Princeton Review to Include ‘Green Rating’ in Annual Guide

Cornell_daily_sun_logo_jpegThe Princeton Review (TPR) recently announced its recent addition of a Green Rating to flagship publication, The 368 Best Colleges.  The Rating was created in partnership with ecoAmerica and will be released online and with TPR’s college guide later this summer.

Posted April 24, 2008
By Elizabeth Patrun, The Cornell Daily Sun

In deciding what colleges to apply to and ultimately attend,
applicants may consider academic offerings, location, size, reputation,
financial aid offerings and extracurricular opportunities. Another
factor may soon come into play in light of The Princeton Review’s
recent announcement that it will publish a “Green Rating” alongside
ratings of selectivity, quality of life and financial aid in the 2009
edition of its annual college guides, which will be available

The green rating was designed to measure how effective a college’s
environmental polices are in providing a better campus experience to
students. The rating will also consider how successful colleges are in
promoting learning opportunities and sustainable lifestyle choices.

“Forward-looking colleges and universities know that policies that
are good for the environment are also good for students. The Princeton
Review’s Green Rating helps students and parents find these schools
which offer a great quality of life and prepare students for successful
and fulfilling careers in the 21st century green economy,” Lee Bodner,
executive director of ecoAmerica, said in a press release from the
Princeton Review.

According to Harriet Brand, director of public relations for The
Princeton Review, the company developed the green rating after 63
percent of college applicants indicated that they would value having
information about a college’s commitment to the environment and that
such information could potentially impact their choices. The percentage
comes from The Princeton Review’s annual College Hopes & Worries
Survey, which questions 10,300 college applicants and their parents.

Brand said that although the green rating will “certainly” not be a
deciding factor for applicants, it “will be a part of the many factors
that are considered.”

The green rating that a college receives will be based on criteria
that span three broad areas. These areas include how environmentally
responsible a school’s polices are, how healthy and sustainable the
campus quality of life is and how well a school prepares its students
to make informed and environmentally responsible lifestyle decisions
after college.

The survey that will be used to analyze schools examines many
aspects of a school’s commitment to sustainability, the availability of
environmental studies majors and courses and institutional practices
concerning energy use, recycling, food sources and transportation

After reviewing the categories used in evaluating the rankings,
Katherine McEachern ’09, president of Kyoto Now!, said that she thinks
the categories indicate what universities should be doing to maximize

“As living and work spaces, the universities should also be
providing healthy, safe and sustainable environments … as educational
institutions, they should be providing a living classroom for students
that models sustainability and provide further opportunities for
students to show how sustainability will be connected to so many
aspects of our lives after we graduate,” McEachern stated in e-mail.

The Princeton Review developed the rating in conjunction with
ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental research organization.
EcoAmerica helped put together the rating criteria and survey.

Although The Princeton Review has not yet released the ratings,
Brand provided a list of unique practices that specific colleges engage

Included in the list was Ripon College, which was chosen for its
decision to give incoming freshman a free mountain bike, helmet and
lock if they do not bring a car to campus. Southern Illinois University
was mentioned for having a unique earthworm recycling method called
“vermiposting” that feeds campus food and paper waste to 2 million
worms that turn it into compost.

Cornell was not mentioned, but Brand emphasized that the list is not
exhaustive and that the schools that were selected for the list
released so far was based on the uniqueness of their practices.

Cornell received a grade of a B on the College Sustainability Report
Card, a measure developed by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. The
Institute ranks 200 public and private institutions with the largest

The green rating will be presented as a numerical score on a scale
of 60 to 99. The data used to evaluate each school will be from data
collected during the 2007-08 academic year.

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