The Princeton Review reports green ratings for 861 colleges for 2015

  • 24 Colleges Receiving Highest Score (99) Named to “Green Rating Honor Roll”

NEW YORK, August 4, 2014 — The Princeton Review — known for its education services helping students choose and get in to colleges — today reported its annual "Green Ratings" of colleges. The project, now in its seventh year, offers a measure of how environmentally friendly the schools are on a scoring scale of 60 to 99.

The Company tallied the scores for 861 colleges this year based on data it collected in its 2013-14 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 The Princeton Review and the profiles of the schools in the 2015 editions of two Princeton Review guidebooks: The Best 379 Colleges on sale tomorrow, August 5 ($23.99), and The Complete Book of Colleges on sale July 15 ($26.99), published by Random House.

The Princeton Review's “2015 Green Rating Honor Roll”

Twenty-four colleges that received the highest possible score (99) in this year's tallies made The Princeton Review's “2015 Green Rating Honor Roll.” The list, which appears in The Best 379 Colleges book and online at Green Honor Roll page includes (in alphabetical order):

  • American University (Washington, DC)
  • Colgate University (Hamilton, NY)
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • 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)
  • Portland State University (Portland, OR)
  • Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
  • State University of New York—Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
  • University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA)
  • University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)
  • University of Vermont (Burlington, VT)
  • University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
  • University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP / Publisher, The schools on our “Green Rating” Honor Roll demonstrated truly exceptional commitments to sustainability across key issues we looked at from course offerings and recycling programs to plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 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 10,116 college applicants Princeton Review surveyed in 2014 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 green resource area on its website for students interested in attending a green college. There, users can also download The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition — the only free, comprehensive guidebook to the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges. The free guide is a project The Princeton Review has done for five years in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. Published April 17, 2014, this year's 215-page guide has profiles of schools that received scores of 83 or higher in the Company's “Green Rating” tallies for 2014 (reported August 2013). The guide can be downloaded at The Princeton Review's green guide or at The Center for Green Schools.

Criteria for The Princeton Review's “Green Rating”

The Princeton Review tallied its “Green Rating” scores based on data it obtained from the colleges in response to a 2013-14 institutional survey that 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 a collaboration that year that brought the Company together with theAssociation 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: Green Data Partnerships page.

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 in The Princeton Review's College Ratings.

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 130,000 students attending the schools in its book, "The Best 379 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 its college rankings pages.

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About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation, tutoring, 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 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 The Princeton Review on its web site and on its Facebook page. Follow the company's Twitter feed @ThePrincetonRev.


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Robert Franek, Senior VP / Publisher, The Princeton Review, and author of The Best 379 Colleges, or one of the book's senior editors can discuss the Princeton Review's college ratings or rankings well as findings from its surveys of administrators, students, and parents on college issues.