These Are The 8 Safest Colleges In South Dakota For 2020


Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2020. This is our third time rankings the safest colleges in South Dakota.
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Did you know that, despite the media coverage of criminal behavior across America that this is the safest time we've ever lived in?

While it's easy to follow the headlines and social media accounts of terrible crimes in the United States, in actuality, your chances of being the victim of a crime is lower than ever.

That's great!

However, most of us are more withdrawn than ever. We don't let our kids play outside as often. We clutch our purses in public. And we're overly suspicious of everything that surrounds us.

That's a shame, and we hope that trend changes at some point, lest we as Americans become so isolated that our fear prevents us from being truly happy and free.

But this research isn't about reporting crime. It's about reporting on the least amount of crime on college campuses.

Much like America, the majority of colleges in South Dakota are very safe, but crimes do happen on just about every campus every day. The purpose of this study is to aid those in the midst of a college search with additional data point to help them make the right choice.

So with that in mind, here are South Dakota's Safest Colleges For 2020.

The 10 Safest Colleges In South Dakota For 2020

  1. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  2. Black Hills State University
  3. Dakota Wesleyan University
  4. Dakota State University
  5. University of South Dakota
  6. South Dakota State University
  7. Northern State University
  8. Augustana University

Before we go anywhere, let us make super clear that basically every college campus is safe relative to your average city. Additionally, college campuses have been getting safer every year.

If you're looking for a safe plae to go to school, add South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to your college visit road trip around South Dakota.

Read on below for a detailed breakdown on how we analyzed the data for South Dakota, and continue on for a little more background on our safest college list.

For more reading on colleges around South Dakota, check out:

How We Determined The Safest College Campuses In South Dakota For 2020

In order to rank the safest colleges in South Dakota, we simply had to look at the number of crimes that are committed on every campus in South Dakota in the last reporting year available.

In this case, we were able to obtain crime statistics from the US Department of Education Campus Safety And Security, which includes reported crimes that happened on each campus for every year, and on many detailed categories.

For our report, we looked at the most recent year available, which is the 2019 academic year. We created the following categories:

  • Sexual Assaults Per Student (Rape, Statutory Rape, and Fondling)
  • Violent Crimes Per Student (Murder, Negligent Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Robbery)
  • Property Crimes Per Student (Burgarlry, Car Theft, and Arson)

This data collection is required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Our universe of colleges were limited to predominantly BA and BS conferring institutions with over 500 students and at least 1 reported crime.

We then ranked each of the 8 schools from safest to dangerous for each of the three criteria with 1 being the safest. Finally, we averaged the three scores together into a safety score with the lowest being the safest.

The colleges with the least number of crimes per student were deemed the safest colleges, and those with the most crimes and arrests per student are the most dangerous.

So it looks like if you want to get the safest school experience (not safety school!), you need to contact admissions at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology or Black Hills State University.

South Dakota School Of Mines And Technology

Location: Rapid City, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 1,995
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0004
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology--commonly referred to as SD Mines, Tech, or SDSM&T--is a public institution of higher learning in Rapid City, South Dakota, governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD Mines placement rate for graduates is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $63,000. The school athletic teams are called the Hardrockers.

Location: Spearfish, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 3,549
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0002

Black Hills State University is a public university in Spearfish, South Dakota. Close to 4,500 students attend classes at its 123-acre campus in Spearfish, at sites in Rapid City and Pierre, and through distance offerings. Enrollment comes from all 66 counties in South Dakota, 44 states, and 29 countries. BHSU is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Dakota Wesleyan University

Location: Mitchell, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 676
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.001
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0

Dakota Wesleyan University is a four-year university in Mitchell, South Dakota. It was founded in 1885 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The student body averages slightly fewer than 800 students. The campus of the university is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dakota State University

Location: Madison, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 1,631
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0013
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0006

Dakota State University is a public university in Madison, South Dakota. Using a technology-centric approach, DSU requires that each of its full-time undergraduate students use tablet computers and laptops in their classes, along with taking an introductory computer programming course. The university also integrates advanced biometric identification devices, virtual reality headsets, and computer hacking laboratories in its learning process.

University Of South Dakota

Location: Vermillion, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 5,147
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0001
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0006
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0004

The University of South Dakota is a public coeducational research university located in the small town community of Vermillion, South Dakota. USD was established by the Dakota Territory legislature in 1862, 27 years before the establishment of the state of South Dakota, USD is the oldest public university in the state.

South Dakota State University

Location: Brookings, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 7,448
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0001
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0006
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0009

South Dakota State University is a public research university located in Brookings, South Dakota. The state's largest university, founded in 1881, is the oldest continually-operating university in the South Dakota.

Location: Aberdeen, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 2,861
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.002
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0022

Northern State University is a four-year public university located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States. NSU is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents and offers 38 majors and 42 minors, as well as six associate, eight pre-professional and nine graduate degrees.

Augustana University

Location: Sioux Falls, SD
# Of Undergraduates: 1,728
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.001
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0036
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.001

Augustana University is a private, Norwegian-heritage liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the school is the largest private university in the state. The institution derives its name from the Confessio Augustana, or Augsburg Confession, a foundational document of Lutheranism. Students, alumni, friends, employees, and those who know the college casually refer to it as "Augie." Prior to September 2015, the university was known as Augustana College.

There You Have It -- The Safest Colleges In The

If you're looking at an undeniably effective and thorough way to measure how safe (and dangerous) each college campus is in South Dakota, we've done a good job of portraying the data in a straightforward manner.

Additionally, we'd like to add that while the data never lies, we did choose certain criteria over others - meaning had we chosen to include other crime numbers, or measured the data in a different way, the list would have been different.

However, we'd think you'd agree that this is an effective way to measure campus safety, as we aggregated most of the largest categories for you. We encourage you to visit the National Center for Education Statistics and make your own conclusions if you so wish.

For more reading on colleges around South Dakota, check out:

Safest Colleges In South Dakota

Rank College Safety Score
1 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 2.17
2 Black Hills State University 2.33
3 Dakota Wesleyan University 3.17
4 Dakota State University 4.67
5 University of South Dakota 4.67
6 South Dakota State University 5.33
7 Northern State University 6.0
8 Augustana University 7.67

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn.

Safest Colleges By State

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