Are you planning to join a sorority and wonder whether they have a solid impact on your grades and career?

In the article below, you’ll discover the facts about sororities and also get a significant list of well-known sorority members in every aspect of life! Let this be your guide!

impact of sorority on your grades and career

College students who join sororities could find that Greek life affects their grades during school as well as their career success after school.

However, the potential impact may not be what you expect.

Find out how sorority membership affects academic performance and learn which famous women were once in sororities.

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

You may read in the promotional materials that sorority membership prioritizes learning and intellectual development along with the goals of leadership and service.

However, researchers at Miami University in Ohio found that joining a sorority could have negative consequences on your academic performance.

In an analysis of more than 34,000 students, sorority and fraternity members see an average GPA drop of 0.25 points.

The lower academic performance tends to be more dramatic for students who were initially achieving lower grades or who have higher financial need.

The impact on grades is also worse during the spring semester when there are more social activities involving alcohol.

Does Sorority Membership Influence Career Success?

As we saw when we looked at how fraternity membership leads to success, poorer academic performance of college students in Greek organizations does not necessarily mean students will be less successful in their careers.

In fact, the opposite is often true.

Successful sorority members include several congresswomen, a Supreme Court Justice, movie stars, astronauts and more.

Sorority membership has increased by more than 50 percent in the last decade, according to the National Panhellenic Conference.

This could be attributed, in part, to the desire for a women’s network which supports success.

How Many Billionaires Were in a Sorority?

Among the 19 U.S.-based women in the Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world, only one of them is known to have been in a sorority.

However, in Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, three out of the top 25 are known to have been in a sorority.

Billionaires Who Were Sorority Members

  • Nancy Walton Laurie: Chi Omega
    Net Worth: $5.7B
  • Johnelle Hunt: Alpha Sigma Tau
    B. Hunt Transport Services
    Net Worth: $2.7B
  • Safra Catz: Chi Omega
    Co-CEO of Oracle
    Net Worth: $1.1B
  • Sara Blakely: Delta Delta
    Founder of Spanx
    Net Worth: $1B

What Business Leaders Were in a Sorority?

Many sorority members have had highly successful careers, including founding their own companies and rising to the top ranks at major corporations.

Here are some notable business leaders who were in sororities:

  • Virginia Rometty: CEO of IBM (Kappa Gamma)
  • Carla Harris: Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Ann S. Moore: CEO of Time Inc. (Pi Beta Phi)
  • Verna Gibson: CEO The Limited stores (Alpha Xi Delta)
  • Andrea Wong: President at Sony (Alpha Phi)
  • Sharen Jester Turney: CEO Victoria’s Secret (Delta Gamma)
  • Terri Dean: Senior VP Verizon (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Sheryl Battles: VP Pitney Bowes (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Whitney Wolfe Herd: Founder of Bumble and Tinder (Kappa Gamma)
  • Depelsha McGruder: Senior VP MTV (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Jacqueline Woods: VP Oracle (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Tracy Britt Cool: Berkshire Hathaway Exec. (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Tory Burch: Entrepreneur (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Kate Spade: Businesswoman (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Mecole Brown: VP Walmart (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Sherron Watkins: Former Enron VP and whistleblower (Alpha Chi Omega)
  • Alice Marriott: Co-founder of Marriott Hotels (Chi Omega)
  • Kelley Earnhardt Miller: Co-owner of JR Motorsports (Alpha Xi Delta)
  • Gwendolyn Smith Iloani: CEO Smith Whiley & Co (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Marjorie Husted: Co-developer of Betty Crocker (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Lynne Martin Doughtie: CEO of KPMG (Kappa Delta)
  • Patricia Polito Miller: Co-owner of Vera Bradley (Kappa Delta)

What Congresswomen Were in a Sorority?

Sorority women have also achieved political success. Among current congresswoman, former sorority members account for 28 percent of female Senators and 20 percent of women in the House of Representatives.

