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An Evaluation of College Online Alcohol-Policy Information: 2007 Compared With 2002

J Stud Alcohol Drugs Suppl. 2009 Jul; (16): 28–33.

Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5635 Fishers Lane, Room 2087, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9304

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Objective: To receive federal funds, colleges and universities are required to provide information to students about their alcohol policies as part of their alcohol-abuse prevention efforts. This study investigated whether and how the availability and completeness of alcohol-policy information on college Web sites changed between 2002 and 2007.

Method: The Web sites of the top 52 national universities listed in the 2002 rankings of U.S. News and World Report, which were reviewed for alcohol-policy information in 2002, were reviewed again in 2007 using the same Web search methodology.

Results: Much more information regarding college alcohol policies was available on the Web sites of the 52 universities in 2007 than in 2002. Substantial increases were seen in the areas of (1) rules, restrictions, requirements; and (2) consequences for infractions, especially for student groups. In addition, information on university Web sites regarding their alcohol policies was easier to access in 2007 than in 2002.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that colleges have made online alcohol-policy information more available and accessible to their students and other interested parties, including parents. This may reflect a greater engagement of colleges and universities in the issue of drinking on campus in general.

*Correspondence may be sent to Vivian B. Faden at the above address or via email at:

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