CAMPUS CRIME AND SECURITY SURVEY

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PLEASE NOTE: The annual crime and fire statistics survey will now be open from November 18, 2020 through January 14, 2021 due to COVID-19. If you need assistance with the survey, please call the Campus Safety Help Desk at 1-800-435-5985 or by email at campussafetyhelp@westat.com.

The Department is also extending the date for institutions to distribute their Annual Security Reports (ASRs) and Annual Fire Safety Reports (AFSRs) to required recipients to December 31, 2020. Institutions should distribute their reports on the normal schedule if possible.

The Campus Crime and Security Survey is due by October 1st of each year. The survey collects information regarding campus crime statistics. Schools are required to report certain statistics to ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education about crimes that occurred on campus using data maintained by their campus security department or designated school officials responsible for maintaining a security log. Additionally, schools are required to report any statistics provided from local or state police agencies.

A school must make a reasonable effort to obtain the required statistics from police departments and as a best practice should keep documentation of their efforts to do so, as well as any responses they receive. Although the Campus Crime and Security Survey has historically had a one-hundred percent response rate from schools each year, some schools have been cited for failing to keep supporting documentation, and even failing to reach out to their local police. Some schools have even been cited for failing to disclose certain crimes, particularly those covered under Title IX and VAWA which include forcible sex offenses. All the information schools report each year is extremely important for providing a safe environment for students and staff and keeping them informed about campus safety and security.

All Title IV postsecondary institutions are required to participate in this data collection with two exceptions:
• If your institution has a campus that opened after January 31st in the latest calendar year for which the survey collects data, that campus isn’t required to complete the survey. For example, if the campus opened in September 2018, the campus shouldn’t complete the 2019 survey which collects statistics for the entire 2018 calendar year. The campus is, however, required to comply with all other HEA safety- and security-related requirements and will be required to complete the 2020 survey.
• If yours is a distance education-only institution, the institution isn’t required to complete the survey.
In August the survey website will open for online registration. The link for the website is: http://surveys.ope.ed.gov/security/
A new User ID and Password is issued each year. Registration certificates went out in mid-July, so you should be receiving a registration certificate by mail, which contains a user ID and Password to register on the survey website. Once registered, you can begin entering information for the data collection.

YOUR CAMPUS CRIME SURVEY IS NOT YOUR ANNUAL SECURITY REPORT

Campus Crime Annual Security Safety Report

Do you know the difference between the Annual Security Report and the Campus Safety and Security Survey?

Every school that receives Title IV FSA Funds, is required to publish an Annual Security Report by October 1st of each year. If your campus has on-campus student housing, you must also publish an Annual Fire Safety report by October 1st of each year. Your Campus Crime Survey is NOT your annual security report. 

Although the Annual Security Report and the Annual Fire Safety report disclose similar data to the Campus Safety and Security Survey, it’s important to note the difference because they are two completely different things.

Think of it like this. The required annual report contains not only the crime statistics your school reported in the preceding years Security Survey, but also all of your institution’s safety and security polices and fire safety policies.

The annual security report and fire safety reports are to be published and disseminated to students and employees each year. Your institution may not use its participation in the survey to fulfill its annual report dissemination requirement. Nor may an institution simply provide a link to the Office of Postsecondary Education’s public website to fulfill the requirement. This is extremely important to note for compliance purposes since some schools have been cited for things like inadequately developed safety and security policies and failure to make the required annual disclosure.  

In case you missed it, the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting was recently updated and includes information about Campus Security Policy Requirements. You can read it here.