Most Unsafe Campuses in the US

Interesting data on the colleges with the most violent crime in the US. There are some very glaring outliers, with the uni with the highest number of reported crimes having almost three times more than second place.

Some of these are understandable, but for example, UCB never seemed that much more unsafe than University of Washington when I visited. I wonder how much of this crime is actually directed towards students.

Scroll to the bottom and it looks like it is measuring a subset of crime that is mostly rape… probably a mix of unclear consent under the influence situations with sexual predators using that as cover.

Reporting and counting may not be the most reliable for such crimes (which are likely to be more common than reported).

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The authors used each school’s Clery report for their source data. Clery report would primarily be crimes against students, but also crimes against employees.

I agree with ucbalumnus…this data is better than nothing, but it’s not entirely illuminating. For example, some schools are much better than others than supporting and encourage rape victims to come forward. Those schools would have relatively worse crime per the Clery report.

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UofM and OSU numbers are distorted due to the reporting of crimes that occurred at the hands of two different physicians over a number of years. Definitely horrible and inexcusable crimes, but not really relevant to how safe the universities are to the average student on campus today.


I will say that U of M does not strike me as an unsafe campus; lots of security present everywhere. I looked into the data a little bit and it seems like alcohol offenses may be contributing to the high rate- looks like Umich reported a lot more than other campuses, but if alcohol is not a concern for you coming into college, you probably don’t need to worry too much beyond basic attentiveness as with anywhere you are alone.

Adjustment to above; alcohol is not counted in this particular article, but in many others

And I am sleeping fine with one in GaTech (open campus) with periodic shootings in Midtown Atlanta, and another in Rhodes in Memphis, TN (gated campus with security, but a car was stolen last Friday 0.5 mile from campus, and everyone was notified through email.) There is crime everywhere.


These numbers are interesting to me as Drexel, which is across the street from Penn, appears on both lists yet the latter does not. What the heck is going on at Drexel?!

I have seen on several threads complaints about Drexel safety if I am not mistaken. I believe that someone mentioned a student who left after several days of orientation prior to the beginning of classes due to feeling unsafe…

I would not say Michigan is not safe. I have known way to many people on campus over the last 10 years or so and have been on campus also at various times day /night.

Michigan is also connected to the local police force and works hand in hand so they are probably reporting accurately where others might be under reporting.

During the pandemic the local police force was ticketing many many students for drinking, parties etc. Don’t know if this had anything to do with the numbers, but it was even reported in local papers

But the article is a good reminder to be diligent on campus. Even with school security, things happen. Look what happened on Wisconsin campus. If your in the library late on Michigan’s campus and many campuses, they have systems in place that they will drive you home. Students should take advantage of these free services. They will even walk you home.

When my daughter was looking at her Lacs I called the local police department for Beloit. The reports were not good. They told me campus was just fine just be aware. They said lots of the numbers in the report were not campus related. My daughter never had issues and it’s a really cute town /campus. She felt safe all the time and in the surrounding areas. That would be my suggestion, when evaluating schools and concerned about safety.

Interesting. I do recall the discussion about a student leaving after orientation, but I thought that was at Temple. Of course, I can’t find the thread now. High crime at Drexel surprises me because I’ve spent a lot of time in the area and felt quite safe. However, I would neither be exposed to nor aware of violent crimes occuring among the student population.


Maybe I confused Temple and Drexel. Sorry about it.


There are still colleges today where students are encouraged NOT to “report” a crime, whether sexual assault, laptop theft from a library lounge, $20 bill swiped from the dorm desktop while the student “ran” to the bathroom. The excuses range from “let us handle it internally” to “do you want to ruin your life by being the person who accused the captain of the championship lacrosse team of raping you when he says it was consensual?”

I look at these “statistics” with some skepticism. And colleges with the most vigorous safety programs are often the ones where students intentionally avoid using those programs. Blue lights, van and escort services, walking buddies from late night athletic practice and labs, restrictions on alcohol, designating a risk manager for frat parties, restrictive “swiping” policies at dorm entrances, alarmed fire doors to prevent kids from propping open the entrances to let “friends” in without an ID… none of these work unless students buy-in.


From the article if you dont want to click through:

The most dangerous college campuses

University name Number of violent crimes on campus reported between 2019-2021*
1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1,468
2. Ohio State University 583
3. UC Berkeley 242
4. Xavier University 240
5. University of Iowa 225
6. Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine 194
7. The Pennsylvania State University 138
8. Stanford University 138
9. Texas A & M University, College Station 116
10. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 114
11. University of Southern California, University Park Campus 111
12. University of New Mexico 110
13. Vanderbilt University 109
14. Auburn University 108
15. Texas State University 98
16. Texas Tech University, Lubbock 96
17. The University of Alabama 95
18. Drexel University, University City Campus 90
19. University of Houston, Central Campus 88
20. University of Arizona 87
21. University of Florida, Gainesville 87
22. UC San Diego 85
23. Michigan State University 84
24. Johns Hopkins University 82
25. Prairie View A & M University 80
26. University of Washington, Seattle 80
27. University of North Texas 78

*This table does not include statutory rape, and combines murder, negligent manslaughter, and non-negligent manslaughter.

Disclaimer: The above list of most dangerous campuses uses the absolute number of violent crimes without taking into account relative campus size.

Sexual abuse committed by university physicians

Both the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Ohio State University have the highest rates of violent crime because of historic sexual abuse at the hands of university physicians.


Would there also be a reporting difference based on whether the “campus safety and security” is an actual police department, versus not a police department?

It looks like most of the list in the initial linked page is of campuses with actual police departments, so that a student who reports a crime is likely to have it logged in an actual police report, rather than initially by a non-police “campus safety and security” department, where it may not actually get propagated to a police department and logged in an actual police report.

Of course, even among police departments, there may be variations in handling (particularly rape, which seems to make up most of the subset of crimes used in that initial linked page).

It was me that mentioned the student that left during orientation and that was Temple not Drexel. That said, when we were touring Drexel with my S22, a homeless person came up to the tour group and started hassling the people on the tour for money. You could tell the tour guide was extremely flustered but he handled it as best he could. It did leave a bad impression though. But you are correct that Drexel is right next door to Penn so I can’t imagine that there is a vast difference in safety.


I went to Penn and I don’t consider it particularly safe.

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Michigan being #1 is surprising to me.

D18 attended Michigan from 2018-2022 and she never felt unsafe. Her senior year, she frequently walked home from her place of work to her apartment at 11 PM at night too.

Certainly in all my visits to campus and off campus, including the late nights walking from the bus station to the hotel or the AirBnb, or returning from a game, my spouse and I never felt unsafe.

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This is partially explained by the citation below.


In terms of “crime in the neighborhood”, seems doubtful that Penn and Drexel are that much different. However, crime that is more associated with campus and the campus population (e.g. rape / other sexual crimes and fights / assaults during or after drunk parties) may differ in actuality based on campus-specific characteristics, and reporting of such may also vary.