Campus Crime 2015: Top 10 Highest Reported Crime Rates for Large Colleges

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Student safety is a high priority for all colleges and universities. While colleges and universities are typically safer than the areas that surround them, many schools face important and unique challenges. Law Street’s Campus Crime Rankings were created to serve as a comprehensive look at the safety of our college campuses, and to act as a resource for students, families, and college communities.

Federal law requires all postsecondary institutions that receive federal financial aid to report and monitor criminal offenses on their campuses. Each year this self-reported data is published by the Department of Education to help colleges and their communities understand the safety challenges that they face. Law Street Campus Crime Rankings utilize the most recent three years of this data to determine the average violent crime rate per 1,000 students for each school with available statistics.

Our rankings break up schools into different categories to ensure that the comparisons are as helpful and fair as possible. This list ranks large schools, which include four-year institutions with enrollments greater than 20,000 students.

Click here to see the data used to create these rankings.

Check out the Top 10 Highest Crime Rates on Large Campuses below.

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#9 Highest Crime Rate: University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private research university located in the heart of Los Angeles. The majority of USC’s violent crimes are forcible sex offenses, with 80 cases reported between 2011 and 2013.

In 2013 more than a dozen students filed a complaint with the Department of Education alleging that that the university mishandled sexual assault cases. A few months later the Department of Education announced that it was investigating USC for possible Title IX violations in three specific cases. The complaint alleged that the school mishandled sexual assault reports, underreported or misclassified cases, discouraged police reports, and failed to properly punish assailants. Later that year, the Chief of USC’s Department of Public Safety announced after an internal review that the department did not include 13 anonymously reported cases of sexual assault in its 2010 and 2011 Clery Reports. The university began reviewing its policies in 2013 and has since added several initiatives to help prevent and deal with sexual assaults. These include the hiring of a full-time Title IX Investigator, launching the Sexual Assault Resource Center, increased training for resident advisors and police officers, and the addition of a new position to coordinate Clery Act reporting.

Two high-profile incidents that occurred on and near the USC campus also prompted changes to USC’s campus safety policies. In April 2012, two students were shot and killed near campus during a robbery and a shooting at a Halloween party on campus injured four people who were not students. In response to the Halloween shooting, USC President C.L. Max said in a letter to the USC community, “While the risk of such an episode on campus is very low, it reminds all of us that we must look out for ourselves and be particularly vigilant about the personal safety of friends and guests at our social events.” At the beginning of 2013, the university began requiring everyone arriving on campus between 9 pm and 6 am to present identification to security guards. USC also increased the number of surveillance cameras and added additional security patrols on campus. USC has one of the largest departments of public safety among U.S. colleges, with more than 300 full-time personnel, of which more than 100 are armed Public Safety Officers.

Fall 2013 Enrollment: 41,368 (18,445 undergraduate)
Average Violent Crime Rate: 1.06 per 1,000 students
Murder: 0
Forcible Sex Offense: 80
Robbery: 27
Aggravated Assault: 25
Campus Setting: City (Large)

-Campus crime statistics are three-year totals from 2011, 2012, and 2013
-The average violent crime rate is an average of the three-year data shown as a rate per 1,000 students

Click here to see the methodology used for the rankings.

Research and analysis done by Law Street’s Crime in America team:
Kevin Rizzo, Kwame Apea, Jennie Burger, Alissa Gutierrez, and Maurin Mwombela.

Kevin Rizzo
Kevin Rizzo is the Crime in America Editor at Law Street Media. An Ohio Native, the George Washington University graduate is a founding member of the company. Contact Kevin at



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