Included are several congresswomen who are candidates in the 2020 presidential primaries. Here’s a list of congresswomen who were in sororities:

  • Elizabeth Warren (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Kamala Harris (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Pi Beta Phi)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Karen Bass (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Val Demings (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Lucy McBath (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Brenda Lawrence (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Yvette Clarke (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Joyce Beatty (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Marcia Fudge (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Stephanie Murphy (Chi Omega)
  • Marsha Blackburn (Chi Omega)
  • Abby Finkenauer (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Kendra Horn (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Terri Sewell (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Frederica Wilson (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Lauren Underwood (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Alma Adams (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Bonnie Watson Coleman (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Susan Davis (Delta Phi Epsilon)
  • Kathy Castor (Delta Delta Delta)
  • Jan Schakowsky (Delta Phi Epsilon)
  • Deb Fischer (Gamma Phi Beta)

What Government Officials Were in a Sorority?

In addition to congresswomen, several other high-ranking government officials were in sororities while in college, including the following:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Supreme Court Justice (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Condoleezza Rice: Former Secretary of State (Alpha Chi Omega)
  • Cassandra Chandler: Assistant Director FBI (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Dina Powell: Deputy National Security Advisor under Trump (Delta Delta Delta)
  • Lynn Morley Martin: U.S. Labor Secretary (Gamma Phi Beta)
  • Mary Brooks: Director of U.S. Mint (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Regina Benjamin: 18th U.S. Surgeon General (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Joycelyn Elders: 15th U.S. Surgeon General (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Georgia Neese Gray: U.S. Treasurer under Truman and Eisenhower (Alpha Phi)
  • Francine Irving Neff: U.S. Treasurer under Nixon and Ford (Alpha Delta Pi)
  • Ivy Baker Priest: U.S. Treasurer under Eisenhower (Delta Zeta)
  • Shirley Hufstedler: U.S. Secretary of Education under Carter (Chi Omega)
  • Carol Rasco: Director of Domestic Policy under Clinton (Alpha Delta Pi)

What First Ladies and Political Family Members Were in a Sorority?

Several politically-associated women have been in sororities. From First Ladies to First Daughters, here’s a list of notable names:

  • Laura Bush: First Lady (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Lynne Cheney: Wife of VP Dick Cheney (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Meghan Markle: Duchess of Sussex (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Cindy McCain: Businesswoman and widow of John McCain (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Lou Henry Hoover: First Lady (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Grace Coolidge: First Lady (Pi Beta Phi)
  • Tiffany Trump: President Trump’s daughter from his second wife (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Charlotte Pence: Vice President’s daughter (Chi Omega)

What Other Powerful Leaders Were in a Sorority?

Several other powerful leaders were in sororities, including:

  • Melinda Gates: Philanthropist (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Carol Bellamy: UNICEF Director (Delta Gamma)
  • Sarah Weddington: Represented Norma McCorvey in Roe v. Wade (Sigma Kappa)
  • Elsie L. Scott: CEO Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (Delta Sigma Theta)

Notably, the philanthropic efforts of Melinda Gates have had a big impact on education.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has paid for more than 20,000 students to attend college through its Gates Millennium Scholars Program.

Philanthropic initiatives also include K-12 education, and the foundation has committed $1.7 billion over five years toward new public education initiatives.

What Movie and TV Figures Were in a Sorority?

Actresses, filmmakers, comedians and TV journalists are among the list of famous women who were in a sorority. Here’s a list of notable names:

