100 Most Secure College Campuses in the US

100 Most Secure College Campuses in the US

When we talk about campus security, the prevention of property crime typically isn’t at the top of the agenda. Oftentimes it’s not on the agenda at all. Meanwhile, crimes like burglary, robbery, car theft, and larceny consistently dominate campus crime reports—in fact, burglary alone constituted 42% of all crimes reported by colleges in 2016.1
Burglary alone constituted 42% of all crimes reported by colleges in 2016.1
It goes without saying that property crime is a financial burden most college students can’t afford. We’re highlighting schools with the best campus security practices and the lowest rates of property crime and aggravated assault so you know the risk. Whether or not your college made the list, there is plenty that students can do on their own to prevent theft or damage to their own property. We’ll go over some basic crime stats and campus security tips later in this article.

Top 100 colleges with the lowest property crime rates

We analyzed 11 years’ worth of crime data2 for hundreds of public and nonprofit colleges in the US. We focused on data from four-year schools that offer student housing and have an average yearly enrollment of 10,000 students or more. The list below includes the 100 colleges that had the lowest rates of property crime from 2007 through 2017.

Without further ado, here are the 100 most secure college campuses in the US, starting with the best of the best. (Congratulations, Touro!)

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Campus security and property crime statistics

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the rate of all on-campus property crimes has dropped significantly over the past 15 years.3 Various on-campus crimes were reported by postsecondary schools in the US during 2016 (the most recent data available), including the following:

  • 12,015 burglaries—6,716 of which occurred in campus residence halls
  • 1,106 robberies, with 208 reported in residence halls
  • 3,499 motor vehicle thefts
  • 2,200 aggravated assaults

Security tips for college students: How to prevent property crime on campus

Preventing burglary and break-ins

College students don’t typically consider home security systems as a viable tactic for preventing burglary—most of them assume the price tag will be too high or that a landlord won’t allow it. But the truth is that home security companies have heard these concerns and now offer several options specifically tailored for those on a budget or lease.

The best security system for a renter will likely be one that doesn’t require heavy-duty installation so you can easily take it with you from place to place each time you move. If you’re on a budget, you might also want to forgo professional monitoring and cut down costs by avoiding a contract.

Several companies specialize in DIY home security, offering even lower prices by letting you do everything yourself. If you do your research and compare different products and services, you’ll find that home security is a much more realistic option than you might have initially thought.

Preventing bike theft

Bike theft is a growing problem among college campuses across the US. So much so that many universities now offer programs to help. These programs typically encourage students to register their bikes with the campus police department, almost like they would with a car. This makes it easier for police to recover stolen bikes while also discouraging thieves looking to sell the stolen property.

If you have a bike, make sure to check what kind of resources your school offers and use them to your advantage. Additionally, you will want to get a heavy-duty bike lock. Cable locks may be cheap and popular, but they’re easy to break. Check out our list of top-reviewed bike locks to find the best one for you, and ensure that your source of transportation is safe from thieves.

Preventing larceny and ID theft

Larceny, particularly wallet theft, is one of the most commonly reported crimes on university campuses. For thieves, a wallet can be a goldmine. Cash and credit cards aside, students often keep their school ID cards in their wallet, which a thief could use to access residence halls and find even more valuable property to steal. That’s why it’s important for students to be mindful of the things they carry with them each day. If it’s not essential, it’s best to leave it home.

Another risk of losing your wallet or personal identification is identity theft. This type of crime is becoming increasingly common among students and can result in a potentially catastrophic blow to your finances if you don’t catch it in time. But there are ways to prevent this, such as using an identity theft protection service or issuing a credit freeze. If your wallet gets stolen, some form of credit monitoring will be a lifesaver.

Did your alma mater make the cut?

Though we didn’t have room to write about each individual college on our list, we’d love your input. Tell us about your experiences with campus property crime. Was it a cause for concern at your school? What did you do to prevent it? Let us know in the comments!


We analyzed campus crime reports obtained from the US Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security database spanning from the year 2007 to 2017. Our analysis included only public or nonprofit schools with four-year programs, student residential facilities, and an average enrollment of 10,000 or more per year. Each school was ranked based on the rate of on-campus property crimes per student from 2007 to 2017. Only the top 100 schools are listed above.


  1. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2018
  2. U.S. Department of Education, “Campus Safety and Security
  3. National Center for Education Statistics, “Digest of Education Statistics
  4. Inside Higher Ed, “Preparing Freshmen for Crime Prevention