Just a decade ago no one matriculating to a college or university would consider campus safety as an important criterion for choosing what school to attend. Fast forward to today and that reality has changed. Campus shootings at institutions like Virginia Tech and Oikos University in Oakland have brought campus safety to the forefront. If campus safety is important to you, this article is a must read. We’ve broken down the top 10 safest colleges and universities with a minimum enrollment of 6,000 students. All of the colleges and universities below are residential campuses – the list does not include commuter campuses.
1. New York Institute of Technology
The student population is approximately 12,000. Despite this many students there was not one stolen car, robbery or burglary reported during the 2007 academic year. The school has dorms but many students do commute. The campus is located in Old Westbury – a quant neighborhood located in Long Island.
2. Farmingdale State University
The name just sounds safe doesn’t it? Farmingdale State University is also referred to as SUNY Farmingdale, which means the top two safest schools are in New York. The school was originally a farming and agriculture school, but has expanded its programs. The student population is approximately 7,000 and houses around 600. During the 2007 school year there were no crimes reported.
3. Grand Valley State University
This is a large university with a student population of 24,000 located in Allendale, Michigan. The school is fairly new (founded in 1960) and has a very large campus covering over 1,200 acres. The school does have one blemish on its safety record – a total of nine reported rapes over a two year period. This may seem like a lot but the statistics can be deceiving. Large schools with excellent support services have a tendency to report more rapes because victims feel safer to come forward compared to schools where there are no support services. In other words, schools like Grand Valley State are often safer.
4. Indiana Wesleyan University
This Christian university is located in Marion, Indiana and serves about 15,000 students. The school did record double-digit burglaries, but the administration cites the problem of petty theft such as students leaving their wallets lying around or the occasional twenty dollar bill on the dresser.
5. Idaho State University
This university of 15,000 located in small Pocatello, Idaho is known as the smile capital of the world. It has to be safe place then right? Idaho State is a perennial safe school that is on the list year after year.
6. University of Montana
Like Idaho State, UM is in a rural area that tends to be safer. The school also has an escort program (no not that type of escort program) known as G.P.S., which stands for Grizzly Personal Escort. These campus do-gooders go around in golf carts and take people from place to place during the evening hours.
7. University of Virginia
University of Virginia serves a large student population of 25,000, yet it is one of the safest schools in the country. The campus is located in Charlottesville and reported two burglaries during the most recent school year.
8. Georgia College & State University
This small school of just over 6,000 students is located in Milledgeville, Georgia and was once the state capital of Georgia during the Civil War. The school reported only one burglary each year in the most recent safety data.
9. University of Mississippi
Ole Miss serves just over 15,000 students. The school works hard to integrate campus police officers in with students and allows Greek organizations to Adopt-a-Cop into their fraternity and sorority house to spend time talking with kids about safety issues.
10. Sam Houston State University
This campus of roughly 17,000 students is known for its laid back atmosphere. The campus is always bustling with all types of activities – except crime.