The legal drinking age is 21 yet you will see rampant drinking all over college campuses. Underage drinking is a huge problem at colleges all across America. The average undergraduate student is between 18 and 22 years old, leaving many college students younger than the legal drinking age. 

College Campuses: Consequences of Underage Drinking

Academic Concerns 

College students across all college campuses can fall behind in their classes as a result of drinking. They may miss class due to feeling hungover. Also, they could oversleep from a late night out partying. College students who are binge drinking may fall behind in class, do poorly on schoolwork, and get lower grades. 


Drinking leads to an increased number of violent and sexual assaults on college campuses. One study showed that about 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.Also, about 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Binge Drinking

Oftentimes, being away on college campuses is the first time these students have been exposed to full freedom. This may be the first time they get to routinely make decisions without their parents around. Social activities and sporting events are common places for alcohol to be available. This can lead to an increased chance for drinking. Many of these students fall into peer pressure and begin drinking. 

Many people view alcohol use as part of the “college experience”. Since these students want to fit in and make new friends, they keep drinking without thinking about the potential consequences. For these reasons, it’s not uncommon for college kids to binge drink.

Legal Trouble

Since most college kids are under the legal drinking age, it is possible for them to get in trouble for underage drinking. Another issue on college campuses is drinking and driving. Sometimes these students will drive drunk after leaving a party or a bar, which can lead to DUI or injury.

In short, drinking is very common on college campuses. Most college students are not even 21 yet. There can be consequences for students who are drinking. These range from academic issues all the way to legal trouble.