When choosing a college, key factors across the board (for both students and parents) tend to include cost, financial aid candidacy, reputation, location, and campus life. Weighing these variables have always made choosing a college a stressful decision, but this year it's been especially difficult. 

According to The Princeton Review's 2017 College Hopes & Worries Survey, anxiety levels about college admissions are up this year. 76% of respondents reported high levels of stress— 4% more than last year's survey respondents -- and 20% more than in the survey's initial year, 2003. The rising cost of college may have contributed to the stress as 98% of the respondents said financial aid would be necessary to pay for college and 65% deemed it "Extremely Necessary."

Another factor that popped back into people's minds this year -- campus safety. It's unfortunate that this is an issue (like tuition costs), but since it's not as prominent (and we hope it stays that way) we've compiled a list of what we believe are 2017's safest. 

We created this ranking using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. We assessed more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities. Top-ranked colleges boast low overall crime rates (off campus) and maintain safe campuses with little or no crime. Those that did not have crime information listed were excluded.  More information about our methodology can be found here.​

100. University of Georgia

ATHENS, GEORGIA

"Chartered by the state of Georgia in 1785, the University of Georgia tackles some of the world’s grand challenges — from combating infectious disease and securing the world’s food supply to advancing economic growth and analyzing the environment. As Georgia’s flagship institution, the university is recognized for its commitment to student excellence... Students have earned more than 50 Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and other prestigious national academic scholarships over just the past decade."

99. University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh has been rebounding economically for years, becoming a startup and robotics hub, as well as a testing ground for driverless cars. University of Pittsburgh students are in prime position to take advantage of this, and there are 28,649 of them enrolled at the university.

98. University of Texas, Arlington

ARLINGTON, TEXAS

A Division I athletic school and a member of the Sun Belt Conference, the University of Texas at Arlington is located adjacent to downtown Arlington and enrolls 41,888 students. The university is the third largest producer of college graduates in Texas and offers 85 baccalaureate, 71 masters, and 29 doctoral degrees.

97. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

PARADISE, NEVADA

Located in the Vegas suburb of Paradise on a 332-acre land grant and just about 1.6 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, UNLV is attended by 28,600 students. It boasts the only dental school in the state. 

96. College of Southern Nevada

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Attended by 33,313 students, the College of Southern Nevada is located southeast of Las Vegas in Henderson. It’s primarily a two-year college, but offers four-year degrees in concentrations such as dental hygiene and respiratory science.  

95. University of Chicago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Originally founded with the help of oil tycoon and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious universities in the country. It’s known for its economics program and beautiful campus.

94. University of Illinois at Chicago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

A large public university located in the University Village and Little Italy neighborhoods of Chicago, UIC is attended by 29,048 students, many of whom commute. It offers easy access to downtown.  

93. DePaul University

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Crosstown rival to Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University enrolls 23,539 students and also happens to be the largest catholic university in the country. Its campus is located in the upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood, and it also has a downtown campus in the Loop.

92. Loyola University

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

The largest Jesuit university in the country, Loyola University Chicago enrolls 16,437 students and occupies a scenic stretch along Lake Michigan in the city of Chicago. It also has a downtown campus in the Gold Coast.  

91. DeVry University

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

DeVry University has nine different campuses across Illinois, but is headquartered in Downers Grove. It’s a for-profit college that enrolls 22,273 students.

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90. Middle Tennessee State University

MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE

Also known as MTSU or MT, Middle Tennessee State University was originally founded in 1911 as a normal school, but nowadays its graduates are anything but — MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, and Music programs. There are more than 80 majors/degree programs through more than 35 departments.

89. University of Nevada, Reno

RENO, NEVADA

The University of Nevada, Reno was founded in 1874 as the State University of Nevada in Elko, Nevada (about 300 miles northeast of where it is today). However, this site proved to be impractical, as nearly half of the state’s residents lived in the Reno-Carson City area. In 1885, the legislature approved the move to Reno. Today, location is the last thing this campus has to worry about. Nevada researchers are at the forefront nationally in a wide range of civil engineering, earthquake and large-scale structures testing and modeling. 

