What is Rush in College?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Three students running in the hallway.

What is Rush in College?

The high school chapter of your life is closing, and the thrilling narrative of college is about to unfold. You’ve heard whispers of it, haven’t you? The term “rush in college” has been floating around, piquing your curiosity.

Well, you’re in the right place. This is your guide, your map to navigating the labyrinth of Greek life. It’s time to demystify the concept of rush in college, to pull back the curtain and reveal what lies behind those Greek letters.

But what does it really mean to rush? How does the process work, and what can you expect? These are the questions we’ll explore in this comprehensive guide. So, buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the world of rush in college. It’s a journey that could shape your college experience in ways you’ve never imagined.

What is rush in college?

What is this thing called rush we hear from college students? Rush in college consists of a series of social events and gatherings that provide an opportunity for prospective and current members of the organization to get to know each other.

Three students smiling during an event.

The rush process is carried out in a manner that is unique to each institution. The length of time that rush lasts can range anywhere from one week to many weeks. At the conclusion of this time spent getting to know one another, the Greek houses put out “bids” for membership to the students they believed would be the most successful members.

What is the story behind rushing?

How did rushing in college become a tradition? The idea of “rushing” a fraternity or sorority dates back to the 1800s when members of Greek organizations would “rush” to the railway station as soon as first-year students arrived on campus.

This was done in order to welcome the new students. It was customary for members of the fraternity to pin their colors on prospective members. Today, “recruitment” is the phrase that is most commonly used by both sororities and fraternities.

How does the fall rush work?

How exactly does the fall rush in college operate in full detail? During this period, students have the opportunity to visit with several fraternities and/or sororities on campus and learn more about the members of the organization as well as the ideals that the organization upholds, which may center on topics such as charity, leadership, or religion. While this is going on, the members are also getting to know the students and determining whether they would be a good addition to the chapter or not.

After the rush period has concluded, the members of the various fraternity and sorority chapters will get together and discuss the students they believe would pledge to their respective organizations. They will then determine whether to extend a bid, also known as an invitation.

Group of students standing next to a building.

The process of pledging to a particular group starts as soon as a student accepts a bid to join that organization. The duration of this can be anywhere from a few weeks to an entire semester. The pledges use this time to familiarize themselves with the organization’s members, as well as those who will be joining them, as well as the organization’s history, ideals, and traditions.

The new members’ official induction into the chapter takes place immediately following the conclusion of the pledge period. There are many different initiation rituals, and most of them are kept a secret by the respective organizations that practice them.

The Rush in College Sororities

How does rush in college sororities work? Women are typically encouraged to pay a visit to each sorority in order to meet its members. This enables the women already living in the house to get a sense of the prospective member’s personalities and assess whether or not they are a good match for the group.

When prospective sorority members come to visit, the sisters of the sorority could perform a song or put on a show to make them feel welcome. Typically, potential applicants will participate in a brief interview, and those who are selected to move on to the next round will be invited to return for an additional meeting, which may or may not involve supper or another event.

If they determine that you would be a good addition to the sorority, they will most likely make you an offer to join the group as a member of the house. Unfortuitously, there are some ladies who genuinely want bids but don’t end up getting them, and this leaves them with damaged feelings.

Two female students talking in the campus.

You always have the option to go through the rush again, and if the process seems overly formal to you, informal rushes typically take place at various times throughout the year. These rushes give you the chance to meet the sorority sisters in a less pressured setting so that you can get to know them better.

The Rush in College Fraternities

How does rush in college fraternities work? The recruitment process for fraternities is typically less formal than that of sororities. For the purpose of determining whether or not they are compatible, prospective applicants spend time during rush getting to know the brothers already living in the house.

It’s possible that the fraternity will have some kind of low-key get-together, like a party, a barbecue, or perhaps a game of touch football. After the rush, fraternities will hold outbids for new members.

Those who consent to become members of the pledge. The majority of fraternities hold one pledge class in the autumn and another one in the winter. If you don’t get in, you can always rush again.

How can I stand out during the rush in college?

How can I make myself noticeable amidst the sea of applicants? When doing a rush in a college fraternity or sorority, you can set yourself apart from other candidates by asking questions that demonstrate serious consideration, being personable, and sharing your knowledge of the Greek organization that you would like to join. Members are looking for individuals whom they can get along with and who display a dedication to the organization and the activities they participate in.

Young woman attending a social event.

How can I make it through the busy rush week?

You may make it through rush in college fraternity or sorority, and even thrive if you stay organized, prepared, open-minded, and consistent in creating a good impression.

You need to prioritize getting adequate sleep, in addition to attending your classes, completing your assignments, and studying.

What Is Greek life like?

In the movies, Greek life is shown as nothing but a nonstop celebration, but in reality, there is a great deal more to it than that. Since 2011, Greek-letter organizations including fraternities and sororities that engage in charitable giving have raised an average of over $7 million annually for a number of different charities. In addition, they place a significant emphasis on education and frequently mandate that members keep a certain grade point average (GPA) in order to remain in good standing.

On the other hand, partying and attending events is a natural and significant part of Greek life, and there are plenty of opportunities for this throughout the year. Students often think about joining Greek life because it gives them the opportunity to make new friends in a setting that is more structured. In addition, senior members of fraternities and sororities can act as mentors for younger students who are still getting used to life on campus.

Group of students walking while holding her books.

The fact that students who are successful in joining rush in college fraternities and sororities have a 20 percent greater graduation rate than those who don’t demonstrate the significance of the mentorship that these organizations provide.

