With the green economy growing and universities taking action to improve their environmental practices prospective college students are looking for ways to evaluate which schools offer the best experience and preparation for the new economy. Now students will have the information they need. ecoAmerica partnered with the Princeton Review, known for its test-prep courses, books and website resources helping students choose and get in to colleges, to develop the college Green Rating which measures the environmental practices most relevant to students and parents in the college selection process.
A school’s green practices can make a real difference in a student’s quality of life. Green building features like good natural lighting assist with concentration and mood, transportation options like bike sharing provide convenience and cost savings, and local and organic food not only taste great but they are better for health. Similarly, environmental curriculum, hands-on research opportunities, and student participation in campus sustainability will play a significant role in preparing students for great careers in burgeoning fields like clean tech. The Green Rating emphasizes college practices in these areas plus key measures of institutional commitment such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and use of renewable energy (steps many schools are taking by participating in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment).
Forward-looking colleges and universities see the alignment between policies that are both good for the environment and good for students. The ratings show that there are a many of schools of every type and in every part of the country that are going the extra mile to offer a great quality of life, and give students a leg up in the 21st century green economy.
Using a survey developed with the assistance of a panel of higher education sustainability experts, the over 530 participating schools are scored on numerical scores on a scale of 60 to 99 based on current performance. And because the ratings make green practices relevant to students they will spur further interest and progress on the part of higher education institutions.
The Green Ratings are available on the Princeton Review’s website along with a dedicated a resource area on its website for students and others interested in learning more about the green rating and the benefits of attending a top scoring college. The ratings will also be in the print profiles of those schools in the 2009 editions of three Princeton Review books: “The Best 368 Colleges”, “The Best Northeastern Colleges” and “The Complete Book of Colleges” all published by Random House.