Just in time to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, The Princeton Review recently released the sixth annual edition of its downloadable guide to the nation’s most environmentally responsible “green” colleges.
Based on a review of over 2,000 colleges, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition” profiles schools with “the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives, and activities.” And the 218-page guide is offered FREE OF CHARGE on The Princeton Review website.
Each year, The Princeton Review tweaks the green guide to bring more useful information to readers who are most likely making evaluations of colleges on their lists. New to the 2015 edition is a ranking of the “top 50” green colleges.
And the top 50 have gone to extraordinary lengths to incorporate environmentally-friendly programs and policies on campus. For example, among the top 50
- 33% of their total food expenditures go to purchases of local and/or organic food
- 81% of the new construction on their campuses is USGBC (www.usgbc.org) LEED-certified
- 96% offer an undergraduate major or degree that is sustainability focused
- 98% have a sustainability officer and sustainability committee
The new guide provides general descriptions of environmental and sustainability initiatives, or “Green Facts,” for each of the 353 colleges selected for inclusion. Specifically, there is information on available transportation alternatives, waste diversion, new construction, and sustainability-focused degrees.
And make no mistake—today’s undergrad really cares about the environment and sustainability. Colleges are responding by reconfiguring priorities in virtually every area of campus life.
“Among nearly 10,000 teens who participated in our 2015 College Hopes and Worries Survey, 61% told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Senior VP-Publisher.
To earn a spot in the green guide, school administrators were asked to provide data about their efforts to establish (and continually develop) an “environmentally beneficial” student experience focused on quality of campus life, environmentally responsible school policies, and preparation for citizenship in a world defined by environmental concerns and opportunities.
The top 50 colleges were selected based on a combination of school-reported data and student opinion.
While rankings are inevitably subjective and based on metrics you may or may not agree with, here are The Princeton’ Review’s nominees for the top ten green colleges for 2015:
- Lewis and Clark College, OR
- Green Mountain College, VT
- UC Santa Barabara, CA
- State University of New York—Stony Brook University, NY
- Dickinson College, PA
- Cornell University, NY
- American University, DC
- College of the Atlantic, ME
- Middlebury College, VT
- University of Vermont, VT
For the complete list or to download a copy of the “Guide to 353 Green Colleges,” visit the Princeton Review website.
Disclosure: Nancy Griesemer is a member of the Princeton Review National College Counselor Advisory Board, 2014-15.