What do Clery Stats Mean?

<p>While looking through college web sites, I came across crime stat info (referred to as Clery Act statistics) -- stats the colleges are required to report to the federal gov't. (you can look up these stats in one place at the gov't web site -- <a href="http://ope.ed.gov/security/Search.asp%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://ope.ed.gov/security/Search.asp&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/p>

<p>I was specifically looking at stats on drug and alcohol arrests and disciplinary actions. But the more I look at these stats, the more I wonder if you can really tell anything from them. (There are also stats on other crimes, which at least seems more cut and dry to me.) Do high stats really mean a school is a wilder party school? Or do they mean the administration there takes violations seriously and cracks down on these activities? Do low arrest stats mean there aren't serious violations going on, or only that the local authorities are lax with the college kids? Part of my confusion is that I look at stats for some schools that are "known" party schools and they don't always look much worse than some that have reputations for being milder party schools. From the dozen or so I've looked at, I'm having trouble coming to any real conclusions.</p>

<p>So bottom line - my question is -- does anyone know if you can really tell anything from these stats?</p>

<p>I think you need to combine them with other factors. I made sure to speak with the security office at the schools we toured and checked out what kids were saying on message boards. There is always the issue as to whether or not things get hushed up so the stats look better. As a parent I liked reading that kids complained that the university was very strict and they were getting busted for things like underage drinking. It doesn't hurt to call the women's center on campus to get a better feel about what the sexual assault stats really mean.</p>