College Drinking Hits 38-year Low

Freshmen college students in 2003 reported the lowest rates of drinking in 38 years. The proportion who occasionally or frequently drinks has dropped to an historic low of 44.8%, down from 73.7% in 1982. Consumption of wine and distilled spirits (liquor) also dropped to record lows.

The College Student survey, often called the Annual College Freshman Survey, is the oldest and largest empirical study of higher education in the US. Established in 1996 by the American Council on Education, the survey is conducted by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the University of California at Los Angeles.


  • Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). Political Interest on the Rebound Among Nation’s Freshmen, UCLA Survey Reveals. Higher Education Research Institute/American Council on Education press release, 1-26-04. The survey is sometimes also called the Alexander Astin study.

Filed Under: Alcohol Abuse