No matter where one stands politically, the safety of students at colleges in 2020 may be giving quite a few families some anxiety. Outside of the question of whether or not campuses will be open, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the question of the safety and security of students is an important one. Safety and security are, in many cases, one of the deciding factors of where to attend school.
Families should feel comfortable with their loved ones attending a college or university that might be far away from home and students should certainly feel safe on campus. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Thanks to the effort of many individuals, some of whom have themselves experienced violence or crime on campus, annual security reports, crime hotlines as well as many other measures have been implemented at colleges and universities in order to protect students across the country.
These ten schools are known for their safe campuses, excellent public safety and police departments with numerous resources and a good record. Surrounded by secure and protected towns and cities with very little crime, the colleges represented by the college towns on this list are some of the safest in the U.S. for prospective students.
The resources used by OnlineSchoolsCenter.com in compiling this ranking can be found below:
- National Council for Home Safety and Security
- Campus Safety and Security
- Neighborhood Scout
- Area Vibes
This ranking was built according to the crime statistics that have occurred both on the college campuses and in the towns themselves. Safety and security were based on information gained from resources documenting currently reported law violations of all natures. OnlineSchoolsCenter.com chose to include both satellite campuses and main campuses on this index, as well as schools with either a large or small student enrollment in order to give readers a broad understanding of safe college and university towns.
PENN STATE LEHIGH VALLEY
Center Valley, PA
Penn State Lehigh Valley is a small satellite campus of Pennsylvania State University. The Department of Police and Public Safety believes in keeping students and faculty educated on the latest guidelines for personal safety and security and regularly holds awareness programs and seminars in crime prevention. Campus security maintains a close partnership with the local police department in maintaining safety throughout the school. Medical and security responses are well-implemented and effective at Penn State Lehigh Valley as well.
Total Enrollment: 913 (2019)
Located near Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Center Valley is a small town with an excellent crime index from NeighborhoodScout.com. Most of the crime that occurs is property-related, which affects about 6% per 1,000 residents. Chances of being the victim of a violent crime in Center Valley are about 1 in 2,000. The local police department maintains an excellent watch over this little town and his effective strategies and programs in place for keeping the peace.
Population: 11,767 (2019)
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CLARKS SUMMIT UNIVERSITY
Clarks Summit, PA
Clarks Summit University is located on a beautiful campus with an excellent reputation for public safety and with little to no reported incidents of crime or illicit behavior in recent years. The Safety and Security Department is staffed by guards who are available 24-hours/day and who constantly patrol the campus and academic buildings. The student population has a strong reputation for civility among one another, and there are rarely rule infractions or disciplinary actions taken. Individuals can feel at ease on this university campus.
Total Enrollment: 990 (2019)
According to the statistical resources utilized by OnlineSchoolsCenter.com, the vast majority of the Clarks Summit, which is near Scranton, Pennsylvania, includes include the safest areas. Very rarely are crimes committed in this town, and those that do are typically burglary and theft-related, as opposed to violent crimes. But, once again, occurrences of law violations of any kind are seldom reported to the police department. Public transportation is excellent and far-reaching, and there are plenty of safe and fun amenities available throughout the Clarks Summit.
Population: 4,713 (2017)
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Rockville Centre, NY
There are no documented or reported crimes on Molloy College Campus in the last several years. The only violations that have happened are connected to students with alcohol offenses. However, there are no reported cases of students with drug offenses. The Molloy College campus is one of the very safest neighborhoods in the city of Rockville Centre, where students can feel comfortable walking about the area at any time. There are numerous resources available to the student population in any medical, imminent danger, illicit substance, or other public safety-related issues.
Total Enrollment: 3,534 (2019)
Rockville Centre in Nassau County, New York, is a small, quiet town and is one of the oldest towns in the state. Very few crimes occur each year that affects a nearly insignificant percentage of the population. This town attracts high-class citizens, and, while the cost of living is higher than average, it is a safe and welcoming area. It is well-known for its high-quality education, local amenities, and excellent employment rates.
Population: 24,848 (2019)
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Law violations at Oakland University are incredibly rare, and there have been no reported crimes in some academic years, despite it being one of the larger schools on this list. There have been some occurrences of burglary and sexual assault, but such incidences happen very occasionally and are handled by the responsive campus security and police—chances of being a victim of any type of crime in Rochester, MI, are 1 in over 1,600. Most violations that take place at Oakland University are related to drugs and alcohol, and such infractions take place only once in a while. Oakland U’s Director of Media Relations, Brian Bierley says, “Our police department works on campus safety initiatives and community education.”
Total Enrollment: 19,309: undergraduate and graduate students (2018)
While the campus mailing address is Rochester, MI, the campus is physically located in the cities of Rochester Hills, MI (population 74,205), and Auburn Hills, MI (population 23,296). The town of Rochester, Michigan, located within minutes from campus, not only has a crime rate that is 74% lower than the average national rate, as well as 68% lower than that of the entire state. It also has incredible housing opportunities and local amenities. Citizens of Rochester are happy and content and carry a feeling of safety and security. There are also numerous safe and fun amenities available throughout the towns, such as fitness centers, scuba training, outdoor activities and parks, and restaurants.
