25 Safest College Campuses in 2016

There is a pretty extensive list of things you have to worry about when you decide to leave home and head for college grounds, and in a perfect world, staying safe on campus wouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately, campus safety is not created equally, and some schools tend to outperform the rest.

We took a look at the data and settled on a list of the 25 safest post-secondary schools across the nation, exhibiting the least amount of on-campus crime per capita than their fellow campuses. Rest assured you can walk to class, take a seat on the quad or catch all the Pokémon you desire at the following safest college campuses with at least some peace of mind.

The Top 25 Safest College Campuses in the United States

25. Utah State University

Crime Index: 484:1

The USU campus is located in Logan, Utah and maintains an institution size of over 27,000 students. Over the last few years, various “safest college campus” lists have included Utah State, and it makes our list at number 25. From 2010-2014, 56 on-campus crimes were committed, averaging about 11 crimes per academic year. Students have said that campus police are prompt and responsive, and the University operates a text-message system to alert students and faculty of any instances.

24. Florida Gulf Coast University


Florida Gulf Coast’s main campus. (Flickr)

Crime Index: 517:1

Florida Gulf Coast University has its main campus in Lee County and is part of the State University System of Florida. FGCU students say on-campus crime is rare, and they generally feel safe walking around school grounds and the data mirrors these musings. On average, less than six crimes are committed on campus per year.

23. Farmingdale State College

Crime Index: 525:1

Farmingdale State College is the oldest public University on Long Island as well as one of the safest campuses in the country. Over 8,000 students attend the 380-acre campus. Crime on school grounds isn’t a common occurrence, with only three crimes committed on average per year. The school offers 24-hour patrols, emergency telephones, and controlled building access to keep crime at a minimum.

22. University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Crime Index: 563:1

Our third Wisconsin school on the list, UW-River Falls is situated on the Kinnickinnic River and has a modest enrollment of approximately 6,000 students. 11 on-campus crimes were committed from 2010-2014, with only one crime committed in both 2012 and 2014. The University has its own police department and over 20 emergency phones scattered throughout campus.

21. Mercy College

Crime Index:

With its main campus in the village of Dobbs Ferry, Mercy College serves as a private, 4-year college in New York State.  The school has an enrollment of over 11,000 students and does an admirable job keeping its patrons as safe as possible. According to the data, only four crimes are committed on-campus per academic year. Many students attest that the campus is relatively drug-free, and the school offers 24-hour safety patrols to deter crime and keep the campus safe.

20. College of Staten Island CUNY

Crime Index: 598:1

Of the 11 4-year schools within the CUNY system, the College of Staten Island ranks highest on our list of 25 safest college campuses. Less than five on-campus crimes are committed on average each year, despite an enrollment of over 14,000. Students have noted that the campus is well-lit, and there are a multitude of security posts that can be activated if they require assistance.

19. New Jersey City University

Crime Index: 626:1

Like the name suggests, New Jersey City University is located in Jersey City, NJ and is considered the safest public four-year college or university in the state. Only 13 crimes total were committed from 2010-2014, with only one crime committed in 2014. The University credits foot patrols, card-swipe building access, campus shuttles and more to this low crime rate.

18. University of California-Merced

Crime Index: 627:1

Located in the San Joaquin Valley, the University of California-Merced is the newest of the UC campuses. Despite a tragic incident in 2015, UC Merced is a relatively secure campus. The University maintains its own police department and most students say they feel safe because of it. On average, just two crimes are committed on-campus per academic year.

17. Nova Southeastern University

Crime Index: 653:1

Nova Southeastern University is a private research institution in Fort Lauderdale, FL, offering a variety of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. On-campus crime is taken very seriously by the University, and the school Security Magazine metioned the school for its nationally recognized model for campus safety. From 2010-2014, 37 on-campus crimes were committed, despite an enrollment size of over 24,000 students.

16. Savannah College of Art and Design

Crime Index: 667:1

SCAD is a private, non-profit college with its main campus in Savannah, GA. Though the city itself can be dangerous, the school does an admirable job of keeping on-campus crime rates low. Many students have commented that the SCAD buildings are incredibly secure, with most requiring a valid school ID to enter. Also, the school offers shuttle services so students can get from building to building without incidence. Because of these efforts, less than four crimes are committed on-campus each year.

15. Indian River State College

Crime Index: 679:1

IRSC is an accredited state college headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida and was named one of the best community colleges in the U.S. by the Aspen Institute. Despite the school’s open door policy, on-campus crime remains low. On average, only five on-campus crimes are committed on campus per academic year.

14. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University. (Flickr)

Johns Hopkins University. (Flickr)

Crime Index: 712:1

Though the off-campus Baltimore area has seen a rise in violent crime, recent security efforts by the University have resulted in a marked improvement in the number of on-campus crimes committed.  With a total enrollment size of over 21,000 students, on-campus crime per capita is relatively low. The active on-campus security presence at JHU allows students can feel safe walking to class or around campus after-hours.

13. Colorado Mountain College

Crime Index: 713:1

Nestled within the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Mountain College offers 2-year associate degrees as well as a handful of Bachelor’s degrees to nearly 6,000 students. Only eight crimes were committed on-campus from 2010-2014, with the years 2011 and 2012 being completely crime-free.

