School has officially begun, and hundreds of thousands of college students are beginning their first year or returning to campus. While college is a time to learn both inside and outside the classroom, it can also be a time for young adults to make not-so-great decisions.
We often hear on the news about crimes committed at universities across the country, and wanted to investigate this further. Using our own methodology, we have determined the safest college campuses in America by state, and wanted to share our findings to inform people. To learn about our full methodology, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
One thing to note is our discovery that most of the listed safest colleges and universities are relatively small, with the exception of a handful. The impact of population density on crime has been studied before and it has been shown that population size is a predictor of violent and property crime.
There is a federal law, the Clery Act, that requires colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to disclose information about crimes that occur on or near campus.
Our research is based on data from the following sources:
- Cаmpus Crime Statistics provided by the US Department of Education
- The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting
To narrow down our list, we set a criteria of four-year nonprofit colleges and universities－both public and private－that had at least 2,000 students. The result was a list of 1117 total schools. In addition, schools in Wyoming are represented by the University of Wyoming only due to insufficient data about other schools.
So, what are the safest college campuses in the U.S.? We list them below.
Winners and runners up
Athens State University
Student population: 3,114
Athens State University is a public university in Athens, Alabama, ranked 0 for both sexual and non-sexual offenses, hate crimes, violence against women, and disciplinary actions. Additionally, the arrest numbers are low, at 0.96 crimes per 1,000 students. The university has a formal protocol for emergency prevention, incident response, strict facility access, and other safety concerns.
Runners up: The University of West Alabama and Troy University
University of Alaska Anchorage
Student population: 15,733
A public research university in Anchorage, this university has less than 0.1 cases per 1,000 students of arrests and sexual offenses. Additionally, it reports 0.7 cases of violence against women per 1,000 students and no hate crimes. The priority at the University of Alaska Anchorage is the well-being of its students, which is why the school provides a number of physical health, mental health, and general safety resources.
Runners up: The University of Alaska Southeast and the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Arizona State University-West
Student population: 4,063
Arizona State University-West reports no cases of sexual and non-sexual criminal offenses and hate crimes, along with a small number of violence against women cases (.74 per 1,000 students). Located in northwest Phoenix, the public liberal arts university makes it its mission to educate students, faculty and staff on what to do in emergency situations, along with resources for students and their parents to ensure safety on- and off-campus.
Runners up: Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix and Arizona State University-Polytechnic
John Brown University
Student population: 2,613
With zero arrests, non-sexual criminal offenses, and hate crimes per 1,000 students, it’s no wonder this school is safest in the state. A private, non-denominational liberal arts school in Siloam Springs, John Brown University also has a very low number of sexual offenses per 1,000 students (0.38). Online, the school offers information for emergency contacts and procedures, incident reporting, building security, campus officers, and more.
Runners up: The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Harding University
Student population: 17,097
Headquartered in La Jolla, California, National University is a private university with additional campuses throughout California and Nevada. Our research found that the school had no sexual offenses, disciplinary actions, hate crimes, or violence against women per 1,000 students. Students have access to various phone numbers for emergencies or safety concerns, as well as thorough information about what to do in various situations on the university’s website.
Runners up: California State University-Bakersfield and Samuel Merritt University
Colorado Christian University
Student population: 7,398
Located in Lakewood, Colorado, this private, interdenominational liberal arts university had very low numbers of arrests (.27), non-sexual criminal offenses (1.48), and disciplinary actions (0.81) per 1,000 students. Colorado Christian University also had no record of sexual offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women. The Office of Campus Safety and Security at the school has a handful of full-time officers and staff members available any time of day, any day of the week.
Runners up: Metropolitan State University of Denver and Colorado Mountain College
University of Saint Joseph
Student population: 2,405
The University of Saint Joseph is a Roman Catholic institution in West Hartford, Connecticut. It was an all-female school until 2018, when males were allowed to be admitted as full-time undergraduate students. With no hate crimes or arrests, the university also has low ratios of sexual and non-sexual criminal offenses, disciplinary action, and violence against women. It also has officers regularly patrolling the campus, text alerts for security threats, and various resources for emergency assistance.
Runners up: Western Connecticut State University and the University of Bridgeport
Student population: 14,170
A private university in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University has no record of sexual offenses or hate crimes, with less than 0.1 cases of non-sexual offense and violence against women per 1,000 students. What does the school do to emphasize security? The University Safety Department provides 24/7 security coverage, and works with a private security firm as well as police agencies to protect the community.
