Alcohol and College: How Much Money Are Students Really Drinking?

Alcohol and College: How Much Money Are Students Really Drinking?The average college student spends $500 per year on alcohol, according to Rachel Barrington of the University of Wisconsin.

With the average student taking five years to graduate and borrowing about $23,000 in the process, that means that more than 10% of all college loans are actually used to finance alcohol consumption.


The average undergrad is also drunk for 10.6 hours a week. If instead of being drunk, they spent that 10.6 hours working and taking home $8 per hour (after taxes and deductions), they would have $4,409.60 per year. Over the course of five years, that's $22,048.



Add those two sources of savings together and you find out that, on average, if college students didn't drink they could leave with $1,548 in cash instead of $23,000 in debt.

When you look at it like that, it sounds like we might not even have a college affordability problem. We have a college drinking problem.

Zac Bissonnette's Debt-Free U: How I Paid For An Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, Or Mooching Off My Parents was called "best and most troubling book ever about the college admissions process" by The Washington Post.

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