As students transition to college life, some will be at greater risk for developing potentially dangerous drinking patterns than others.

Research suggests that student socializing patterns are often established in the first six weeks of their first year on campus. Factors that can influence high-risk behaviors within a social setting include group drinking norms.

As your sons and daughters select co-curricular activities, including membership in sport clubs, student organizations, and the Greek system, continue to talk with them about their alcohol use and your expectations, norms, and values.

Before coming to campus, students and parents should be familiar with their college's policies relating to alcohol. Here are a few things to remember as you talk to your sons and daughters about drinking at college:


Students should also be aware of local laws and policies practiced in the city they will be attending college which may differ from their home communities. Many law enforcement agencies conduct regular patrols to identify and ticket parties that are causing disturbances in the community, individuals selling alcohol without a license and those providing alcohol to minors


Many institutions of higher education are “permit-only” campuses, meaning that no one, regardless of age, can consume alcohol on campus property without a permit and there are strict criteria for obtaining a permit. This includes all buildings, residence halls, stadiums, parking lots, dining and conference facilities, and Greek houses. For a complete review of the alcohol policy at your son or daughter’s school, please visit their website for more information.

How can you prepare your sons and daughters for the risks of drinking in college?