In 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, which requires postsecondary institutions to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The act was renamed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in 1998 in memory of a student who was slain in her dorm room in 1986.

The Clery Act requires higher education institutions to give timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees, and to make public their campus security policies. It also requires that crime data is collected, reported and disseminated to the campus community and is also submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. The act is intended to provide students and their families, as higher education consumers, with accurate, complete, and timely information about safety on campus so they can make informed decisions.