Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2019

Department 1



Increased media attention on college crime has led to greater prioritization of campus safety when selecting a college to attend. This, coupled with society’s view of higher education as a necessity to succeed in the labor market, creates a potential tradeoff between safety on campus and future job success. To analyze such tradeoff, I examine whether college crime affects retention rates at four-year American institutions. While literature has focused on college crime and factors that affect the decision to begin attending a college, no study has solely focused on the college crime and the decision to continue attending a college. Using data from the US Department of Education, I estimate the effect of college crime and changing college crime expectations on retention rates from 2009 to 2016 for four-year institutions using linear and nonlinear OLS regressions. Such results have implications for college policies to combat crime on campus not only to keep students safe, but to prevent students from transferring or dropping out. Using an instrumental regression with a proxy for average state temperature, along with fixed effects and interaction terms, I find that college crime expectations and college crime overall have a negative, statistically insignificant effect on retention rates.


Written for ECON 350: Econometrics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.