Did you know that fraternity membership can impact college grades, career success, higher salary, and fame?

Find out who are some of the most successful fraternity members.

You may not realize that some of the most successful people today were once a part of their college’s greek system.

When we took a close look at the trajectory between fraternities and future success, we found some surprising results.

Find out how fraternity membership affects college grades, wealth, fame, power and politics.

What’s the Impact of Fraternity Membership on College Grades?

A recent study found that joining a fraternity or sorority does not positively impact academics.

After looking at the grades of 34,00 students, the findings revealed that joining a fraternity could lower GPA by an average of 0.25 points.

In addition to lower grades, the study found that greek membership correlated with students taking easier courses and completing fewer credit hours.

Notably, the academic impact of greek membership tends to be “larger for males, for students with lower aptitude or higher financial need, and during the spring semesters when social activities involving alcohol  are more frequent,” said researchers.

What’s the Impact of Fraternity Membership on Salary?

Contradictory to lower academic performance, fraternity members find significant success after college.

Joining a fraternity raises salary rates among alumni by an average of 36 percent.

For example, in two parallel situations, one student who did not join a fraternity could get a 3.0 GPA and have an eventual annual salary of $75,000. Another student could get a 2.75 GPA as a fraternity member and have a salary of $102,000 per year.

According to the researchers, “These results suggest fraternity membership causally produces large gains in social capital, which more than outweigh its negative effects on human capital for potential members.”

How Many Billionaires Were In a Fraternity?

With fraternity members having higher average earnings, we expect there to be some overlap between fraternity membership and those who have a high net worth.

By our count, at least 34 of the billionaires on the Forbes 400 list were in fraternities. The most common fraternity is Sigma Alpha Mu, with seven billionaires. However, the billionaires of Beta Theta Pi have accumulated the most wealth with a combined net worth of $107 billion.

Billionaires Who Were in Fraternities

  • Mark Zuckerberg: $69.6B (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Michael Bloomberg: $53.4B (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Charles Koch: $41B (Beta Theta Pi)
  • David Koch, deceased: $41B (Beta Theta Pi)
  • Phil Knight: $35.9B (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Thomas Frist: $11.5B (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Charles Ergen: $10.8 (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Jerry Jones: $8.6B (Kappa Sigma)
  • Edward Johnson III: $7B (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • John A. Sobrato: $6.7B (Delta Sigma Pi)
  • Reinhold Schmieding: $6.6B (Delta Chi)
  • Marc Benioff: $6.5B (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Bernard Marcus: $6.4B (Rho Pi Phi)
  • Ray Lee Hunt: $5.2B (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Paul Tudor Jones II: $5B (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • Howard Schultz: $4.7B (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Les Wexner: $4.4B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Rick Caruso: $4.2B (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • Rupert Johnson: $4B (Sigma Nu)
  • Neil Bluhm: $3.9B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Russ Weiner: $3.9B (Lambda Chi Alpha)
  • Frederick Smith: $3.8B (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Michael Milken: $3.7B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Jonathan Gray: $3.6B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Steve Wynn: $3.1B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Don Hankey: $3.1B (Phi Sigma Kappa)
  • Erick Lefkofsky: $2.8B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Wayne Hughes: $2.8B (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • John Tyson: $2.7B (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Joe Grendys: $2.5B (Delta Sigma Pi)
  • Dean Metropoulos: $2.5B (Delta Sigma Pi)
  • Ron Baron: $2.4B (Sigma Alpha Mu)
  • Peter Buck: $1.7B (Alpha Tau Omega)
  • Bill Gross: $1.5B (Phi Kappa Psi)

How Many Presidents Were In a Fraternity?

Across all U.S. presidents, about 29 percent have also been fraternity members. While this is a significant rate, it’s even higher in recent years. When we only look at presidents since 1881, about 50 percent were in fraternities.

The most common fraternity house among presidents is Delta Kappa Epsilon, with 71 percent of the presidents who were in Fraternities.

Presidents who were also fraternity members are much more likely to be Republicans than Democrats. In total, about 85 percent were Republican presidents.

