Fraternity and Sorority Life

Fraternity and Sorority Life

Fraternity and Sorority Life Facts

  • Nationally, 71% of all fraternity and sorority member graduate, while only 50% of non-members graduate.
  • The All fraternity and sorority GPA is higher than the overall collegiate GPA.
  • Since 1910, 85% of the Supreme Court Justices have been fraternity or sorority members.
  • All but two Presidents since 1825 have been involved in fraternity and sorority life
  • Less then 2% of an average college students expenses go towards fraternity and sorority life membership dues.
  • Both women elected to the U.S. Supreme Court were sorority members.
  • In the past five years, more than 100 colleges and universities have opened their doors for fraternity and sorority life.
  • Members of fraternities and sororities donate to their Alma Mater, religious groups and other charitable organizations significantly more than those who were not associated with fraternity and sorority life.
  • Over 7 million dollars was raised by members of fraternities and sororities across the country in the past year.
  • Fraternity or sorority members form the largest network of volunteers in the U.S.-Nationally, fraternity or sorority members volunteer approximately 10 million hours of community service annually.
  • Fraternity or sorority membership strongly encourages within its community to uphold the ideals that they were founded on: sisterhood and brotherhood, scholarship, leadership, philanthropy, and becoming better citizens of society.

Unrecognized Organizations

An "unrecognized" Fraternity or Sorority is one which may have been "closed" by the University or by the corresponding National Organization, but members still choose to try to keep the organization alive. That means that these organizations have no affiliation with or supervision by the College, do not follow the rules that are set for fraternties and sororities, and do not give the College the names of their members. They are loosely organized social clubs that often use the Greek letters of legitimate organizations. Their use of these names is illegal because they are not formally affiliated with the national organizations. The dues that are paid are used solely for the social activities of the local group. These groups were at one time recognized by the College and were affiliated with national organizations but are no longer. Members of unrecognized groups sometimes lie to new students about the group’s status. An example is saying that the group’s recognition is suspended but that they will regain their recognition later in the year.

If you have questions or concerns about an organization that is not recognized at Penn State Altoona, please contact Dani Fry, Director of Student and Civic Engagement at 814-949-5064 or

The following organizations are not recognized by Penn State Altoona or the Greek Council:


On May 1, 2013, Acacia fraternity lost its recognition with the Greek Council and Penn State Altoona for consistent failure to follow campus conduct policies and state/federal laws. This organization also lost it's recognition from the Acacia Fraternity national office.

Phi Sigma Kappa

In October 2014, Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity was found to be responsible for violations of the Penn State University Code of Conduct related to hazing. The chapter is suspended from October 10, 2014 to October 10, 2020.

Gamma Phi Beta

In January 2018, Penn State's Office of Student Conduct concluded that hazing, consisting of forced servitude, had occured as part of Gamma Phi Beta sorority's new member activities during previous semesters. Following its suspension, the sorority also lost it's recognition from the Gamma Phi Beta national office, resulting in the indefinite closure of the Zeta Pi chapter of Gamma Phi Beta at Penn State Altoona.

The University discourages students from joining a fraternity or sorority that the University does not recognize. Unrecognized fraternities are not held to the University or Council standards that govern the behavior of other chapters. They operate without the oversight, training, and education provided by staff in the Center for Student and Civic Engagement.

Nationally, hazing is often a problem with unrecognized groups. Students who rush unrecognized groups do so at their own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.