12. Saint Leo University

Crime Index: 779:1

Saint Leo University is a non-profit, Catholic University located in Saint Leo, Florida. The institution heralds itself as one of the safest campuses in Florida, and it makes our list as the twelfth safest campus in the U.S. Despite an enrollment of over 16,000 students, only four on-campus crimes are committed, on average, per academic year. The safety department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week so students can rest assured they are well taken care of.

11. The New School

Crime Index: 806:1

Originally chartered as an academic haven for scholars escaping Nazi Germany, the New School, located in New York’s Greenwich Village, seems to have maintained this feeling of security for its students. The school experiences a relatively small amount of on-campus crime for its enrollment size, with less than three crimes committed per academic year. The New School’s progressive philosophy fosters a safe and accepting learning environment, according to students and faculty.

10. College of Central Florida

Crime Index: 881:1

With its main campus in Ocala, FL, the College of Central Florida offers a variety of Bachelors and Associates degrees to approximately 8,000 students. Only nine on-campus crimes were documented throughout the designated five-year span, with no crimes reported in 2011 and 2014.

9. University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

The Mississippi River cuts through the UW-La Crosse campus. (Flickr)

The Mississippi River cuts through the UW-La Crosse campus. (Flickr)

Crime Index: 889:1

UW-La Crosse ranks ninth on our list and first in the UW System for safest college campuses. Due in large part to a fully-sworn police presence and an abundance of emergency telephones scattered throughout campus, only 12 on-campus crimes were reported from 2010-2014, which is fairly impressive considering an enrollment size of almost 11,00 students.

8. Governors State University

Crime Index: 1155:1

Despite its proximity to Chicago, Governors State University in University Park, IL is one of the safest places to study. According to the Annual Security and Fire Report, it is ranked as the safest public campus in Illinois, with only five on-campus crimes committed between 2010-2014. The university credits their strong relationship with the community and local police for this safe environment.

7. Colorado Christian University

Crime Index: 1157:1

Colorado Christian University is small, private college nestled in the Rocky Mountain region of Lakewood, CO. With an institution size of nearly 6,000 students, on-campus crime is relatively low, with only one crime committed on average per academic year. Many students report that underage alcohol and drug use is rare, and those who choose to partake venture off-campus to do so.

6 Fashion Institute of Technology

Crime Index: 1221:1

Competing among the best fashion schools in the world, FIT in Manhattan is a mecca for students interested in studying art, business, design and other related programs. Though the school is home to upwards of 9,700 students, the campus averages less than two on-campus crimes per academic year. This is due in large part to FIT’s private shuttle service, officer escorts, and strict building entry policies.

5. University of Houston-Clear Lake

Crime Index: 1238:1

Surrounded by a 524-acre nature and wildlife preserve, the UHCL is a relatively safe place to be. The modestly sized campus totals less than 9,000 students and reported only seven crimes committed on campus within the five-year span. Students often credit its secure environment as one of the top reasons they chose to attend the University.

4. Florida SouthWestern State College

Crime Index: 1399:1

Originally named Edison Junior College, Florida SouthWestern College offers two and four-year degrees to over 15,000 students in the southwest of Florida. According to the data, crime on school grounds is a rare occurrence, with only 11 reported crimes throughout the designated search years. Students can thank the institution’s Department of Public Safety and Safety Committee for this peace of mind.

3. Pace University – New York

Crime Index: 1607:1

Located in the midst of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, Pace University – New York seems to be a haven of security within the Big Apple. With nearly 13,000 students enrolled, the campus averages only two crimes per academic year. The university employs highly trained security staff and maintains a Security Awareness program to keep students up to date with alerts and other safety-related info.

2. Concordia University Wisconsin

Crime Index: 1632:1

Concordia’s Wisconsin campus is headquartered in Mequon, WI and services over 8,000 students. The faith-based institution averages less than two crimes per academic year, racking up only five total from 2010-2014. The city of Mequon is often ranked among the safest cities in Wisconsin, and the school itself places great emphasis on campus security and maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

1. Brigham Young University – Idaho


BYU Idah. (Flickr)

BYU Idaho. (Flickr)

Crime Index: 1744:1

Located in Rexburg, Idaho, BYU’s Idaho campus is perched proudly at the top of our list as the safest college campus in the U.S. For an institution of over 17,000 people, the on-campus crime rate is staggeringly low. From 2010 to 2014, there were only 21 on-campus crimes, totaling less crime per capita than any other university.

The school’s CES Honor Code, a list of rules that students must comply to, which was put in place to help foster a safe and virtuous environment, seems to help the school keep crime at bay.


We analyzed over 500 colleges and universities during the data collection process. 4-year public/private, non-profit institutions with an institution size of over 5,000 individuals, as well as on-campus housing facilities, were taken into consideration.

To establish our list, we used information and statistics from the U.S. Department Education’s Campus and Security database. Criminal offenses on-campus from the years 2010-2014 were analyzed and compared with the institution size to determine the school’s Crime Index (Crime Index = Institution size/number of criminal offenses on campus).

Note: Not included in this ranking were any schools with the majority of students enrolled in online learning programs, though we’re sure the comfort of your home is probably pretty safe as well.

Callie Kollenbroich has been the Operations Coordinator and Content Writer/Editor at Rent College Pads since 2015. When she's not working, you can find her at home, eating peanut butter out of the jar and bingeing an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. She's not as lame as she sounds.

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