So much for fashionably late.
The New York Times’ Risa C. Doherty recently examined the costs of joining a sorority, where extravagant gifts, pricey apparel, and elaborate crafts lead to a high price tag for college women who want to go Greek.
Arguably, the most egregious of these is the late fee, where members (or members’ parents, as it may be) may be charged as much as $US100 when the sister is more than 15 minutes late to an event — that’s over $US6 a minute.
Exceptions may be made only for excuses like a doctor’s appointment or funeral, but not an impending paper or test.
These fees, Doherty points out, tend not to appear with such fervor at fraternities, which aren’t known for financially penalising tardiness.
And, on top of all the other costs, $US100 here and there really adds up.
According to the Times, sorority costs for the first semester alone average $US1,570 at University of Georgia sororities, $US1,130 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and $US1,580 at Syracuse University. This estimate doesn’t include housing.
In addition to the late fees, here are some of the other costs listed in the article:
- $US1,000 for “gift baskets, coordinated pajamas and treating [sisters] to meals, movies, bowling, ice cream and coffee”
- $US1,100 in basic fees upon joining
- $US100-$US200 a month in “incidentals”
- $US130 for a membership pin
If it seems unbelievable that every member can swing the steep costs, that’s because it is: Doherty profiles several sisters who had to leave the fold because of financial concerns (no refunds are provided).