Presidents Who were in Fraternities

  • James Garfield (Delta Upsilon)
  • Chester A. Arthur (Psi Upsilon)
  • Benjamin Harrison (Phi Delta Theta)
  • William McKinley (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • Teddy Roosevelt (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • William Howard Taft (Psi Upsilon)
  • Woodrow Wilson (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Calvin Coolidge (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Gerald Ford (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Ronald Reagan (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • George H.W. Bush (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • George W. Bush (Delta Kappa Epsilon)

Notably, George W. Bush didn’t get impressive grades while he was at Yale. His overall average was 77 out of 100. His only D was in astronomy.

Similarly, Ronald Regan wasn’t an A student either. He earned passing grades while at Eureka College, but it was his popularity that got him elected senior class president.

What Other Powerful People Were in a Fraternity?

Beyond U.S. presidents, there have been many politicians, government officials and leaders who have been in fraternities. Here are a few notable names:

  • Warren Buffett: Investor (Alpha Sigma Phi)
  • Martin Luther King Jr.: Civil rights leader (Alpha Phi Alpha)
  • Mike Pence: Vice President (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Wilbur Ross: Secretary of Commerce (Chi Phi)
  • Henry Paulson: Treasury Secretary during 2008 financial crisis, Goldman Sachs CEO (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • James P. Hoffa: Labor leader (Alpha Tau Omega)
  • Karl Rove: G.W. Bush administration official (Pi Kappa Alpha)
  • Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court justice (Alpha Phi Alpha)
  • Rex Tillerson: Secretary of State and ExxonMobil CEO (Alpha Phi Omega)
  • Jerry Nadler: Congressman (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Brett Kavanaugh: Supreme Court Justice (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Charles Whittaker: Supreme Court
  • Mike Huckabee: Presidential candidate
  • Bob Dole: Presidential candidate
  • Richard Burr: Congress (Kappa Sigma)
  • Howard Dean: Presidential candidate (Zeta Psi)
  • John Kasich: Governor (Alpha Sigma Phi)

What Business Leaders Were in a Fraternity?

Across all industries, there have been business leaders who are also fraternity members. Here are a few notable names:

  • Sanford Weill: Citigroup (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Chet Simmons: ESPN (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Bernard Marcus: Home Depot (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Matt Van Horn: Lyft (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Justin Mateen: Tinder (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Avery Rockefeller: Banker (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • James McNerney: Boeing (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Frederick Smith: FedEx (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Donald Fisher: Gap (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Herb Kelleher: Rollin King: Southwest Air (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Frank Batten: The Weather Channel (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • William Randolph Hearst: Hearst Communications (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Joseph Wilson: Xerox (Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Bill Bowerman: Nike (Beta Theta Pi)
  • Dave Gilboa: Warby Parker (Beta Theta Pi)
  • John Warnock: Adobe (Beta Theta Pi)
  • Kennedy Thompson: Wachovia (Beta Theta Pi)
  • Howard Schultz: Starbucks CEO (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Steve Forbes: Forbes (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Marc Benioff: Salesforce (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Conrad Hilton: Hilton hotels (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Herbert Dow: Dow Chemical (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Orra Monnette: Bank of America (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Jerry Yang: Yahoo! (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Jerry Nelson: Ticketmaster (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Bobby Murphy, Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown: Snapchat (Kappa Sigma)
  • Ted Turner: CNN and TBS (Kappa Sigma)
  • Charles Ergen: Dish Network (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Brian Lamb: C-SPAN (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Edmund C. Lynch: Merrill Lynch (Phi Gamma Delta)
  • Howard Wood: Charter Communications (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • John Thompson Dorrance: Campbell Soup Company (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • Matt Salzberg: Blue Apron (Sigma Chi)
  • Jeff Arnold: WebMD (Sigma Chi)
  • Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab Corporation (Sigma Nu)
  • Kevin Systrom: Instagram (Sigma Nu)
  • Rainer Castillo: Chubbies Shorts (Sigma Nu)
  • David Bohnett: Geocities (Alpha Tau Omega)
  • Erik Jonsson: Texas Instruments (Alpha Tau Omega)
  • James W. McLamore: Burger King (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Drew Houston: Dropbox (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Ralph C. Wilson Jr.: Buffalo Bills (Phi Delta Theta)
  • John Willard Marriott Sr.: Marriott (Phi Delta Theta)
  • William F. Harrah: Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Brewster Kahle: Internet Archive (Chi Phi)
  • Henry Ford: Ford Motor Co. (Zeta Psi)
  • Richard Yuengling Jr.: Yuengling Brewery (Zeta Psi)
  • Michael Dubin: Dollar Shave Club (Pi Kappa Alpha)

Which Movie and TV Figures Were in a Fraternity?

