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Greek Life at Vanderbilt

Posted by on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 in Housing, Student Life.

Outside of admission-related questions, the two most frequent questions I receive are 1) how Southern is Vanderbilt? and 2) how Greek is Vanderbilt?  In past posts I addressed the Southern question (answer: as Southern as you want it to be).  The Greek life question is particularly timely as we just completed formal rush on Vanderbilt’s campus this past month.  Here I want to cover a few points on Greek Life and and at the bottom of this post I refer you to great student blogs on the topic.

  • Although the exact number of students involved in Greek Life varies from year to year, it typically comprises about 40% of our undergraduate student body.  In the 2009-10 academic year there were 2,569 students involved with a Greek organization.
  • Vanderbilt is home to 20 fraternities and 16 sororities; these numbers include 8 of the Divine 9 NPHC fraternities/sororities.
  • The average GPA for IFC new members (typically freshmen men) last year was 3.177 compared with the average GPA of 3.164 for all freshmen men on campus.
  • The average GPA for Panhellenic new members (typically freshmen women) last year was 3.384 compared with the average GPA of 3.321 for all freshmen women on campus.
  • The Vanderbilt Greek community raised a total of $401,170 for philanthropic organizations last year!
  • Greek houses at Vanderbilt are non-residential.  While many organizations have physical houses located on campus, only six members may reside in the house.  If houses choose to have residential members these members are chosen by the individual organizations. The rest of the chapter members not living in the house will live in other university housing just as all members of the Vanderbilt community.
  • Vanderbilt Greek chapters conduct deferred rush – this means new members will not join until the spring semester of their freshmen year (or later if they so choose).

All of the above factoids can be found on the Office of Greek Life website or in the Greek Life Annual Report.    I also highly encourage interested parents to check out the Q & A section specific to you.

I love finding information for blog readers, but Greek life is a topic where the best information comes from students currently involved in an organization.  Last week two members of the Inside ‘Dores team wrote about their rush week experiences: one about joining a chapter and one about not joining a chapter.  These are great reads and I encourage you to check them out!

Feel free to post comments for those Inside ‘Dores bloggers or post questions for me below.   In the meantime, stay warm!

Snow continues to harass the city of Nashville this week!

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  • greg

    January 27th, 2011

    Greek life can be an enriching experience where you build networks and socialize. Also, they can be great groups for classroom support and study groups. Whatever your major is, there is probably someone else in that fraternity that has the same one and is willing to help.

    The best approach to Greek life is to keep an open mind. Vanderbilt’s deferred rush allows you acclimate to college life at a comfortable pace. Try the Greek scene, if you don’t like it, there are plenty of other ways to socialize and spend your time. But you’ll never know if you don’t try it out!

  • Sara

    February 20th, 2011

    I was accepted EDII to Vandy for class of 2015 and I’m soo excited!!
    I definitely plan on joining one of the panhellenic sororities – when you rush and they see your gpa, does this also include seeing your high school gpa? if so, since my highschool does not provide a gpa, then what? Thanks!

  • Kylie

    February 20th, 2011

    Sara: They only look at your first semester GPA when you rush.

  • Sara

    February 21st, 2011


  • Anonymous

    October 8th, 2011

    i guess life is better when we live in a convenient place. Thanks for this post. :)

  • Bryan Lee

    October 8th, 2011

    I believe that our life also depends to the place we live in. Well, I am contented here in the Philippines. GREAT POST

  • Bryan Lee

    October 8th, 2011

    Thanks for this post. 

  • Stretchytape25

    January 17th, 2012

    Try rush or recruiting at any other school and most men and women would see they are top. Remember that this is why all are at school and Commodores! That been said, you make your house whether SX, LXA, Beta, or any sorority. It is tough but if you are Greek or opt for some other club, you are of the elite people chosen to be Commodres. P.S. many thanks to all houses and Greek life leaders.

  • Vanderbilt University's Assault on Religious Freedom - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 5 - City-Data Forum

    February 4th, 2012

    […] Originally Posted by gizmo980 The college I attended (and many others) didn't allow ANY Greek houses on campus, since it was an officially "dry" campus – and the fraternities in particular were having some trouble adhering to that rule. So it usually is applied equally, and all school-sponsored or resident groups generally must follow school policies. But, that's not what Vanderbilt does. That's why I went to their site to look it up. The undergraduate program I attended was the same way, but there are many colleges that have the Greek system as an officially sponsored system on campus. Even on their site, they say that they do indeed have some Greek houses on campus. Greek Life at Vanderbilt | The Vandy Admissions Blog | Vanderbilt University […]