When it comes to selecting a college, safety is among the most important topics to consider.
Some colleges are very prestigious, yet situated in less than desirable areas. Others rate highly in safety scores, have extraordinary environments, and rarely have any crime issues on campus.
According to one of America’s top safety and security specialty websites, Alarms.org, the following colleges and universities rank in the top 10 list of schools with stellar safety statistics.
These 10 schools also offer some unique programs and learning environments, making them worthy of checking out.
10. Albany State University (Albany, GA)
As an Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Albany State University has an outstanding reputation in academics, student life, and sports.
Founded by a former slave Joseph Winthrop Holly in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manuel Training Institute, this school was opened after Holly read and was inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’ book The Souls of Black Folks.
Throughout the 1960s, students at Albany State played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. The Albany Movement brought civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. to the area and led to the arrest of more than 1,000 protestors, many of whom were students from Albany State.
Today, Albany State boasts over 59 groups and organizations, ranging from fraternities and sororities to NCAA Division II sports teams. The school’s Marching Rams Show Band is known for frequently participating in Honda Battle of the Bands and has also participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Notable alumni include Alice Coachman, the first African-American woman to win an olympic gold medal, several professional football and professional basketball players, and Shirley Sherrod, a civil rights activist and former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture.
Graduates of the university describe the atmosphere as friendly and helpful, with professors going out of their way to help them succeed.
9. University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis, TN)
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is one of the top schools for health careers in the nation.
In fact, its College of Pharmacy placed #17 on US News and World Report’s list in 2016. Students can take classes in a wide variety of health professions, including nursing, pharmacy, and opthamology.
Notable alumni include Rhea Seddon, MD, a former astronaut who has been inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, two former governors of Tennessee, and William E. Evans, the former director and C.E.O. of St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Among notable faculty is Samual Dagogo-Jack, a leader in diabetes research and the former president of the American Diabetes Association.
8. Elgin Community College (Elgin, IL)
Elgin Community College provides a quality education with a small-town feel. The college was founded in 1949, and was first housed in a local high school. Since then, it has expanded into a 120-acre campus with a variety of classrooms and facilities, including a burn tower and ponds for rescue diving and firefighter training.
Student amenities include a library, gym, and a restaurant. Massage therapy students also run a student massage clinic, in which students can receive low-cost massages by appointment.
This community college offers a wide variety of classes in both academic and technical fields, which makes it a good alternative to larger, more expensive universities.
7. Roane State Community College (Harriman, TN)
Roane State Community College is the location of the Henry/Stafford East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center, which hosts many livestock and agricultural-related events in Tennessee, as well as an observatory, art galleries, and two different theaters.
Students can explore a variety of academic subjects for the fraction of the price of a large university.
In 2008, a 73-year-old student, Ken Mink, became the oldest student ever to score in a college basketball game before being declared academically ineligible for failing a Spanish class. Mink is now 85 and plays basketball in the Senior Olympics.
He has also written twenty books about sports and his personal story, as well as edits an online travel journal with his wife. Mink is likely the most famous alumni of the school.
6. Virginia Western Community College (Roanoke, VA)
Virginia Western Community College scores high with students and alumni in both diversity and safety, making it a welcoming environment for everyone. Both students and alumni report that the teachers are friendly. Because of the small, close-knit community, students feel that they really get to know their professors.
This school offers only two-year programs, but credits can easily be transferred toward a bachelor’s degree from a four year college or university.
Virginia Western is home to a variety of unique student clubs, including a quilting and sewing club, amateur radio club, robotics club, and the Kappa Beta Delta honor society. Students organizations help students meet new people and gain leadership experience, adding to the collegial feel on campus.
5. John Wood Community College (Quincy, IL)
John Wood Community College is a small, rural, 2-year community college with a very interesting history. In 1974, when the college was first formed, they lacked facilities in which to educate students.
Instead, the college took a “Common Market” approach which allowed students to enroll at John Wood but take their classes at other local colleges such as Culver-Stockton College and Quincy College.
By 1991, the “Common Market” structure had been phased out and the school had purchased a number of prefabricated buildings and hired their own staff to teach courses.
Now, the college’s facilities include a fine arts center, a science and technology center, and numerous sports facilities including a baseball field and a softball field.
4. Jackson State Community College (Jackson, TN)
Jackson State Community College boasts about their small class sizes taught by highly-qualified and experienced professors. They also offer a wide array of student-lead clubs and intramural sports in which any student, faculty member, or staff member can participate.
Despite not having an NCAA-caliber sports program on campus, the school has produced at least four professional baseball players, one professional basketball player and one college baseball coach (Greg Goff, the head baseball coach at Purdue University).
Notable alumni also include politicians Steve McDaniel and Ron Lollar.
3. Elon University (Elon, NC)
Elon University was originally affiliated with the United Church of Christ and only accepted residents of North Carolina, but quickly grew to have a reputation as a highly-selective nationally-known university.
When the university decided to open itself up to residents of any state in the 1970s, they set very high standards for admission. This change resulted in a rigorous university with multiple schools including the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and Elon University School of Law.
Although it is no longer affiliated with the church, the university embraces the idea that education should nurture the mind, body, and spirit.
Today, their diverse student body can participate in any number of religious organizations, including Hillel: The Jewish Foundation for Campus Life and a Muslim Student Association. In addition, the Interfaith Youth Core works to bring together people of all faiths for open dialogue. Both Jewish and Hindu students report that the campus goes the extra mile when it comes to accommodating for religious holidays.
The university boasts notable alumni in academia, sports, politics, and business, including NASCAR driver Ward Burton and Rich Blomquist, an Emmy Award-winning writer for The Daily Show.
2. South Georgia State College (Douglas, GA)
South Georgia State College began as an agriculture school in Douglas, GA in 1908. Many buildings on campus are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Students say that this college is good for local students who don’t want to be bogged down by a lot of student loan debt.
The college once only offered two-year degrees, but now they have expanded to include many four-year bachelor’s degrees as well. They even have on-campus housing for students who wish to live away from home.
As part of the school’s safety initiative, they provide literature and videos on their website to expand awareness and helpful practices to keep students safer. Students are encouraged to educate themselves about common safety concerns on college campuses.
Children’s author Doris Buchanan Smith graduated from South Georgia State. She later went on to publish 17 children’s books, including the award-winning A Taste of Blackberries.
1. Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, TN)
Lincoln Memorial University was named after President Abraham Lincoln, and therefore holds a large collection of materials related to Lincoln and the Civil War.
It is known for its literary legacy, with graduates including authors James Still and Don West, among others.
In 2005, author-in-residence Silas House started the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, an annual celebration of Appalachian literature.
The university also runs a college preparatory school called J. Frank White Academy, where students in kindergarten through grade 12 can take college prep courses as well as dual credit courses at Lincoln Memorial University.
Graduates of this school include well-known bluegrass musicians, Appalachian writers, and professional athletes.
All colleges on this list have succeeded in creating small, safe learning environments in which studies can study and grow.
Their unique approaches to student life and classroom instruction has also led to many successful graduates in diverse career fields such as politics, science, education, and acting.