NIC Changes IFC Dues Rates. Loses 10 Members in One Year.

posted in: Nik Koulogeoge | 2

The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) recently updated the pricing on its “Campus Support Model” for IFC’s as well as IFC dues. They didn’t make a fuss about it, but I did reach out to their staff via email for some clarity. Here are the details:

IFC Dues

Previously: $30 per NIC fraternity chapter and $330 per non-NIC fraternity chapter (At least 4 non-member groups – Tau Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, and Lambda Chi Alpha – instructed their 950 chapters not to pay the additional $300 [1])

Now: Flat fees based on the number of chapters on a campus starting at $250 for a school with 1-3 chapters up to $3,000 to schools with 26+ chapters

“Campus Support Model” Fees

The NIC’s Campus Support Model is detailed on their website. It essentially amounts to a bulk purchase of certain services and registrations for NIC educational programs. The only change is that the lowest tier is now also a flat fee instead of per-chapter. “Bronze” starts at $2,500. The highest level – Diamond – costs $25,000.

Each tier includes an “estimated value,” which compares the bulk price with the à la carte costs of the services provided in each tier. None of this is to endorse or suggest that the NIC’s services are particularly useful – after all, is an “operational audit” by the NIC something anyone was interested in purchasing à la carte?

Discounts

Due to COVID, there is a 25% discount for all 20-21 dues, plus a 15% discount on anything paid prior to 9/30/2020. These also apply to NIC’s insurance offerings for IFC’s.

Summary and Reactions

The main gripe of my 2019 article on this topic still stands. Students are being asked to pay more money to an organization which is not at all accountable to them. [2] So I still encourage IFC officers to “challenge the process” – as the NIC teaches at its UIFI programs – and refuse to pay until they get a vote on NIC matters (at the least).

Will Foran, the NIC’s Senior VP of Campus Operations, said that most IFC’s would save money with this model. He also shared that the NIC is “honoring previously announced rates that were already reduced from the previous academic year” for those who do not experience a cost reduction. Let us hope that’s the case, because it is still money students weren’t required to pay 3-4 years ago.

There’s another issue – 10 organizations are no longer members or affiliates of the NIC since this time last year. They represent more than 1,000 fraternity chapters and include:

  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Kappa Alpha Order
  • Theta Chi
  • Sigma Pi
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Omega Delta Phi
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Delta Psi
  • Sigma Phi Society
  • Alpha Sigma Phi

That list includes several organizations who served on the NIC’s “Governing Council.” The departure of several large, high-dues paying fraternities begs the question: Why should IFC’s – whose members are less represented by the NIC today than at any point in recent history – feel compelled to pay dues to the NIC? Is there a reason an IFC comprised of 3 non-member fraternities should fork out $250 to an unrelated association?

The NIC has new competition for IFC-member fraternities

Then there’s the Fraternity Forward Coalition (FFC). It was started by five fraternities: Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Alpha Order, and Theta Chi. FFC is not necessarily a competitor to the NIC – ATO is a member of both, for example – but those five organizations account for more than 800 fraternity chapters.

If the FFC continues to grow, or if another fraternity umbrella association takes off, then that challenges the notion that the NIC speaks on behalf of college fraternities. So, the competition may not be fiery (for now), but the NIC certainly doesn’t want competitors to grow at its expense.

Then there’s the likelihood that NIC leaders hope to win back some of their former members. This was a consistent and openly-stated wish of NIC leaders for many years. Part of why they increased dues, launched NIC 2.0, and reclaimed control over Interfraternity Councils was to pressure fraternities like Phi Delta Theta to rejoin. That effort clearly backfired.

If they force non-member fraternities’ hand (“Either your chapters pay or you can’t take part in IFC.”), then they are unlikely to regain lost members. If the NIC plays too nice; however, then its remaining members may see less a reason to pay their annual dues.

What I am trying to say is: The NIC needs a new strategy, a clear vision, and it needs to ditch the fantasy that students need another layer of authority or another bill to pay. [3]

What are your thoughts on the NIC’s changes to its dues and Campus Support Model? Sound off in the comments or tweet me @FraternityNik.


Fraternity Man articles referenced in this post:

  1. IFC members pay for the NIC. They deserve a vote | Read or Listen
  2. 4 Questions For The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC)
  3. Why Today’s Fraternity Men May Never “Be Like Their Founders”

Update – 8/2020 – The title of this post incorrectly stated that 11 fraternities had left the NIC. The actual number was 10 (one group – Phi Beta Sigma – was also listed twice).

2 Responses

  1. Jim Knoll

    Our board supported the NIC 2.0 initiative, but primarily from the perspective of a trade organization. Our hope was the NIC would represent all of us in a much more effective way. We were not necessarily concerned with services to IFCs, etc. I do believe there are times when all Greek organizations are more effective when we come together with one voice on common issues (freedom of association, Title IX, due process). I do not know the value of the services provided, except I have heard good things about UIFI. As a National, we pay considerably more than under the prior iteration of NIC, but–again–we hoped it would gain us a better trade organization. I do not see charging chapters and NICs and, personally, wish they had stuck to only the advocacy focus.

  2. Nik

    @Jim – I don’t think you’re alone in that sentiment. A few fraternity execs/leaders I’ve spoken with feel that what they signed up for did not turn out to be the final product. It is too early to tell whether the FFC or another trade association can fill the void, but here’s hoping that fraternities still stand up for one another even if fewer are members of the same associations. There is also always the option to re-join the NIC if or when they reconfigure their strategy/priorities.

Questions or Thoughts?