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Greeks at UCF are proving to be driven in the classroom by having higher GPAs than non-Greek students.

“The spring 2016 academic grade report for the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life proves once again that involvement in fraternities and sororities positively contributes to academic achievement,” said Clay Coleman, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The overall Greek community GPA is higher than the undergraduate GPA for the 46th consecutive semester, Coleman said. The data from spring of 2016 shows that the overall Greek community GPA was a 3.10 while the overall undergraduate GPA was a 2.95.

Currently, the UCF Greek community comprises around 3,600 students who belong in one of 48 active Greek chapters. These chapters are a part of one of the four Greek councils at UCF. There is the Panhellenic Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council and the Diversified Greek Council.

Coleman said 86.8 percent of the total Greek population was enrolled in 12 hours or more, which classifies them as a full-time student. Fifty-five percent of the chapters earned a 3.0 or higher chapter GPA. In addition, 27.8 percent of the total Greek community made the Dean’s List, while 5.1 percent earned a 4.0 for the semester and made the President’s List.

There are many factors that could play into the fact that Greeks have consistently had higher GPAs than the total undergraduate population. Coleman said that students who are members of the Greek community are provided a wide variety of academic resources. OFSL collaborates with SARC, the Student Academic Resource Center, to provide educational programming and aid to the Greek community. OFSL also provides Scholarship Roundtables with each council’s Academic Chairs. There is also one on one advisement with every chapter to review the chapter’s scholarship plans.

“OFSL is committed to support student success in both curricular and co-curricular endeavors,” Coleman said.

Hannah Starner, vice president of leadership and academic development for UCF’s Panhellenic Council, said the Panhellenic community provides several resources to its members to help them achieve academically.

Some resources include a textbook exchange page on Facebook that is only available to Panhellenic women. Starner said that every Panhellenic chapter has their own methods to encourage women to study, such as weekly sisterhood study sessions where snacks are provided. Other chapters require that their members log a certain number of study hours every week.

One specific sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, implements a program called Twin Stars. The program matches a new member with an older sister with the same major to provide academic support and tutoring if necessary.

During finals week, Starner reserves a study room that is available to all Panhellenic women. Snacks and scantrons are provided.

“Panhellenic women encourage each other to succeed academically every day, whether it be working on a group project or studying for a huge test,” Starner said. “Women are there for one another and support each other’s achievements every step of the way.”

Another factor that encourages members of Greek life to have high GPAs is that there is a specific minimum GPA requirement for membership that varies from chapter to chapter. If a member’s GPA drops too low, then they could be put on academic probation.

However, all undergraduate students at UCF can take advantage of the academic resources that UCF offers. SARC provides services to students to help them achieve success. There is also free tutoring at the Math Lab for select classes.

“The Student Academic Resource Center’s goal is to help students become independent and efficient learners so they are better equipped to meet UCF’s academic standards and successfully achieve their educational goals,” said Rebecca Piety, director of testing and evaluation at UCF.

Resources that SARC provides include peer tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic success workshops and one-on-one learning skills consultations. These resources are available to all undergraduate students.

Greek GPAs have consistently been higher than the overall undergraduate GPA, but any student who is driven and takes advantage of their resources can achieve academic success.

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Jillian James is a digital producer at the Central Florida Future. She can be reached at jillianj@centralfloridafuture.com

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