88. University of California, Riverside

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA

Ranked as one of the most economically and ethnically diverse universities in the country, University of California, Riverside is spread out over 1,900 acres. It was the first university in the country to offer a gender-neutral housing option.

87. Full Sail University

WINTER PARK, FLORIDA

A for-profit college located in unincorporated Orange County, Full Sail University offers programs in film, audio, design, business, and computer animation. 20,025 students attend the school, though it’s unsure how many thought they were applying to a sailing school.

86. Southern Illinois University

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS

Located in Carbondale (population 26,321) Southern Illinois University enrolls 17,292 students and has a respected graduate program in American philosophy. There are more than 220,000 graduates of the university.

85. University of Nebraska, Lincoln

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

The University of Nebraska is the state’s oldest university and the largest. The “Nebraska method” of ecological study was developed here, pioneering grassland ecology and the foundation for research in theoretical ecology. Their football team has won 46 conference championships and five national championships. Selling out every football game since 1962, its stadium can hold about 92,000 people, larger than the population of Nebraska’s third-largest city (Bellevue).

84. Eastern Kentucky University

RICHMOND, KENTUCKY

Situated near the heart of the bluegrass, Eastern Kentucky University is about 26 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky. A “regional, coeducational, public institution of higher education offering general and liberal arts programs, pre-professional and professional training in education and various other fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels”, EKU also offers a few notable traditions like rubbing the statue of Daniel Boone’s left foot for good luck.

83. Oklahoma State University

STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA

Originally known as Oklahoma A&M, Oklahoma State University boasts “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” along with a history that rivals any story that begins with, “When I was your age.” For 2.5 years, its first classes were held in local churches. One of the earliest campus buildings was also a barn. The first Library was one room shared with the English Department. The first building to have electricity was constructed in 1900. With its turreted architecture it was referred to as the “Castle of the Prairies” and remained standing until 1969. 

82. Georgia Southern University

STATESBORO, GEORGIA

Georgia Southern University is the state’s largest and most comprehensive center of higher education south of Atlanta. With 119 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, Georgia Southern has been designated a Carnegie Doctoral-Research university and provides the classic residential campus experience plus online learning options to nearly 20,673 students.

81. Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA

Home to one of the most scenic campuses in the Midwest, Indiana University resides in a forested, hilly area that’s common in the southern part of the state. All year, students look forward to Little 500, a massive bicycle race.

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80. California State University, Long Beach

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

California State University, Long Beach is the third largest campus of the 23-school California State University system. The campus spans 323 acres and is located 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It even has its own ZIP Code (90840). Campus architecture is mostly of the International style and very minimalist, placing emphasis on landscaping. This naturalistic, park-like layout has earned numerous design awards, as well as other awards from gardening societies.

79. University of Missouri

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI

Mizzou, or the University of Missouri, or MU, is one of only 60 public and private U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. It’s also one of 6 nationwide that can claim a medical school, veterinary medicine college, and a law school on the same campus, of which is also designated a botanic garden with over 42,000 plants and trees across 1,262-acres.



78. University of Illinois

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS

Drive about three hours south of Chicago, and you’ll arrive at U of I, which is known as the state’s best public university. It’s attended by 45,842 students, and also boasts the largest Greek system in the country.

77. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

POMONA, CALIFORNIA

One of two polytechnics in the California State University system, Cal Poly Pomona was established in 1938 and today offers bachelor’s degrees in 94 different majors.

76. South Texas College

MCALLEN, TEXAS 

A public community college in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College has a diverse student body that numbers 34,371. More than 60% of students are the first in their family to attend college.

75. University of California, Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA 

Located in beautiful Santa Barbara in southern California, UCSB is spread out over a sprawling campus that spans 1,0554 acres. Notable alumni include Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas.



