Princeton Review Publishes Free Guide to Green Schools in U.S and Canada
Prospective college students are increasingly counting environmental responsibility among their criteria for choosing a school. In order to serve that need, the college review company The Princeton Review, in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council, has put out a list of 308 schools in the U.S. and three in Canada that meet their criteria as “green colleges.” The 2011 version of that book was released on April 20 and is offered for free online.
Inside the guide, readers will find:
- Profiles of the schools including application, admission, financial aid and student enrollment information
- The “Green Highlights” explaining each school’s best environmentally friendly initiatives and sustainability enterprises
- “Green Facts” detailing the school’s use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs, and the availability of programs of study centered on environmental issues, as well as career guidance within the field
- An A-Z glossary of over 40 green terms
- Lists of green schools with LEED, STARS, or ACUPCC distinctions
- A section entitled “Stories From Campus” that describes what 10 of the schools are doing to creatively address various environmental issues
Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing at the Princeton Review, emphasized the increased importance of green schools among college students-to-be.
“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues. Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey’ nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) told us having information about a schools’ commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.”
Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of USGBC, said that partnering with the Princeton Review for this book was a “no-brainer.”
“A green campus can transform the college experience for students through enhanced sustainability education and by creating healthy living and learning environments all while saving energy, water and money as part of an institution’s bottom line,” he said in a press release.
To select the schools that would be in the book, The Princeton Review distributed a survey in 2010 to colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada that tallied a “Green Rating” for each school. The scale for the “Green Rating” is from 60 to 99, and is culled from a selection of over 50 questions related to the school’s sustainability policies, practices and programs. Those questions include:
- What is the percentage of food expenditures that go toward local, organic, or otherwise environmentally preferable food?
- Does the school offer programs including free bus passes, universal access transit passes, bike sharing/renting, car sharing, carpool parking, vanpooling or guaranteed rides home to encourage alternatives to single-passenger automobile use for students?
- Does the school have a formal committee with participation from students that is devoted to advancing sustainability on campus?
- Are the new buildings required to be LEED Silver certified or comparable?
- What is a school’s overall waste diversion rate?
- Does the school have an environmental studies major, minor or concentration?
Of the 703 institutions that The Princeton Review rated in 2010, these 311 schools are those that received scores of an 80 or above.
“Together with USGBC, we are pleased to make this free resource available to all students seeking to attend colleges that practice, teach and support environmentally-responsible choices. To that end, we highly recommend the terrific schools in this book,” Franek said.