Reader’s Digest Campus Safety Survey

See how America’s top colleges and universities ranked for campus safety and security. We did a comprehensive survey of college campuses on important safety measures ranging from dorm rooms with self-locking doors to around-the-clock security and emergency plans. The results are in! See how the schools ranked and learn how we came up with grades for each of the colleges and universities.

View or Print the RD Campus Safety Survey Results

General Methodology

Reader’s Digest invited 291 top colleges and universities to participate in a survey to see how well prepared they were to handle various safety and security issues. 135 agreed; the questionnaire and results, along with our methodology appear here for your review. While the schools are ranked in the exact order of their preparedness, we have given the participants grades of A, B or C.

We realize that each campus is different and that its security needs are unique. Therefore, we believe it is fairer to say that certain schools are excelling in the safety arena; others are doing a good job, and some would benefit by putting more resources into campus safety and security. The Reader’s Digest survey was prepared in consultation with Matthew E. Kahn, Ph.D., Safety on Campus, Inc.

Calculating the RD Safety Index
For each of the 135 schools, 19 variables were used to construct the Safety Preparedness Index. These are the column headings that can been seen on the report card.

For each of these variables, its sample mean and standard deviation was calculated. Define these variables as m_l and s_l. For each of the 19 variables, indexed by l, for each school, indexed by f that we use in the index, we normalize it by calculating (X_fl-m_l)/s_l.

For schools that did not report data for one of the 19 categories, we set their score equal to the normalized average sample score of zero.

In calculating the RD index, Each of the 19 variables receives equal weight. Thus, the safety index is the sum of each school’s normalized score in each of the 19 categories. Sorting this index from highest score to lowest score, yields the RD safety index.

Assistance was also provided by our Market Research Department, and reporters Deirdre M. Casper, Tara Conry, Nancy Coveney, Susan Doremus, Bridget Nelson Monroe and Neena Samuel.

Note: Our printables are PDF files that require Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader already installed on your computer, or would like to update to the latest version, visit Adobe’s website to download the software for free.

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