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Safest Colleges in America in 2024

In recent years, institutions have increasingly prioritized campus safety. This article explores the safest colleges in America as of 2024.

May 15, 2024
  • Education
  • Student Tips
Safest Colleges in America

Choosing the right college is a significant decision for students and their families. Our student report from 2022 showed that 74% of 20,000+ students were concerned about their safety when considering a study location.

If you're planning to study in the US, and you'd like to know which colleges are the safest based on various factors, this article is for you.

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General overview on college crime statistics

In 2022, there were 38,303 reported criminal offenses across 5,783 institutions with 10,530 campuses.

Out of those 38,303 reported offenses:

  • 90% (34,542 reports) were at 4-year institutions
  • 77% (29,562) were on-campus
  • 55% (20,946) were at public institutions

In the same year, 2,042 hate crimes were reported, which was an increase of 147% from the previous year. According to NCES, the majority of hate crimes tend to be racially motivated, and enacted via intimidation.

Criteria for ranking safest college campuses

The ranking of the safest colleges in America can be influenced by a variety of factors including campus crime rates, the availability of safety services, and community crime statistics.

Our recommendations are based on the data we've gathered from the US Department of Education CSS surveys, USA Today and Academic Influence breakdown.

No college is 100% safe

Please keep in mind that no college is completely free of crime. While colleges take student safety seriously, they can't guarantee absolute protection from every and all possible threats. There are always going to be bad actors, but researching available options and preparing in advance can mitigate a lot of potential risks.

Additional resources

If you'd like to do more research on college safety, you can use the following resources:

Safest colleges in America

5. Princeton University

  • Main campus enrollments: 8,842
  • Reported crimes: 70

Princeton University's criminal offense rate is 0.7% which is slightly higher than other institutions on this list, but the numbers show that two-thirds of these offenses are motor vehicle thefts. The number of offenses in every other category has been slowly declining in the last decade.

The school's Department of Public Safety, made up of 100+ members, provides regular patrols, oversees measures taken to curb crime, and serves resources and guidance for students' safety.

4. Purdue University

  • Main campus enrollments: 25,979
  • Reported crimes: 83

The Purdue University Police Department provides a range of safety and security measures, including but not limited to:

  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT): county-wide network involving hospitals, counselors, courts and law enforcement officers
  • Laptop Computer Registration
  • Lighting on Campus
  • Public Records Request
  • Safe Walk Program
  • Student Security Patrol

The university is Clery Act-compliant.

3. Bridgewater State University

  • Main campus enrollments: 9,604
  • Reported crimes: 23

Bridgewater State University is Clery Act compliant. Read their latest annual safety report.

While the city of Bridgewater has seen an increase in crime the in the last few years, the Bridgewater State University has stayed quite safe thanks to its dedicated campus police department, CARE (Crisis, Assessment, Referral, Evaluation) Team and even a dedicated Rave Guardian app.

2. University of Idaho

  • Main campus enrollments: 11,507
  • Reported crimes: 18

The University of Idaho is Clery Act compliant.

The U of I Campus Security Team provides a 24/7, 365-days-per-year campus patrol, as well as a free campus walking service at any time of day.

What's more, the Security Team collaborates closely with various city departments and emergency services, including the Moscow Police, Fire Department, Paramedics, as well as the Facilities Department and Building Services. This ensures an especially high standard for student safety.

The city of

1. University of Massachusetts

  • Main campus enrollments: 32,229
  • Reported crimes: 46

University of Massachusetts has implemented a Blue Light System, which makes it easy for students to report threats via security alarms mounted on blue posts.

What's more, UMass also offers lots of resources and services to help its students stay safe, such as:

  • UMPD escort service, where students can request an escort when walking alone across campus, especially at night
  • PVTA transit system for UMass students, comprised of campus shuttle and buses
  • A complex alarm system for dorm buildings

Amherst, the location of University of Massachusetts main campus, has seen a slight increase in crimes from 2021, but it's still well below the US average.

Safest colleges in America: data table

InstitutionEnrollmentsReported crimesCrime rate
University of Massachusetts32,229460.14%
University of Idaho11,507180.16%
Bridgewater State University9,604230.24%
Purdue University25,979830.31%
Princeton University8,842700.79%

Data source: USA Today criminal offense reports for main campuses in 2022