Monday, May 1, 2017

Research Blog #10 - Final Abstract and Works Cited


Membership to Greek Organizations is often perceived in a negative light. Despite the negatively surrounding Greek Organizations, there is research to prove that there are actually benefits to joining a Greek Organization during college. This research paper sets out to reveal such concrete evidence. In order for students to feel satisfied at their university they need to feel integrated within the community. When a student is both academically and socially integrated in the university’s community, the student is more likely to feel higher levels of satisfaction, which ultimately, correlate with higher graduation rates. Thus, this research paper goes into detail on how membership in Greek Life organizations on campus lead to students that are more satisfied with their college experience and who are more likely to graduate.

Works Cited

Armstrong, Elizabeth, and Laura Hamilton.  Paying for the Party: How College Maintains

Inequality.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2013. Print.

Duque, Lola C. "A Framework for Analysing Higher Education Performance:

Students' Satisfaction, Perceived Learning Outcomes, and Dropout Intentions." Total

Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 25, no. 1/2, Jan. 2014, pp. 1-21.


Hughey, Matthew. “Crossing The Sands, Crossing the Color Line: Non-Black Members Of

Black Greek Letter Organizations.” Journal of African American Studies 11.1 (2007): 55-


Kolodner, Meredith. “6 Reasons you May Not Graduate on Time (and what to Do About It).”

The New York Times 6 April 2017: Print.

Pike, Gary R.. “Membership in a Fraternity or Sorority, Student Engagement, and Educational

Outcomes at AAU Public Research Universities.” (2003).

Porter, Eduardo. “Dropping Out of College, and Paying the Price.” The New York Times 15 June

2013: Print.

Routon, P. W., & Walker, J.K. (2014). The impact of Greek organization membership on

collegiate outcomes: Evidence from a national survey. Journal of Behavioral and

Experimental Economics, 49(1), 63–70.

Sidanius, Jim, et al. “Ethnic Enclaves And The Dynamics Of Social Identity On The College

Campus: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly.” Journal of Personality & Social

Psychology 87.1 (2004): 96-110

Tinto, Vincent Leaving college : rethinking the causes and cures of student

attrition (2nd ed). University of Chicago Press, Chicago ; London, 1993.

Walker, J. K., Martin, N. D., & Hussey, A. (2015). Greek organization membership and

collegiate outcomes at an elite private university. Research in Higher Education,

56(3), 203–227.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Research Blog #8 - Case

To better understand what student satisfaction is and how it is achieved I read a the study, A framework for analyzing higher education performance: student’s satisfaction, perceived learning outcomes, and dropout intention, by Lola C. Duque. What this research does is it provides a conceptual framework for analyzing students’ satisfaction, perceived learning outcomes, and dropout intentions. This research determines satisfaction at the university by 3 categories educational quality, administrative quality, cognitive learning outcomes. For the purpose of my project, learning outcomes (aka graduation) is the main focus. The most important finding from this research is that student integration at the university can be as important as perceived service quality in explaining students learning outcomes. This ultimately means that integration, which in the case of my project can be achieved by joining Greek Life, leads to more satisfied students, and when a student is more satisfied with their overall experience at the university, they are more likely to graduate. 

Secondly, to show that there is actual proof that membership in Greek Organizations leads to higher levels of satisfaction I read the study, Greek Organization Membership and Collegiate Outcomes at an Elite, Private University by Jay K. Walker, Nathan D. Martin, Andrew Hussey.  This Study uses data from the Campus Life and Learning Project (CLL), a prospective panel study of students at Duke University. Ultimately, study that highlights how Greek Life membership correlates with higher graduation rates and why it does so. The study finds that membership in a fraternity or a sorority leads to higher levels of involvement at the university and higher levels of satisfaction with campus social life, which predicts higher graduation rates and degree persistence, "at the end of their college career, Greeks report higher levels of satisfaction with the quality of social life than non-Greeks" (217). 

Both these cases are very helpful to my project in the sense that the first illustrates what exactly satisfaction is and how it's achieved. The second case shows how there is actual proof that membership to Greek Life organizations lead to higher levels of satisfaction at the university, which ultimately lead to higher levels of graduation. 

