Joining a fraternity can cost you over $1,000 extra dollars a year in college, but odds are that you could end up seeing a return on that investment.
In a paper titled "Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership," researchers from Union College found that going Greek raises your income by 36 percent down the line. The academic cost, meanwhile, is a small one: a 0.25 point drop in GPA on the traditional 4-point-scale.
In other words, you might graduate with a 2.75 GPA while your classmate who didn't pledge ends up with a 3.00. But if he makes $75,000 a year, you could expect to make $102,000.
"These results suggest that fraternity membership causally produces large gains in social capital, which more than outweigh its negative effects on human capital," the researchers write.
This is not necessarily the case at every college, though, economist Stephen Schmidt, one of the authors of the paper, tells CNBC Make It. He and his colleagues surveyed alumni aged 25 to 65 from only one small, undisclosed Northeastern liberal arts school. Extrapolating to say that their findings hold true no matter the size, academic strength and fraternity culture of a school, would be speculative, he says.