Population: 12,711 (2018)
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Image Provided by Brian Bierley, Director of Media Relations, Oakland University
THE BAPTIST COLLEGE OF FLORIDA
With academics, principles, and traditions firmly rooted in the tenets of Christianity, this campus is a calm, focused environment that is free from the typical college party atmosphere. The Annual Security Report, which is developed by BCF campus security and the Graceville Police Department, shows that zero criminal activity of any kind occurred on campus in either 2017 or 2018, which includes both violent and non-violent crimes. Even so, Campus Security is tight at BCF and keeps the students and faculty safe from environmental and physical threats.
Total Enrollment: 448
Graceville, Florida, is another small town that is free from most of the crimes that plague cities across the nation. Within the last year, there have been only single reports of either assault or violent crimes. There have also been very few incidents of property crime and theft, which are the types of crimes that occur most in the town of Graceville, however, with only a minimal amount of reported incidents each year.
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TEMPLE UNIVERSITY AMBLER
Temple University Ambler, known simply as Ambler Campus, has had zero documented crime, arrests, or disciplinary actions recorded in the last several years, according to Campus Safety and Security. The area surrounding the school is replete with outdoor activities, restaurants, theaters, and shops where students can spend time with each other and the community and feel safe. The Temple University Police Department has offices on the Ambler Campus, and the Main Campus units respond when necessary, as well.
Total Enrollment: unavailable
Ambler is a small town about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia and home to a satellite campus of the prestigious Temple University. Reported incidents of rape, robbery, theft, and violent crimes are a fraction of the amount that occurs throughout the state and the country. This beautiful town has a high property value as well as a high class of citizens, and the area is well-taken-care-of by the local government, police department, and the residents themselves.
Population: 6,521 (2019)
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ALICE LLOYD COLLEGE
Pippa Passes, KY
Within the last five years, Alice Lloyd College has had no documented or reported crimes or arrests, via the resources utilized by OnlineSchoolsCenter.com. There have also been almost zero disciplinary actions taken against students, and of the few that have occurred, they were due to drug and alcohol violations on campus. ALC has a limited party scene on campus, and there is a strong community atmosphere alive on campus where faculty, staff, and students take care of and look after one another. According to the ALC Daily Incident Report, there haven’t been any occurrences of either fire or crime at this school for two years.
Total Enrollment: 598 (2017)
The hamlet of Pippa Passes, Kentucky, is a town that operates under a home-rule style government and is maintained by the citizens. Due to its small size and watchful inhabitants, there is little to no crime at all in this town, and much of the community is employed at the college. However, despite the unlikely occurrence of crime, there are still regulations in place both at the Pippa Passes Police Department and at Alice Lloyd College to prevent crime and fire, and emergency response systems for those in need.
Population: 661 (2019)
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The criminal offenses on and off-campus at Elon University have been on a massively downward trend since 2015, with very few occurrences of physical and sexual assault or burglary happening recently. Disciplinary actions have been taken against students engaging in drug and alcohol-related crimes, but, since 2015, no charges have been filed against students carrying weapons. There are numerous systems, programs, and apps available, such as the LiveSafe App, that allow students to have direct communication access to university security and police.
Total Enrollment: 6,791 (2018)
The town of Elon sees a fraction of the amount of crime that occurs throughout the state and the country—crime rates are 84% lower than the average in North Carolina and 85% lower than the average throughout the nation. According to statistical resources, per 100,000 people, less than one percent of citizens are affected by theft, assault, or violent crimes in Elon. The Elon University Police Department utilizes “problem-solving policing,” by interacting with the school and local communities to nurture a safe environment.
Population: 10,227 (2017)
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE
The Public Safety Department at the University of California Irvine supplies a multitude of amenities and resources to both the campus and its students, as well as to the surrounding city. Faculty members are well-trained in the procedures following emergencies and incidents that occur on campus during class time. Students can serve as Community Service Officer and work in collaboration with the UCI Police Department to further ensure the safety of the campus and their fellow students, and community members can join the S.A.F.E.R. Program to do the same thing for their hometown. Multiple systems are in place to keep students’ and citizens’ safe, as well as their property.
Total Enrollment: 35,220 (2018)
Very recently, Irvine, California was named the number one safest city in America due to its incredibly low crime rate. Violent crimes are incredibly rare, in particular—chances of being a victim of such incidents are 1 in 1,500. Students and citizens alike can feel quite safe walking the sunny city streets of Irvine, especially around the campus of the University of California. Crime rates have been on a downward trend for the last four consecutive years.
Population: 277,453 (2019)
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BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY-IDAHO
Brigham Young University-Idaho has been established as the safest college campus in the nation by many reliable and reputable statistics-based resources. This campus has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with very few occurrences of physical and sexual assault or burglary and theft. The Public Safety Office at BYU-Idaho provides numerous services to the student population, for example, assistance with vehicles (jumpstarts, lockouts, etc.), safety escorts after dark with a safety officer, a mass notification alerts, and well-established emergency response and evacuation systems.
Total Enrollment: 20,226 (2018)
Similarly, low crime rates occur in the surrounding town of Rexburg, and, compared to the national average, the number of reported incidents is drastically less in number. Rexburg is safer than 83% of towns throughout the United States and is one of the very safest regions in all of Idaho. Of all of the incidents reported to the police in 2018, only 11 were of a violent nature.
Population: 28,337 (2019)