Choosing a College

When you start looking at colleges, there are a number of things you can consider that may help your child avoid alcohol-related problems. You are the best judge of your child’s ability to deal with new pressures and social situations. You understand the degree of responsibility he or she has been taught and has handled well or poorly.  You understand how malleable or resistant your child is to outside influences, and whether he or she is a leader or follower. These are important facts in choosing the right school. 

Ask the Right Questions --  When you examine potential colleges, ask administrators: 

  • How are the rules regarding underage drinking enforced? 
  • Does the school sponsor alcohol-free social events?
  • Does the school sponsor events where alcohol will be served?
  • Do student resident advisors manage/monitor dormitories for alcohol?
  • What is the emphasis placed on athletics and do pre- and post-game activities involve drinking alcohol?
  • What procedures are in place to notify parents about alcohol and/or substance abuse problems? 
  • What counseling services are available to students with abuse problems and what kind of follow-up do they receive?
  • How do fraternities and/or sororities influence the overall social atmosphere?
  • How many liquor law violations and alcohol-related injuries and deaths has the campus had in previous years?

Although you are going to find that all schools have alcohol problems to some extent, there are schools that have taken steps to deal with the problem and that may offer your child a safer environment to learn in.

Return to the Safety Resource Center