In a perfect world, academics and career goals could be your top priority in choosing a university. However, safety—or the lack thereof—is fast becoming a determining factor for future students and their parents and guardians.
You’ve already seen articles ranking college safety nationwide, so in this article we decided to break that ranking down by state and show just how varied your safe-campus options are.
To determine the safest school in each state, we tallied the crimes reported by universities and divided them into three main sections:
- Violent crime
- Property crime
- Violence against women
We weighed the crimes by severity and divided the school’s crime score by enrollment to calculate total per-capita crime. All the universities listed here are either private or non-profit four-year colleges with over one thousand enrolled students.
Whether you’re the parent of a high schooler or you’re a student who prioritizes safety, have a look at our list below. And if you haven’t already, consider adding some of the safest colleges in the U.S. to your shortlist of possible universities!
(click map to expand)
University of West Alabama (Livingston, AL)
The University of West Alabama started out as the Livingston Female Academy in 1835. Since then, it’s blossomed into a state university that enrolls around 5,000 students per semester. UWA sees low instances of violent crime, property crime, and violence against women. The campus police department also employs a strict visitor policy—infrequent visitors must see the campus station for a card permit, and frequent visitors must apply for a hang tag that explains their reason for visiting campus and lists their vehicle’s make and model plus proof of liability insurance.
- Faulkner University, Montgomery
- Samford University, Birmingham
University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, AK)
The largest university in Alaska is also the safest. Even with nearly 17,000 students on the Anchorage campus, per capita crime rates are notably low. The Silent Witness program lets students anonymously report suspicious activity. And students can contact the Call Team any time to jumpstart your car, unlock your vehicle, or request a walking safety escort.
- University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks
- University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau
Arizona State University-Tempe (Tempe, AZ)
ASU was recently named the most innovative college in the United States, surpassing both Stanford and MIT. It’s also Arizona’s safest campus, with remarkably low crime rates and very few instances of violence against women. The ASU LiveSafe app helps students find Safety Escort Service drop-off and pick-up areas, report tips, and stay safe on campus.
- University of Arizona, Tucson
- Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
John Brown University (Siloam Springs, AR)
This private interdenominational Christian college offers more than 40 areas of study and a vast net of safety resources. The Campus Safety Director invites students and their families to visit the safety office to ask questions or pick up safety resource materials. Campus Safety also provides emergency response and crime prevention presentations for students and faculty.
- University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
California State University-Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)
CSU-Long Beach has some of the country’s lowest fees for full-time in-state students. It’s also the safest of all 23 California State campuses. CSU-Long Beach’s Night Escort Program is available Sunday through Thursday—as a student, you can contact them over any campus pay phone or via cell phone. If the Night Escort Program isn’t operating, students can call the campus police to request an escort.
- Biola University, La Mirada
- California State University-Sacramento, Sacramento
University of Colorado Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO)
More than 100 years ago, UCCS’s main hall was a sanatorium for rich patients. Now, it’s a gathering place for the campuses’ nearly 12,000 students. UCCS empowers students to keep themselves, each other, and their campus safe through resources like free self-defense classes, crime prevention and CPR courses, and drinking and driving seminars. Students can follow the UCCS Police Department and emergency management Twitter accounts for frequent updates.
- Western State Colorado University, Gunnison
- Colorado School of Mines, Golden
Goodwin College (East Hartford, CT)
Goodwin College is a career-focused college that prioritizes both student safety and community improvement. The eco-friendly campus includes a community garden that embodies and exemplifies the school’s safety practices: faculty, staff, students, and community members can work in the garden, but each participant needs an ID badge and a code to access the area. Security guards patrol daily to ensure the plants and the people who nurture them are safe.
- University of Connecticut-Stamford, Stamford
- Sacred Heart University, Fairfield
Goldey-Beacom College (Wilmington, DE)
In 1886, Goldey-Beacom College opened with five enrolled students. Now with a 24-acre campus, the college hosts nearly 2,000 students and experiences little to no violent crime, property crime, or violence against women. Most of the school’s courses are held in one main building, which is protected with security cameras. As on the nation’s other most secure campuses, students at Goldey-Beacom College can contact the Student Affairs Office to request security escorts.
- University of Delaware, Newark
- Wesley College, Dover
District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)
If you’re a Washington, D.C. resident, you may already be planning to attend this college—UDC graduates the most native residents of any D.C.-area school. But whether you’re coming from out of state or you’ve lived in the nation’s capital for years, UDC prioritizes your safety. Like ASU, UDC uses the free LiveSafe app to keep students in the loop about campus emergencies and let them access safety resources.
