Top 10 Sober Colleges

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Sober colleges throughout the United States have strict rules and regulations put in place to keep their undergraduate (and sometimes graduate) students from drinking alcohol.

Campus culture has long included alcohol. For decades, young adults attending colleges and universities throughout the nation have participated in parties, events, and social gatherings where alcohol is the primary focus (think keggers and parties with a beer pong table front and center). In fact, drinking alcohol has become sewn into the fabric of the college experience to the extent where the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that 54.9% of college students drink alcohol. 

But what about the colleges and universities that do not have high rates of alcohol use? Or even those that don’t have any? It can be hard to imagine that there are colleges that don’t have alcohol on campus or in the surrounding neighborhoods where students live, but it is more common than most might think.

Top 10 Sober Colleges 

The Princeton Review, which is a college admissions services company, has gathered data that reflects which colleges in the United States are the most sober colleges.That does not mean that each one of these colleges or universities is completely free of alcohol and young adults who engage in drinking it, but the rates at which alcohol use is occurring is so miniscule that many people refer to these institutions as sober colleges. 

1. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Brigham Young University, or BYU, is known for its 99% mormon population, as it is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). There are approximately 33,600 students who attend BYU, all of which are made to sign an honor code prior to admissions that states that they will not drink alcohol while a student. The entire campus at BYU is a dry campus, meaning that there is no one single place on the grounds where it is permitted to drink alcohol. Those students who do not uphold their honor code can be suspended or expelled. 

2. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO

In 2016, College of the Ozarks emailed their student population with an updated alcohol policy. The update? There is to be no drinking alcohol of any kind while enrolled, as the college was now following a zero tolerance alcohol policy. This policy extends to those students who are of legal age to drink, as they are not permitted to drink on campus or off campus. 

3. Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

Wheaton College has long been known as being a top college in the evangelical stratosphere. It’s deep Christian roots are reflected in their “community covenant”, which is a document outlining its alcohol policy. All students under legal drinking age are not allowed to engage in drinking on or off campus, as they are to uphold the teachings of the Bible. Despite drunkenness being viewed as a sin in the Bible, Wheaton College does allow those graduate students, faculty, and staff who are of legal drinking age to drink, but in private and not around any undergrads. 

4. United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

The United States Naval Academy, located in the capital of Maryland, does not allow its midshipmen to consume alcohol at any time while a student at the Academy. But, even with that said, the lines get slightly blurry. Upper class midshipmen are permitted to consume alcohol responsibly when they reach 21 years of age. The Naval Academy engages in practices such as 21st birthday training, where midshipmen are taught how to properly celebrate their birthdays without drinking too much. 

5. Gordon Christian College, Wenham, MA

A small college of only about 1,600 students, Gordon Christian College in Massachusetts has a policy that dictates that students are not permitted to drink alcohol or do drugs both on campus and off campus. Students who do not follow this guidance can be disciplined or encouraged to seek counseling services. 

6. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, CA

One of the smallest colleges in the country, Thomas Aquinas College in California is home to less than 500 students. Those students, however, are to follow a specific code of conduct. For example, students who are 21 years or older can engage in alcohol consumption, but only at social events put on by the college. Any type of alcohol consumption outside of these events, however, is prohibited despite an individual being of legal drinking age. 

7. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

At Calvin College, a top Christian school in MI, students are to follow a conduct code where they are expected to abstain from drinking on campus grounds. Those students who are 21 or older can engage in alcohol consumption outside of campus but only if done in a responsible manner, as taught by the Bible. 

8. CUNY, Baruch College, New York, NY

Despite being located in one of the world’s largest, biggest, and most diverse cities, students at CUNY Baruch are not allowed to drink alcohol regardless of if they are of legal drinking age or not. This does not seem to be a major problem for students, as they report a minimal party atmosphere on campus. 

9. United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

Following in line with the strictness and structure of the United States Military, students of the Academy are expected not to drink if they are under the age of 21. Within its social etiquette guide, the Military Academy states that being under the influence of alcohol is a “career-limiting move.” Students who are 21 year and older are expected to drink alcohol responsibly. Similar to the Naval Academy, the Military Academy participates in 21st birthday training. 

10. CUNY, Hunter College, New York, NY

All students, including those 21 years of age or older, are prohibited from drinking alcohol while enrolled at CUNY Hunter College. To encourage this policy, the college offers several student activities that do not involve alcohol or drugs, but do serve as social gatherings and events. 

Alcohol Rehab in California

If you are experiencing a problem with alcohol, reach out to us right now. We know that admitting to abusing alcohol is not easy, especially if you are a student of these colleges and universities with strict substance use guidelines. But, continuing to abuse drugs or alcohol is something that can completely alter, if not take, your life.

Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD


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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

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