Runners up: The University of Delaware and Delaware State University
Polk State College
Student population: 10,659
While Polk State in Winter Haven, Florida has some arrests (.28 per 1,000 students), it also has no record of sexual and non-sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, violence against women, or disciplinary action. This public college has 24/7/365 on-campus security and offers various resources for students on its website.
Runners up: St. Petersburg College and Pasco-Hernando State College
Atlanta Metropolitan State College
Student population: 2,501
Part of Georgia’s state university program, Atlanta Metropolitan State College located in the city of Atlanta has no reported sexual criminal offenses or hate crimes. The school has its own police department with three divisions: security services, support services, and patrol/investigation to ensure students are educated on safety practices and protected from possible threats.
Runners up: The University of North Georgia and Georgia Gwinnett College
Chaminade University of Honolulu
Student population: 2,389
Chaminade University is a private Marianist university in Kaimuki, Honolulu. With a small number of non-sexual criminal offenses (0.83) and disciplinary action (4.19) per 1,000 people, the school recorded no arrests, sexual offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women. The university partnered with Allied Universal, a global security services leader, to keep the atmosphere safe for all students.
Runners up: The University of Hawaii Maui College and Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Student population: 51,881
A private university in Rexburg, Idaho, Brigham-Young has a record of no hate crimes, and very low numbers of sexual offenses (.27 per 1,000 students) and violence against women (.08 per 1,000). School officials are committed to providing services that support a secure and safe campus environment, like safety escorts and lockout assistance.
Runners up: Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College
Northeastern Illinois University
Student population: 8,984
Northeastern Illinois University is a public university in Chicago, reporting no sexual crimes or hate crimes, and a small number of violence against women cases (.22 cases for every 1,000 students). The surrounding community is aligned on the initiative to prevent crimes and keep everyone safe, with University Police officers operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. NIU also provides quick and easy-to-read safety resources, as well as a police blotter to keep awareness high.
Runners up: Olivet Nazarene University and Chicago State University
Student population: 3,029
Located in the city of Kokomo, this branch of Indiana University reports less than one case of non-sexual crimes, disciplinary actions, and violence against women per 1,000 students, along with no hate crimes or sexual offenses. The school has a strict building security policy with grounds and maintenance staff onsite, and police staff providing services to the community. Indiana University-Kokomo has topped a number of safest U.S. campuses lists.
Runners up: Indiana University-Northwest and Indiana Institute of Technology
Student population: 2,788
While Morningside College in Sioux City has some reported disciplinary actions (34 cases per 1,000 students), it has zero sexual/non-sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or violent acts against women. The campus of this private liberal arts college is located in a residential area, with campus staff available 24 hours a day that provide services like walking escorts, vehicle assistance, and various educational programs related to student safety.
Runners up: Graceland University-Lamoni and Iowa State University
Student population: 3,378
Newman is a private Catholic liberal arts university in the city of Wichita with no record of arrests, sexual offenses, or hate crimes. Rates for non-sexual crimes and violence against women are both less than 0.3 per 1,000 students. To support its safety efforts, the university has around-the-clock uniform security, a rapid emergency action checklist, and direct phone line to report any incidents.
Runners up: Emporia State University and Wichita State University
University of the Cumberlands
Student population: 10,097
Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, this private, nonprofit college has no sexual or non-sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or violent acts against women on record, and an arrest ratio of less than 0.1 per 1,000 students. The school offers training and informational seminars about preventing sexual abuse and dating violence, alcohol abuse, and more, along with a lengthy list of emergency phone numbers for students.
Runners up: The University of Louisville and Campbellsville University
Louisiana State University-Alexandria
Student population: 3,372
Part of the state’s University System, the Alexandria campus reports no sexual crimes, disciplinary actions, hate crimes, or violence against women, and .59 arrests per 1,000 students. LSU Alexandria has videos, training courses, and documentation covering topics like workplace shootings, critical response, and identifying safety risks before they become severe.
Runners up: The University of Louisiana at Monroe and Nicholls State University
University of Maine at Farmington
Student population: 2,080
A public liberal arts college in the small rural town of Farmington, this university has far lower reports of disciplinary actions than other schools in the state, along with no sexual offenses, hate crimes or violence against women. In terms of safety, resident halls on campus are locked down at all hours, and emergency phones and call boxes are located across campus.
Runners up: The University of Southern Maine and the University of New England
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Student population: 2,475
Notre Dame of Maryland University is a private Catholic school in Baltimore with no reported arrests, sexual or non-sexual offenses, or hate crimes. It reports .81 cases of violence against women per 1,000 students. Officials patrol the campus on foot or in a vehicle 24 hours a day, and the university has a safety handbook and regular security bulletins to keep students up-to-date on safety standards and any incidents that have occurred.