Research Blog #7 - Frame

the frame of my project I found a lot of the work that Vincent Tinto did to be very useful to my project. Vincent Tinto is an award winning Distinguished University Professor at Syracuse University of sociology. He is a noted theorist in the field of higher education, particularly concerning student retention and learning communities. In his book, Leaving College, Tito has a theory that for students to want to stay in college they need to feel integrated in the community, and that one of the main reasons students decide to drop out is because they don't feel this sense of inclusion. Tinto’s theory states that if students are both academically and socially integrated in their campus, their commitment to the university is increased; therefore they are more likely to graduate.  To put things into perspective, here are a few college drop out statistics. Seventy percent of Americans will study at a 4-year college, but less than 2/3 will graduate. Thirty percent of college freshman drop out their first year. Those without a college degree are twice as likely to be unemployed as to those with one. From Tinto's theory I was able to form my own theory for my project, which is, Greek Life membership leads to social integration at the university, which ultimately has a positive correlation with persistence in college and graduation rates. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Research Blog #6: Visual

This visual graphic is a graph from one of the studies used in my project. This graph illustrates my project because the main focus is to show how membership in either a fraternity or a sorority correlates with higher graduation rates and retention in at a four-year university. This visual is significant because it clearly shows the distinction between students involved in Greek Life and students whom are not affiliated for both males and females. The graph describes retention rates for both male and female students for two groups (affiliated and non-affiliated students) from 1991 to 1993. The results of the graph show that fraternity and sorority members in both 1991 and 1993 had far greater retention through their second and fourth fall semester than their non-affiliated counterparts. Sorority member persistence into the senior year was 93% in 1991, compared to 67% for the affiliated female cohort. In 1993, the sorority and non-affiliated senior retention rates figures were 95% and 71% respectively. The results were similar for men who joined fraternities. In their fourth fall semester, 88% of fraternity members in the 1991 cohort persisted at the institution, in contrast to 72% of non-affiliated men. the same comparison for the 1993 cohort was 93% for fraternity men and 73% retention for non-affiliated men. Overall this graphic demonstrates the main argument of my project, proving that Greek Life membership leads to higher graduation rates in both males and females. 

Literature Review #4

For the fourth Literature Review I will review the article:
Greek Organization Membership and Collegiate Outcomes at an Elite, Private University

Full Citation

Walker, Jay K., et al. "Greek Organization Membership and Collegiate Outcomes at an Elite, Private University." Research in Higher Education, vol. 56, no. 3, 01 May 2015, pp. 203-227. EBSCOhost,


In this study, the authors use a detailed survey and institutional data from a prospective panel study of students attending a highly selective, private university to examine the effects of fraternity or sorority membership on a range of collegiate outcomes. Many studies regarding Greek Life membership highlight the negative affects membership has on college students, but this study finds something very interesting. Ultimately, the study finds that Greek membership leads to higher levels of involvement in and satisfaction with campus social life, and predicts higher graduation rates and degree persistence. This study uses data from the Campus Life and Learning (CLL) project, a prospective panel study of students at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina (Spenner et al. 2005)


Jay K. Walker 

Jay K. Walker is an assistant professor of economics at Niagara University in western New York. His fields of study are Applied Microeconomics, Labor Economics, and the Economics of Education.

Nathan D. Martin 

Nathan D. Martin is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. He teaches in the schools of Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has a Ph.D., Sociology with Graduate Certificate in Education Policy Research, Duke University, 2010. 

Andrew Hussey

Professor Andrew Hussey is a native of Liverpool and studied at the universities of Manchester and Lyon III. He started his career as a journalist writing for Julie Burchill's Modern Review and since has written for every major British newspaper as well as the TLS the LRB and the Literary Review. These days he writes mainly for the New Statesman and the Guardian/Observer.

Key Terms

One of the main takeaways from this article is that the study shows that membership in Greek Life at a four-year university does indeed correlate with higher graduation rates. 

The article talks about about the high levels of satisfaction fraternity and sorority members experience in comparison to their non-Greek counterparts. This high level of satisfaction is the reason graduation rates are much higher in Greek Life members than non-Greek Life members. 


