Princeton Review’s – Guide to Green Colleges

College shopping is in full swing as many families of newly minted high school seniors are hitting the road to check out potential colleges.

For many families, college is one of its largest purchase decision.  Savvy, environmentally conscious consumers are already evaluating the greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint from other large purchases such as their cars, homes, and cumulative food choices.

But what about extending this same environmental criteria to the college selection?  More and more college shoppers are now adding the selection criteria of which colleges are the most responsive to greenhouse gas concerns.  Green Blizzard was curious.

Apparently,  this emerging consumer interest in a college’s perspective on the green movement was enough for  The Princeton Review to release its popular and annual Guide to Green Colleges. According to the Princeton Review,  among the almost 16,000 college applicants and parents of applicants, 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 to attend the school.  Clearly the green movement on college campuses is far more than a passing fad. There is a sincere and growing interest among students in identifying and applying to colleges where there is a demonstrated com- mitment to sustainability.

So from their survey, the Princeton Review identified that 16% of all potential applicants highly rank a school’s sustainability rating.   Surprisingly, in 2016, only 361 out of 4300+ institutions made the list, just 5%.   Many more are now busy at work.  Nevertheless, that’s a vote of confidence for the green movement,  since apparently both parents and students are placing higher importance to school’s green commitment, right up there with academic rankings.  After all this is one of the largest investment many of us will make in ourselves and our children.

The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) on this guide.  Its FREE and can be downloaded from the Princeton Review website.  

Selection criteria fell into three major groupings:

  • Health and Sustainability on the Campus (organic foods, grounds maintenance,…)
  • School Administration – Is  it committed to sustainability and are they taking steps in this direction?
  • Green Curriculum – Is the school preparing the student for jobs in the green economy?

A snapshot of the 286 schools profiled include many popular and a few lesser-known schools.   Click for a the complete list of 286 Green Colleges.

Top 10 Green Colleges In The Top 50 for in 2016

  • College of the Atlantic
  • State University of New York – Syracuse
  • Green Mountain College
  • Colorado State University
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Middlebury College
  • UC – Santa Cruz
  • Dickinson College
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington

Overall, given the magnitude of this lifetime decision and the strong message you could be sending the academic community, Green Blizzard rates this with a five footprint impact rating.

Danielle Be sure to check out our green lifestyle store Green Blizzard Store. Check out these related Green Blizzard articles: Seafood Watch, Are We Eating Fish Into Extinction, Carbon Impact of Meats, Local Produce, Sun Tea, or Growing Basil.


About the author

Danielle Jappah

Danielle brings a touch of southern US charm to our writing team.Since points of view on climate change vary depending on resources, economies, and political viewpoints of the region, we wanted a southerner to expand our point of view. The U.S. South has its own unique POV on climate change and Danielle writes from her office in Atlanta inspiring southern naysayers to wake up and recognize what happening everywhere.