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Penn State New Kensington ranked safest college campus in Pennsylvania

Matthew Medsger
| Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, 2:18 p.m.
Penn State New Kensington head librarian Jennifer Gilley wipes a book at Peoples Library in New Kensington during Day of Caring on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.
Tribune-Review
Penn State New Kensington head librarian Jennifer Gilley wipes a book at Peoples Library in New Kensington during Day of Caring on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

Penn State New Kensington is the safest college campus in the state and ninth safest in the country.

That's according to Pittsburgh-based municipal ranking site Niche.com, which used data from the U.S. Department of Education to rank 1,346 schools across seven categories of campus safety.

The factors leading to the school's place at the top of the safety list were the rate of crime on campus, local crime rate, student surveys, rates of domestic violence in residence halls, rape incidents in residence halls, and drug and alcohol related arrests on campus.

“The 2018 Safest College Campuses ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer a safe and healthy environment with little or no campus crime, drugs or alcohol usage,” the Niche company website reads.

Chancellor Kevin Snider said that the school is delighted to receive the designation.

“We feel like we are a really nice environment to be in, and we do everything we can to provide a safe environment for our students and faculty,” he said. “We're also cognizant of the idea that we need to take security seriously, but by and large, we're very happy with the climate we have.”

Previously, Penn State New Kensington, which is located in Upper Burrell, was ranked the sixth safest in Pennsylvania and 57th in the country.

The top spots nationally were grabbed by Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Mass.; Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y.; and Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Mich.

Penn State Lehigh Valley came in 12th nationally and second in the state. DeSales University in Center Valley came in third in the state.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675, mmedsger@tribweb.com or via Twitter @matthew_medsger.

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