How Many College Students Don’t Drink? (Reason Explained)

The years spent in college are when a student explores life. If you are a college student, you can prove to be a good citizen or choose to spend your time on the wrong activities including drinking. Though there is nothing wrong with drinking a limited amount of alcohol for doing anything, there is an appropriate time and place. Thus here we will be helping you to know about what number of college students are non-drinkers.

Quick Takeaways

  • It is estimated that 60% of college-going students are drinking alcohol according to various studies. It means that only 40% of college-going students are non-drinkers.
  • Out of this 60% of the students around 14% of the students are heavy consuming drinkers.
  • The reasons why it has become common are the easy availability of it and peer pressure.
  • The consequences of drinking alcohol are – death, illness, mental health problem, etc.

Further, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any crucial factors related to the number of college students that are non-drinkers.

How Many College Students Don't Drink? (Reason Explained)

What number of college students are non-drinkers?

According to various studies including, US Government’s College Drinking Prevention Program, it is estimated that 60% of college-going students are drinking alcohol. This means that only 40% of the students are not consuming alcohol. Out of this 60% of the students around 14% of the students are heavy consuming drinkers. If you go into deeper statistics you will find that there are around 18.4 million students in the overall U.S. This shows that more than 11 million students are drinkers and around 7.4 million are nondrinkers.

Why has drinking alcohol become common in college?

There are different reasons for it. Some of them are listed below –

1. Easy availability

It has become easy for the college to arrange alcohol for them. You can find different links with people who can easily bring alcohol to college-going students. Students may ask the older students to arrange it for them. In some colleges, there are Greek life groups that also have arrangements for drinks.

2. Unstructured class time

Another reason why they may get involved in drinking alcohol is that they need to attend their classes at a particular time. This means that they can have alcohol even at night as they do not have to wake up early.

3. Peer Pressure

Many of the students start drinking alcohol just because their friends ask them to drink it. According to different studies, this is one of the most common reasons for getting involved in drinking. If you find your roommate drinking try to talk to them by asking about different questions.

4. Stress

College years are the most interesting years of your life. However, they can be stressful at times. Some of the students may start drinking because they may not be able to take up the stress level. Therefore you must try to get the colleges that have a high number of happy students.

5. Lack of communication level with the parents

Sometimes students have stress due to their family problems. Also, they may not be able to communicate their feelings with their parents. They may not be able to communicate with other elders as well. 

What happens when the students say no to alcohol?

As previously stated, there is a lot of peer pressure as well on the student. Many times if you don’t drink, you will be viewed as not a cool person. You occasionally may receive bad treatment or sometimes you may be bullied by the other students. Some young students today are resolute and refuse to consume alcohol no matter what. However, some of them give up. As a result, they lose self-respect and develop a drinking problem.

How Many College Students Don't Drink? (Reason Explained)

Consequences of drinking alcohol

Some of the consequences, when you get involved in drinking alcohol, are-

1. Deaths

The biggest consequence that you may face due to bad drinking habits is losing your life. According to various statistics, more than 1500 students lose their lives every year just because of drinking. Many health-related issues are related to bad drinking.

2. Getting addiction

Addiction to anything can have a bad impact on your lifestyle. And alcohol will not just have a bad impact but can ruin your life.

3. Mental health problems

If you get addicted to alcohol, you will get yourself in the hardest situation. Even if you want to leave it, you will start feeling mental stress from drinking it. Most of the studies relate regular drinking to mental health problems in the student’s life.

4. Financial problems

According to various surveys, students spend almost $900 per year on consuming alcohol. This is a big amount to waste on unnecessary things especially alcohol during your college years. Many students use the money given by their parents or use their student loans for buying alcohol. It may create financial stress for you and even cause a great debt for you to repay. 

5. Low academics

Of course, when you get addicted to alcohol, you will end up getting low grades in your academics and that is why you may hate college.. Studies have shown that students who were doing very well in their academics, suddenly started going down in their academics.

6. Suspension from college

Many colleges are very strict with their rules and regulations. If you break their rules you may face strict actions from their side. And drinking can be against their rules. You may also get a suspension for drinking from the college. 

How Many College Students Don't Drink? (Reason Explained)

What can you do if you have started consuming alcohol?

Alcohol can become very addictive. You may have started it just for fun but end up drinking regularly. Due to this, you start feeling stressed and have some mental and physical health-related problems. Many students want to share the problems they are facing with someone, but due to nervousness, they end up keeping it up to themselves.

To get rid of your drinking habits it becomes important to share them with the person you trust the most. However, in these situations talking to an elder and mature person helps you more than anyone else. If you talk to your parents then they might help you to come out of it. Taking counseling also helps a lot in such cases.


Drinking alcohol has become a common habit among college students all over the U.S. More than 50% of the students indulge in drinking alcohol. This means that less than 50% of the students are non-drinkers. Drinking alcohol can result in various health-related problems and has a drastic impact on your academics as well. The best way to come out of it is by talking to your parents or by taking up counseling from experts. 

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