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A small but growing number of U.S. colleges and universities—ranging from large, public institutions to small, private colleges—are using or have used the social norms approach to address a range of issues related to college student health.

Historically, all of the initial funding in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s in support of social norm interventions at institutions of higher learning came from the federal government. Specifically, federal support for social norms projects included:

  • Replication studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE)
  • Demonstration grants funded by the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
  • Research grants to test social norms from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)
  • Risk-reduction funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

As the number of social norm interventions grew throughout the country, additional funding sources were identified. Among them have been:

  • The National Science Foundation
  • Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control
  • California State University System
  • Montana Department of Transportation
  • New Jersey Department of Health
  • Kansas Health Foundation

Lastly, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation currently provides funding to seven universities for the prevention and reduction of alcohol abuse problems among college students through the implementation of the social norms approach.

For a more extensive examination of the funding of social norms programs, including a discussion of the level and impact of the support provided by the alcohol beverage industry to a small number of universities, see:

Social Norms: A Publicly Funded, Cost-Effective Approach. (Note: This is a pdf file.)