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Missoula campus rated safest among state colleges, universities

by The Western News
| December 13, 2011 2:08 PM

The University of Montana ranked No.1 in Montana for campus safety in a recently released ranking of the safest colleges and universities in the U.S. by StateUniversity.com.

The safest schools findings are based on incidents of campus crime as reported by campus safety officials. The 2011 rankings are available online at http://www.stateuniversity.com/rank/safety_score_rank.html.

As part of the safest schools ranking, StateUniversity.com analyzed crime statistics for 450 colleges and universities and assigned a safety rating to each school. Safety ratings are determined based on the number of occurrences of aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft/larceny, motor vehicle theft, forcible rape and murder on campus.

The numbers then are weighed based on the probability of each incident happening to each student since larger campuses would be expected to have a higher number of total incidents.

Violent crime is given more weight in the ranking system and has a greater effect on the safety rating than nonviolent crime such as theft.

Compared to universities nationwide, UM was ranked as being safer than more than half the colleges and universities surveyed.

“Student safety and campus crime are sometimes overlooked during the college evaluation process,” said Dominik Mazuz, founder of StateUniversity.com. “We believe it is important for students to be aware of crime on campus and in the surrounding community.”

The safety rankings are the latest in a series of rankings lists compiled by StateUniversity.com, including top-ranked schools overall.