Preston M. Green Hall on Washington University's campus. Photo courtesy of Washington University.
St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - A new report ranks Washington University in St. Louis as one of the most "crime-ridden" colleges in the nation.
The website The Daily Beast ranks Washington University at number 16 for America's Most Crime-Rattled Colleges. Prior to unveiling its list, The Daily Beast said it used college crime data from the Department of Education, adding that their numbers represent reported crimes only, not prosecutions.
According to the website, there were 37 robberies, 34 assaults, 131 burglaries and 104 car thefts near the Washington University campus between 2008 and 2010. Universities are required to track and make crime statistics available to the public.
The Daily Beast issued this statement with its rankings:
We looked at four-year nonprofit private colleges and four-year public colleges with more than 6,000 total students, taking into account the numbers for each school's primary campus and auxiliary campuses in the same metro area as the main campus. Our final dataset included more than 500 universities. The crimes we considered were: murder, negligent murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, car theft, and arson. Because not all crimes are the same, we devised a subjective weighting system based on crime severity. Burglary established our low-end baseline for weighting; car theft was weighted twice as much as burglary; assault and robbery, six times as much as burglary; arson and negligent manslaughter, 10 times as much as burglary; and murder, 20 times as much as burglary.
In addition to weighting, we considered each crime against total enrollment, to come up with a per-capita ratio. Finally, each per-capita ratio was compared to the overall cohort of more than 500 schools-to take into account whether each school's per-capita ratio for each crime was relatively high or low-to determine our final list of America's Most Crime-Rattled Colleges.
Washington University officials told the St. Louis Business Journal the rankings are misleading, since the data includes both the main campus and the medical campus.
Tuition for the 2011-12 academic year at Washington University is $20,475 per semester for full-time study.
The University of Alabama, Huntsville topped the list.