Runners up: The University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland-College Park
University of Massachusetts-Boston
Student population: 16,415
Also called UMass Boston, this public university reports low numbers of arrests (.18 per 1,000 students), non-sexual crimes (.12 per 1,000), and violent acts against women (.49 per 1,000), along with no hate crimes or sexual crimes. On-campus safety initiatives include a crime prevention program, workplace violence management, and other safety tips.
Runners up: Bay Path University and MCPHS University
Spring Arbor University
Student population: 3,342
Spring Arbor is a private methodist university in a town of the same name. With no arrests, sexual offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women cases, it takes the top place in our list of safest college campus in Michigan. Non-sexual offenses are also lower than a majority of other campuses on the list (.6 per 1,000 students). Its website offers multiple checklists for a number of possible crises, including sexual assault and other life threatening situations.
Runners up: Cornerstone University and Baker College
Student population: 3,797
A christian college in Minnesota’s capital of St. Paul, Bethel reports no arrests, sexual crimes, or hate crimes and a small number of non-sexual crimes (.26 per 1,000 people). The school’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff is reflected in various crime prevention programs and education, ID cards, security officers onsite.
Runners up: Southwest Minnesota State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead
Delta State University
Student population: 3,785
This public university in Cleveland, Mississippi reports no arrests or sexual criminal offenses, with non-sexual crimes, hate crimes, or violence against women cases each around 0.6 per 1,000 students. Students can prevent or report concerning situations by reading the campus safety guide, sending text messaging emergency alerts, or using the many police services offered.
Runners up: William Carey University and the University of Southern Mississippi
Student population: 11,457
Park University is a nonprofit, private liberal arts school in Parkville, Missouri. According to our research, the school has low reporting numbers of arrests (.17 per 1,000 students), non-sexual offenses (.35 per 1,000), and sexual offenses (.09 per 1,000), and zero hate crimes. The school has an always-on-staff Department of Campus Safety, and provides its students with a number of resources, including booklet of emergency procedures and various emergency phone numbers.
Runners up: Columbia College and Missouri Baptist University
Montana State University-Billings
Student population: 4,401
Located in Billings, Montana as the name suggests, Montana State University-Billings is a public university with zero hate crime rate and 0.9 incidents of domestic or dating violence per 1,000 students. In addition, MSU Billings reports less than 0.5 cases of sexual offence per 1,000. To maintain safety and security, the campus has University Police with 24/7 surveillance and patrol, free emergency notification system, as well as Confidential Campus and Community Resources for reporting sexual assault and violence instances.
Runners up: The University of Montana and Montana State University
Wayne State College
Student population: 3,292
Located in Wayne, Nebraska, this public college has no sexual criminal offenses or hate crimes, and .91 cases of violence against women out of every 1,000 students. How does Wayne State keep its campus safe? They practice community policing, assigning officials to certain areas of the campus. Additionally, there is campus patrol, escort and shuttle services, and crime prevention programs.
Runners up: University of Nebraska at Omaha and Concordia University-Nebraska
Western Nevada College
Student population: 3,642
Western Nevada College is a public college reporting no arrests, disciplinary actions, nor instances of sexual/non-sexual offenses or hate crimes. The campus has fully-functional law enforcement and emergency alerts sent via social media, email, and online. It also offers proactive assistance and services to maintain the health and safety of the whole university community.
Runners up: College of Southern Nevada and Great Basin College
Granite State College
Student population: 2,019
This public college in Concord, New Hampshire is part of the state’s university system. Granite State has no reported cases of sexual and non-sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women, as well as no disciplinary actions. To maintain community safety, in the event of an on-campus emergency, students, faculty, and staff receive messages via the school’s UNH Alert system. Additionally, it provides an anonymous incident reporting procedure.
Runners up: Southern New Hampshire University and Rivier University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Student population: 7,846
The metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University is located in Teaneck, New Jersey. It reports no cases of non-sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women. FDU’s website offer direct contact information for campus public safety officials, as well as a number of resources and an anonymous “Silent Knight” witness form for those who want to report incidents.
Runners up: New Jersey City University and Montclair State University
New Mexico Highlands University
Student population: 3,098
With its campus located in Las Vegas, New Mexico, our research found that this public university had zero incidents of arrests, sexual offenses, and hate crimes. Additionally, numbers for violence against women and non-sexual offenses were low, at 1.29 incidents and 1.61 incidents per 1,000, respectively. New Mexico Highlands University has a Police/Security Department, a 24-hour police agency that educates and prevents a number of crimes including substance abuse and sexual assault.