- College of William and Mary
- George Washington University
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (Bradenton, FL)
Of the three SCF campuses, the Bradenton campus is the safest. There are minimal instances of property crime on campus and no reported incidents of violent crime, including violence against women. Because of its location, SCF pays careful attention to issues like Zika. In response to the CDC’s warnings about the virus last year, the college committed to eliminate standing water quickly and use safe mosquito-control methods on campus.
- Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville
- Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa
Augusta University (Augusta, GA)
Students enjoy Augusta’s gorgeous views of the Savannah River, its high-quality graduate school and medical college, and its superior safety ranking. AU’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response offers department trainings. The university’s recommended RAVE Guardian app lets you call the Augusta public safety department and receive safety tips and updates.
- Brenau University, Gainesville
- University of North Georgia, Dahlonega
Hawai’i Pacific University (Honolulu, HI)
HPU is a welcoming global institution that hosts students from over 65 countries. Thanks to the university’s high safety rating, you can enjoy the ocean breeze, spirit of aloha, and academic excellence without worrying about crime. HPU contracts with security guards and employs its own in-house team to monitor its Ocean Institute, Downtown and Hawaii Loa campuses, and apartments at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
- University of Hawaii Maui College, Kahului
- University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu
Brigham Young University-Idaho (Rexburg, ID)
Even though it enrolls more students than any other Idaho college, BYU-Idaho has the lowest crime rates in the state. The Rexburg campus doesn’t experience much violent crime—instead, it has lovely views of Idaho’s Snake River Valley, hundreds of bachelor’s degrees from 33 different departments, and a 99% acceptance rate. The security and safety department offers helpful resources for staying safe on campus in a variety of situations.
- Idaho State University, Pocatello
- Boise State University, Boise
Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL)
Come to Northeastern for the low cost, Chicago location, and first-class programs. Northeastern Illinois University is the Midwest’s most ethnically diverse university. Its students also graduate with the least amount of debt in the region. Once you arrive, feel safe throughout your degree with N-Safe, NEIU’s rapid emergency notification system, and its thorough safety guides for everyone from cyclists to web users.
- Saint Xavier University, Chicago
- Dominican University, River Forest
Indiana University-Kokomo (Kokomo, IN)
IU-Kokomo offers more than 800 scholarships per year and keeps class sizes low so students can enjoy more mentorship time from their teachers. The university’s commitment to students’ success extends to their safety: you’ll find emergency call boxes across the campus and a comprehensive Victim Assistance Program. IU-Kokomo’s Coffee with a Cop Program lets students and faculty members meet with police officers to discuss concerns, present ideas, and ask questions.
- Indiana University-Southeast, New Albany
- Purdue University-North Central Campus, Westville
Morningside College (Sioux City, IA)
With a ratio of thirteen students per teacher, Morningside College offers a quality education that includes opportunities to study abroad in countries like Japan, Northern Ireland, and New Zealand. The 68-acre campus has very low numbers of violent crime, due in part to their 24-hour escort service and large Campus Safety and Security Office.
- Clarke University, Dubuque
- Iowa State University, Ames
Benedictine College (Atchison, KS)
This small Catholic-affiliated college offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to explore the world from their international campuses in Dublin and Florence. If you stay on the Atchison campus, you’ll enjoy opportunities to get to know the community through pilgrimages and service projects. Since 85% of students live on campus, you can look forward to a secure, tight-knit student community. If you’re an on-campus worker with evening hours, the police department is happy to provide an escort service all night long, starting at dusk.
- Central Christian College of Kansas, McPherson
- Newman University, Wichita
University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY)
The 125-year-old University of the Cumberlands strives for faculty excellence: more than 80% of their faculty members teach with the highest-possible degree in their chosen field, and over half of the professors have taught for ten years or more. Security cameras monitor most of the buildings. After hours, security personnel check IDs before admitting students to residence halls.
- Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights
- University of Louisville, Louisville
Louisiana State University-Alexandria (Alexandria, LA)
LSUA is Louisiana’s only state-supported undergraduate institution, and it takes the trust the state has in it seriously by maintaining high safety standards. The gorgeous campus is notable for its stately, 100-year-old oak trees and its high safety ratings. The LSUA University Police aim to exceed the standards set by the state and hold themselves strictly to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. You can review the department’s ethical commitment on the university’s website.
- McNeese State University, Lake Charles
- Nicholls State University, Thibodaux
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (Standish, ME)
At this private coeducational university, you can choose from over 40 majors and 30 minors. Students here get the best of both the quiet life and the city—Standish only has around 10,000 residents, but Portland is a short drive away, and you can reach Boston in a few hours. Along with safety, the college is especially attentive to student health: the Public Safety Department oversees the student-run College Emergency Medical Service, which offers on-campus medical assistance as quickly as possible.
