Sorority Recruitment 101: A Guide To Bids and Bid Day

Curious about how bids and Bid Day works in sororities? This guide explains it all.

The final day of sorority recruitment, whether it’s virtual or in-person, always ends with a huge celebration: Bid Day. But if you are new to sorority life, Bid Day and bids may be a tad bit confusing.

If you’re asking and searching the internet for answers regarding:

  • What is Bid Day?
  • Am I guaranteed a bid?
  • What happens if I don’t get a bid?
  • How do sororities decide who gets a bid?

And more…

Then you’ve come to the right post.

In today’s blog post, we’re talking all about bids and Bid Day, and addressing all your curiosities around this topic.

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How do bids work in sororities?

After talking to many different girls over several days, debating and writing and rewriting your preference list, and anxiously waiting for the morning of Bid Day call from your recruitment counselor, you get only one bid, so make it count!

What is a bid?

A bid is a formal invitation to join a specific sorority chapter on your university’s campus.

It is only given to women who have gone through formal or informal, also known as continuous open bidding or COB, sorority recruitment.

How do sororities decide who gets a bid? And how many bids do sororities give out?

Sorority recruitment is a mutual selection process, meaning you have to love the sorority just as much as they love you (and vice versa) in order to get a bid.

However, sorority bids are also a numbers game and sometimes there are more potential new members who want the same sorority than bids available to be given out.


Sometimes there’s not enough potential new members who want a particular sorority, but because it was one of their choices they pref-ed and put on their Preference Night list, they get a bid to that sorority because of quotas.

What are sorority quotas?

Each sorority chapter must meet a certain quota as determined by their university’s Panhellenic Council and sometimes the sorority’s national headquarters.

The quota specifies how many bids a sorority chapter must give out during sorority recruitment.

For example, there may be a quota of 60 new member per sorority chapter, so each sorority chapter will give out bids to approximately 60 girls on Bid Day.

Also, some universities, like the University of Georgia, have a separate quota for upperclassmen and a separate quota for freshman. Sometimes they are referred to as a “dual-quota” or “upperclassmen quota.”

Having two quotas gives sophomores, juniors, or seniors going through recruitment a fair chance of getting a bid to a sorority.

However, if a sorority chapter is unable to meet quota before Bid Day, they will offer snap bids to women who at least went through the first day of recruitment.

And after Bid Day, if a sorority chapter falls below quota, they can offer women bids through COB.

What are the chances of getting a bid after Pref Night?

There is a high chance that if you have made it to a sorority chapter’s Preference Night you will get a bid.

But even though the chance is high, you still need to put your best foot forward and show the sorority that you interested in joining their chapter and will accept their bid on Bid Day.

So ask whoever prefs you a lot of questions and be ok with being vulnerable in front of them. After all, they may become your Sister the very next day!

Does everyone get a bid on Bid Day?

In short, no.

It is rare, but some girls will make it all the way through Preference Night and still not get a bid.

However, women who do not get a bid are eligible for COB, which can occur at anytime after formal recruitment.

Some sororities may even hold specific COB events for woman interested in joining a sorority after formal recruitment.

So if you are interested, be on the lookout for sororities advertising COB events via on-campus ads or on their social media profiles.

Are legacies guaranteed a bid?

First, what are legacies?

Legacies are women who have had a mother, grandmother, or sister initiated into a sorority that has a chapter on their university’s campus.

For example, I was classified as a legacy when I went through sorority recruitment in Fall 2016 because my twin sister joined a chapter of Gamma Phi Beta a semester before me.

So back to bids and legacies…

No, legacies not guaranteed a bid to the sorority they are a legacy of.

However, legacies are usually ranked higher on the invite back list of the sorority they are a legacy of than non-legacies. So this does give them a “home-advantage” but it doesn’t guarantee them a bid by any means.

Legacies may not receive a bid to the sorority they are a legacy of if:

  • Their grades do not meet the sorority chapter’s requirements
  • Their values do not align with the sorority
  • They do not seem genuinely interested in the sorority chapter during recruitment

Can you get multiple bids from sororities?

Unlike the rest of the sorority recruitment, where you can get invited back to multiple sororities each round, you only receive one bid on Bid Day.

In other words, you cannot receive two or more bids and then get to pick the bid you want to accept.

Your chance to decide which sorority you want to join ends on Preference Night once you submit your preference list and sign your MRABA.

After that, it’s out of your control and you will either receive a bid or not receive a bid on Bid Day.

What happens if you don’t get a bid?

Unfortunately, there are women who do not get a bid on Bid Day.

If you do not end up with a bid, your recruitment counselor will call you the morning of Bid Day and will let you know that you did not receive a bid.

And if this happens to you, it’s ok to be upset and feel discouraged.

It is very painful to go through a week’s worth of recruitment only to come out empty handed.

