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College fraternities will make you dumber — and richer

Don’t underestimate the value of social connections in a frat house.

Being a member of a fraternity in college lowers a student GPA by approximately 0.25 points on the traditional four-point scale, but raises future income by around 36%, according to a paper, “Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership,” published by two economists from Union College in Schenectady, New York. “For this reason, joining a fraternity may be a rational decision that improves the long-term prospects of an individual student despite its damaging effects on a student’s grades,” the paper concluded.

“These results suggest that fraternity membership causally produces large gains in social capital, which more than outweigh its negative effects on human capital for potential members,” they concluded.

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