Runners up: Western New Mexico University and Eastern New Mexico University
Student population: 11,908
Touro College is part of a private university system headquartered in New York City. With a small number of disciplinary actions per 1,000 students (.25), the college reports no arrests, sexual and non-sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women. In commitment to keeping students, faculty, and staff safe, it offers a 24-hour hotline, as well as a variety of other resources aimed to educate the community on crime prevention and response.
Runners up: SUNY Empire State College and CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
Student population: 6,604
A private university in Buies Creek, North Carolina, Campbell University beats out other colleges in the state in safety with no sexual crimes or hate crimes reported, and only .15 cases of violence against women per 1,000 students. The university has crime prevention awareness programs, and its website contains a list of safety resources, including crime reports and statistics and emergency preparedness.
Runners up: University of Mount Olive and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Minot State University
Student population: 3,216
The third largest university in the state of North Dakota, Minot State has low reported numbers of non-sexual crimes (.31 per 1,000 students) and no sexual crimes, hate crimes, or violence against women. The school offers free fingerprinting services to all students and staff and has a safe walk program that escorts students between locations at their request. Additionally, there are numerous online resources for the university community to educate themselves on crime prevention and incident response.
Runners up: University of Mary and Bismarck State College
University of Cincinnati-Clermont College
Student population: 2,799
Clermont College is a regional campus of the University of Cincinnati in Batavia, Ohio. In our research we only found record of a small ratio of disciplinary actions (.36 cases per 1,000 students), with no arrests, sexual and non-sexual crimes, hate crimes, or violence against women. Most classrooms, labs, and building exterior doors require ID card access to enter, and the school has set up standard accident, emergency, and reporting procedures.
Runners up: University of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College and Kent State University at Stark
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City
Student population: 5,839
A public university in Oklahoma City, OSU-OKC beats out other schools in the state with no reports of sexual/non-sexual offenses, hate crimes, or violence against women, and a low number of disciplinary actions (.17 cases out of every 1,000 students). Campus security operates 24/7 year-round, patrolling school buildings, grounds, and parking lots.
Runners up: Oklahoma Christian University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Student population: 5,486
The Oregon Institute of Technology is a public polytechnic university in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Cases of violence against women at the school are less than 1 per 1,000 students (.91), and non-sexual crimes are very low as well (1.64 per 1,000 students). With no sexual or hate crimes, it’s no wonder this university tops the list. The Campus Safety department promotes security through emergency and non-emergency response services and law enforcement.
Runners up: Concordia University-Portland and George Fox University
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Abington
Student population: 3,839
Penn State Abington is a commonwealth campus of Pennsylvania State University. The data we analyzed revealed that the university has low ratios of arrests, sexual crimes, and non-sexual crimes (all around .25 cases per 1,000 students); low ratio of violence against women (.51 per 1,000); and no hate crimes or disciplinary actions. The campus has both security officers and police officers, as well as emergency call boxes and safe walk escort services to ensure student safety at all times.
Runners up: Chatham University and Holy Family University
New England Institute of Technology
Student population: 2,793
A private university in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, NEIT has no reported sexual offenses, hate crimes, or acts of violence against women, and only .36 non-sexual offenses per 1,000 students. The school offers a wide variety of safety services, including foot/vehicle patrol, emergency response, event security, walking escorts, emergency telephones, and restricted building access.
Runners up: Rhode Island College and Brown University
Student population: 3,494
Anderson University takes the top spot in South Carolina due to reporting no sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or violent acts against women. Located in a town of the same name, Anderson also has lower numbers of arrests and disciplinary actions than other schools in the state. To protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors, the university conducts regular drills, monitors building exteriors and parking lots, provides a variety of tips and resources on its website, and much more.
Runners up: University of South Carolina-Upstate and Claflin University
Dakota State University
Student population: 3,307
Located in Madison, South Dakota, this public university has no reports of non-sexual offenses or hate crimes, according to our research, along with low numbers of sexual offenses (1.2 per 1,000 students) and violence against women (0.6 per 1,000). The school believes students can only succeed in a safe and supportive environment, so it offers security measures like campus security cameras as well as ID-only access to buildings.
Runners up: Black Hills State University and Northern State University
Student population: 4,642
A private Christian liberal arts university in Nashville, Lipscomb has had zero reported cases of sexual offenses or hate crimes, and low reported ratios of non-sexual offenses (.65 per 1,000 students) and violence against women (.22 per 1,000). University department of security offers a qualified R.A.D. (Rape. Aggression. Defense.) self-defense program, and has security officers patrolling the campus and events at all times in an effort to educate the community and keep them safe.
