55 Colleges Face Federal Sexual Assault Probe

The White House continued its initiative to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses by publishing 55 schools under investigation.

55 Colleges Face Federal Sexual Assault Probe
Flickr / Jackson Myers

The U.S. Department of Education is making a strong push this week to improve awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. 

The White House has been releasing numbers and educational information all week, including this ad featuring President Obama, Joe Biden, and several celebrities urging universities to be more active in their efforts to deter campus sexual assault. (Via The White House ) 

"It's up to all of us to put an end to sexual assault."

Then Thursday, in a somewhat surprising move, the Department of Education released the names of 55 schools under Title IX investigation for their handlings of sexual assault. 

The list includes several high-profile universities including Ivy League schools Princeton, Harvard School of Law, Dartmouth and several large state universities including Florida State — where Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston was caught up in a high-profile sexual assault scandal. (Via ‚ÄčU.S. Department of EducationWJLA

The list includes several other universities, both public and private, from around the U.S. 

A writer for Jezebel says: "I was ... shocked by how many gigantic public schools were on the list. Being terrible about rape appears as endemic to American high education as barfing on the quad. ... People are paying attention, and this isn't going away."

According to NPR's analysis of White House release numbers, the number of rapes reported on college campuses is up nearly 50 percent since 2008 — which actually could be a positive sign.  

One campus safety advocate told NPR"It's a good thing that more victims are reporting because they're getting the help and support they need from their institutions ... which is the first step in healing and recovery."