This randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of a brief intervention designed to reduce the harmful consequences of heavy drinking among high-risk college students. Students screened for risk while in their senior year of high school (188 women and 160 men) were randomly assigned to receive an individualized motivational brief intervention in their freshman year of college or to a no-treatment control condition. A normative group selected from the entire screening pool provided a natural history comparison. Follow-up assessments over a 2-year period showed significant reductions in both drinking rates and harmful consequences, favoring students receiving the intervention. Although high-risk students continued to experience more alcohol problems than the natural history comparison group over the 2-year period, most showed a decline in problems over time, suggesting a developmental maturational effect.