Choosing a postsecondary institution is a major decision for students and their families. Along with academic, financial and geographic considerations, the issue of campus safety is a vital concern for incoming students, as well as for faculty and staff. In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act (Title II of Public Law 101-542), which amended the Higher Education Act of 1965. This law requires all post secondary institutions participating in Title IV student financial aid programs to publicly disclose campus crime statistics and security information. 1998 amendments to the law renamed the Act the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of Jeanne Clery, a young woman who was sexually assaulted and murdered on a college campus in 1986.
The Clery Act requires higher education institutions to collect, report and disseminate crime statistics to their faculty, staff and students; to give timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees, and to publicize their campus security policies. In this fashion, complete, accurate and timely information about safety issues is disseminated, so that students and their families can make informed decisions about the campus environment, and faculty and staff have information necessary to enhance the security and wellbeing of their workplace.