74. University of Hawaii at Manoa

HONOLULU, HAWAII 

If it’s sun and surf that you want, it’s hard to beat the University of Hawaii at Manoa for a good time (and a good education). The school was established in 1907 and enrolls 18,865 students.

73. University of Miami

CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA

Located in sunny Coral Gables, the University of Miami is a favorite of football fans and beachgoers. With more than 14,000 faculty members and staff, it’s one of the largest employers in the Miami-Dade metro area.

72. Clemson University

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Clemson University consists of seven colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Business; Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences; Education; Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; and Science. Its 1,400 acre campus is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and next to Lake Hartwell. The university manages the nearby 17,500 acre Clemson Experimental Forest that is used for research, education, and recreation.



71. California State University, East Bay

HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA

Located in the Bay Area city of Hayward, California State University, East Bay is a public university that’s part of the California State University system. It’s the most diverse college in California, and the fifth most diverse in the country.

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70. Texas State University

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS

Texas State University is located in San Marcos, a city of 62,919 residents that’s located practically midway between San Antonio and Austin. It’s the fifth-biggest university in the state, attended by 37,979 students.

69. University of Wisconsin

MADISON, WISCONSIN

The University of Wisconsin, Madison is one of America’s Public Ivy universities, founding member of the Association of American Universities, and a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. It’s influenced by “the Wisconsin Idea”, which states that the “boundaries of the university should be the boundaries of the state, and that the research conducted at UW–Madison should be applied to solve problems and improve health, quality of life, the environment, and agriculture for all citizens of the state.”



68. Madison Area Technical College

MADISON, WISCONSIN

Madison Area Technical College offers more than 175 associate degrees and technical diploma programs, as well as trade apprenticeships and other certifications. In response to the Great Depression, it created non-credit, continuing education courses in artisan crafts, such as millinery, woodworking, and chair-caning. During the 1942-43 academic year, courses met on the third shift to teach skills needed for wartime manufacturing jobs.

67. Northeastern University

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

One of several notable universities in the Boston area, Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and enrolls 19,940 students. It also offers a comprehensive study abroad program and access to professional experience on seven continents.

66. Boston University

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Not to be confused with Boston College, Boston University is located on the shore of the Charles River, where some of the country’s best collegiate rowing teams practice. It’s attended by 32,158 students, and is one of the city’s biggest employers.

65. Northern Illinois University

DEKALB, ILLINOIS

Home of the Huskies, Northern Illinois University is located in the city of Dekalb, which has 44,046 residents. The university is attended by 20,130 students and boasts more than 240,000 alumni

64. California State University, Fullerton

FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA

The largest university in the 23-campus California State University system, California State University, Fullerton enrolls 38,948 students. It’s located just north of Anaheim and southwest of Los Angeles.

63. University of Massachusetts Boston

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Also known as UMASS Boston, the University of Massachusetts Boston primarily draws students from Massachusetts and is the only public university in Boston.

62. University of California, Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Commonly referred to as UCLA, the University of California-Los Angeles is nearly as selective as the University of Southern California. It enrolls 44,947 students but accepts only 18%.

61. University of Southern California

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Located on the southwest side of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is one of the most selective schools around, enrolling 43,401 students but accepting only 16.5% of applications.

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60. California State University, Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Commonly known as Cal State LA, this university is located on the east side of Los Angeles and enrolls 27,680 students. It’s a Hispanic-serving institution, offering 129 Bachelor’s degrees and 112 Master’s degrees.

59. Rutgers University

NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY

Rutgers has been around for a while—in fact, it’s ten years older than America (founded in 1766). Rutgers has a strong reputation as a public research university, and is located right on the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia.

