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Fewer first-years interested in selective living: Class of 2024 rush plans

Editor's note: This story is part of a series about the Class of 2024 based on a survey conducted by The Chronicle. You can read more about our methodology and limitations here, or see all of our survey coverage here.

Amid changes to recruitment, The Chronicle surveyed first-years about their interest in Greek life and non-Greek selective living groups, motivation for rushing and likelihood to rush if it were online.

Consistent with last year’s survey, first-years this year reported higher interest for non-Greek selective living groups (SLGs) than Greek life at Duke. However, fewer first-years overall expressed interest in both organizations compared to last year. 

While only 33.7% of first-years reported being “not interested at all” in Greek life last year, 45.5% of first-years this year reported no interest. Compared to 8.3% of the Class of 2023 expressing no interest in SLGs, 14.7% of the Class of 2024 indicated similar disinterest.

First-years mostly cited “wanting to belong in a social group” as their primary reason for wanting to rush, followed by “meeting new people” and “pre-professional opportunities.” The majority—60.2%—of first-years reported that they would be “neither more or less likely” to rush if it were online. About 32% indicated that they would be “less” or “much less” likely.

Duke requested Oct. 8 that selective groups pause recruitment until further notice. In a Nov. 19 email to undergraduates, the University announced that rush for first-years would move to their sophomore year as part of long-term changes to the residential experience.

Below are more detailed trends about selective living preferences among the Class of 2024, segmented by demographics, voting patterns and more.

Early decision applicants more interested in selective living

Early Decision applicants expressed more interest in both Greek Life and non-Greek SLGs than Regular Decision applicants. Whereas a total of 60.9% of Early Decision applicants indicated at least some interest—slightly, moderately, very or extremely interested—in Greek Life, only 47.6% of Regular Decision applicants indicated the same.

Similarly, while 89.1% of Early Decision applicants expressed some interest in SLGs, 81.1% of Regular Decision applicants had the same sentiments.

This year’s results contrast with last year’s survey, in which Early Decision applicants preferred Greek Life over SLGs and Regular Decision applicants preferred SLGs over Greek Life. 


Mona Tong


Pratt students express higher interest in selective living than Trinity students

More first-years in the Pratt School of Engineering reported some level of interest in Greek life and SLGs than first-years in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. Slightly more than 59% of Pratt students expressed some amount of interest in Greek life, compared to 53.1% of Trinity students.

Meanwhile, 92.6% of Pratt students reported some interest in SLGs, compared to 83.1% of Trinity students.


Mona Tong


Trump voters more likely than Biden voters to be interested in Greek life

While first-years who voted for Donald Trump and first-years who voted for Joe Biden had similar interest levels in SLGs, Trump voters were more likely to express interest in Greek life than Biden voters.

Compared to 54% of Biden voters who reported at least some interest in Greek life, 73.7% of Trump supporters indicated the same.


Mona Tong


Wealthier first-years more interested in selective living

Of the students with a household annual income more than $125,000, 60% expressed some interest in Greek life, compared to 44.8% interest in students with a family income of $125,000 or less. 

While 86.9% of students in the upper income bracket expressed some interest in SLGs, 83.6% of students in the lower income bracket expressed similar interest. This smaller gap could be because SLGs traditionally require a lower financial contribution from members. However, students in the lower income bracket are more likely to be “slightly interested” and less likely to be moderately, very or extremely interested than students in upper income brackets. 

These trends are consistent with the findings from last year’s survey.


Mona Tong


Heterosexual students most likely to be interested in Greek Life

First-years of diverse sexual orientations are more likely to have lower levels of interest in Greek life than heterosexual students. 61.5% of gay, homosexual and lesbian; 65.7% of bisexual; 50% of asexual; and 72.7% of questioning students reported they were “not interested at all” in Greek life, whereas only 38.8% of heterosexual students were similarly disinterested.

While heterosexual students are also more likely to express at least some interest in SLGs than students of other sexual orientations, the gap between these groups is much smaller. Compared to 14.1% of heterosexual first-years who reported no interest in SLGs, 15.4% of gay, homosexual and lesbian students; 17.1% of bisexual; 25% of asexual; 33.3% of pansexual; and 18.2% of questioning students reported no interest. 

Cisgender men have highest interest in selective living

Compared to the majority of first-years of all other genders who expressed no interest at all in Greek life, the majority—63.9%—of cisgender male first-years reported some interest in Greek life (slightly, moderately, very or extremely interested).

Cisgender male students are also more likely to express some interest in SLGs than students of other genders. Just under 90% of cisgender male students reported some interest in SLGs, compared to 82.9% of cisgender women, 80% of genderqueer and nonbinary students, and 66.6% of students of other genders.

Overall, first-years who are agender, genderqueer, nonbinary and of other genders have lower levels of interest in both Greek life and SLGs than cisgender first-years.

First-generation and international students have lower interest in Greek life, more interest in SLGs

No international or first-generation first-years reported being “extremely interested” in Greek life, and they were slightly more likely to express being “not interested at all” in Greek life than domestic and non-first generation first-years.


Mona Tong


In contrast, a greater proportion of international and first-generation students reported some level of interest in SLGs than domestic and non-first generation students. None of the international students surveyed indicated being “not interested at all” in SLGs.


Mona Tong

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