Princeton Review Names Top Green Colleges

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — In anticipation of Earth Day on April 22, The Princeton Review released its sixth annual free guide to the most environmentally responsible colleges.

“The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition” profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities. The guide also gives college applicants information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, as well as student body facts and stats.

The Princeton Review chose the colleges based on “green rating” scores (from 60 to 99, the highest score possible) that the company tallied in summer 2014 for 861 colleges using data from its 2013-14 survey of school administrators.

On The Princeton Review’s website, users can also peruse detailed “Green Facts” write-ups on the schools. The write-ups report on everything from the school’s use of renewable energy, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.

New to the 2015 edition is a ranking list of the Top 50 Green Colleges on which Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., captured the top spot. The college was distinguished for generating 100 percent of its electricity through green sources, including the college’s Green Power Initiative, through which students in the College of Arts and Sciences voluntarily devoted $20 in annual fees to purchase renewable energy certificates. The college has also reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent since 2006, and the Lewis & Clark Green Energy Institute develops projects that advance and support renewable energy policies.

A Princeton Review survey revealed sustainability initiatives are important to prospective students.

“Among nearly 10,000 teens who participated in our 2015 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college,” Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior VP-publisher, said in a statement. “We strongly recommend the schools in this guide to environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges.”

Franek noted facts about the top 50 colleges on the guide’s new ranking list. Among this group of schools:
• 33 percent of their total food expenditures go to purchases of local and/or organic food
• 81 percent of the new construction on their campuses is LEED certified
• 96 percent offer an undergraduate major or degree that is sustainability-focused
• 98 percent have a sustainability officer and sustainability committee

The top 10 schools on The Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges list are:
1. Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Ore.)
2. Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vt.)
3. University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
4. State University of New York-Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.)
5. Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa.)
6. Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)
7. American University (Washington, D.C.)
8. College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine)
9. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.)
10. University of Vermont (Burlington, Vt.)