58. University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, IOWA

Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state and enrolls 30,844 students. The Iowa campus spans 1,700 acres centered along the banks of the Iowa River and includes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, named one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for the 25th year in a row. The university was the original developer of the Master of Fine Arts degree and home to the world-renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

57. Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, OREGON

Oregon State University owes a lot to Corvallis area Freemasons as they played an important role in developing the early school. You might notice that several large campus buildings are named after these once mysterious founding fathers. Possibly related, OSU is a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant institution. Only two (Cornell being the other) have all four designations. 



56. University of South Florida

TAMPA, FLORIDA

Known as a top research university, the University of South Florida enrolls 42,067 students and offers more than 80 undergraduate majors. It’s also a top 10 school in terms of patents granted by the Intellectual Property Owners Association. As a bonus, students enjoy plenty of sun and beaches in Tampa.

55. University of Colorado, Boulder

BOULDER, COLORADO

The University of Colorado, Boulder has nine colleges and schools, offers over 150 academic programs, and enrolls around 33,000 students. It’s able to boast 12 Nobel Laureates, nine MacArthur Fellows, and 20 astronauts as students, researchers, or faculty members. It has received millions in sponsored research to fund programs like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and JILA.



54. Montana State University

BOZEMAN, MONTANA

Located between Yellowstone National Park and some of the biggest skiing in America, Montana State University opened its doors to five male and three female students. Today, its doors open to roughly 15,000 students and that number is growing in record numbers. It’s among the top 3% of colleges and universities for research expenditures, and classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution with a high undergraduate profile (undergraduates get research opportunities reserved for graduate students at other schools). 

53. University of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

The University of Virginia, or simply, Virginia, was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Its known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies. It’s also the first and only collegiate UNESCO World Heritage Site.



52. Auburn University

AUBURN, ALABAMA

Auburn University offers 13 schools and colleges and its architecture, pharmacy, veterinary science, engineering, forestry, and business programs have been ranked among the best in the country. With a population of 60,000, the town of Auburn is a friendly one that sits in the rolling hills of east central Alabama. Alabama’s Gulf Shores can be reached in four hours. 

51. San Jose State University

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA

Located in some coveted real estate, San Jose State University is basically in the backyard of Silicon Valley, giving its graduates access to some of the world’s most high-tech companies. It’s also a pretty big school, with 32,773 students.

#50 - #41

50. University of California, Davis

DAVIS, CALIFORNIA

One of the 10 campuses in the University of California system, UC-Davis enrolls 35,186 students, giving it the third-largest enrollment in the system after UC Berkeley and UCLA.

49. Colorado State University

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO

Colorado State University is an hour away from Denver (one of the fastest growing cities in the country) in Fort Collins, a beautiful city with access to the best mountains and recreation in the nation. With 300 days of sunshine and 315 miles of trails along the Colorado Front Range you’ll want to live in this college town forever. 



48. Harvard University

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

Would “It’s Harvard” be enough of an explanation? Harvard is one of the world’s most prestigious private Ivy League research universities. Established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, its also known for its history, influence, and wealth — and now you can include safety to the list. 

47. University of North Texas

DENTON, TEXAS

Also located in Denton is the University of North Texas, which enrolls 37,299 students and offers 34 doctoral degree programs. Each year, the city’s 35 Denton Music Festival attracts approximately 300,000 visitors.

46. Texas Woman's University

DENTON, TEXAS

Located in the city of Denton, Texas Woman’s University is one of the few schools in the state not affiliated with its public university system. It also boasts the largest nursing doctoral program in the United States.

45. Boise State University

BOISE, IDAHO

Boise State University is made up of 20,000 students who are proud to call it home. In addition to a quality education, Boise state offers students plenty of groups and extracurriculars from Treefort (a five-day DIY music festival) to tech (Hackfort), medicine to sports (Taco Bell Arena).



44. Florida Atlantic University

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

Florida Atlantic University has five different satellite campuses, but its main campus is located in Boca Raton, Florida, a town of 92,932 residents. More than 180 undergraduate and graduate programs are offered at the university.

