TODAY   |  September 10, 2012

College co-eds spend big on sorority coaches

Getting into college sororities can be very competitive, so some young women are preparing in advance, spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars to take courses and hire coaches before heading to campus. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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>>> back now at 7:42. as college students settle into campus life all across the country, a lot of youngs women will be looking to join sororities, and some are actually preparing well in advance, taking courses and getting coaching months before heading off to school.

>> reporter: it's the rite of passage played out on college campuses across the nation, sorority rush week, the time of year when young women are on a mission to get in the sisterhood of their choice. it's even been glamorized on the big screen .

>> as president of my sore try it's come to our attention that the maintenance staff is switching our toilet paper from charmin to generic.

>> reporter: now hundreds of studentses are spending thousands of dollars to make sure they get in, hiring coaches, taking classes and perfecting their image months before rush even begins.

>> if you're not prepared for it, you'll be a little blown away.

>> reporter: katherine cantwell and meg an tomack hired a coach before they rushed to the university of illini.

>> went in a little more level headed and not freaked out by it at all.

>> it opens your eyes a little bit and shows you what you'll be getting yourself into instead of throwing yourself into something blind.

>> reporter: their coach, founder of

>> that is our goal is to be able to help women become the best versions of themselves so that they are the most confident that they can be and they can put their best foot forward and have a successful recruitment experience.

>> reporter: and the coaching industry is booming with blogs, books and websites offering advice on how to be perceived as likable, damage control techniques, just in case you say the wrong thing, and hair and makeup consultation. the cost of all this, anywhere from $50 a session to $8,000 for a two-week course.

>> these are skills for life. we're teaching them skills they can use through recruitment will help you get into organizations on campus. they will help you get that internship. they will help you get that job.

>> reporter: and there's battling amongst sore try houses, too. at the university of kentucky sorority sisters are practicing their pitches to make sure they attract the very best candidates. it may be part of college life , but critics say young women should be focused on their education, not their social lives.

>> the young woman is spending tons of time and money to rush, then she has lost her mind, and so have her patients who are paying for it, and also what the parents are doing is they are telling their daughter is what's more important to them is that she's pretty and cute and superficial instead of going to school to come into her own and learn.