The Princeton Review Has Released Its Guide to Green Colleges: 2022 Edition

College of the Atlantic Is #1 on List of "Top 50 Green Colleges"

NEW YORK, October 26, 2021 / — The Princeton Review®  today released its 12th annual Guide to Green Colleges—a unique resource the education services company debuted in 2010 for students interested in attending colleges with strong commitments to the environment and sustainability.

Accessible for free at Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges, 2022 Edition profiles 420 colleges the company chose out of 835 schools it surveyed for this project. The survey was conducted during the 2020–21 academic year. It included questions covering more than 25 data points. (Details follow on how the schools were chosen.)

The college ranked #1 (and for the sixth consecutive year) on the guide’s Top 50 Green Colleges ranking list is the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME. Founded in 1969, the school awards bachelor’s and master’s degrees solely in the field of human ecology. The college became the first carbon-neutral college in the U.S. in 2007. It has committed to becoming fossil fuel–free by 2030.

"Given the sobering indicators of climate change and global calls to prioritize sustainability, we are pleased to shine a light on these schools and recommend them for their exceptional commitment to the environment,” said Rob Franek, Editor in Chief of The Princeton Review. “We are equally pleased to have curated this guide for twelve years as a free resource for students who want to live and learn at a green college.”

Franek noted that 78% percent of the 11,133 college applicants responding to the company’s 2021 College Hopes & Worries Survey said that having information about a college's commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a school. That figure was a 12% increase over the 66% of applicants so indicating on the company’s 2020 survey. Information on the 2021 survey is here.

Franek also cited the timeliness of The Princeton Review’s release of the guide during Campus Sustainability Month, the annual October celebration promoted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The top 15 schools on The Princeton Review's ranking list of Top 50 Green Colleges for 2022 are:

  1. College of the Atlantic (ME)
  2. Dickinson College (PA)
  3. University of California—Santa Cruz
  4. Chatham University (PA)
  5. Bates College (ME)
  6. Emory University (GA)
  7. Cornell University (NY)
  8. Colorado State University
  9. State University of New York—College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  10. University of California—Santa Barbara
  11. Stanford University (CA)
  12. University of California—Berkeley
  13. University of San Diego
  14. Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  15. University of California—Merced

The list of top 50 colleges is viewable here.

As a group, the top 50 schools share impressive statistics with respect to their commitments to sustainability.

  • 17% of their total food purchases are from local sources and/or organic
  • 51% of their waste is diverted from incinerators or solid-waste landfills
  • 96% offer a sustainability-focused undergraduate major or degree
  • 100% have a sustainability officer

The school profiles in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges present information on each school's use of renewable energy, its recycling and conservation programs, the availability of environmental studies in academic offerings, and career guidance for green jobs. The profiles also include information on the schools' admission requirements, cost, and financial aid.

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the 420 colleges based on its 2020–21 survey of administrators at 835 colleges concerning their institutions' sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 data points from the survey to tally Green Rating scores for the schools on a scale of 60 to 99. The Green Rating scores appear in the school profiles on The Princeton Review website and in The Princeton Review book, The Best 387 Colleges: 2022 Edition (published August 2021).

Colleges that earned a Green Rating score of 80 or higher were chosen for the Guide to Green Colleges. Of the 420 schools selected for the guide, 391 are in the U.S., 26 in Canada, one in Ecuador, one in Egypt, and one in Greece. The schools are listed alphabetically in the guide and not ranked overall from 1 to 420.

Twenty-seven of the 420 schools earned a Green Rating score of 99 (the highest possible score). They are also listed in The Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll (reported August 2021).  

How the Guide's Top 50 Green Colleges Ranking List Was Tallied

The Princeton Review tallied the top 50 green colleges ranking list based on data from the Company’s surveys of administrators at the colleges as well as its surveys of students attending the colleges. The methodology factored in ten data points from the administrator survey and three data points from the student survey. Data from the student survey included student assessments of the influence of sustainability issues on their academic and campus experiences; administrator and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups on the campus.

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 company’s brand is one of the largest online tutoring services in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 21 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit and the company's Media Center. Follow the company on Twitter (@ThePrincetonRev) and Instagram (@theprincetonreview).

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      Note to Editors

      The Princeton Review's Rob Franek, Editor-in-Chief, and David Soto, Director of Content Development, are available for interviews about this project. Contact Jeanne Krier, Director of Publicity for The Princeton Review, at Lists of the 420 colleges in the guide are accessible on The Princeton Review website two ways:

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