Sometimes a well-known name isn’t the most important factor, especially when it comes to finding the perfect match in a college or university. There are hidden educational gems all across the country and not only do these lesser-known universities keep pace with the big state colleges academically, but they do a fine job of ensuring safety and security for their staff, faculty and students.

Here are four colleges you may not be familiar with, but you’ll want to learn more about thanks to their outstanding safety records.

1. Davenport University

Davenport Safe Colleges in the USImage: Dwight Burdette; CC 3.0

With absolutely no violent crimes reported on campus in 2012, it’s no wonder Davenport University has a spot on our list of safe college campuses. This private, non-profit university brings both security and smarts to its nearly 9,000 undergraduate students. Started in 1866 as Grand Rapids Business College, the university has grown into an academic powerhouse serving students in 12 locations throughout Michigan and online.

Davenport’s safety record is even more impressive when you take into consideration that all freshman are required to live on the 77-acre campus their first year. But it’s nothing that Davenport University Security Services can’t handle. Whether it’s running a tornado drill or making sure that all the cars parked on campus are safe and secure, the university’s security officers work diligently to make sure students are able to focus on their studies without worrying about coming to harm.

2. Dixie State University

Dixi University safe colleges in the USImage: Manway; CC 3.0

Perhaps it makes sense that a university originally founded by the Mormons is exceptional when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of its students. After all, that famous Utah clean living must go a long way to helping the Dixie State University Security and Campus Police Department keep crime on campus to a minimum.

Students at this southern Utah university not only enjoy warm weather year-round but get to pursue their studies free from worries about criminal activity. On Dixie’s most recent crime report there were no violent crimes reported on campus and only six crimes against property. It looks like the campus security department’s goal to “protect the freedom of individuals and to maintain a peaceful and safe environment by which to work and learn” is being met.

3. Sam Houston State University

sam houston safe college in the US

This Texas institution of higher learning may be classified as a Doctoral Research University placing it among the top seven percent of universities in the country, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t able to balance high-level thinking with practical matters like keeping the 316-acre campus free from crime. In fact, in 2012 there were no murders, robberies or acts of intimidation reported on the Sam Houston State University campus.

Making safety look easy is the Department of Public Safety, which is comprised of the University Police Department and the Parking and Transportation Office. Offering services that include security escorts, emergency call boxes, vehicle assistance and personal safety education, these departments take their call to protect Sam Houston students, staff and faculty seriously.

4. University of La Verne

la verne safe colleges in the USImage: Phu “Son” Nguyen; CC 2.0

Founded by the Church of the Brethren, which was considered one of the “peace churches,” it’s not surprising that the University of La Verne does a great job at maintaining a peaceful, relatively crime-free campus for its approximately 8,600 current students. And the university’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed; the Campus Safety Department’s Associate Director was recently acknowledged with the California College and University Police Chiefs Association’s Award of Merit.

In addition, the college itself was recognized as one of the most secure colleges in the country in 2013, possibly thanks to reporting only 11 crimes on campus during 2012. And the safe and secure environment seems to be fostering success and achievement from University of La Verne students and alumni. Notable alumni include 34 judges and 25 percent of the school district superintendents in the state of California.

How much does a school’s safety record influence your interest in checking it out?

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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