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Princeton Review publishes green college guide

Got a student at home trying to make the big choice of a college to attend? Are schools’ commitments to sustainability a part of his/her criteria for choosing one?

If so, your budding collegian isn’t alone: according to the Princeton Review’s 2009 College Hopes & Worries Survey (which solicited information from college applicants and their parents), “66 percent of respondents said they would value having information about a college’s commitment to the environment. Moreover, of that cohort, 24 percent said such information would ‘very much’ impact their decision to apply to or attend the school.”

But where do you find this information?

There have been a number of rankings and reports issued on green colleges (we’ve covered a few of them), but the Princeton Review decided to take another approach: provide students and their families with a broad range of information on a number of schools so that applicants can find their “best fit.” The result of their information-gathering and approach to interpreting that information is The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges, available for free download at the organization’s web site.

The guide was developed with the USGBC, but isn’t simply an overview of colleges building green on campus (though that certainly figures in). Rather, PR attempted to provide information touching on many of the traditional questions students might ask… with a green angle. Some of the issues covered include

  • Campus operations: Everything from building to procurement
  • Academic programs: The majors available for students interested studying sustainability
  • Career preparation: A school’s ability to prepare its students for the green career fields of the 21st century
  • Accountability: Schools transparency about environmental impact, and efforts to reduce it.



While the guide’s release last week aimed at making the Earth Day tie-in, it’s also good timing for high school seniors still wrestling with that big decision about the next step in their lives.

Got a shout-out for a particular institution’s sustainability efforts? This is the place to share it…

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Image: Green Club members at Nazareth College Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nazareth_college/ / CC BY 2.0