From the domestic violence related death of college senior Yeardley Love to the sit-ins and pepper spraying at UC Davis, parents and prospective college students are looking into more than just tuition costs when it comes to picking out a college. To help make an informed decision, StateUniversity.com, one of the “go to” websites when researching information about college, just released a new ranking of the safest colleges and universities in the U.S. The Safest Schools findings are based on incidents of campus crime as reported by campus safety officials. Safety ratings are determined based on the number of occurrences of aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft/larceny, motor vehicle theft, forcible rape, and murder on campus, and then are weighed based on the probability of each incident happening to each student since naturally larger campuses would be expected to have a higher number of total incidents. Violent crime is given more weight in the ranking system, and has a greater effect on the safety rating than non-violent crime such as theft.
The ranking presents interesting data about which schools are safest. There is no apparent correlation between campus crime rates and perceived academic quality. Among the top 50 safest schools, you won’t see many well-known national universities commonly found atop college ranking lists. In fact, the large state universities and prestigious colleges that are “household names” in many parts of the country are scattered all over the list.
The top 10 safest schools nationwide are:
1) Arkansas State University, Beebe Campus– Beebe, AR
2) Louisiana State University — Eunice, LA
3) The University of Virginia’s College at Wise– Wise, VA
4) Lake Land College– Mattoon, IL
5) Central Texas College– Killeen, TX
6) Delgado Community College– New Orleans, LA
7) Erskine Collegea nd Seminary — Due West, SC
8) Southern University at New Orleans– New Orleans, LA
9) Virginia Western Community College– Roanoke, VA
10) Edison State College– Fort Myers, FL
You can check out the 2011 safety rankings here.
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