New Chapter FAQ

Q: How do I start a Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at my campus?

A: Bringing SAE to your campus begins with the colonization process. Becoming a Founding Father of a colony, and future chapter, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You have the chance to leave a legacy behind for future brothers to follow. For initial information, see How to Start a Chapter..

Q: How long does it take for a colony to become a chapter?

A: The Sigma Alpha Epsilon colonization period varies depending on the campus. With very few exceptions, the group will be a colony for a period of at least 18-36 months before its members become initiated brothers in the Fraternity. Within two years, the colony must prove to be efficient in all areas of chapter operations.

Q: What kind of alumni support can a new colony expect?

A: All colonies of Sigma Alpha Epsilon can expect to work with local alumni to help solidify their presence on campus. Alumni volunteers will work with the colony to establish effective chapter operations, develop scholarship programs, teach recruitment skills and devise a long-term plan of action. With nearly 200,000 living alumni, there's a good chance that there are at least several alumni near your school. Contact the Fraternity Service Center for more information on establishing good rapport with alumni members. And to find out if there is an alumni association near you, click HERE.

Q: As a colony, can we participate in IFC-related activities?

A: Yes. We encourage all colonies to take an active role in campus events, including the Interfraternity Council, or IFC, student government, new-student orientation, intramural athletics, leadership honoraries and any other activity that promotes personal and professional growth. Participation in these organizations will help colony members achieve a greater understanding of how to manage effectively the operations of the Fraternity. Plus, these activities will give colony members an opportunity to meet potential new members.

Q: What kind of support would the Fraternity Service Center provide a colony?

A: Sigma Alpha Epsilon employs individuals who serve as staff members of the Fraternity Service Center, located in Evanston, Illinois. These staff members provide expertise in several areas: member services, chapter operations, recruitment assistance, alumni relations and development and other assistance to ensure that each colony is successful. Visits from staff and alumni volunteers will be planned throughout the colony period, as well as after the charter is granted. To learn more, click HERE.

Q: What are the total costs to be a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon?

A: This is a good, but difficult, question. Each chapter’s dues structure will vary based on how each chapter sets its own budget and local dues. The only fees that are set in stone are those paid to the Fraternity Service Center, such as the membership initiation fee, annual dues, and colony chartering fee. By starting a chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, we will help you set a competitive due structure in line with your campus; which is assisted by the fact that Sigma Alpha Epsilon does not charge upfront fees for colony members.
One-Time Expenditures
Membership Initiation Fee: $310 per man; one-time fee due one month before the Initiation Ceremony, which is usually 18-36 months after colonization.
National Annual Dues: $105 per man; Annual fee, due February 15th, each year.
Colony Chartering Fee $3000; one-time fee accessed to the colony due three months before Chartering.

Q: How will my grades be affected?

A: Ideally, your grade-point average and scholastic achievement should increase. Academics must be all of our collegiate members’ first priority. The Fraternity offers support in time management, tutoring, study enhancement and incentives and class assistance. It's up to you to make sure you do well. Typically our colonies have higher GPAs than the other fraternities on their campus. Over the past three years, our average colony GPA has been a 3.0 or higher.

Q: Do we get to live in the fraternity house?

A: Sigma Alpha Epsilon does not allow colony members to live in any fraternity house, whether it is owned by a house corporation or university. Starting a chapter is a important process where new members learn not only about Sigma Alpha Epsilon but about fellow members and, more importantly, themselves. Adding a house to the colony process makes the process more complicated and places undue burden on the colony members.

Q: Still have questions?

A: Contact our Manager of Expansion, Tim Sirota, at (847) 513-2034 or at

Q: Okay, I’m interested in this process. What happens next?

A: See the section titled How to Start a Chapter.


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