Piedmont College in Demorest has the safest campus in America, according to a popular website that researches and rates colleges, schools, neighborhoods and companies.
Niche, which is based in Pittsburgh, uses student reviews, statistics and U.S. Department of Education data to compile the rankings on 1,336 colleges and universities.
Piedmont has approximately 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students at its residential campus in Demorest and its commuter campus in Athens, according to information released by the college this week. During a time of pandemic and uncertainty, safety is a growing concern with students and parents, campus officials said.
"Our success is due to having a faculty and staff take a genuine interest in our students both personally and academically," said Piedmont Police Chief Jim Andrews in a press statemen. “Piedmont is a community where people look after and out for our neighbors.”
The 2020 top ranking was not the only accolade for Piedmont. The website rated Piedmont as No. 4 in the “Best Small Colleges” in Georgia category. The ranking includes institutions with an enrollment under 5,000. Piedmont was also ranked No. 7 for “Best Value Colleges” in Georgia. Each year, Piedmont awards scholarships to virtually all incoming freshmen. In 2019, nearly 1,900 students received academic scholarships and grants valued at approximately $12.5 million.
Piedmont College, soon to be Piedmont University, was founded in 1897. The institution recently purchased 90 acres of property in Demorest for expansion and will relocate its Athens campus into a new facility early next year.