American College Student Priorities

. . . and then we wonder what is happening to our country, when colleges not only allow binge drinking, but enable it, i.e. the 100 college presidents who signed a call to lower the drinking age to 18.

God’s heart must break over for an entire generation of American college students who have their priorities so out out of skew…..I know mine does.

College freshmen study booze more than books
Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

Nearly half of college freshmen who drink alcohol spend more time drinking each week than they do studying, suggests a survey involving more than 30,000 first-year students on 76 campuses who took an online alcohol education course last fall.

Students who said they had at least one drink in the past 14 days spent an average 10.2 hours a week drinking, and averaged about 8.4 hours a week studying, according to findings being presented today at a conference in Seattle for campus student affairs officials. Nearly 70% of respondents (20,801 students) said they drank. Of those, 49.4% spent more time drinking than studying.

Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy, executive direct or of NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, says the findings surprised her because most literature describes the millennial generation as responsible, close to parents, focused on their careers and dedicated to service.

“Our hope is that this new finding will motivate (campus and community leaders) to join us as we redouble our efforts to de-emphasize the role of alcohol in college life,” she says.

Her group is developing a training program with the study’s sponsor, Outside The Classroom, a Boston-based company that offers alcohol-prevention programs to colleges nationwide. Findings are based on responses to the company’s online alcohol education program, and on calculations to estimate the average length of a drinking episode.

In most cases, all incoming students are encouraged to take the online course. Students were not selected randomly, but “given that we have a good cross section of colleges and given the large number of students involved, I’m confident these numbers give a pretty accurate picture,” says lead researcher William DeJong, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health.

Precise numbers are not available, or easy to calculate. The National Survey of Student Engagement asked a question about studying last spring, and found that its 18,000 respondents spent an average of 13.2 hours “preparing for class.”

But the findings presented today are consistent with estimates based on an annual spring survey of first-year students conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, which surveys students at the end of their first year of college.

What’s more important is the big picture, says John Pryor, managing director of the institute.

“The main point is that students spend a lot of time drinking compared to other things you would want them to be doing in college.”

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