  • Lucy Liu: Actress (Chi Omega)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Actress (Delta Gamma)
  • Eleanor Coppola: Filmmaker (Alpha Chi Omega)
  • Jennifer Garner: Actress (Pi Beta Phi)
  • Connie Britton: Actress (Sigma Kappa)
  • Kristin Chenoweth: Actress (Gamma Phi Beta)
  • Kourtney Kardashian: Media mogul (Alpha Phi)
  • Katie Couric: TV journalist (Delta Delta Delta)
  • Mariska Hargitay: Actress (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Ashley Judd: Actress (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Phylicia Rashad: Actress (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Wanda Sykes: Comedian (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer: Actress (Alpha Delta Pi)
  • Keshia Knight Pulliam: Actress (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Star Jones: TV personality (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Ann Coulter: Media personality (Delta Gamma)
  • Joy Behar: Comedian (Delta Zeta)
  • Lizz Winstead: Co-creator of The Daily Show (Delta Gamma)
  • Dawn Wells: Actress (Alpha Chi Omega)
  • Agnes Nixon: TV writer and five-time Daytime Emmy award winner (Alpha Chi Omega)
  • Farrah Fawcett: Actress (Delta Delta Delta)
  • Florence Henderson: Actress (Delta Zeta)
  • Kathy Bates: Actress (Alpha Delta Pi)
  • Rue McClanahan: Actress (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Elizabeth Banks: Actress (Delta Delta Delta)

What Musicians, Writers and Designers Were in a Sorority?

Sorority members have also gone on to have careers in the arts. The following musicians, writers and designers joined a sorority while they were in college:

  • Sheryl Crow: Musician (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Toni Morrison: Nobel-winning author (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Alice Walker: Pulitzer-winning author (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Natalie Cole: Singer (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Roberta Flack: Singer (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Harper Lee: Novelist (Chi Omega)
  • Joan Didion: Writer (Delta Delta Delta)
  • Cathy Guisewite: Cartoonist (Delta Delta Delta)
  • Betsey Johnson: Fashion designer (Alpha Xi Delta)
  • Bette Midler: Singer, actress (Delta Phi Epsilon)
  • Edith Head: Eight-time Academy Award-winning costume designer (Delta Zeta)
  • Dionne Warwick: Singer (Zeta Phi Beta)
  • Sarah Vaughan: Singer (Zeta Phi Beta)
  • Vanessa Williams: Singer (Zeta Phi Beta)
  • Gwendolyn Brooks: Poet (Zeta Phi Beta)
  • Carol Shields: Pulitzer-winning author (Alpha Delta Pi)

What Science Leaders Were In a Sorority?

These leaders in science were also members of sororities:

  • Rita Colwell: National Science Foundation Director (Delta Gamma)
  • Joan Higginbotham: Astronaut (Delta Sigma Theta)
  • Susan Helms: Astronaut (Chi Omega)
  • Susan Athey: Economist (Chi Omega)
  • Katherine G. Johnson: NASA scientist portrayed in Hidden Figures (Alpha Kappa Alpha)
  • Judith Resnik: Astronaut (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
  • Bonnie Dunbar: Astronaut (Kappa Delta)
  • Jan Davis: Astronaut (Alpha Xi Delta)
  • Margaret Rhea Seddon: Astronaut (Sigma Kappa)
  • Laurel Clark: Astronaut (Gamma Phi Beta)

What Athletes Were In a Sorority?

These notable athletes were also in sororities during college:

  • Kerri Strug: Olympic gymnast (Kappa Alpha Theta)
  • Marion Roper: Olympic-winning diver (Alpha Phi)
  • Lillie Leatherwood: Olympic-winning runner (Zeta Phi Beta)

Can Being in a Sorority Get the Career Benefits Without the Academic Downside?

After college, sorority members get the career benefits of Greek life, including social capital and a strong network.

However, the lower average GPA among Greeks could mean short-term implications such as reduced scholarship access, fewer internship opportunities and lower regard by professors.

Today’s online learning tools can help students get the long-term benefits of sorority membership while mitigating the academic decline.

OneClass’ study resources have helped millions of students get better grades through shared class notes, study guides and exam solutions.

More than 90 percent of users have improved by at least one letter grade.

That means that by using OneClass, sorority members could avoid the 0.25 GPA decline, and instead see a 0.75 GPA increase!

So, Yes The Impact of a Sorority on Your Grades and Career is Positive!

Between the connections that you’ll make for a lifetime, and the overall spirit of comraderies, being in a sorority has a significant effect on your career.

And while your grades may not be absolutely perfect, 10 years from now, no one actually asks you about your grades.

Given the significant number of successful women in every category above, the benefits of being a member of a sorority are profound.

 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.