Hitting the books, moving out on your own, making new friends – these are all parts of going to college, but one thing you don’t want to add to your experience is being the victim of a crime. That’s why it’s crucial to do your homework when it comes to finding out if the college you’re interested in has a good safety record.

To assist in your search for a safe and secure campus, here are four universities who get top marks in crime prevention.

1. Pace University

Situated in the Big Apple, Pace University is a private university where theory is balanced with practical application in an effort to create thinking professionals who are highly sought after and will positively impact 21st century society. Even though Pace’s campus is in the New York City metropolitan area, it is still a serene and secure place where academic pursuits are not disturbed by worries about criminal activity.

Pace has a robust Safety and Security Department comprised of a professional staff with extensive law enforcement and private security experience. And they’re doing a good job. On the university’s most recent crime statistics report, there was only one criminal offense reported on campus in 2012, and there were no sexual offenses, murders, robberies or hate crimes.

2. Vincennes University

As the oldest public institution of higher learning in the Hoosier State, Vincennes University has had a lot of time to perfect the art of maintaining a safe and secure environment. The Campus Police work in partnership with students, faculty and staff to provide proactive programs like University Watch, which is based on the national Neighborhood Watch programs and calls all members of the community to take an active role in crime prevention.

This approach has been productive, allowing crime on campus to be limited to less than 35 incidents per year for the last three reporting years. Eliminating safety concerns has allowed Vincennes to produce several notable alumni, including five NBA players and the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

3. Arkansas Tech University

This public university is proud to house several buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places on its campus. And to make sure that no harm comes to those national treasures or the students pursuing their academic goals at Arkansas Tech University, the Department of Public Safety is on the clock 24/7. In addition to providing regular patrols and safety escorts, the department offers several services and programs to educate the ATU community on personal safety, crime prevention and emergency preparedness.

Students attending ATU can rest easy knowing that in 2012 there were only six violent crimes reported on the 2013 Campus Security Report. That’s impressive, especially when you consider that the university serves over 11,000 students and 400 faculty members. With such a good safety record, it’s no wonder ATU is among the top two universities in Arkansas when it comes to graduation rates.

4. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Known as The Rock, this public university outside of Pittsburgh is nestled on 660 acres of rolling hills, farmlands, glacial lakes and forests. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1889 with the singular mission of educating teachers. From its first class of 168 students, The Rock has growing into a thriving university with more than 8,800 matriculating students offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

But even though they’ve grown, this university has been able to maintain an intimate educational environment, keeping student-to-teacher ratios at 20:1.  Along with growth come concerns about keeping everyone from harm, but the University Police aren’t afraid of the challenge. In fact, they’ve excelled at their job, limiting criminal activity on campus to just seven incidents in 2012.

Why do you think these schools have been so successful at limiting crime on campus?

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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