These Are The 10 Safest Colleges In Virginia For 2020


Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2020. This is our third time rankings the safest colleges in Virginia.
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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However, most of us are more withdrawn than ever.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 Virginia 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 Virginia's Safest Colleges For 2020.

The 10 Safest Colleges In Virginia For 2020

  1. Liberty University
  2. Shenandoah University
  3. Mary Baldwin University
  4. Virginia Wesleyan College
  5. Bluefield College
  6. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  7. Old Dominion University
  8. Virginia Commonwealth University
  9. James Madison University
  10. University of Mary Washington

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 Liberty University to your college visit road trip around Virginia.

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

For more reading on colleges around Virginia, check out:

How We Determined The Safest College Campuses In Virginia For 2020

In order to rank the safest colleges in Virginia, we simply had to look at the number of crimes that are committed on every campus in Virginia 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 37 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 Liberty University or Shenandoah University.

Liberty University

Location: Lynchburg, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 5,403
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0001

Liberty University, also referred to as Liberty, is a private, non-profit Christian research university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States.

Shenandoah University

Location: Winchester, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 1,339
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0008

Shenandoah University is a comprehensive private liberal arts university located in Winchester, Virginia in the United States. It has an enrollment of approximately 4,000 students across more than 100 programs in seven schools: College of Arts & Sciences, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, Shenandoah Conservatory, Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing, School of Health Professions and the School of Education & Human Development. Shenandoah University is one of five United Methodist Church-affiliated institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mary Baldwin University
Source: Wikipedia

Location: Staunton, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 1,388
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0017
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0

Mary Baldwin University, formerly Mary Baldwin College, is a private liberal arts, master's-level university in Staunton, Virginia, USA. It was founded in 1842 by Rufus William Bailey as the Augusta Female Seminary. Today, Mary Baldwin University is home to the Mary Baldwin College for Women, a residential women's college with a focus on liberal arts and leadership, as well as co-educational residential undergraduate programs within its University College structure. MBU also offers co-educational graduate degrees as well as undergraduate degree and certificate programs for non-traditional-aged students.

Virginia Wesleyan College

Location: Norfolk, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 1,421
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0015

Virginia Wesleyan University is a comprehensive university of the liberal arts and sciences located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1961 by the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, the university enrolls approximately 1,500 students annually in undergraduate, graduate, and online programs. An additional 510 non-credit continuing education students enroll annually through the Robert F. Boyd Institute, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, the Center for Sacred Music, and the Westminster/Wesleyan Lifelong Learning Institute. Virginia Wesleyan transitioned from a college to a university in 2017.

Location: Bluefield, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 820
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0031
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0

Bluefield College is a small, Christian liberal arts college in Bluefield, Virginia, United States. It offers 22 majors and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 82-acre campus is about 150ft from the state line between Virginia and West Virginia. It is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University

Location: Blacksburg, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 21,428
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0001
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0009
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0005

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech and by the initialisms VT and VPI, is an American public, land-grant, research university with a main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, educational facilities in six regions statewide, and a study-abroad site in Lugano, Switzerland. Through its Corps of Cadets ROTC program, Virginia Tech is also designated as one of six senior military colleges in the United States.

Old Dominion University

Location: Norfolk, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 12,786
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0003
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0007
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0003

Old Dominion University, also known as ODU, is a public, co-educational research university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, with two satellite campuses in the Hampton Roads area. It was established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary and is now one of the largest universities in Virginia with an enrollment of 24,670 students for the 2014-2015 academic year. Its campus covers over 251 acres straddling the city neighborhoods of Larchmont, Highland Park, and Lambert's Point, approximately five miles from Downtown Norfolk.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Location: Richmond, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 16,505
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0001
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0004
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0006

Virginia Commonwealth University is a public research university located in Richmond, Virginia. MCV was founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney College, becoming the Medical College of Virginia in 1854. In 1968, the Virginia General Assembly merged MCV with the Richmond Professional Institute, founded in 1917, to create Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2018, more than 31,000 students pursue 217 degree and certificate programs through VCU's 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health System supports the university's health care education, research and patient care mission.

James Madison University

Location: Harrisonburg, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 14,280
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0011
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0004

James Madison University is a public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the institution was renamed Madison College in 1938 in honor of President James Madison and then James Madison University in 1977. The university is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, with the campus quadrangle located on South Main Street.

Location: Fredericksburg, VA
# Of Undergraduates: 4,103
Violent Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Property Crime Per Capita: 0.0
Sexual Assault Per Capita: 0.0028

The University of Mary Washington is a public liberal arts and sciences university located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Founded in 1908 as the Fredericksburg Teachers College, the institution was named Mary Washington College in 1938 after Mary Ball Washington, mother of the first president of the United States, George Washington. The General Assembly of Virginia changed the college's name to the University of Mary Washington in 2004 to reflect the addition of graduate and professional programs to the central undergraduate curriculum, as well as the establishment of more than one campus.

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 Virginia, 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 Virginia, check out:

Safest Colleges In Virginia

Rank College Safety Score
1 Liberty University 8.33
2 Shenandoah University 9.17
3 Mary Baldwin University 9.83
4 Virginia Wesleyan College 11.17
5 Bluefield College 12.5
6 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 12.67
7 Old Dominion University 12.67
8 Virginia Commonwealth University 12.67
9 James Madison University 12.67
10 University of Mary Washington 12.83
11 Eastern Mennonite University 12.83
12 Marymount University 13.17
13 George Mason University 13.33
14 Hampton University 16.0
15 Longwood University 17.17
16 University of Virginia-Main Campus 17.33
17 Averett University 18.17
18 Norfolk State University 18.33
19 Randolph-Macon College 18.83
20 Hollins University 19.83
21 Washington and Lee University 20.17
22 Virginia Union University 20.33
23 Radford University 20.33
24 Ferrum College 20.5
25 Roanoke College 21.83
26 College of William and Mary 22.67
27 Christopher Newport University 23.17
28 Virginia State University 23.67
29 Hampden-Sydney College 24.67
30 Virginia Military Institute 25.0
31 The University of Virginia's College at Wise 25.0
32 Bridgewater College 26.33
33 University of Richmond 26.67
34 Sweet Briar College 26.83
35 Emory & Henry College 27.67
36 Lynchburg College 34.0
37 Randolph College 34.67

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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