The tough economy appears to be having a sobering effect — literally — on incoming college freshmen. Some new surveys of high school students suggest increasing numbers are beginning college as teetotalers.

Outside the Classroom, an organization that provides alcohol education training at colleges, finds that since 2006, the percentage of incoming freshmen who abstain from alcohol has jumped from 38% to 62%.

"It's a demographic trend among students," CEO Brandon Busteed says. His organization surveys about a third of freshmen entering four-year universities and colleges each year.

Why the number of teetotaling 18-year-olds is up isn't clear. Busteed says the economy is a big reason. Students "are taking (college) more seriously because they realize it's their future," he says.

Students also are realizing that nothing they do is private. "A lot of young adults realize that the quickest thing you can do to destroy a job interview is to go in all shiny and polished up and then they check Facebook" and there they are "at a keg stand," Busteed says.

Source: USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-02-07-drinkingdown07_ST_N.htm