It's one of the most exciting experiences for any family, watching their son or daughter go off to college.
But there's something to consider that's more important than outfitting the dorm room and choosing the right classes.
“My encouragement to parents, and students as well, would be to take safety and security into account when you're deciding where to go to college,” said Rick Amweg, Ohio Board of Regents.
Getting your hands on that information is just a few keystrokes away.
To get a sense of the level of crime on just about any campus in the country, you can go on the internet. 10TV found a site by the U.S. Department of education that is pretty revealing.
“Each institution is required annually to provide that information to the public and specifically to students and prospective students,” added Amweg.
The mandate came out of the 1987 tragedy of Jeanne Clery. The 19-year-old student at Pennsylvania's Lehigh University was raped and murdered in her dorm room. Her attacker was also a student at the school.
The parents discovered after the act that, similar crimes had happened at that institution and had never been made public.
Jeanne's family lobbied congress to change that. Lawmakers passed the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, named in Jeanne's honor. The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.
The government website shows crimes reported to a given college.
“There are some regulations they have to follow in terms of how they count them, but by and large, I think the numbers they represent to the U.S. Department of Education are fairly accurate,” added Amweg.
The safety and security expert says it helps parents and students find out the level and type of crimes being reported at the college their child is attending.
WEB EXTRA LINKS
Gives users access to the U.S. Department of Education's Final Program Review Reports, issued following an institution's Jeanne Clery Act review
Tool offered by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, "designed to provide rapid customized reports for public inquiries relating to campus crime and fire data"
Legislative History of the Jeanne Clery Act from 1990-2008
Guide from the Student Press Law Center that answers frequently asked questions in relation to the Jeanne Clery Act (NOTE: Was created in 2010, so some information is outdated)
Training from the U.S. Department of Education to assist with Jeanne Clery Act compliance
The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security.
OSU’s Clery Report
Columbus State’s Clery Report