Being in a sorority is like most other membership organizations: It includes dues. When you join a sorority, you will have financial obligations as a member. During the recruitment process or even beforehand, don't be afraid to ask about what those financial responsibilities will be. The chapters typically provide this information during recruitment, and the fraternity and sorority life office at your school should also have this information.
Most likely, your first semester as a sorority member will be more expensive than any other semester or year. This is because many organizations require new member fees in addition to regular chapter dues. You will also probably have to purchase a badge from your organization, although this cost may be included in your new member fees or chapter dues.
The dues amount varies with each chapter and with each campus. The money from dues helps pay for chapter operations, events, programming and support for the national organization. Chapters that host more events might charge more money in dues to pay for those events. Other chapters might charge less money for dues but expect you to pay individually throughout the year for different things you might want to do, like purchasing additional T-shirts or participating in extra sisterhood or social events. Also keep in mind that many sorority members choose to buy sorority clothing and gifts because they are excited about their affiliations, but these are optional purchases.
Something that might change your financial responsibilities as a sorority member is whether the sorority chapter you join has a sorority house it is responsible for filling. Many sorority chapters with houses have a live-in requirement for members, meaning that members may be required to live in the house for a certain time period during their membership. In this case, you would most likely pay room and board to live in the house, just like you would to live on campus in a dormitory. However, these costs also vary for different chapters and different campuses. Some chapters may have room for all of their members in their houses while others only have room for certain officers.
If you begin the recruitment process prepared with knowledge about typical financial obligations you could expect as a sorority member at your school, you will not have any surprises about things you are expected to pay for when you join a sorority.