Dallas Fort Worth 2019 sorority recruitment information meetings. spring forums

Calling all potential, future, and current longhorns!! Do you plan to participate in sorority recruitment, aka rush, this fall at UT?!

If you’ve already received your acceptance letter, congratulations! If you’re still waiting, our fingers are crossed for you too.

Allow me to introduce myself – I am a Hiking in Heels sorority recruitment coach, aka “rush coach” who works with ALL our University of Texas girls, or should I say PNMs (potential new members), to help them get ready each fall. I went to UT myself, and I LOVED getting to be a part of Greek life there. And I love that I’ve been able to personally help HUNDREDS of girls get bids from UT sororities as well!

I’m here to talk sorority recruitment and I’ll be doing a BIG Q&A with some of the top questions we get every year leading up to sorority recruitment at UT Austin this fall. This started out as a short blog, but I just couldn’t help myself. There’s so much to say.

So if you’re planning to participate in sorority recruitment this upcoming fall or you’re considering it in the future, be sure to bookmark this post.

Let’s get started with the top question on everyone’s minds…

Question #1: How do you join a sorority at UT? How do you get a bid at UT Austin?

The University of Texas holds its formal sorority recruitment every year in August. UT’s recruitment is a week-long process that takes place right before school starts, and it consists of four rounds: Open House, Philanthropy, Sisterhood, and Preference. These rounds are followed by Bid Day, which is when participating PNMs are able to receive a max of 1 sorority bid, aka, an invitation to join a chapter.

In order to enroll in formal recruitment, a PNM is required to register with the UT Austin Panhellenic. Registration typically opens in late May or June, and potential new members are required to register via the University of Texas Panhellenic Association. The deadline to register has historically been August.

UT does not have a formal spring recruitment process. A few chapters will participate here and there informally, but the majority of chapters don’t participate. If you want to be considered by every chapter on campus – formal fall recruitment is your best bet. Don’t hold out for spring if you’re able to participate during the fall.

Question #2: How hard is it to get into a sorority at the University of Texas (UT)?

Sorority recruitment at UT is extremely competitive. Why? Because there are 1400+ potential new members going through, and maybe 4-5 officers on each sorority’s recruitment team sorting through all those girls. The sororities make lists of incoming freshmen they’re especially interested in Spring semester before recruitment (as early as February for some chapters) and they call these their “top girls” lists. These potential new members then get added to a slideshow that’s played at recruitment trainings for chapter members and during their work week, the week before recruitment where the chapters get ready for formal recruitment, to help the members get to know the girls, memorize their names and faces, and to remind them to say hi to during recruitment. If you don’t make it on one of these lists/slideshows (we’ll talk about how to get on them later in the post), it’s very tough to get a bid because no one in the chapter is looking out for you.

Reason #2 why it’s super competitive is that at UT, the sorority members are only allowed to vote on PNMs they’ve personally met. If a sorority girl hasn’t personally met you, she can’t vote on you – yes or no. Meeting you at any time counts –  during high school, at camp, or during formal recruitment at UT.  Hear this: No one’s trying to cut cute PNMs with good grades – they’re really not nitpicking or being judgy. But since they can’t vote on a PNM unless they’ve met her, A lot of PNMs slip through the cracks because they just can’t get enough votes to move forward another round.

Think of it this way: if the chapters don’t know about you ahead of time, they can’t get excited about you during recruitment and it’s easier to slip through the cracks. It’s like expecting a cute guy from one of your 100+ person college classes who doesn’t know you yet to ask you out. You could be the cutest, sweetest, most interesting girl in the class, but if you haven’t introduced yourself, a date’s pretty unlikely, right?

Keep in mind, even though you hear about this nice-sounding “mutual selection process” where supposedly PNMs and sororities get a say – sororities are in charge of whether a PNM returns or not, regardless of how high she ranks that chapter in her preferences. Ranking a chapter highly in no way guarantees a PNM will return. In fact, many sororities cut as many as a third of the PNMs from round 1 to round 2.

At UT Austin, the chapters are not obligated to take everyone who’s registered for recruitment, and PNMs are therefore not guaranteed a bid. It’s very common that many girls are released from the process mid-way through.

With all that being said, a PNM absolutely CAN still have a successful recruitment if they understand how the process really works.

[ PS – Heading somewhere other than the University of Texas? We help prepare PNMs for recruitment at over 70+ schools. Click here for a complete list! ]

Question #3: When should I start getting ready for sorority recruitment at the University of Texas?

On average, most of our girls heading to UT begin getting ready for recruitment in January of their senior year in high school. Some begin earlier, during the fall semester (when they’re narrowing down their final few schools). The majority of girls make their commitment in January-March.

