News, On Campus

BC Ranked 12th Safest College in the US by ‘Academic Influence’

Boston College is the 12th safest college campus in the country, according to a recent ranking by Academic Influence, a think tank specializing in higher education.

The ranking assessed concrete steps and policies different colleges implement to create a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. 

“A safe college campus is one where a school actively works to increase campus safety by implementing measures like ride-share programs, emergency blue light phones around campus, security cameras, security guards, mass notifications systems, and even self-defense classes for students,” the ranking reads. 

BC had a crime rate of 21.03 per 1,000 students in 2022—well below the national average of 41.2, according to the ranking. 

The ranking also considered crime rates of areas surrounding college campuses noting that the crime rate in Newton—for both violent and property crimes—is also lower than the national average.

“As a result, despite the city’s very high cost of living, many prospective college students flock to Boston College to earn a degree,” the ranking reads.

The ranking also took into account universities’ compliance with the Clery Act, which requires all colleges receiving federal funds to publish an annual report on crimes that occur each year and their efforts to improve campus safety.

BC fully complies with the law and reported 25 cases of rape in 2022—an increase from 16 the previous year.

BC remained fully free from violent crimes—such as robbery, manslaughter, and arrests for weapons—in 2022, according to the Campus Security and Fire Safety report.

Between 2020 and 2021, burglaries in University housing and off-campus student houses decreased by 50 percent, but increased slightly in 2022 before falling once again in 2023, according to the ranking.

According to the ranking, BC’s campus is protected by extensive physical security measures, including locks on all residence hall dorms and security guards at entrance gates. Safety efforts also include frequent patrols by the Boston College Police Department, which has 41 uniformed officers and 87 employees, according to its website.

“Since the campus is private property, it is forbidden to trespass or solicit,” the ranking reads. “After regular business hours, buildings are secured and Boston College Police officers frequently check external doors.”

Aside from campus security, access to mental health services was also considered in the assessment of each college. The ranking noted how University Counseling Services and the Division of Student Affairs offer support, counseling, and guidance to victims of crimes as well as students charged with minor offenses. 

BC was one of four colleges from Massachusetts to make the rankings top 15, alongside Bridgewater State University, No. 4; University of Massachusetts Amherst, No. 5; and Tufts University, No.11. Purdue University topped the list.

January 25, 2024