After individuals graduate from college and enter the next phase of their lives—the professional world—fraternities and sororities still have the potential to have an impact. The connections you make in student organizations like fraternities and sororities can be helpful in other aspects of your life as well, especially when it comes to networking.

Even sorority sisters and fraternity brothers from institutions different than the one you attended will feel at least some affinity for a job prospect who shares their Greek connection. This is because sorority sisters and fraternity brothers have similar experiences. It is not certain to get you the job, but it will almost certainly get you an interview.

Some Greek Life Terms

Greek letter organizations make use of a wide variety of words, some of which you may not be familiar with. Here are a few keywords and terminologies that will make it a little bit simpler for you to rush in college:

Alumni and alumnae– members of a fraternity or sorority who have graduated from college and have been initiated into the respective organization. Many returns to the community to lend their support at events such as Homecoming, Friends and Family Weekend, and Greek Week. Others take on the role of chapter advisors and mentors.

“Big Brother” or “Big Sister”– refers to an active member of a fraternity or sorority who acts as a mentor to a new member of the organization, assisting them through the new member program and the initiation process.

Calls and Chants– are audible sounds that participants make to acknowledge or draw the attention of other participants in the activity. Within an organization, calls may be different from region to region, and some organizations may make use of more than one call.

Deferred recruitment- refers to the practice of holding formal recruitment events for campus during the SPRING semester.

 “Prophyte”– is commonly used in the context of ethnic groups to refer to an older brother or sister from your chapter.

What to Consider When Choosing a Fraternity or Sorority?

What factors should influence the decision regarding joining a sorority or fraternity? Students who are interested in rushing need to be certain that they are selecting a particular sorority or fraternity for the reasons that are intended for them to join that particular organization. Students shouldn’t choose a fraternity or sorority primarily on its reputation, in the same way, prospective college students shouldn’t apply to Ivy League colleges simply for name recognition.

Instead, put your research skills to use by learning more about each Greek life group that is on your list of potential best fits by using the abilities you used when searching for colleges. There are a number of things to take into consideration before making the choice of whether to participate in the rush and ultimately pledge to a fraternity or sorority on campus.

The amount of time and money needed to be invested is the most evident aspect. Rushing and pledging both take up a significant amount of a student’s free time. For a student who is also adjusting to the duties of living on their own for the first time, it may not be possible for them to rush into a college fraternity or sorority.

If you are interested in pledging but are concerned about making time for it during your freshman year, reach out to the Greek organizations that seem like potential best-fits to see if it is possible to rush in the spring or even as a sophomore. If you are interested in pledging but are concerned about making time for it during your freshman year.

How to Balance Greek Life and Academics?

You’re probably wondering, “How do I balance Greek life and academics?” It’s a valid concern. After all, the rush in college is just the beginning of your Greek life journey. Once you’ve pledged your allegiance to a fraternity or sorority, you’ll find yourself juggling a whirlwind of social events, community service, and brotherhood or sisterhood commitments.

But remember, you’re also at college to earn a degree. Striking a balance between these two facets of your college life is crucial. It’s like walking a tightrope, but don’t worry, it’s a skill you can master. With the right strategies and a proactive approach, you can excel in both your academic and Greek life pursuits.

Study tips for Greek Life members

Now, let’s talk about study tips for Greek life members. You might think that being part of a fraternity or sorority would distract you from your studies. But, in reality, it can provide a supportive environment that fosters academic success.

First, establish a study schedule and stick to it. Use your fraternity or sorority’s common areas for group study sessions. You’ll find that studying with your brothers or sisters can be both productive and enjoyable. Also, don’t shy away from seeking help from your fraternity or sorority members. Many of them have walked the path you’re on and can provide valuable insights and advice.

Balancing social events and academic responsibilities

Balancing social events and academic responsibilities can be a challenge. The rush in college introduces you to a vibrant social scene filled with parties, mixers, and philanthropic events. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement.

But remember, your academic responsibilities should always be a priority. A good rule of thumb is to treat your academic responsibilities like a job. Set aside specific hours each day for studying and attending classes. When planning to attend social events, make sure they don’t conflict with your academic schedule. It’s all about setting boundaries and sticking to them.

The role of academic support within fraternities and sororities

Lastly, let’s discuss the role of academic support within fraternities and sororities. Many Greek organizations place a high emphasis on academic achievement. They offer academic support in various forms, such as tutoring programs, study groups, and academic achievement awards.

Some even have mandatory study hours for their members. These resources can be invaluable in helping you maintain your academic standing while enjoying the benefits of Greek life. So, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the academic support your fraternity or sorority offers. It’s there to help you succeed in your academic journey while you navigate the exciting world of rush in college.


Participating in Greek life, which is a significant on-campus tradition, can enrich your college experience in a variety of valuable ways. If you do decide to hurry, make sure you have done your homework and are convinced that you want to associate yourself with a certain group of individuals for the duration of your college experience before you do so.

Finding possibilities for leadership and being active on campus can be challenging and frightening if you don’t know where to look. The process of participating rush in a college fraternity or sorority is quite similar to the search for higher educational institutions; it’s all about finding the right fit. If you are undecided, giving it a shot by asking questions to the right people won’t hurt in any way, so why not?

Segue to AdmissionSight

Speaking of the right people, AdmissionSight is here to help. At AdmissionSight, we have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in navigating the difficult admissions process required to gain entry into the most prestigious educational institutions in the world.

One of the highest track records in the industry, one that sees an average of 75% of our students being accepted to an Ivy League university as well as Stanford, MIT, University of Chicago, and Caltech. Please feel free to contact us immediately to schedule an appointment for your initial consultation.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.