Memory impairments related to alcoholism and to age (young, middle, and old) were examined as a function of educational level (low, high). Factoring of 14 different memory test scores from 93 alcoholics and 73 controls into four components indicated that alcohol-related impairments in verbal memory were observed in adults with low, but not high levels of education. Similarly, age-related decrements in visual-spatial and verbal memory tasks (Components I and II) affected mainly low-education alcoholics and controls. On these components, age and alcoholism did not interact, but were additive. Effects of education were reflected in verbal but not nonverbal tasks (Auditory and Design Recognition, Components III and IV). Neither years of heavy drinking, lifetime consumption, nor abstinence (80% had < 7 wks abstinence) predicted component scores of alcoholics, while age or education accounted for significant variance in visual-spatial, verbal, and design recognition components.