However, realize if you don’t get a bid you…

  • Have the opportunity to join a sorority through COB
  • Have the opportunity to explore other on-campus extracurriculars
  • Have more time to dedicate to your studies or job
  • And that there is nothing wrong about you, your looks, or personality

Again, at the end of the day, sorority recruitment is a numbers game.

And if the numbers did not align this time around, you still have a chance, in the future, to go through recruitment and try again.

What is Bid Day?

Bid Day is the last day of sorority recruitment when potential new members “run home” to the sorority they received a bid to and they officially become new members of their respective sorority chapters.

This day is commemorated by a huge party, usually at the sorority house or a venue off-campus, where the new members of the chapter get to meet girls in their pledge class and older, initiated sisters.

Additionally, Bid Day is when sorority women who disaffiliated to become recruitment counselors (sometimes called either Pi Chis, Rho Gammas, or Rho Chis) reveal to their recruitment group which sorority they are affiliated with and they too get to run back home to their respective sorority chapters.

What is a Bid Day Buddy?

On Bid Day you will get a Bid Day Buddy who is a sister of the chapter you received a bid to who will be by your side the entirety of Bid Day.

She is the one you will “run home to” after all the women have received their bids and are released to officially join their new sororities.

A Bid Day Buddy is supposed to:

  • Stay by your side during Bid Day
  • Ensure you feel welcomed and are enjoying the Bid Day festivities
  • Introduce you to other sisters in the chapter
  • Take lots of a cute photos with you, and of you, to help you remember your first Bid Day
  • Provide transportation to and from Bid Day unless there are group buses

What is a Bid Day theme?

Every sorority chapter will have their own Bid Day theme, which is equivalent, to a party theme.

For example, a Bid Day theme could be “cowgirl” so everything from the outfits, the decorations, to even the catered food would be cowgirl or western themed.

And trust me when I say this–girls LOVE going all out on Bid Day.

So for instance, they will dress up in cowgirl hats, metallic fringe skits, wear cow print, and even western boots.

What do you wear for Bid Day?

As a new member, you have no idea beforehand what Bid Day theme your sorority is doing, so there’s no way to truly prepare.

You will though, receive a special Bid Day t-shirt or tank top, so I’d recommend wearing a pair of neutral shorts or pants that could pair with any top.

For your top, you could wear a plain v-neck t-shirt or neutral body suit.

I’d also recommend not bringing a big purse or tote bag.

And make sure whatever you wear or bring, you wouldn’t mind it getting messed up.

Nothing bad will happen, but some sorority chapters may choose a Bid Day theme, like Color Run, and will start throwing colored powder at you while you’re run home to them. True story.

Simply put, keep your style minimal on Bid Day because you’re going to be running, screaming, and possibly dancing on Bid Day.

What if I don’t like my Bid Day experience?

Bid Day as a new member, honestly, is either really fun and good, or a totally awkward experience that makes you question if sorority life is for you.

This day can also be extremely hard if you are more introverted and have a hard time putting yourself out there.

If you do find yourself not having a picture-perfect Bid Day experience, don’t panic.

Bid Day (and recruitment) is 100x better once you are initiated into the sorority, are on the other side of things, and actually understand what the heck is going on.

As a new member, by the time Bid Day comes around, you are confused and overwhelmed by everything that’s gone on the past week.

So let Bid Day be a memory, whether bad or good, and give your sorority a fair shot up until Initiation.

However, if you experience or witness any hazing, bullying, or are put in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable on Bid Day, be sure to report it to your university’s Panhellenic Council or Department of Greek or Fraternity and Sorority Life. Hazing should not occur at any Bid Day event.

What happens after sorority Bid Day?

As a new member of a sorority chapter, Bid Day is only the beginning of your sorority life.

In the weeks after Bid Day, up until Initiation, you can expect to:

Can you drop your sorority after Bid Day?

If you come the realize that sorority life is not for you or you want to try to join a different sorority, you can drop your sorority starting on Bid Day up until the day of Initiation.

However, if you drop your sorority you cannot go through sorority recruitment until the next formal recruitment because of the MRABA you signed.

If you drop your sorority after Initiation, you are unable to go through sorority recruitment ever again.

This is because you have been initiated and National Panhellenic Council only allows woman who have never been initiated into a sorority to go through recruitment.

A woman who is or who has ever been an initiated member of an existing NPC sorority shall not be eligible for membership in another NPC sorority

National Panhellenic Conference (2020)

Dropping a sorority is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly. For more information about the complete process of dropping your sorority click here.

Concluding thoughts on sorority Bid Day

For women going through sorority recruitment, receiving a bid and running home to their dream sorority is the ultimate goal.

However, the process of getting the bid is never easy, and actually is quite complex.

I hope this blog post today though, helped you become more knowledgeable about how bids and Bid Day works in sororities.

And no matter what happens, trust the recruitment processes! Good luck!

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