43. James Madison University

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA

James Madison University is located in the Shenandoah Valley which is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains and to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. Its student body has been recognized as one of 81 schools in America “with a conscience”, second in the nation in the number of Peace Corps volunteers, and 20th happiest in the nation. 

42. Sam Houston State University

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS

The third-oldest public university in Texas, Sam Houston State University enrolls 20,031 students and is located about an hour north of Houston. The city of Huntsville is home to the university, which takes up about 316 acres in its center.

41. Northwestern University

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS

Northwestern University‘s main campus sits along the shores of Lake Michigan 12 miles north of downtown Chicago in Evanston. In total, there are a dozen colleges and schools across three campuses: 240-acres in Evanston, a 25-acre campus in Chicago and a third campus in Doha, Qatar. Northwestern is recognized nationally and internationally for its educational programs including the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, the Pritzker School of Law, and the Kellogg School of Management. 

#40 - #31

40. University of Massachusetts, Lowell

LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

University of Massachusetts, Lowell is located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community, offering more than 17,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in six colleges. They’re students are more successful than ever thanks to accredited programs, a focus on hands-on learning, and personal attention from accomplished faculty and dedicated staff. 

39. Texas A&M University

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

Texas A&M University boasts more than 450,000 alumni, one of the 10 largest endowments in the country, and is home to the George Bush Presidential Library. The system’s endowment ranks in the top 10 in the nation.

38. Rowan University

GLASSBORO, NEW JERSEY

Known as one of the best public universities in the Northeast, Rowan University enrolls 16,155 students and is located in Glassboro, New Jersey—a safe town of 19,087 residents. Rowan University is the alma mater of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith.

37. Miami University, Oxford

OXFORD, OHIO

Miami University, (also referred to as Miami of Ohio or simply Miami) is located on a 2,138-acre campus in Oxford, Ohio, 35 miles north of Cincinnati. Founded in 1809, although classes were not held until 1824, Miami University is the 10th oldest public university and 32nd oldest higher education institution in the United States.

36. San Diego State University

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

In addition to offering plenty of sun and fantastic beaches, San Diego is also a pretty safe place to go to school. Enrolling 34,254 students, San Diego State University is so appealing it can only accept 33% of applicants.

35. Liberty University

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1971 in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty has grown from a small college of 154 students into the nation’s fifth largest university and the largest Christian university in the world. Preparing students to be doctors, educators, ministers, lawyers, aviators, counselors, engineers, and more.

34. West Virginia University

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia University is home to roughly 30,000 students and offers 191 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs in 15 colleges. WVU has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, 36 Goldwater Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars, and five members of USA Today‘s “All‑USA College Academic First Team.”

33. Illinois State University

NORMAL, ILLINOIS

As the oldest public university in the state, Illinois State University was established in 1857 and today enrolls 20,760 students. It’s a very large campus, spread out over approximately 1,000 acres and quite safe to boot.

32. Utah Valley University

OREM, UTAH

Utah Valley University is located near the Wasatch Mountains, in Orem. Students choose UVU for its ideal location while others come for access to a dynamic economy, employment, and career opportunities. Known for its high moral climate, campus is recognized as one of the safest colleges in the country and is home to the largest LDS Institute program in the world. Within 20 miles, students enjoy winter sports, hiking, mountain biking, water recreation and more.

31. University of Texas, El Paso

EL PASO, TEXAS

Not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin or the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at El Paso was originally founded as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1914. Students enjoy access to nearby Franklin Mountains State Park, and Mexico is found just on the other side of the Rio Grande River.

#30 - #21

30. SUNY, Binghamton

VESTAL, NEW YORK

Vestal, New York is a city of 28,294 residents, and is also home to the State University of New York at Binghamton, which enrolls 16,913 students.

29. University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN

Known for its passionate sports fans and for being one of the best state colleges in the country, the University of Michigan is located in the charming town of Ann Arbor, which has 118,730 residents. Locals. When in town, catch a football game and grab a sandwich at Zingerman’s.

