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A sorority isn't all about drinking and socializing.
In between the dances and house parties that have become staples of Greek life, many sorority women give back to the community.
Sorority members and alumnae donated 2.7 million hours of volunteer service during the 2012-2013 school year, raising more than $27 million for philanthropic causes, according to the National Panhellenic Conference.
[Consider these points before plunging into Greek life.]
On average, 9.3 percent of the female, degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in fall 2012 were members of a sorority, according to sorority participation rate data reported by 892 ranked colleges and universities to U.S. News in a 2013 survey.
The figure was significantly higher for the top 10 schools with the highest levels of sorority participation. At those universities, an average of 63 percent of degree-seeking women were engaged in Greek life.
Washington and Lee University boasted the highest percentage of women in sororities, with 82 percent of female college students joining sororities. The school also has among the highest rates of fraternity participation, with 81 percent of its male students joining fraternities.
[Discover schools with the highest rates of men in fraternities.]
Welch College was just behind Washington and Lee, with 81 percent of its degree-seeking women participating in sororities.
Below is a list of the 10 schools with the highest percentages of female, degree-seeking undergraduate students in sororities in fall 2012.
|School name (state)||Percentage of female undergraduates in a sorority (fall 2012)||Total undergraduate enrollment (fall 2012)||U.S. News rank and category|
|Washington and Lee University (VA)||82||1,838||14, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Welch College (TN)||81||315||53, Regional Colleges (South)|
|Sewanee—University of the South (TN)||71||1,478||38, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|DePauw University (IN)||65||2,336||54, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Ohio Valley University (WV)||57||436||27, Regional Colleges (South)|
|Transylvania University (KY)||57||1,074||76, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Millsaps College (MS)||55||849||82, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Wofford College (SC)||55||1,588||65, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Harding University (AR)||54||4,300||22, Regional Universities (South)|
|Rhodes College (TN)||54||1,915||54, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs, because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find schools with high sorority membership, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.
U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2013 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The sorority data above are correct as of Feb. 18, 2014.