The Princeton Review Reports Green Ratings for 804 Colleges for 2016

  • 24 Colleges named to “Green Rating Honor Roll”

NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2015 / — The Princeton Review—known for its test preparation, tutoring and college admission services—today reported its annual "Green Ratings" of colleges. The project, now in its 8 th year, offers a measure on a scale of 60 to 99 of how environmentally friendly the schools are. 

The company tallied the ratings for 804 colleges this year based on its 2014–15 surveys of schools concerning their sustainability-related practices, policies and academic offerings. (Criteria follow.)

The Green Rating scores appear in the profiles of the colleges that posted today on and school profiles in the 2016 editions of two Princeton Review guidebooks: "The Best 380 Colleges" (on sale Aug. 4, $23.99), and "The Complete Book of Colleges" (on sale July 14, $29.99), published by Penguin Random House.

The Princeton Review’s 2016 Green Rating Honor Roll
Twenty-four colleges that received the highest possible score (99) in this year's tallies made The Princeton Review's 2016 Green Rating Honor Roll. The list, which appears in "The Best 380 Colleges" and online at  includes:

(in alphabetical order)

  • Allegheny College (Meadville, PA)
  • American University (Washington, DC)
  • Colby College (Waterville, ME)
  • Colgate University (Hamilton, NY)
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
  • Green Mountain College (Poultney, VT)
  • Harvard College (Cambridge, MA)
  • Iowa State University (Ames, IA)
  • Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR)
  • Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)
  • Smith College (Northhampton, MA)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • State University of New York—Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
  • University of California—Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California—Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  • University of Maryland—College Park (College Park, MD)
  • University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)
  • University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA)
  • University of Vermont (Burlington, VT)
  • University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
  • Willamette University (Salem, OR)

"The schools on our Green Rating Honor Roll demonstrated truly exceptional commitments to sustainability across critical areas we looked at -- from course offerings and recycling programs to plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review's Senior VP-Publisher.  "We salute their administrators, faculty, and students for their collective efforts to protect and preserve our environment."

Franek noted the increasing interest among students in attending "green" colleges. Among nearly 10,000 college applicants The Princeton Review surveyed in 2015 for its "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 61% said having information about a college's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school.

The Princeton Review has dedicated a resource area on its website at for students interested in attending a green college. There, users can also download "The Princeton Review's Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition"—the only free, comprehensive guidebook to the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges. Published April 16, 2015, the 218-page guide has profiles of schools that received scores of 83 or higher in the company's Green Rating tallies for 2015 (reported in August 2014).


Criteria for The Princeton Review's Green Rating
The Princeton Review tallied its Green Rating scores based on data it obtained in 2014–15 from colleges responding to its institutional survey for this project. The survey asked:

1) The percentage of food expenditures that goes toward local, organic or otherwise environmentally preferable food

2) Whether the school offers mass transit programs, bike sharing, facilities for bicyclists, bicycle and pedestrian plans, car sharing, carpool discount, carpool/vanpool matching, cash-out of parking, prohibiting idling, local housing, telecommuting, and condensed work week

3) Whether the school has a formal committee with participation from students that is devoted to advancing sustainability on campus

4) Whether buildings that were constructed or underwent major renovations in the past three years are LEED certified

5) The school’s overall waste diversion rate

6) Whether the school has an environmental studies major, minor or concentration

7) Whether the school's students graduate from programs that include sustainability as a required learning outcome or include multiple sustainability learning outcomes

8) Whether the school has a formal plan to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions

9) The percentage of the school's energy consumption that is derived from renewable resources

10) Whether the school employs a dedicated full-time (or full-time equivalent) sustainability officer.

The Princeton Review developed its Green Rating criteria in 2007 with ecoAmerica ( ), a non-profit environmental organization.  Criteria broadly cover three areas: 1/ whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable, 2/ how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and 3/ the school's overall commitment to environmental issues. The survey includes questions about the school's energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation as well as academic offerings and sustainability-related action plans.

In 2012, The Princeton Review modified its data collection for this project as part of collaboration that year that brought the company together with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Sierra magazine, and the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI). The goal was to streamline the reporting process for institutions that participate in higher education sustainability assessments and reduce the amount of time campus staff spend tracking sustainability data by creating a single survey.  Information about the outcome of that initiative and the common data reporting tool now used is accessible at:

About The Princeton Review College Ratings and College Rankings
The Princeton Review college ratings are scores on a scale of 60 to 99 that the company annually tallies for hundreds of colleges in eight categories including Academics, Admissions Selectivity, Financial Aid, Fire Safety, and Green. The scores appear on college profiles on its website and in its college guidebooks. The ratings are based primarily on institutional data. Institutions that do not provide sufficient data for The Princeton Review to tally a rating in a specific category receive a score of 60* (sixty with an asterisk) in that category. The Princeton Review explains the criteria for each rating at

The Princeton Review college rankings are lists of schools in 62 categories (in rank order 1 to 20) based entirely on the company's surveys of 136,000 students attending the schools in its book, "The Best 380 Colleges." The survey asks students to rate their own schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences at them. The Princeton Review explains the basis for each ranking at

About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in Natick, MA and is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).  For more information, visit . Follow the company on Twitter @ theprincetonrev

SOURCE: The Princeton Review

CONTACT: Jeanne Krier, 212-539-1350, , or Kristen O'Toole, 888-347-7737 ext. 1405, , The Princeton Review

Available for interviews
Robert Franek, Senior VP-Publisher, The Princeton Review, and author of "The Best 380 Colleges," or one of the company's senior editors can discuss the company's college ratings and rankings well as findings from its surveys of administrators, students, and parents on college issues.