28. West Chester University

WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA

One of the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, West Chester University is located on the eastern side of the state, just outside Philadelphia. It enrolls 16,597 students and was established in 1871.

27. Bowling Green State University

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO

Bowling Green State University was established in 1910 to educate teachers and now offers over 200 undergraduate programs to around 19,000 students. Its a campus in a park-like setting and Bowling Green (population 30,028) is within easy driving distance of major Midwest cities and the Toledo airport.

26. University of Delaware

NEWARK, DELAWARE

University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware. It enrolls approximately 18,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students.  UD’s programs in engineering, science, business, hospitality management, education, urban affairs, and public policy have been highly ranked. It’s one of four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. UD was the first American university to offer a study abroad program.

25. Brigham Young University

PROVO, UTAH

Brigham Young University, or BYU, is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and is the largest religious university and the third largest private university in the United States, with 29,672 on-campus students, 99% of which are members of the LDS Church.

24. Chamberlain College of Nursing

ADDISON, ILLINOIS

The city of Addison, located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, is home to the Chamberlain College of Nursing-Illinois. Home to 23,250 residents, it’s a safe place to go school, and draws many commuter students from the surrounding area.

23. University of Texas, Dallas

RICHARDSON, TEXAS

About a 30-minute drive north of Dallas, you’ll find the University of Texas at Dallas. It enrolls 24,554 students and offers 33 different undergraduate and graduate certificates.

22. Columbia University

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Established in 1754 and located in Manhattan, New York City, Columbia University is an Ivy League school that enjoys a stellar reputation. Good luck getting accepted—it accepts only 6% of applicants.

21. Ohio University

ATHENS, OHIO

Chartered in 1787 and approved in 1804, Ohio University is one of America’s oldest universities and the oldest in Ohio. It has about 30,000 students. Known as a public ivy, one of the most beautiful residential campuses in America, and “Harvard on the Hocking,” the main campus is located in Athens on the Hocking River and is the quintessential residential University. The original architectural style is evident in the campus’ oldest buildings located around the College Green, and reflected throughout the entire storybook campus. 

#20 - #11

20. New York University

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

One of the most prestigious schools in the country, New York University enrolls 50,027 students, yet accepts only 33% of applicants. And while it may not seem like it, New York happens to be a safe place to go to school.

19. CUNY City College

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Located in Harlem, New York City, The City College of New York can be found just up the street from Columbia University. Its claim to fame is having graduated more Nobel Prize winners than any other public university in the country.

18. Iowa State University

AMES, IOWA

While the town of Ames, Iowa has a population of 64,383 residents, Iowa State University enrolls 35,714 students, ensuring that Ames is quite the college town.

17. CUNY Hunter College

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

There are 22,918 students enrolled at Hunter College, which is also part of the City University of New York system, and can be found a short distance uptown from Baruch College.

16. CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Located on the island of Manhattan in New York City, CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College enrolls 18,433 students. Part of the City University of New York system, the college offers three schools: business, arts and sciences, and public and international affairs.

15. Appalachian State University

BOONE, NORTH CAROLINA

Appalachian State University is located along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, North Carolina and has one of the highest elevations (3,333 feet) of any university in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The campus sprawls across 1,300 acres and houses about 20,000 students, while downtown Boone is home to 13,328 residents.

14. Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA

Purdue University is well known for its competitive engineering curricula and pioneering aviation. It was the first college to offer credit in flight training, the first to offer a bachelor’s in aviation, and the first to build a university airport. Purdue’s aviation technology and aeronautical engineering programs are the most competitive aviation-specific programs in the world. When it expanded to spaceflight technology it earned the nickname, Cradle of Astronauts. In fact, 23 graduates have gone on to become astronauts, including Gus Grissom, Neil Armstrong, and Eugene Cernan.

