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Research Finds 82% of American College Students are Concerned About Their Personal Safety   

3 min read

New Research from ADT and Clery Center Demonstrates the Growing Need for Personal Safety Solutions

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- College students are back on campus this fall, many for the first time, and they’re embracing yet another “new normal” of campus life. Alongside the general goal of getting good grades, new research shows that personal safety is top-of-mind for college students. ADT, the most trusted name in security, and Clery Center, a national nonprofit focused on promoting campus safety, conducted a survey of college students to determine their general comfort levels around their personal safety on campus.

Key takeaways from the survey include:

  • More than 82% of college students report feeling concerned about their personal safety as they return to campus this fall, with more than half saying they are very or extremely concerned.1
  • According to students, even common activities of campus life make them feel unsafe, like being in an unfamiliar area (82%), interacting with strangers (78%), walking home in the dark (74%), or leaving a bar/party alone (65%).
  • An overwhelming majority of college students (97%) say they consider their personal safety as they go about daily campus life and try to protect themselves by always carrying their phone (75%), trying to familiarize themselves with their surroundings (58%) or traveling in groups or pairs (43%).
  • Only 17% of college students utilize campus security escorts, and only 13% of college students participate in campus prevention programs to feel safer.
  • More than 55% of college students admit they have not called friends for help when they’ve felt unsafe because they feared they’d be judged by them.

“Our mission is rooted in the ideology that the best education in the world is useless if a student doesn’t leave school with a healthy mind and body. The survey findings reinforce that many students don’t make use of campus resources available to them,” said Jessica Mertz, Executive Director at Clery Center. “Together with like-minded organizations like ADT, we’re focusing on generating greater awareness for free and low-cost resources that can help college students find comfort and support on campus.”

Infographic displaying survey results

Personal Safety Resource
ADT saw a void in the industry for a comprehensive mobile safety app and developed SoSecure by ADT to help people feel safe on the go. The app allows users to call for help in many ways: by sliding a button, SMS chat, video*, or hands-free with a secret code word*. Once activated, SoSecure discretely connects users with trained ADT monitoring security professionals who can assess the situation and notify 911 with the user’s location and profile details to help first responders find them faster. SoSecure is available for free download on iOS and Android.

SoSecure is ideal for anyone with personal safety concerns, but especially for college students who are navigating new environments and social situations for the first time. Whether students are walking home from class or a party, going on an early morning run, or find themselves lost in an unfamiliar part of campus, help is always by their side with SoSecure. In addition, the app has a new codeword capability that allows users to set up a personalized, secret phase that can trigger an SOS alert with ADT (even when the phone is in lock mode), providing a discreet and judgment-free way to seek help, no matter the situation. The TrackMe feature allows students to set a timer for any activity and invites ADT to track them via GPS. If they don’t stop the timer and they can’t confirm they’re safe, ADT will alert 911 and the preset Guardians.

“For millions of college students, this is a year like no other, and while they juggle the demands of classes, social activities, and navigating the pandemic, they shouldn’t have to bear the extra burden of worrying about their personal safety,” says Leah Page, Vice President of Mobile Security & Strategic Projects at ADT. “The college years are meant to be filled with adventure, and with the always-on support of the SoSecure app, it’s our hope that students feel empowered to live confidently and parents like myself can breathe easier knowing that our students have a resource to seek trusted help whenever they need it.”

To learn more about SoSecure, please visit and to learn more about the Clery Center and discover resources for campus safety, please visit The SoSecure app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

*Available with a subscription to SoSecure Plus or Premium

About ADT Inc.
ADT is the most trusted brand in smart home and business security. Through innovative products, partnerships, and the largest network of smart home security professionals in the United States, we connect and protect what matters most to our customers at home, work, and on the go. For more information, visit

About the Clery Center
Clery Center is a national nonprofit that empowers colleges and universities to create safer campuses. With over 30 years of experience, we connect campus safety professionals with ready-to-use materials, resources, and strategies to help guide them through understanding and implementing the provisions of the Clery Act to keep students safe. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Paul Wiseman

1 Engine Insights survey of 1,002 college students identified from a demographically representative sample of the U.S. population, conducted in September 2021.