.

Trust me they range from $4000 first semester to $2400 first semester costs. Second semester for each of the above is less than first semester - some are almost $600 less than first semester costs. Some are only $200 less.

Thank you
Old 08-15-2012, 05:42 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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No one is going to post that information here even if they have it. You're just going to have to hang in and hope for the best and plan for the worst. The main issue is that PH only asks for the costs for certain items. Come groups have other items and therefore don't include them. For example, some groups you automatically get a badge with your initiation fee. Some groups you pay extra for it. So if PH asks for initiation costs - that's going to vary widely. Not all NPC groups bill for the same things in the same way. I've been Greek for 48 years, been a national officer and I can tell you, as hard as we try to make the same budget form fit every chapter, it just doesn't. it varies greatly in my group and even more so between groups. Sorry if you weren't well versed enough to know. You are trying to compare costs of getting married at the National Cathedral to the church in the pines without knowing what's included in each one's package. Sell something and pay the freight...seriously.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:44 PM
pinapple pinapple is offline
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You may be able to call the national office of the missing houses and they may have the numbers you are looking for.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:47 PM
bamaSDT bamaSDT is offline
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To find cost for each house go to the ua panhellenic site you can go under chapter profiles and find 2012 brochures for example here is phi mu's
Old 08-15-2012, 05:47 PM
BAMA2 BAMA2 is offline
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jll - check your pm.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:47 PM
WCsweet<3 WCsweet<3 is offline
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I have no idea about Bama costs, but many costs go down after the first semester because things like buying a pin and initiation fees are not repeated. Some chapters might have payment plans. I know my chapter did, but again, I am not familiar with Bama.

"Sisterhood is not about being popular, its about developing character, forming bonds, and self-discovery. If after four years you can hold you head high, then absolutely your sorority is "tops"." - H2oot
Old 08-15-2012, 05:48 PM
bamaSDT bamaSDT is offline
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All of this information was given out at panhellenic preview weekend
Old 08-15-2012, 05:49 PM
Bamamom13 Bamamom13 is offline
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I have a daughter who is a recent grad and sorority member of Alabama. I found the costs to be about $2,000 for her first semester in her sorority. Each semester after was much less due to the lack of new member fees. You can contact Campus Dining and get her meal plan reduced or eliminated because she will eat many of her meals in her sorority house. Also, the two years that she lived in the house were the cheapest of all of her years on campus. Housing, meals, dues, etc. were a great deal!! Yes, she bought t-shirts, contributed to her philanthropy and participated in the philanthropy events of other chapters, but those costs can be controlled by whoever is paying the bills. Those costs are optional. Sororities at Alabama are well worth the costs.
Old 08-15-2012, 05:55 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Many sorority members work nowadays, so your daughter might be able to find a job and help out with some of her college expenses.
I live in Fantasyland and I have waterfront property.
Old 08-15-2012, 06:20 PM
Hartofsec Hartofsec is offline
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Hi jll,

I just lurk, but was a little surprised by how you have been treated on this thread. It might not be a good idea for your daughter to ask about costs during the parties -- but I hope your daughter isn't worrying about this reality in addition to the stress of this exhausting week!

I know a number of parents who have greek daughters there currently, many in chapters you listed, and $2400 sounds about average (certainly not at the low end) per semester for the first year.

I have never heard of any dues approaching 4K per semester -- ever -- from any other parents. I'm not sure what effect new construction has (or will have) on member costs -- though I'm sure this hasn't doubled costs for the actives.

Now fraternities there are a different matter -- according to my friends who howl about those house bills -- the costs do far exceed the sororities. Has any of your information has come from parents of guys?

Good luck to your daughter. I think you will be okay.
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