The day that your son calls to tell you that he has an invitation to join a fraternal organization can be one of excitement or panic. The Greek System has evolved over the decades, it is a commitment that warrants not only serious thought, but your support as well. By deciding to become a lifelong member of Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity, your son is taking another huge step that will positively affect nearly every aspect of his life, both as a student and as an alumnus. We’re glad that you’re here to learn more about our organization!
Like any organization, both the International Headquarters of Phi Kappa Sigma and the local chapter have expenses. These expenses are offset by dues and fees paid by members as part of their fraternal experience. The total amount of dues your son will pay each semester varies for each local chapter, and is also different from other fraternities on their respective campuses.
Typical semester dues set by the local chapter might also include fees for housing, meal plans, school organization costs, social activities, or other expenses. Be sure to check with the Treasurer (Tau) in your son’s local chapter for specifics regarding local dues.
Compared to peer organizations in the fraternal world, Phi Kappa Sigma strives to be one of the most cost efficient to join, while offering leading-edge programs and services for our members. The programs and services we offer and provide take many forms, including:
The costs that your son can expected to be assessed by the international organization and the local chapter are based on a fall membership but may vary with consideration of local situations, needs, and member desires. At a basic level, the cost is roughly $750 per term as follows:
This one-time fee is due within two weeks of joining Phi Kappa Sigma, and pays for your son’s New Member pin, his “Skull Sessions” history manual, Pillar’s Education Manual and the administrative costs to add him to Phi Kappa Sigma’s systems.
This one-time fee is due within two weeks of the chapter’s initiation ceremony, and pays for your son’s membership badge, certificate, membership card, as well as a lifetime subscription to Phi Kappa Sigma’s annual magazine, The Maltese Cross.
An annual insurance cost is assessed using a per-man formula which is established annually based on local chapter risk assessment and insurance methodology. This rate can fluctuate from year to year based on market conditions and the performance of your son’s local chapter across a number of objective standards.
All undergraduate initiated members are required to pay insurance costs, which protect your son, other members, officers, chapter, appointed volunteers, the housing corporation, and the international fraternity from claims occurring at the premises or at local chapter functions away from the premises.
Annual membership dues are required on a per man basis by the Phi Kappa Sigma Constitution & Acts. All initiated members are required to pay annual membership dues.
The Grand Chapter assessment fee is collected annually in the spring to help offset the cost of implementing the fraternity’s international convention that is held every two years.
An annual chapter/colony assessment fee is assessed to help offset the cost of local chapter visits made by Phi Kappa Sigma International staff member each year.
A semi-annual assessment for the purposes for maintaining a national housing corporation which provides guidance to chapters for acquiring and operating property.
The local chapter sets the operations and programming budgets as a local chapter. These fees are usually assessed on a semester basis and is typically structured into multiple payments over the semester.
As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your son. As he takes a huge step in his life going away to school, it’s important to keep in mind that the lessons you have taught him through the years are the tools he needs to start making his own positive decisions.
We are sure that you have questions, and we’re happy to answer them! Below are some of the common questions that we hear most frequently from interested parents; feel free to contact us to discuss anything that isn’t addressed below – our international headquarters staff and volunteers would love to speak with you further.
What does Phi Kappa Sigma offer my son?
Membership in Phi Kappa Sigma comes with a number of benefits: a strong academic support network to help with the adjustment to a new environment, the development of leadership and communication skills by working closely to run a non-profit organization, increased philanthropic involvement, community service on their campus within their local communities, networking opportunities with an international alumni base, as well as a balanced social experience.
What is the new member process like?
Your son will go through Pillars New Member Education Program, where they will learn about the history, operations, and policies of both the international organization and local chapter under the direction of chapter officers. This standardized program has been refined by international headquarters staff over the years, and is tailored to help new members acclimate to their new environment on campus by surrounding them with a strong support network. Upon the completion of Pillars, your son will be initiated as a full member of the fraternity, assuming that he has met minimum grade point average requirement. Once initiated, your son will be eligible for all of his local chapter officer positions, leadership development training, and attendance at international events.
How will Phi Kappa Sigma impact my son’s academics?
The Pillars New Member Education Program is designed to help your son manage the transition to a collegiate environment. While there is an added time commitment any time your son joins an organization, Phi Kappa Sigma focuses on helping new members manage their time effectively through training workshops, oversight of each new member’s academic schedule, study groups, mentoring from upperclassmen, one-on-one tutoring, and more.
What about hazing?
Phi Kappa Sigma has a zero-tolerance hazing policy; the Pillars New Member Development Program is designed to promote academic excellence, leadership skills, interpersonal communication development, and involvement in the campus community. Hazing is antithetical to our values-based organization, and our members recognize that.
Is being a member in Phi Kappa Sigma expensive?
Less than 2% of an average college student’s expenses go towards Greek membership dues. Members are responsible for a few one-time fees from the international organization during the first year upon joining the organization; most recurring expenses are defined at the local chapter level. Each local chapter sets its own yearly budget, which subsequently sets the cost of dues that all members contribute.
If a chapter has a house and/or a meal plan, those costs will typically be on par with campus costs, if not lower. The vast majority of our members actually save money by joining Phi Kappa Sigma, by taking advantage of lower costs of housing, parking, meals, sharing resources (such as textbooks), and more.
What oversight does each local chapter have?
While each chapter has its own set of local by-laws that they have drafted themselves, all chapters are governed by the Constitution & Acts of Phi Kappa Sigma, which have been drafted and refined by the Executive Board and a democratic process at the international convention.
Chapters elect members to officer positions that oversee the daily operations of the local chapter. At the local level, each chapter has an advisor, and most local chapters have an advisory board, which provide alumni oversight on a local basis. Additionally, most campuses have a Greek Advisor, which is a paid campus staff position responsible for the Greek Community on that specific campus.
At the international level, all chapters are supported by the international headquarters staff, which are full-time staff positions, and the democratically elected Executive Board, which are alumni volunteers.