It can be easy to get lost when researching the best college for you or a family member. From academics to athletics and everything in between, prioritizing your list of must-haves can be difficult. However, safety is an item that should always make the top of the list.

Below are four colleges that make it easy to see what they’re doing to keep their students, staff and faculty safe and sound.

1. University of Utah

With a sprawling campus that covers over 1,800 acres and supports more than 30,000 students and over 13,000 staff it’s not a small job to keep this Utah university safe and crime free, but the Department of Public Safety works hard to do so. The addition of multiple sports and arts venues, as well as three hospitals, adds to the burden of this astute security team. University of Utah police patrol the campus 24 hours a day and also offer a variety of crime prevention and personal safety programs to the college and surrounding community. Every semester campus-wide safety awareness campaigns are part of the orientation for new students and an annual program, “Walk in the Dark,” makes sure the campus remains safe for all students by adding extra lighting to dark areas and removing obstructions like bushes and tree branches.

Safe colleges

2. Emerson College

This Massachusetts college started as a small school of oratory, but has expanded to prepare its students for all aspects of the ever-changing world of communication and the arts. And communication doesn’t stop in the lecture hall – this college has a proactive campus emergency alert system courtesy of the Emerson College Police Department. Working in close concert with the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police, Emerson’s campus police focus on crime prevention and awareness to help keep their campus as safe as possible for all students, staff and faculty. Ad it looks like they’re doing a great job, with no robberies, vehicle thefts or liquor law violations reported in 2012. Emerson is a college that definitely seems to foster both intellectual development and personal security.

safe colleges

3. Boise State University

Well-known for its Bronco-blue football field, this Idaho university nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains takes campus security just as seriously as it takes winning football games. Campus Security and Police Services offers security and emergency services to protect its student body 24/7. Some of the programs offered include security escorts, residence hall security and an anonymous “Silent Witness” tipster programs that makes it easy for students to report crimes or suspicious behavior without fear of reprisal. Boise State is also equipped with strategically located emergency telephones and alarm system monitoring throughout campus. Just because it’s located in a city with a lower crime rate than the national average, that hasn’t made this university any less diligent in their efforts to keep students, faculty and staff safe.

safe colleges

4. Middlebury College

Vermont’s Middlebury College is highly regarded for its accomplishments as a classical liberal arts college and also for providing a safe and secure environment for its students, staff and faculty. As a residential college, strong emphasis is placed on preserving both personal safety and environmental sustainability. The community sensibility of the campus has helped keep crime down, with no aggravated assaults, murders, vehicle thefts or robberies reported from 2010-2012. The campus Department of Public Safety is driven by its mission to support the educational goals of the college by protecting property and persons and offering services that contribute to an effective living and learning environment.  With services from late night escorts and bicycle registration to help with jumping a dead battery, the department makes every effort to maintain a safe and secure campus for its approximately 2,500 students. It’s no wonder this college was ranked number four by “U.S. News & World Report” as one of the top National Liberal Arts Colleges of 2014.

Safe colleges

What does your local college or university do to keep students safe?

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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