Joining a fraternity may hurt grades, but boost income: study

College fraternities aren’t just for partying and making friends. Turns out they can also lead to a more successful career.

Although the overall grade point average (GPA) of college fraternity members suffers by about 0.25 points, their future income rises by roughly 36 percent.

That's according to a research paper titled, “Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership,” published by two economists from Union College in Schenectady, New York.

The slight drop in grades for a nearly 40 percent income boost might seem like a good tradeoff for many people.

“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 says.

The research suggests that fraternities increase social capital, "which more than outweigh(s) its negative effects on human capital for potential members.”

The survey examined nearly 4,000 college alumni who have full-time jobs, and factored in such variables as gender and ethnicity.

Other studies have found that fraternity ife can lead to a higher GPA, and the social connections fostered in fraternity life can last a lifetime, MarketWatch reported.

The latest study determined there wasn’t much correlation between a lower GPA and alcohol-related behavior typically associated with college fraternities.

However, when it comes to heavy drinking, researchers at Tel Aviv University and Cornell University found that college graduates' chances of obtaining a job drop by 10 percent, MarketWatch reported.