Survey: 82% of College Students Concerned with Personal Safety

ADT and Clery Center recently conducted a survey to gauge the comfort level of college students as they return to campus. About 82% of respondents reported feeling concerned about their personal safety on campus, with more than half calling themselves “very” or “extremely” concerned. The insecurity comes as students weather the return to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our mission is rooted in the ideology that the best education in the world is useless if a student doesn’t leave school with a healthy mind and body. The survey findings reinforce that many students don’t make use of campus resources available to them,” said Jessica Mertz, the Clery Center’s executive director. “Together with like-minded organizations like ADT, we’re focusing on generating greater awareness for free and low-cost resources that can help college students find comfort and support on campus.”

Other findings include:

  • Common elements of campus life make students feel unsafe, including leaving a bar or party alone (65%), walking home in the dark (74%), interacting with strangers (78%), and being in an unfamiliar area (82%).
  • About 97% of respondents said that their own personal safety is a daily consideration. Protection methods include traveling in groups or pairs (43%), familiarizing themselves with their environment (58%), and always carrying their phone (75%).
  • Only about 17% of respondents reported taking advantage of campus security escorts, while 13% said they had participated in campus prevention programs.
  • About 55% of respondents admitted that they have refrained from calling friends for help in an unsafe situation for fear of how they would be perceived.

Further details of the survey are available on the ADT website and the Clery Center website.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at