Students care about sustainability when choosing a college. In fact, 63% of students surveyed for the Princeton Review's 2018 "College Hopes & Worries Survey" reported that information about a college's commitment to the environment would influence their application or enrollment decisions.
Recognizing student interest in the topic, the Princeton Review releases an annual ranking of the “Top 50 Green Colleges,” which measures colleges' environmental friendless on factors such as campus sustainability policies and initiatives, and course offerings and career prep in sustainability-focused fields.
To create the list, each college was given a score between 60 and 99 based on their "sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs." Colleges that received a score above 80 made the list:
1. College of the Atlantic
2. State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
3. University of Vermont*
4. Dickinson College*
5. St. Mary's College of Maryland
6. Colorado State University*
7. Pitzer College*
8. Cornell University
9. Randolph College
10. Stanford University
*Editor's note: EAB congratulates our member institutions who made the list. Member institutions listed above are marked with an asterisk.
The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine earned the top spot on the list for the third consecutive year. The college was the first in the United States "established to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment," according to a recent press release. The college also went carbon-neutral in 2007 and has committed to becoming fossil fuel-free by 2030.
But each college on the list has earned bragging rights. Of the top 50 green colleges, 98% have a sustainability office and a sustainability committee on campus, and every college offers a sustainability-focused undergraduate major or degree. Even more, nearly a quarter (23%) of the colleges' total food purchases are organic or from local sources, and nearly half (49%) of their waste is diverted from landfills or incinerators (Princeton Review press release, 10/16).
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