13. Utah State University

LOGAN, UTAH

Utah State University‘s main campus is in Logan with regional campuses in 28 other locations throughout Utah. No matter what the location, students are safe and in good company. USU has produced 7 Rhodes Scholars,1 Nobel Prize winner,1 MacArthur Fellows program inductee,4 recipients of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, and 34 recipients of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.A professor from the university has been named Utah’s sole Carnegie Professor of the year 14 of the last 20 years.

12. George Mason University

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA

George Mason University is recognized for its programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business. Its faculty have twice won the Nobel Prize in Economics. The university is home to 34,904 students, the largest university by head count in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

11. Kent State University

KENT, OHIO

Wedged between Akron and Cleveland, Kent State University may not be the most famous school in Ohio, but it is the safest. Kent State University enrolls 30,067 students, which just about matches the entire population of the city of Kent.

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10. Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is one of the biggest schools around, enrolling 50,538 students. The 1945 G.I. Bill helped expand the school, and despite its size, it remains one of the safest in the country.

9. University of Central Oklahoma

EDMOND, OKLAHOMA

The University of Central Oklahoma has consistently been recognized as having one of the best education programs in the Southwest and certainly gives Texas a run for its money. Its Department of Physics is ranked among the top 20 in the nation along with the UCO Debaters. Its Nursing program, Music Jazz Division, and College of Education are some of the largest in the state and nation. 

8. Montclair State University

MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY

Located in northeastern New Jersey, Montclair State University is only about a 30-minute drive from Manhattan—though it may feel like a world away.  It’s a large school with 20,465 students, yet the town of Montclair, New Jersey remains the safest college town in America. Fun fact: Yankee legend Yogi Berra attended school here.

7. University of California, Irvine

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA

Founded in 1965, the University of California, Irvine is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy.

6. Central Michigan University

MOUNT PLEASANT, MICHIGAN

Central Michigan University boasts a neuroscience program ranked first in the nation by the Society for Neuroscience which pairs nicely with its recent-ish establishment of the College of Medicine (opened fall 2013, 137th in the nation). CMU is one of the nation’s 100 largest public universities with over 20,000 students claiming its Mount Pleasant campus as home.

5. Washington State University

PULLMAN, WASHINGTON

Washington State University, or Wazzu, is well known for its programs in chemical engineering, veterinary medicine, agriculture, pharmacy, neuroscience, food science, plant science, mathematics, business, architecture, and communications. The Palouse region is defined by unique rolling hills that were created by wind-blown soil, of which supports one of the world’s most productive dry-land agricultural regions. Evenings are often highlighted by a spectacular blue-pink sunset, which the first Board of Regents decided to use as the college’s colors (later changed to the current crimson and gray colors).

4. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS

University of Massachusetts, Amherst is, to quote the Chancellor, a “research powerhouse that touches—and often transforms—communities in the state and around the world.” One of only five “Research 1” universities in Massachusetts (the highest designation attainable) it’s also the only public institution on the list. Among all Massachusetts universities—public and private—UMass Amherst is the third largest recipient of research funding from the National Science Foundation.

3. Oakland University

ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN

Oakland University offers 270 degree and certificate programs with over 20,000 students currently enrolled. The 1,443 acre campus spans two thriving cities, Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills, in southeast Michigan. Students conduct research as early as their freshman year, gain global perspectives studying abroad, compete in Division I athletics, lead student orgs, perform on stage and learn without limits.

2. Brigham Young University, Idaho

REXBURG, IDAHO

Once known as Ricks College and now known as Brigham Young University, Idaho, the university is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). A good rationale for its high safety ranking could be that students are required to follow an honor code in line with LDS teachings. The school offers a “three-track” system, admitting students on a specific track of two semesters (including the Spring semester), rather than the standard fall and winter semesters. 

1. University of New Hampshire

DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Located in Durham, the University of New Hampshire is attended by 15,351 students and is the largest university in the state. The Durham campus is composed of six colleges and is located in the Seacoast region of the state.


More information about our methodology can be found here.

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