By Kristin Simmons Ferguson
Higher Ed Associate, Center for Green Schools
For the third year in a row, we at the Center for Green Schools are pleased to celebrate today’s release of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green College: 2012 Edition. This year’s guide profiles 322 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
The guide comes at an important time, with many high school seniors getting ready to decide which school they will spend the next four years of their life attending. 68 percent of college-bound high school students in the United States say that a university’s commitment to sustainability is an important factor for selecting the “right” school – and with 20.3 million students in higher education, that’s a significant chunk of people who are focused on these issues.
The 232-page book—the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges—can be downloaded atcenterforgreenschools.org/greenguide and princetonreview.com/green-guide. The Guide was developed with generous support from United Technologies Corp., founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.
A few highlights of the guide include:
- School profiles with application, admission, financial aid and student enrollment information
- "Green Highlights" write-ups detailing each school's most impressive environmental and sustainability initiatives "Green Facts" sidebars reporting statistics and facts on everything from the school's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies programs, and green jobs career guidance
- A glossary of 40+ green terms and acronyms from AASHE to "zero waste"
- Lists identifying schools in the book with various green distinctions – among them: those with LEED-certified buildings and those that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment
“In this unique period of time during their college search, prospective students and their parents have a combined buying power of at least $464 billion. Colleges and universities need to demonstrate a deep commitment to sustainability to the 68 percent of students who say that a school’s commitment to sustainability is part of their decision making process,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “We’re glad to be able to offer a resource like the Princeton Review Guide to help make our future college student’s decisions a little easier.”
From greening their built environment to integrating sustainability into curriculum to taking bold steps to reach carbon neutrality, we at the Center for Green Schools stand in awe of these institutions’ efforts and the example they sets for other institutions. Kudos!