- University of Southern Maine, Portland
- University of New England, Biddeford
Stevenson University (Stevenson, MD)
This relatively young college is committed to its students’ success: roughly 93% of graduates find employment or start graduate school within six months of graduation. The university’s experienced security staff is comprised of Maryland State Troopers and Baltimore County Police who serve when they’re off duty or retired. Students (and parents who want notifications about campus emergencies) can opt into the mobile alert program.
- University of Baltimore, Baltimore
- Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore
Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, MA)
Boston has excellent universities, but the city itself has high crime rates. Fortunately, at WIT, you can enjoy the historic city while you safely pursue a degree in a subject like technology management, design, architecture, or engineering. WIT uses the RAVE Alert Emergency Notification System to keep students up to date. The average undergraduate class size is just 15 students, so getting to know and trust your peers and professors is easy.
- University of Massachusetts-Boston, Boston
- Suffolk University, Boston
Baker College of Flint (Flint, MI)
Baker College of Flint both protects its students while they study and ensures they succeed after graduation. Career Services helps students find internships and work, and post-graduation, Lifetime Employment Services provides résumé and cover letter help. Security-wise, the campus stresses protecting students while respecting everyone’s innate dignity and human rights. Only the Campus Safety office can let students into classrooms outside typical meetings times. You can also get campus escorts, jump starts, and vehicle unlocking services from Campus Safety.
- Baker College of Muskegon, Muskegon
- Baker College of Jackson, Jackson
St. Catherine University (Saint Paul, MN)
St. Catherine University—also known at St. Kate’s—has a prestigious history dating back to 1905. To help the war effort, St. Kate’s expanded its nursing program in the 1940s. Now, it offers degrees in a variety of subjects and caters specifically to female undergraduates and nontraditional students. As you’d expect, violence against women on campus is extremely low. During fall and spring semesters, an intercampus bus channels students between the Saint Paul and Minneapolis campuses for free.
- Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul
- University of Minnesota-Crookston, Crookston
William Carey University (Hattiesburg, MS)
William Carey University is only a few hours away from larger cities like New Orleans, Mobile, and Jackson, but the 4,000 students who attend WCU also enjoy life in the smaller city of Hattiesburg. The campus commits to 24/7 security and quick responses to emergencies, including weather emergencies like tornadoes. The SaderWatch notification system keeps students prepared and safe.
- Belhaven University, Jackson
- Mississippi College, Clinton
Columbia College (Columbia, MO)
In 2017, The Military Times named Columbia College the best college for veterans, and the college has always ranked high on lists of military-friendly schools. Whether you’re a veteran or a recent high school graduate, Columbia College keeps you safe on campus with 24-hour security patrols, thorough emergency procedures, and quick response plans. Even with nearly 15,000 students, per capita crime rates are minimal.
- Webster University, Saint Louis
- Ranken Technical College, Saint Louis
University of Great Falls (Great Falls, MT)
This Catholic university was founded over 75 years ago with the help of the Sisters of Charity of Providence, who traveled to Montana to serve the area in the 1850s. The campus is beautiful, and Glacier and Yellowstone national parks are nearby. If you live on campus, you can get in touch with the Community Living Staff 24/7 for emergencies. Staff members also patrol the residence halls to ensure everyone stays safe at night.
- Montana State University-Billings, Billings
- Rocky Mountain College, Billings
Bellevue University (Bellevue, NE)
Whether you attend Bellevue to earn your bachelor’s, master, or doctorate degree, you’ll join a campus with a 50-year history of community service and student success. Along with providing ample safety and crime prevention trainings, Bellevue University’s Center for Health and Safety offers a list of mental and physical health resources at city, state, and national levels.
- University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha
- Chadron State College, Chadron
College of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas, NV)
Does it surprise you to learn that a campus with over 33,000 students in the heart of Las Vegas is the safest college in the state? The College of Southern Nevada does an amazing job of protecting its students from violence and property crime. Along with being the largest, safest college in the state, CSN is also the most ethnically diverse, and they offer more than 200 affordable certificates and degrees.
- University of Nevada-Reno, Reno
- Western Nevada College, Carson City
Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester, NH)
Like Columbia College, SNHU ranks high on lists of military-friendly schools. Students can find medical help and counseling services at the Wellness Center; the Office of Diversity Programs ensures minority students, teachers, and staff members feel safe and supported on campus. Campus Safety provides escorts and can send emergency alerts to both students and their parents or guardians.
