A new test at the University of Montana means every student under the age of 21 will now take an alcohol tutorial in order to register for classes at the University of Montana.
The test is called AlcoholEdu, and it's required by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, in partnership with EverFi, a company that helps students address critical issues, like alcohol abuse. More than 500,000 students nationwide complete the online course.
Advocates say it's critical, especially when you consider the national statistic that more than 690,000 college students a year are assaulted by a student who has been drinking.
"Holy cow, this is forever,” said Ashleigh Henry, a 19-year-old University of Montana student, about that new alcohol tutorial.
Students at UM have to take part of it by mid-September or it will stall their registration.
"I'm kind of annoyed, I don't want to do that,” said Henry.
Henry found out via email and so did some 3,400 other students.
NBC Montana obtained a copy of the email that was sent out to all students under 21 with different requirements -- one of them being that it will at least take two hours to complete the online course.
Students will take the tutorial, followed by a test. A passing score of 70 is required.
"It could probably help them make better decisions, I think," said Lee Martin, a 25-year-old University of Montana student.
UM already requires all students to take PETSA. That's a special online tutorial and test aimed at preventing sexual assault. Backers say the alcohol tutorial goes hand in hand with learning about sexual assault.
"Sexual assault and alcohol can be related, being the No. 1 date rape drug according to experts is alcohol," said Peggy Kuhr, Vice President for Integrated Communications with the University of Montana.
Henry logged on so NBC Montana could see the tutorial, but she's not taking it until Saturday. Part one has at least 10 sections and covers topics like how much alcohol is contained in a typical drink, possible motivations behind drinking and how it affects the body.
"It's one of those things we want people to be educated about,” said Kuhr.
Montana State University has used the test since 2005. It’s all confidential. It helps administrators gauge how many students drink regularly and how the school can better serve the needs of the students.
“It gives us a really good snapshot of the population that's coming on to campus so we know how to prepare to make sure we have the necessary resources, the programs and the continuing education that we do, that meets the needs of that student population because they change every year,” said Marci Torres with MSU.
Each year across the country, 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries. More than 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sex assault or date rape.