FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University is the safest college in South Carolina, according to a recent study by, an online researcher and ranker of American demographics.

FMU’s top ranking is based on information culled from the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security database. The database is based on mandatory crime statistics supplied by colleges and universities.

The Clery Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act require colleges and universities to collect and report campus crime statistics. used data from three criminal statistical areas – sexual assaults per student (rape, statutory rape and fondling), violent crimes per student (murder, negligent homicide, aggravated assault and robbery) and property crimes per student (burglary, car theft and arson) – to rate campuses.

Each campus was ranked in each category and cumulatively as well. The cumulative scores produced the state rankings. Only BA and BS conferring institutions with more than 500 students were included in the study.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based studies and ranks cities and institutions in the United States in more than 60 different categories based on information from the U.S. census, the FBI and dozens of other sources. Its “bite-sized” research – hence, the company name – has been cited by the New York Times, USA Today , CBS, CNBC, Business Insider and numerous other mainstream news outlets.

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