Competition for college admission isn’t the only thing that’s heating up university campuses these days-acceptance into social sororities has reached a new level of importance. In order to get through “rush”-the week-long acceptance process for sororities nationwide-many parents have begun hiring recruitment counselors or image consultants to help guide their daughters through the process.
In Birmingham, Alabama, high school women looking to find out more about Greek life can go to Rushbiddies, a consultancy founded in 2009 by Pat Grant and Marlea Foster. Rushbiddies charges $25 per hour for one-on-one time, or $200 for a 2-day workshop.
“At first glance, this may come off as very frivolous, but for many young women, rush is an important rite of passage,” says Grant. “A lot of schools in the South have gotten very big, and joining a sorority is a wonderful way to find a small group of friends and navigate being away from home for the first time.”
Grant says that the average Rushbiddies client is a mother without a Greek background who has a daughter who wants to go through rush. On occasion, Grant says that a mother will sign up her daughter-but the daughter doesn’t want to attend. In that case, moms are welcome to attend solo and impart what they learn to their daughters at a later date. Other times, young women sign themselves up for a workshop where they can network with other prospective Greek women.
As for the increased interest in rush consultants, Grant says that people are “catching on” that sororities are a “wonderful place to plug in on campus,” and parents see the importance in prepping their daughters with interview and presentation skills before sending them off to college.
“For many young women, this is the first time they’re learning networking skills,” says Grant. “We help them write a professional resume, we encourage them to get involved in their community, and we give them conversation skills. Some of them don’t know that good small talk does not include old boyfriends.”