Remember these lists/slideshows referenced above in question #1? The sooner you get on the recruitment team’s radar, the sooner you can get yourself added to them, and the more you can maximize your chances of getting more invites when formal recruitment week rolls around. Earlier is better, so as soon as you know UT is on the table, it’s important to make a game plan.

Question #4: What does “getting ready for sorority recruitment” at UT Austin even mean?

Getting ready means…

  1. Telling any friends in the sorority chapters at UT you’re coming and plan to participate in sorority recruitment. If you haven’t explicitly told them, assume they don’t know.
  2. Getting your Instagram ready for the sororities to stalk it.
  3. Creating a sorority recruitment resume and digital rush packet that will stand out from the crowd
  4. Submitting your Letters of Recommendation.
  5. Submitting your Letters of Support.
  6. Registering for recruitment via the University of Texas Panhellenic Association (usually goes live mid-end of May)
  7. Submitting your PNM video assignment that’s due with your Panhellenic registration form.
  8. Planning out your outfits for the formal week of recruitment (notice how outfits are literally last on the list?)

Question #5: What are letters of recommendation, and are they required for sorority recruitment at UT Austin?

How does a PNM get on a recruitment team’s radar if they don’t know current members at that chapter? One way is with Letters of Recommendation / also called Recruitment Information Forms (RIFs).

A Letter of Recommendation / Recruitment Information Form is a form an alum completes on their national sorority website. Nationals sends the form to the local UT chapter, and it helps the recruitment team get to know the PNM ahead of time.  *For UT sorority recruitment, these do NOT have to be completed by a UT alum. Any alum can complete these.

Some important facts:

  • If you do not know anyone in the chapters (and even if you do) you should STILL obtain these.
  • UT has an extremely competitive recruitment process, and you absolutely need these if you plan to rush here.
  • Why? Aside from the fact that turning these in shows interest, if you don’t personally know anyone and you aren’t able to register for recruitment until May-ish (when the UT Austin registration goes live), turning in Letters of Recommendation helps the sorority chapters:
    • 1) know of your existence
    • 2) get to know you before recruitment and most importantly – get excited about you!

Question #6: What are letters of support, and how are they different from letters of recommendation? Are they required as well for sorority recruitment t the University of Texas?

Some, but not all sororities at UT Austin allow for alums to submit supplementary (read: supplementary does not mean optional) Letters of Support in addition to the Recommendation Forms. A Letter of Support is just an email from an alum directly to the UT Austin chapter’s recruitment team, with a nice note about how awesome you are, and your resume and recruitment photos attached.

Question #7: When are Letters of Recommendation and Letters of Support due for University of Texas sorority recruitment?

In order to maximize your chances of receiving more invites back,  University of Texas Letters of Recommendation & Letters sof Support are due on – or even better, before – May 1, regardless of the listed dates on the UT University Panhellenic website & Instagram account, UT Austin’s sorority websites, and your city’s local Panhellenic Association’s suggested dates.

  • Yes, technically you can turn them in later, but think of this like you would a job application.
  • If a company opens a job application for 90 days, sure you absolutely can apply the day before they take it down. But if they’ve already found the right candidates and they’re excited about them, and there are only so many open jobs – what do you think your chance of getting that job is going to be? Less likely than the earlier applicants with similar qualifications – that’s for sure.
  • Ignore the misleading deadlines you see that are designed to make everyone feel included and have your Letters of Rec turned in by May 1st if you want to maximize your chances of receiving more invites from more chapters. (If you’re reading this after May 1st – deep breath, don’t panic. You’re behind, BUT it’s still better to turn them in ASAP vs. not at all. Not sure if it’s still worth doing? Depends on how far along in the summer you are.) *If you’re unsure if you’ve missed the window for recommendations, you’re welcome to contact us and we can help you fully understand what to do / when it’s due / and how to expedite this process.
  • We can help PNMs navigate this entire process surrounding what these letters are, where to turn them in, and who can/should complete them, but we can’t do anything after the window to turn them in closes. What are Letters of Recommendation (LORs), Recruitment Information Forms (RIFs), and Letters of Support (LOS)? Read our 5-min blog post.

Question #8: Sorority recruitment at the University of Texas – what are the deadlines?

May 1st. As a sorority recruitment coach, this is quite possibly one of the BEST pieces of advice I can share with you and it’s FREE.

If you possibly can, get everything in by May 1st even though UT registration won’t have opened by then. A lot of families mistakenly think registration opening is the “first” part of recruitment. It’s NOT.

But I do want to acknowledge that there’s not really a difference between April 29th and May 2rd. This date is widely publicized because the sororities only add so many girls to the slideshow, and these typically fill up, especially for the more competitive chapters by June!! The first round of recruitment is decided over the summer, prior to formal recruitment in August.

