Apr 08, 2016 09:00 AM EDT

Which College Should I Go To? The One With The Safest Campus

By Jane Reed

Is it time to think about which college to go to? Surely, educational ranking and course availability is required as well as the affordability of the program. However, some consider campus safety to be a major choice.

Millions of American students are now thinking about which college or university to go to. They are weighing their options about where to spend the next four years of their lives, according to Time.

One such source of information, called the Princeton Review, helps students assess which college or university is best fit for them, based on the data collected for the past thirty years. However, campus safety is not included in their data bank.

Is this school safe? How safe? How likely is it that any given student-myself, my child-will experience sexual assault? What is the count of students being attacked or assaulted?

Colleges often do not answer these questions sufficiently. News reports have made it clear that children are being exposed to violence and can turn on their own peers. If these parents' children are going to a different state, they want to be assured that they are well taken cared of.

Sexual assault remains both underreported and epidemic in the United States' college campus. The AAUW reports that 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 16 men, are being sexually assaulted on college campus. These survivors of such assault go to court and hold the college itself responsible for the safety of the students.

Families and students are trying to make informed choices. Which is why schools are being asked to update their system to include such information. Questions like "What is the institution's record on and approach to crime and sexual assault? What is the administration doing to keep the campus safe?" should be answered.

Institutions, from ranking entities to colleges themselves, need to take positive action for us to see culture change and actual impact on the conduct of colleges and the safety of students. Time ends with a critical note - that students and their parents have a right to know.

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