- Plymouth State University, Plymouth
- Colby-Sawyer College, New London
New Jersey City University (Jersey City, NJ)
NJCU is committed to diversity: the university’s Fulbright Scholars travel the world, and NJCU proudly supports students from all backgrounds. Since nearly 97% of NJCU’s students commute, the university provides a shuttle service to and from parking lots for safety and convenience. Along with using the regular campus escort service, students can use the Knight Rider Safe Ride Service between 5 p.m. and midnight to travel to the nearby pharmacy, train station, and shopping center.
- Felician University, Lodi
- Farleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus
Eastern New Mexico University (Portales, NM)
ENMU’s application process is simple and free, and tuition is affordable. The campus hosts multiple museums, literature collections, and art galleries to complement its courses. ENMU PD employs both certified experienced police officers and student security officers, who primarily assist with parking and administration.
- New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas (NM)
- University of New Mexico-Main Campus, Albuquerque
CUNY Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY)
Whether you want to attend the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema or Murray Koppelman School of Business, CUNY will give you an excellent academic experience and an amazing cultural one in New York City. Even in such a large city, CUNY Brooklyn College keeps students safe with a good emergency notifications system and safety tips specific to New York City, like protecting yourself from theft on city subways.
- SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs
- Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City
Campbell University (Buies Creek, NC)
Of Campbell University’s 200+ faculty members, over 80% have achieved the highest possible level of education in their field. No matter which of Campbell’s 150 degrees you pursue, you’ll benefit from the campus’s participation in the Silent Witness program and the addition of a cycling police patrol that accesses areas cars can’t.
- Methodist University, Fayetteville
- East Carolina University, Greenville
Dickinson State University (Dickinson, ND)
With no instances of violent crime or crimes against women and only minimal property crime, Dickinson State University is North Dakota’s safest campus. The college wellness department promotes mental, physical, and emotional health for its 1,300 students, and bystander intervention training by Campus Security teaches students to take an active role in reducing harassment, assault, and bullying.
- Bismarck State College, Bismarck
- University of Mary, Bismarck
Youngstown State University (Youngstown, OH)
YSU is a research university conveniently located between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The university is serious about ensuring students have the funding they need to excel: they give out more than $125 million per year in financial aid. All four on-campus residence halls have housing coordinators, student resident assistants, and 24-hour front desk assistants to ensure students are safe. PenguinAlert lets students register two cell phones and two email accounts for safety notifications.
- University of Akron Main Campus, Akron
- University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima
Cameron University (Lawton, OK)
Cameron University has existed for nearly as long as the state of Oklahoma—since 1908. Once an agricultural college, it now offers many bachelor’s programs and several master’s degrees. The Public Safety department is available to assist you 24/7. Because of the university’s location, the office also gives crucial tornado-safety tips and has approved safe areas in every building on campus.
- Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma City
- Oral Roberts University, Tulsa
Concordia University-Portland (Portland, OR)
As a small, Lutheran-affiliated school, Concordia University-Portland has the resources to help every student succeed. The campus is committed to diversity and has many multicultural partnerships and campus-hosted multicultural organizations and activities. The Office of University Innovation invites students and community members to develop their creativity, and the Department of Public Safety keeps crime to a minimum while students enjoy the gorgeous, lively Portland area.
- Oregon State University, Corvallis
- George Fox University, Newberg
Holy Family University (Philadelphia, PA)
HFU’s faculty members carry on the mission of the founding Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, who started the school in the 1930s to train teachers and improve the surrounding community. Students are automatically enrolled in the university’s emergency notification system, and family members can request access as well. The shuttle system runs students around campus in the morning and early afternoon, as well as between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. so students with late-night classes get home safely.
- Misericordia University, Dallas
- Alvernia University, Reading
Rhode Island College (Providence, RI)
RIC has a fantastic teacher/student ratio of 1:20, and its honors program reduces the already-small class size to an average of 15. The college offers undergraduate research opportunities, especially in departments like physics and nursing. RIC uses the Green Dot prevention program to help students see public safety as a community effort. The program empowers bystanders to recognize and intervene when sexual harassment and bullying occur on campus.
- Johnson & Wales University-Providence, Providence
- Bryant University, Smithfield
Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, SC)
LRU has a $5 million endowment, small class sizes, a 125-year history. The Department of Security Services escorts students across campus on request; they also escort students to local pharmacies or medical departments any time of day or night. Security Services takes excellent care of the grounds and facilities—the campus is well-lit, bushes are trimmed, and students can report safety hazards to the department online.
