The College Drinking Age Debate – 18 or 21 – Opinion

One of the biggest concerns parents (and students) have about college is drinking. It’s an undeniable fact that almost every college student will be faced with an opportunity to participate in underage drinking. College students aren’t the best when it comes to moderation, and binge drinking occurs on campuses all across the country.

The recent petition by 100 university leaders around the country over re-considering the drinking age has caused an uproar. Some people feel it is outrageous to consider a lowering of the drinking age (even if they’ve only suggested that it be discussed), while other’s claim that it’s long overdue.

From my experience the chief arguments for both sides can be compelling. For those who are for keeping the age at 21, statistics will usually be brought up. It is a fact that once the age was increased from 18 to 21, the amount of deaths related to drunk driving decreased significantly. This leads many people to believe that many 18-year-olds simply aren’t mature enough to drink responsibly.

On the other hand, people say that it is outrageous that an 18-year-old can vote for the President of the United States, be drafted by the US Army (in the case of males), and yet still cannot go buy beer at their leisure. Many university leaders are also of the opinion that lowering the age might curtail binge drinking.

Personally, I’m not quite as sure this would be the case, as alcohol is not particularly difficult to obtain for persons under 21 (especially females, who can easily get into most parties and have many willing and able males ready to purchase them drinks) in college. I personally just don’t see a student who has been partying excessively every weekend for his or her entire college career suddenly saying “oh, you know what I’m not going to binge drink anymore now that I can legally obtain the alcohol.”

So, what side of the line do YOU fall on in the debate? College and Finance would love to have input for a future post that will delve deeper into the issue. It is a concern for both students and parents, so both should feel free to weigh in. If you’d like to participate, send any comments you have to scott125898 AT yahoo DOT com.

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