2017 Safest College Campuses Methodology

The 2017 Safest College Campuses ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer a safe and healthy environment with little or no campus crime, drugs, or alcohol usage. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

Factor Description Source Weight
Campus Crime Rate Rate of nonsexual crimes committed on campus property per 1,000 students, as reported by the college. U.S. Dept. of Education 25.0%
Local Crime Grade Niche’s Crime & Safety Grade, which incorporates statistics that capture a location’s general safety. Niche 25.0%
Student Surveys on Safety Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding campus safety at each school. Self-reported by Niche users 25.0%
Residence Hall Date Violence Rate Incidents of Residence Hall Date Violence per 1,000 students. U.S. Dept. of Education 7.5%
Residence Hall Rape Rate Incidents of Residence Hall Rape per 1,000 students. U.S. Dept. of Education 7.5%
Alcohol-Related Arrests Rate of alcohol-related arrests on campus per 1,000 students, as reported by the college. U.S. Dept. of Education 5.0%
Drug-Related Arrests Rate of drug-related arrests on campus per 1,000 students, as reported by the college. U.S. Dept. of Education 5.0%

This ranking assesses 1,142 4-year colleges and universities. The same methodology is used to produce the Niche Safety Grade for each ranked school as well as additional 4-year colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and other 2-year programs. Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the colleges.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.