Benefits of Sorority Life

New Study Validates Sorority Experience

(May 2014)

Written by Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education.

A new survey released by Gallup finds that college graduates who belonged to fraternities or sororities fare better than other graduates in a variety of long-term outcomes. Gallup partnered with the National Panhellenic Conference and the North American Interfraternity Conference to conduct the research as part of the Gallup-Purdue Index. The Gallup-Purdue Index, a survey of more than 30,000 college graduates conducted earlier this year, was designed to better measure the relationship between the college experience and critical lifetime outcomes.

Based on Gallup-Purdue Index results, 16 percent of all college graduates were fraternity or sorority members while in school. According to Gallup’s research, these graduates are significantly more likely to be engaged at work. While 38 percent of graduates overall are engaged at work, 43 percent of graduates who are members of fraternities or sororities are engaged. Engaged workers have found more satisfaction in their careers. According to Gallup, these graduates are intellectually and emotionally connected with their organizations and work teams because they are able to do what they do best, they like what they do at work and they have someone who cares about their development at work. In a related finding, college graduates who are members of fraternities and sororities are more likely to be deeply interested in their work, with 46 percent strongly agreeing with that statement.

Not only are fraternity and sorority members faring better in their careers, they are more likely to be thriving in other facets of life that affect well-being. Gallup found the biggest gap between fraternity and sorority members and other graduates was in the area of community well-being. While 52 percent of the former are engaged in the areas where they live and have pride in their communities, only 46 percent of the latter are thriving in community well-being. In addition, more fraternity and sorority members are thriving in purpose, social, physical and financial well-being.

Gallup research demonstrates that college experiences can correlate with success later in life. The Gallup-Purdue Index asked about many types of college activities. Not surprisingly, graduates whom belong to fraternities or sororities were much more likely to have been extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations (39 percent vs. 16 percent), more likely to have participated in student clubs (73 percent vs. 53 percent) and more likely to have participated in intramural sports (50 percent vs. 25 percent).

Perhaps less predictably, more fraternity and sorority members than other graduates (16 percent vs. 13 percent) strongly agree that they had professors who cared about them as a person, those who made them excited about learning and mentors who encouraged them to pursue their dreams The relative strength in these areas is likely one reason that significantly more fraternity and sorority alumni (37 percent) strongly agree that their institution prepared them for life after college than other graduates (27 percent).

Finally, Gallup compared fraternity and sorority alumni from different regions of the country and found that those from the south had the highest level of attachment to their alma maters.

Read the full report here.

View the Infographic (produced by NICF)