Put Down That Solo Cup: College Freshmen Sobered by Financial Crisis

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Teens’ livers may be the only ones benefiting from the down economy.

A new study shows that record numbers of incoming college freshman are entering their undergraduate careers as teetotalers. What explains the expansion of abstinence among rising college students? Some believe the tough economy is making students take the significant monetary investment in their education more seriously.

(More on TIME.com: Partying pays off in the world series of beer pong.)

Outside the Classroom, a non-profit organization focused on alcohol education on college campuses, found that between 2006 and 2010 the number of incoming students who’d never imbibed jumped from 32 percent to 62 percent.

Students “are taking [college] more seriously because they realize it’s their future,” said the organization’s president Brandon Busteed. “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.” Other studies have observed similar trends, although none quite as drastic.

(More on TIME.com: The first two years of college are an $80,000 waste.)

By October of freshmen year, the number of college students not drinking is already cut in half, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Apparently, the appeal of beer pong may outweigh high school motivations for abstinence. (via USA Today)