If you do not make it on the lists in time, you’re at a disadvantage during formal recruitment. We don’t want you to be at a disadvantage!!

Note for all your PNMs that will inevitably read this after May 1st and panic: Girls – If you’re learning about this after May 1st, it’s still worth it to turn them in. You can still submit letters of recommendation and Letters of Support throughout the summer. It’s just that the sooner you get them in, the more effective they will be in helping you. Getting them in early June is significantly better than July. Don’t just give up and not do it! It’s not the end of the world. Reading this in August? Not worth your time turning them in.

Question #9: I heard I need a resume for recruitment and something called a rush packet. How do you create a social resume? How do you make it stand out at UT?

Your rush resume has TWO audiences:

  1. Your alums. They need your resume to help them answer the questions on the Recommendation Forms. Some of your alums might know you well (hopefully); others might not.
  2. The recruitment team. The chapters each receive a copy of your recruitment resume when you register for recruitment in May. They will grade and score this.

DON’T immediately head to Etsy and download the SAME templates everyone else is using, or pay someone to make a boring black/white resume in Word.

DO thoughtfully craft your resume with your academic, philanthropic, and social achievements, and choose a template or design that makes you stand out in a “wow, she’s on top of things!” kind of way.

A sorority rush packet consists of:

  1. Social resume
  2. Cute senior photos
  3. Cover letter for your alums explaining what they’re being tasked with (Letter of Rec vs. Letter of Support) + instructions & deadlines

We help all the girls in our rush coaching programs craft a competitive, memorable sorority rush packet – both content and design. We go line by line to make sure everything qualifies for a high score, content-wise, and we offer a HUGE selection of editable, designer templates no one else can get access to. We also put the entire thing together for you so you don’t have to format it! Once one of our girls chooses a resume from our template library, we pull it and replace it with a different option for our UT girls.

Question #10: What’s up with the University of Texas PNM video assignment? Will I have to complete this for fall 2023?

Yes! During COVID, in 2020, UT added a PNM video assignment to help better get to know the PNMs during formal recruitment, since all or some of the sorority recruitment events were virtual.

Recruitment was all in person fall of 2022, but they elected to KEEP the video assignment because it helped them get to know the PNMs better upfront.

It’s pretty likely they’re keeping it for the foreseeable future, and that yes, it will be a part of fall 2023 recruitment registration.

For the videos:

  • PNMs are required to answer specific prompts and record a video of themselves answering these.
  • This video is due along with registration over the summer prior to formal recruitment and will be factored into your PNM score and impact whether or not you return for round 2. Don’t sleep on this. Take it seriously and turn it in early!
  • Your sorority recruitment coach will help PNMs with the above assignments – crafting your responses, scripting, filming tips, and suggestions on how to be more memorable in their videos with 1×1 coaching sessions, so if you want guidance – that’s what we’re here for!

Question #11: Does this video assignment mean all or part of my sorority recruitment experience at the University of Texas will be virtual in 2023?

It wasn’t in 2022! I think it’s safe to assume 2023 recruitment will be all in person, with the video assignment as an additional submission to help get to know the girls.

Question #12: I have a bunch of friends in XYZ chapter at UT Austin, does that mean I’m guaranteed a bid?

Firstly, it’s great, not to mention helpful, that you know someone in that chapter! That’s someone who can vote on you and tell the recruitment team about you and help you get added to that slideshow.

With that being said, each UT sorority chapter has 200+ members. Many other PNMs will also have friends in that chapter. If every member had just one friend they wanted to join their chapter, that’s 200 girls. The chapters cannot take 200 girls in each new member class. They’ll take somewhere from 60-90, depending.

Having a friend can help, but you need significantly more than one vote to get in.

Also, PNMs do NOT need to know someone in that chapter in order to get a bid. It helps, of course, but it’s NOT mandatory. That’s why Letters of Recommendation are super helpful.

[ PS – Heading somewhere other than the University of Texas? We help prepare PNMs for recruitment at over 70+ schools. Click here for a complete list! ]

Question #13: But before and/or during sorority recruitment, a sorority member told me I will receive a bid!?

Oops. We’re going to assume she had the best of intentions here, but a member can’t make this promise, because no one person (or group of people in the chapter) has the ability to fulfill this promise.

When someone does this, either outright, i.e. “Don’t worry, XYZ chapter will definitely give you a bid. You’re on our list.” or implied, i.e. “I can’t wait to be your big!” / “You’ll make an amazing XYZ this fall.” this is called bid promising.

It’s not allowed, but it doesn’t stop it from happening. And it happens a lot.

How should you react? Assume your friends have the best of intentions and know it’s not guaranteed.

Question #14: Do UT Austin sororities take sophomores during recruitment? Can a sophomore get a bid?

