Eldest is a senior at Bama and is in a sorority. Did not have a rush coach, did not spend very much on her rush outfits, most were already owned, and those she did buy new she subsequently used for game days and other events. She had recs to only half the houses, but ended up in her first choice, a house that is apparently ‘middle of the pack’
She did message me on day one of recruitment saying she was clearly really unprepared compared to some of the girls in her rush group!
In the south, local Panhellenic alumnae groups will have events for seniors in their local towns to help them prepare for rush, or even for alumnae to start scouting out potential new members. D says its these women who have grown up knowing about the whole process who feel the most stress of getting a particular chapter.
re the 200 girls who did not get a bid at Bama, D says these are made up predominately of girls who voluntarily withdraw from rush when they don’t get the invites they want, followed by those girls cut for grades. Very vert few are cut from all houses completely.
I imagine Greek Life at northern, Ivy League schools will have some similarities but lots of differences, as greek systems tend to reflect the vibe of the school where they are located. Some schools only recruit second semester or even only for sophomores - there are pros and cons to this also.
My D says to look for vlogs on sorority life, of which there are many. You may even find some related to the colleges you are interested in. Spend time figuring out what is important to you and what kind of people you would like to spend time with - then you can decide which chapter best fits you, and avoid the popularity game.