The college years can be some of the most impactful, formative, and important in a person’s life. Many of the main considerations in picking a university are things like campus life, academic performance, mentorship, extracurricular opportunities, and student support. We began conducting research into the safest colleges in America because none of these positive college experiences are possible without the university providing a safe and nurturing environment for students to break out of their shell and grow into their adult selves.
To parents, in particular, safety is often an even more important consideration than academic performance. Colleges know this and will often create PR designed to convince parents and students alike that they are the safest choice.
To help you with such an important decision, we’ve compiled a list of the safest colleges in the US. We used a methodology that incorporates reported data and campus crime rates, while also considering local crime, law enforcement support, and campus transparency. With the data meticulously run through this method, our statistical analysis has resulted in a list we are quite confident in. However, please don’t confuse this list as ranking one college as better than another in areas unrelated to safety.
The National Council for Home Safety and Security recently released a methodology for identifying the safest colleges. Their method utilizes FBI crime reports combined with campus crime rates. We found their calculations for crime rates less comprehensive than they should be, relying only on the total number of campus crimes to be divided by the campus police numbers.
For the purpose of this list of the safest colleges in America, we expanded upon this original method while adding more significant metrics, such as the number of crimes per 1,000 students and local crime rates. Additionally, crime stats in states without marijuana prohibitions are lower, so we adjusted our rankings to compensate for this. This expanded methodology has resulted in what we see as a more viable ranking system.
Without further ado, here is our list of the 50 safest colleges in America.