Yes!! There’s a sophomore quota, meaning each sorority has to take a minimum amount of sophomores. If you’re considering participating in recruitment at the University of Texas as a sophomore – you should definitely do it!! As a sorority recruitment coach, I work with sophomores as well as freshmen every year, and there’s nothing I love more than seeing all their happy bid day photos!

Question #15: Where should I live if I plan to participate in sorority recruitment at UT Austin?

The most popular choices for girls in Greek life are hands down Hardin House, SRD, and Callaway House. If you want the best possible chance of living alongside your fellow sisters and other Greek freshmen – these are all solid choices. SRD and Hardin House are girls only. Callaway is co-ed. Hardin House is almost all freshmen. SRD is a mix of freshmen and sophomores. Callaway is a mix. It depends on what type of experience you’re looking for.

A tip for all dorms: no one goes potluck anymore. Pick your roommate beforehand for the best match.

Question #16: Does legacy status matter during sorority recruitment at the University of Texas?

At UT Austin, being a legacy no longer guarantees preferential treatment or a bid to your legacy chapter(s). During 2020 and 2021, most chapters did away with legacy policies nationally. With so many legacies already going through at UT already (more than each house could take admit before the policy change), it was only a matter of time.

So, gone are the days of legacy perks. It used to be that legacies would get:

  1. A courtesy invite back to Round 2
  2. A guaranteed bid if she made it to Preference Round (last round)
  3. Other preferential treatment, depending on the chapter

But on the upside, remember all those spots that would have been courtesy invites to other PNMs? Those are open to you now…and that’s good news for PNMs with and without legacy ties.

Question #17: How do you stand out during recruitment at the University of Texas, with over 1400+ girls going through?

  1. Complete everything, even if it’s listed as “optional” like Rec Forms & Letters of support.
  2. Complete every task as early as possible! Rec Forms & letters of support should be turned in by May 1 in order to be most effective.
  3. Get a sorority recruitment coach who can help you get ready and stand apart from the crowd. It’s literally our full-time job to help make you more successful and prepared. We do this every day!

Question #18: What’s a sorority recruitment coach?

You wouldn’t encourage someone taking the SAT to show up the day of in their cute athleisure with freshly sharpened pencils and tell them to “trust the test” and “be yourself” would you? Of course not! You’d tell them to take a practice test, maybe sign up for a prep course, or brush up on their math skills.
So why is it that PNMs often hear “just be yourself and trust the process!” masked as legitimate recruitment advice?!
Getting a good score on the SAT is more than just scheduling the test and showing up; it’s about advance preparation and understanding how the test works.
Sorority recruitment is very similar, and the good news is there’s a lot a PNM can do in advance to maximize their chances and have a more successful recruitment experience.
Think of a sorority recruitment coaching program like an SAT prep course, but for sorority recruitment instead – no practice tests required!
Question #19: Why would I need a sorority recruitment coach? What would a sorority recruitment coach help me with as I’m preparing for recruitment at the University of Texas?

Same reason you’d hire a tutor, use a personal trainer, work with a college admissions counselor, or sign up for an SAT prep course. You could do it on your own, but do you want to?

A sorority recruitment coach helps you move through the process easily and efficiently, and provides private, individualized support and guidance throughout the entire process.

A sorority recruitment coach helps you and your daughter navigate the entire recruitment process from start to finish – from social resumes, cover letters, and rec letters/letters of support, to social media and registration forms, the PNM video, networking tips, what to wear/expect for the week of, an overview of formal recruitment, & interview style prep.

It’s our job to tell you the answers to questions you don’t know to ask.

Let’s work together to make this process easier, more fun, and less stressful!!

Plan to participate in sorority recruitment at the University of Texas this fall? Don’t risk slipping through the cracks!

Work with a sorority recruitment coach that specializes in UT Austin recruitment and cheers as tons of our girls happily receive their bids every year!!

A lot of the big decisions with rushees involve paperwork and are made months before recruitment.

We know exactly what the Director of Recruitment Records is looking for on your resume, how the sororities will rank your rec letters on a scale (and how you can get a higher ranking), how best to prepare your rush packets, how the bid list ordering and cut process works, and what you should actually be discussing during each round. (Hint – it’s not what the Panhellenic guides will tell you!)

Working with a sorority recruitment coach maximizes a PNM’s odds and gives your daughter an advantage long before she steps foot on campus for recruitment so she can go in more relaxed and confident.

It’s just like the SAT – it’s better to go in prepared. Let’s get you (or your daughter) recruitment ready.

To apply for the Hiking in Heels program, which has been nationally recognized in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Fortune, Elite Daily, and NBC, call us at (512) 827-7586 or complete the form below:

[ PS – Heading somewhere other than the University of Texas? We help prepare PNMs for recruitment at over 70+ schools. Click here for a complete list! ]