- Charleston Southern University, Charleston
- Francis Marion University, Florence
Dakota State University (Madison, SD)
DSU specializes in computer technology, but it also offers degrees and certificates in security education, accounting, exercise science, and dozens of other subjects. As part of the Office of Safety & Security, the Department of Environmental Health & Safety ensures that students work and learn in a completely safe and healthy environment. The community resources page helps students figure out who to contact for help in different situations, both on a local and campus level
- University of South Dakota, Vermillion
- Northern State University, Aberdeen
Christian Brothers University (Memphis, TN)
CBU boasts the distinction of being Memphis’ first college. 96% of the university’s full-time undergraduate students qualify for and receive some type of financial assistance; on average, each student receives slightly over $15,000 in aid. The university has an active student life with over 40 student clubs. To protect students, the police department ensures the campus is thoroughly lit. They also use security cameras and regularly patrol the campus.
- Belmont University, Nashville
- East Tennessee State University, Johnson City
South Texas College (McAllen, TX)
STC aims to make your education as affordable as possible: most students graduate with zero debt, and more than 80% of the full-time students get financial assistance from the university. The college offers four bachelor’s degrees and over 100 one- and two-year career-oriented programs. The campus has an enhanced 911 system, which means that when a caller dials 911 from a campus or hallway phone, dispatch automatically and immediately receives the caller’s location.
- Wayland Baptist University, Plainview
- Midland College, Midland
Utah Valley University (Orem, UT)
Utah Valley University has grown from a small state college to the largest campus in Utah. Orem, Utah is small enough to feel cozy and near enough to Salt Lake City to give students ample international opportunities, including visits to the Sundance Film Festival and opportunities for world-class skiing. UVU is clear about its intent to create a safe learning environment for its students: many “safe zones” exist around campus. Offices like LGBT Student Services and the Equity in Education Training & Resource Center help students feel safe within the community.
- Weber State University, Ogden
- Dixie State University, Saint George
Champlain College (Burlington, VT)
Around 95% of Champlain College’s 2016 graduating class found employment at least six month after graduating. First-year students don’t have to wait to get involved in their field of study: with the college’s “upside-down curriculum,” freshmen can take important classes in their majors right off the bat. Some of the study abroad opportunities include programs in China, Morocco, and New Zealand. The campus takes multiple measures to keep students safe, including a daily crime log that ensures students know what’s going on across campus.
- Norwich University, Northfield
- Johnson State College, Johnson
Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA)
The world’s largest Christian university has over 80,000 students and confers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, associates, and specialist degrees from nearly 550 programs. The university also takes care of its own—95% of the study body is granted financial assistance. The LU police department’s safe ride program is available every hour of the day, every day of the year. The victim/witness information form makes it easier for students to report a crime.
- Regent University, Virginia Beach
- Virginia Union University, Richmond
Whitworth University (Spokane, WA)
First-year students at Whitworth University receive an average of $34,000 in financial aid, and the university’s student-loan default rate is just 1.8% as opposed to the nationwide average of 11.8%. Choose Whitworth for a safe atmosphere and a chance to join the Ethics Bowl team, present at conferences, and learn from world-class educators. The university keeps students safe with support from counselors and a City Cab after-hours transportation for students who need medical care.
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kirkland
- Cascadia College, Bothell
West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Parkersburg
In 2015, tuition at West Virginia University at Parkersburg for West Virginia and Ohio residents was less than $3,000. To keep costs low, students only pay for their first 12 credit hours per semester; your tuition and fees won’t increase for each credit over 12. The university’s Social Justice Committee focuses on issues like discrimination, anti-bullying training, and safe-zone training. Students can report concerns to the Threat Assessment Team, which evaluates potential safety risks to the community.
- West Virginia University, Morgantown
- Bluefield State College, Bluefield
Concordia University-Wisconsin (Mequon, WI)
Concordia University-Wisconsin is one of the USA’s ten Lutheran-affiliated Concordia Universities. Like CU-Portland in Oregon, CU-Wisconsin boasts the safest campus in the state. As you pursue one of the university’s undergraduate, graduate, or professional degrees, you can contact the Campus Safety Office 24/7/365 for escorts or other assistance.
- Viterbo University, La Crosse
- Edgewood College, Madison
University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
The University of Wyoming is the only public university in the state to offer four-year degrees. Over 14,000 students attend each year—including students from all 50 states and from 90 countries. The UWPD makes it easy for students to participate in campus safety by accepting anonymous tips over text. Risk Management and Safety also ensures the campus stays safe even in Wyoming’s harsh winter weather conditions.
The data in this article was collected by the US Department of Education as seen on https://ope.ed.gov/campussafety/#/