"In the CLL, Greeks are significantly more likely to maintain full-time status throughout the college career and to complete a bachelor’s degree, although overall graduation rates are high in comparison to national figures" (217).

"At the end of their college career, Greeks report higher levels of satisfaction with the quality of social life than do non-Greeks" (217).

"By encouraging active involvement in campus life, Greek organizations can serve as a beneficial resource to members, and serve as a model of broader efforts to maximize student retention and degree completion" (219).


This article is useful to my argument in the sense that it reviews a study that clearly proves that Greek Life membership leads to persistence in college and higher graduation rates. Although not the main focus of this Literature Review, this article will also be useful to contradict my counter argument which is that perhaps Greek Life members already have qualities that would have led to graduation regardless if they were involved in Greek Life or not. This article has a lot of useful information to prove otherwise.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Literature Review #3

For the third Literature Review I will review the article:
Going Greek: Academics, Personal Change, and Life after College. 

Full Citation - 

Routon, Wesley, and Jay Walker. “Going Greek: Academics, Personal Change, and Life after College.”Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning , vol. 48, no. 1, 7 Mar. 2016, pp. 60–66., Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.

Summary - 

This article brings up a lot of very interesting points about the postive affects of "Going Greek" in college. Some of these positive affects include:

- Greek members are more involved on campus and have higher post-graduation wages and more graduate-school attendance than non-affiliated students.
- Greek-letter membership also correlates with increased retention and a shorter time to graduation, although it does not have a sizable impact on GPA.
- Students who were more involved in high school often join Greek organizations. On campus, fraternity and sorority membership leads to greater campus involvement, even after controlling for student background
- Members' opinions change as they begin to identify with the group.
- Social Greek-letter organizations, more commonly known as fraternities (male-only) and sororities (female-only), are a longstanding tradition at colleges and universities in the United States. They claim to instill leadership skills in and offer a support network for members.

The article goes on to discuss the research behind these claims. 

Authors - 

Wesley Routon 

Dr. P. Wesley (Wes) Routon is an applied microeconomist with broad research interests, though much of his work falls within labor and education economics. He is particularly interested in post-secondary student outcomes as well as military and veteran personnel. His research has been published in such journals as Eastern Economic Journal and Education Finance and Policy.

Routon has been teaching economics since 2009 and has taught at Georgia Gwinnett College since 2014. He enjoys teaching because it is fun and challenging, and he believes everyone can benefit from the economic way of thinking. Having taken courses at over seven different institutions and studied abroad in both Belgium and Brazil, above all he strives to encourage his students to seek new ideas in as many places as possible. His current courses include Principles of Microeconomics and Introduction to Economics.

Jay Walker 

Jay Walker is one of America’s best-known business inventors and entrepreneurs. He has founded multiple successful start-up companies across various industries that today serve tens of millions of customers each, the most recognizable being Priceline and Synapse Group. He currently serves as Chairman & CEO of Upside Travel, Executive Chairman of Walker Innovation, Curator of TEDMED and Chairman of Walker Digital, amongst additional roles at other entities.

Key Terms - 

- Students who go Greek in college have a a higher graduation rate than students who do not. 

- Females who go Greek report that they develop skills in leadership, public-speaking and interperosnal skills. The development of these skills sprouts from Greek Life involvement, and had they not been involved they would not be as developed. 

Quotes - 

"Sorority members believe more often than their non-affiliated peers that their leadership abilities, public-speaking skills, and interpersonal skills have grown stronger but that their general knowledge and knowledge of different ethnicities/cultures has not kept up with those of female non-Greek graduates."

"Greeks of both genders are much more likely (there is upwards of an 11 percentage point increase in probability) to marry someone with a college degree, and they are approximately 6 percentage points more likely to eventually earn a graduate degree, compared to non-Greek graduates."

Value - 

This article helps my research project in several different ways. It discusses various benefits undergraduates involved in Greek Life receive. For example, benefits in scholarship, leadership, service, friendship, etc. The basis of my project is to explain why the positive effects of Greek Life involvement as an undergrad outweigh the negative effects that are more often portrayed in the media and news. What is most important about this article and that will really help to advance my project is the amount of statistical evidence that is offers. It's easy for people to say that Greek Life has great benefits, but this article actually proves it.