Successful fraternity members aren’t limited to the world of business. Here is a list of successful people in the film industry who were also in fraternities:

  • Walter Cronkite: TV anchorman (Chi Phi)
  • Jon Stewart: Comedian (Pi Kappa Alpha)
  • Brad Pitt: Actor (Sigma Chi)
  • David Letterman: TV host (Sigma Chi)
  • John Wayne: Actor (Sigma Chi)
  • Terry Gilliam: Director (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • Matt Groening: TV cartoonist (Sigma Chi)
  • Wolf Blitzer: TV news anchor (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Bob Barker: Game show host (Sigma Nu)
  • James Dean: Actor (Sigma Nu)
  • Dick Clark: Media personality Delta Kappa Epsilon)
  • Zach Braff: Actor (Phi Kappa Psi)
  • Robert Redford: Actor (Kappa Sigma)
  • Tony Hale: Actor (Sigma Chi)
  • Jon Hamm: Actor (Sigma Nu)
  • Jim Parsons: Actor (Pi Kappa Alpha)
  • Dick Wolf: Law & Order creator (Zeta Psi)

Which Musicians and Writers Were in a Fraternity?

The arts have also had successful fraternity members. Here is a list of musicians and writers who were in fraternities:

  • Elvis Presley: Musician (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • William Faulkner: Nobel-winning author (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
  • Les Paul: Musician: Electric guitar inventor (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel: Musicians (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Duke Ellington: Jazz musician (Alpha Phi Alpha)
  • Willie Nelson: Musician (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • Frank Gehry: Architect (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Stephen Sondheim: Composer (Beta Theta Pi)
  • Jimmy Buffett: Musician (Kappa Sigma)
  • Glenn Miller: Bandleader (Sigma Nu)
  • Tennessee Williams: Pulitzer-winning writer (Alpha Tau Omega)

What Science Leaders Were In a Fraternity?

These leaders in science were also members of fraternities:

  • Neil Armstrong: Astronaut (Phi Delta Theta)
  • Richard Thaler: Nobel-winning economist (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Edwin Hubble: Astronomer (Kappa Sigma)
  • William Fowler: Nobel-winning physicist (Tau Kappa Epsilon)
  • John Bardeen: Nobel-winning physicist (Zeta Psi)
  • Steven Squyres: NASA astronomer on Mars Rovers (Tau Kappa Epsilon)

What Athletes Were In a Fraternity?

These notable athletes were also in fraternities during college:

  • Steve Prefontaine: Olympic runner (Pi Kappa Alpha)
  • Eli Manning: Football quarterback (Sigma Nu)
  • Lou Groza: Football Hall of Famer (Alpha Tau Omega)
  • John Wooden: Basketball (Beta Theta Pi)

Do You Want The Career Benefits Without the Academic Downside?

The overlap between fraternity membership and career success is significant.

However, the average GPA loss of 0.25 among fraternity members could be troubling for many students. This academic impact could potentially cause students to lose their scholarship, have family discord, lose their good standing with their professors, not have the GPA to get into grad school or miss out on internship opportunities.

However, using online resources can be a way for fraternity members to keep their grades up even while participating in Greek life.

OneClass’ study resources have been a game-changer for college students. Through a combination of lecture notes, study guides, exam solutions and on-demand homework help, OneClass users have seen significant academic gains. In fact, more than 90 percent of users improve by at least one letter grade.

That means not only could OneClass help students to avoid the 0.25 GPA loss of fraternity membership, but students could see a grade improvement of 0.75. With this approach, students can get the career benefits of fraternity membership while simultaneously getting impressive grades.

Jack Tai is the CEO and Co-founder of OneClass. Visit the site to find out more about how this online tool has helped 90% of users improve by a letter grade.

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