50 Safest Small Colleges and Universities in America

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Whether you’re just out of high school and attending college for the first time or you’re a returning student who wants to finish attaining your degree, you deserve a safe and welcoming campus. That’s why College Choice has created the ultimate list of the safest small colleges and universities in the country. Though the idea of safety can be relative – for one it may mean they feel welcome no matter how they identify and for another it may mean a space free of alcohol and drugs – a safe campus can generally be understood as one with low crime incidents, robust security, protection for its female and minority students, and a sense of inclusion. Not surprisingly, the safest schools tend to be private, smaller in student population, and located in smaller towns, though that’s not necessarily true for all; stay tuned for our 50 Safest Large Colleges and Universities ranking. Below are the country’s 50 safest small colleges and universities. They range from everything including business and technology schools to art schools and Christian colleges.

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top 10 Safest Small Colleges and Universities in America

What are the safest small colleges and universities in America?

At College Choice we believe in providing the most thorough data that reflects our extensive and exhaustive research findings. To find the safest colleges we have combed through those campuses, as well as their local cities and neighbors, that boast the lowest crime rates. We further pared from there by collating the reported crime activities from each school for the past three years. We pulled data on the respective school’s general crime report as well as the number of documented hate crimes, violence against women, arrests made, and discipline enforced activities for each. Those colleges and universities below with a College Choice score of 100 had zero incidents in all categories for the past three years.

More on the Data Points:

  • General safety grade: The general safety grade takes into account the past three years of theft, assault, arson, and other offenses.
  • Women’s safety grade: This reflects the overall VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) offenses that have occurred in the past three years, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
  • Party scene grade: This takes into account the number of drug and alcohol incidents a campus reported over the past five years.
  • Anti-discrimination grade: This reflects the number of hate crimes reported by a school over the past three years.

Our data comes the U.S. Department of Education, as well as from the university and colleges’ websites, U.S. News & World Report, and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Baptist College of Florida
    Location

    Graceville, FL

    The president of the Baptist College of Florida (BCF) has said In the past, we have been recognized as one of the safest campuses in the state of Florida. We are constantly working with local law enforcement agencies and fire departments to keep our campus safe for all who live, work and study here. The numbers clearly prove this to be true. There have been zero incidents of theft, violence, partying, and assault in the last three years, and the trend doesn't look like it will change anytime soon, as safety has been made one of the cornerstones of BCF campus life.

    The Baptist College of Florida, located in aptly named Graceville, Florida, was originally a college that trained Baptist ministers at the graduate level, but it now offers twenty-three associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in a range of fields, including the liberal arts, theology, music, psychology, business, and education. In addition to its Graceville campus, BCF also has campuses in Orlando, Panama City, and online. One of the smaller schools on our list, BCF has a total population of fewer than five hundred students and a student-to-faculty ratio of ten to one.

    The Baptist College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 100%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  2. Penn State Lehigh Valley
    Location

    Center Valley, PA

    The security crew at Penn State Lehigh Valley do not mess around. They are trained in both emergency first aid and CPR; they work closely with regional police; they enforce Title IX and the Clery Act; and they work closely with other departments that service student health. For Penn State Lehigh Valley, safety is a community-wide priority, and for that reason the Office of Student Affairs, the Emergency Management department, and Environmental Health and Safety office partner with the campus's security teams to cultivate a safe and welcoming campus for its students.

    The oldest of Pennsylvania State University's commonwealth campuses, Penn State Lehigh Valley is located in Center Valley, just outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was originally founded in the early Twentieth Century as a professional school, though it now offers a number of bachelor and associate degrees, including those in arts administration, childhood and adolescent education, business, health policy, information sciences and technology, rehabilitation and human services, psychology, and more. Approximately eight hundred undergraduate students attend Penn State Lehigh Valley, in addition to its three thousand continuing education students.

    Penn State Lehigh Valley is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 100%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  3. Northwest Florida State College
    Location

    Niceville, FL

    Northwest Florida State College is home to the Criminal Justice Training Center, where students each year graduate with degrees in public safety, first response, corrections, fire safety, and more. But safety is not just a matter of academics for Northwest Florida. In the last three years, they have experienced an impressive zero crime rate, due in large part to their pre-emptive approach. A college campus is an important part of the local community that it serves. As in any neighborhood, it is important that the students, faculty, and staff realize that they should take every possible precaution to prevent assault and crime against themselves or others.

    Part of the Florida College System, Northwest Florida State College is comprised of nearly 15,000 undergraduate students enrolled in one of its bachelor, associate, certificate, or online programs. However, options can be limited; for example, one is only able to earn a BA in early childhood education, nursing, or business. But what Northwest Florida State College may lack in diversity, it makes up for in its emphasis on the arts. It is known for its Mattie Kelly Arts Center, a $25 million dollar performing arts complex that regularly brings in Broadway shows, visiting artists, dance, operas, and orchestras.

    Northwest Florida State College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 100%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  4. Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Memphis, TN

    The Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences's only breach of safety in the last few years was a minor alcohol incident. Otherwise, it receives perfect marks, for a number of reasons: students on the BMCHS campus are required to wear ID badges, which allow them access to buildings and rooms. There are also emergency Code Blue phones on campus grounds that, when dialed, direct the caller directly to security. The school has also implemented a e2campus alert system, which notifies all students via text and email of any incidents on campus. One assumes from the excellent safety record that these texts are few and far between.

    The Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences, located in Memphis, Tennessee, is a private school specializing in healthcare certificate and terminal degree programs. It offers the following bachelor degrees: nursing, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, respiratory therapy, medical laboratory science, medical radiography, health care management, diagnostic medical sonography, and general health studies. Baptist Memorial offers both affordable tuition rates and financial aid; nearly 97 percent of their students receive aid.

    Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 98%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  5. University of Connecticut at Avery Point
    Location

    Groton, CT

    Because the University of Connecticut at Avery Point is part of the larger UConn network, it has access to the same safety services as all the other campuses, which means the security team is part of greater UConn's internationally accredited law enforcement agency. The UConn Police Department has the same authority as any municipal police department, and has named its primary priority is the protection of lives and property at the University of Connecticut. Safety at Avery Point is also due in part to its niche mission and geography.

    Located in the small town of Groton, the University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus is situated on a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Students either attend Avery Point then transfer to UConn main campus, or they stay for both the ocean views and marine emphasis. Avery Point offers degrees in Maritime Studies, Coastal Studies, and Marine Sciences, supplementing classroom education with research labs, waterfront programs, and technology. In addition to this hands-on learning, students also have access to UConn's traditional majors.

    The University of Connecticut, Avery Point is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 98%
    • Party scene grade: 100%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  6. Corban University
    Location

    Salem, OR

    Corban University has only a couple blemishes on its perfect safety record, and those are just for minor alcohol infractions. Their stated goal for enacting security is to provide professional services which promote and maintain a safe and secure environment so that the University's educational mission of educating Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ' can be achieved. Corban accomplishes this through a number of services, one of which is their unique safety escorts program, which is when they provide officers who will happily walk with you or drive you where you need to go. And Corban is one of a few schools that provides road assistance!

    Originally based in Arizona, Corban University moved to Salem, Oregon where it still is currently, serving an undergraduate population of 1,200. Corban is a private, Christian school with bachelor degrees in biblical studies, liberal arts, and professional studies, and graduate degrees in business, ministry, education, and counseling. They also provide a couple of online degrees, in business and psychology, for those seeking an affordable and convenient alternative. Corban's campus is situated on a wooded hillside, surrounded by Douglas Fir and Oregon White Oak.

    Corban University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 98%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  7. Stevens-Henager College
    Location

    Logan, UT

    As a new student at Stevens-Hanager you can anticipate workshops on crime prevention, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexual assault prevention. You can also expect a community committed to a safe and vibrant campus life. The campus is dry (meaning, drugs and alcohol are not allowed) and administrators have formally vocalized a zero tolerance policy for crime. For more what it's like to be a student at Stevens-Hanager, be sure to check out their student blog!

    Stevens-Henager College is one of the oldest in Utah, first founded in 1891. Today it grants associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in the fields of medicine, graphic arts, business, computer and technology, accounting, and healthcare. They have many branches and campuses throughout Utah and Idaho, though one of the primary campuses and the one noted for its safety is located in Logan, Utah. The programs at Stevens-Henager are notably career-focused, meaning their curriculum has been consolidated to that material which will serve students after graduation and throughout their careers.

    Stevens-Henager College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 98%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  8. University of Connecticut, Stamford
    Location

    Stamford, CT

    As was stated above for UConn at Avery Point, all the University of Connecticut campuses are part of the greater umbrella security system, which has the authority of a full city police unit. At Stamford though, the Environmental, Health, and Safety Council plays a big role in the safety of the campus. The council reports directly to the Campus Director about the needs of the student body and pushes for change when they see it necessary. Further, students can take self-defense classes, join the Citizen's Police Academy, or make anonymous reports online.

    Located in the heart of downtown Stamford, Connecticut, UConn's Stamford branch is known for its business programs and hands-on learning curriculum. Students at UConn Stamford participate in a range of internships and field placements, working close with a number of area business including the Connecticut Information Technology Institute that are in partnership with the school. In addition to the number of business, economics, digital media, political science, and history degrees, UConn Stamford also provides access to the wider UConn curriculum.

    The University of Connecticut, Stamford is accredited by the AACSB International.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 98%
    • Party scene grade: 100%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  9. Penn State Abington
    Location

    Abington, PA

    The security team at Penn State Abington is comprised of a full-time chief and staff who serve the campus twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Other campus departments also seek to foster a healthy campus through several initiatives and programs. There are cultural celebrations, educational workshops, diversity trainings, leaderships retreats, and the Abington Care Team (ACT), a service that intervenes for students struggling with an academic, health, or safety concern.

    A commonwealth campus of Pennsylvania State University and located in Philadelphia, Penn State Abington has 4,000 undergraduates enrolled in the over 160 bachelor programs. After two years those students are given the option to transfer to the University Park campus if they choose, or stay and finish their degree at the Abington branch. Penn State Abington's athletic program has been recognized as having full NCAA Division III status and offers thirteen sports programs for both men and women; additionally, they have over fifty student organizations.

    Penn State Abington is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    • General safety grade: 100%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 97%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
  10. St. Johns River State College
    Location

    Palatka, FL

    The Department of Campus Safety and Security at St. Johns is not only devoted to producing low crime stats and preventing incidents (both of which are few), but also to providing a high level of leadership, professionalism, and decorum through specialized training, education, working partnerships with law enforcement and community-based resources. Students can participate in enacting campus safety by taking one of the Safety Education Classes, where they can learn CPR or first aid.

    Located in Northeast Florida, St. Johns River State College is a member institution of the Florida College System. There are nearly 8,000 enrolled students earning certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees. St. Johns is also home to the Florida School of the Arts an accredited arts school with programs in fine arts, graphic design, photography, acting, dance, musical theater, costume design, stage management, and more as well as the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts.

    St. Johns River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • General safety grade: 96%
    • Women's safety grade: 100%
    • Party scene grade: 98%
    • Anti-discrimination grade: 100%
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