Runners up: Trevecca Nazarene University and Union University
South Texas College
Student population: 31,321
With no reported non-sexual or sexual criminal offenses, disciplinary actions, or hate crimes, it’s no surprise South Texas public college in the Rio Grande Valley is the safest in the state. It also has low reported cases of violence against women, at .03 cases per 1,000 students. Safety is a priority on campus, offering resources for emergency preparedness, emergency alerts, and more.
Runners up: Texas A&M University-Central Texas and LeTourneau University
Utah Valley University
Student population: 37,282
Utah Valley University is a public school in Orem. Our data analysis showed the university had no reported disciplinary actions or hate crimes, and sexual crimes, non-sexual crimes, and violence against women cases all less than 1 case per 1,000 students. UVU has formal emergency and incident plans, personal preparedness plans, and various videos and resources to inform students and staff on avoiding unsafe situations.
Runners up: Brigham Young University-Provo and Southern Utah University
Student population: 4,749
Located in Burlington, Vermont, this private college reports low ratios of non-sexual crimes (1.26 out of every 1,000 students), sexual crimes (.84 per 1,000), hate crimes (.42 per 1,000), and violence against women (.21 per 1,000). The college employs nine designated security officers whose objective is to be on patrol, respond to emergencies, investigate incident reports, and getting to know people in the community.
Runners up: Norwich University and the University of Vermont
Student population: 75,044
A private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Liberty is one of the largest private non-profit universities in the United States. In terms of safety, the university has very small numbers of non-sexual offenses (.08 per 1,000 students), sexual offenses (.04 per 1,000), hate crimes(.03 per 1,000), and violence against women (.12 per 1,000), along with an arrest rate of .13 per 1,000 students. Recognized across many safest campuses in the U.S. lists, Liberty has around 60 officers protecting the campus, as well as many resources available online.
Runners up: Regent University and Norfolk State University
Student population: 2,094
Peninsula College is a public college in Port Angeles. It comes as a shock to no one that the university is the safest in Washington, as it has zero cases of sexual/non-sexual crimes, hate crimes, or violence against women, according to our analysis. Campus safety has an on-campus office for any concerns, and a close partnership with the local police department. Additionally, the college emphasizes safety against sexual harassment, providing thorough information and services for both prevention and response.
Runners up: Cascadia College and Columbia Basin College
Student population: 2,194
Located in Athens, West Virginia, this public university has no reported disciplinary actions, sexual criminal offenses, hate crimes, or cases of violence against women. Concord University prioritizes safety for students and the entire community, with tips for maintaining safety and preventing crimes. It also has a 20-page safety and wellness book that details security information, important contact numbers, and various safety procedures.
Runners up: West Virginia State University and Fairmont State University
Cardinal Stritch University
Student population: 2,355
A private Roman Catholic university in Milwaukee, Cardinal Stritch reports zero sexual or hate crimes, and low numbers of non-sexual crimes (1.27 per 1,000 students) and violent acts against women (.26 per 1,000). Stritch Security’s motto is “Prevention, Protection” and adheres to that motto through easy-to-contact campus security, crime response, and emergency notifications.
Runners up: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Wisconsin-Superior
University of Wyoming
Student population: 12,397
Founded as a land-grant university in Laramie, Wyoming, the University of Wyoming has zero sexual offence rate, less than one case of hate crimes and about 0.5 instances of criminal offence per 1,000 students. The University offers a variety of security resourses including campus security system, on-site security cameras, emergency communication, etc. The University of Wyoming Police department operates 24/7 to provide public safety, ensure security and maintain traffic control within the university.
Using the data from our sources above, we considered different categories of crime and assigned each with its own “weight:”
Disciplinary actions rate: Persons referred for campus disciplinary action for liquor law violations, drug-related violations, and illegal weapons possession. Weight = 3%
Arrests rate: Arrests for liquor law violations, drug-related violations, and illegal weapons possession. Weight = 9%
Criminal offenses rate (non-sexual): Criminal homicide, including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, and manslaughter by negligence; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; and arson. Weight = 23%
Criminal offenses rate (sexual): Sexual assaults, including rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape. Weight = 20%
Hate crimes rate: Any of the above-mentioned criminal offenses, and any incidents of larceny-theft, simple assault, Intimidation, or destruction/damage/ vandalism of property that were motivated by bias. Weight = 28%
Violence against women (VAWA) rate: Incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Weight = 16%
We left out states that, based on our criteria, came up with less than three schools (Montana and Wyoming).