The Princeton Review Releases Its
"Guide to 375 Green Colleges, 2017"

College of the Atlantic Takes #1 Spot on  List of "Top 50 Green Colleges" for second consecutive year 

NEW YORK, September 20, 2017   — The Princeton Review® ( today released its eighth annual guide to the most environmentally responsible "green" colleges.

Available on the company’s website, The Princeton Review's “Guide to 375 Green Colleges, 2017” profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives, and activities. Detailed online profiles give college applicants information about each school's admission requirements, cost and financial aid, as well as student body facts and stats.

The “Guide to 375 Green Colleges” resource area is available at There, users can also peruse detailed "Green Facts" write-ups on many schools. The write-ups report on everything from the school's use of renewable energy, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.

Our online Green Guide offers really helpful information for students about green majors and careers and the benefits of choosing a green college, said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief. We know that students are increasingly interested in this issue and we are happy to be able to help them make an informed decision. Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2017 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64% told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college. (A complete report on that survey is at We strongly recommend the schools in this guide to environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges.

The 2017 edition includes a ranking list of the "Top 50 Green Colleges" on which College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME) captured the #1 spot. Among its many green distinctions: COA became the first carbon-neutral college in 2007; COA owns and stewards 300 acres of forest and farmland, which provide research and educational opportunities for students and faculty; and the college’s hands-on curriculum involves students in implementing COA’s commitment to become a fossil fuel-free campus by 2030—already COA classes have participated in energy audits and have researched, sited, and installed solar photovoltaic arrays on campus.

Franek noted compelling facts about the Top 50 colleges on the guide's 2017 ranking list. Among this group of schools:

  • 24% of their total food expenditures go to purchases of local and/or organic food
  • 68% of the new construction on their campuses is USGBC ( LEED-certified
  • 100% offer an undergraduate major or degree that is sustainability focused
  • 98% have a sustainability officer and sustainability committee.

The top 15 schools on The Princeton Review's “Top 50 Green Colleges” list are:

  1. College of the Atlantic (ME)
  2. State University of New York—College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  3. Colby College (ME)
  4. University of Vermont
  5. Dickinson College (PA)
  6. St. Mary's College of Maryland
  7. Cornell University (NY)
  8. Colorado State University
  9. Stanford University (CA)
  10. University of California, Davis)
  11. Saint Michael's College (VT)
  12. Santa Clara University (CA)
  13. University of California, Santa Cruz
  14. Lewis & Clark College (OR)
  15. Green Mountain College (VT)

The complete list of top 50 schools is at Information about how The Princeton Review chose the schools for the guide and tallied its top 50 green colleges ranking list follows.

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the colleges based on "Green Rating" scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied in summer 2017 for 629 colleges using data from its 2016-17 survey of school administrators. The survey asked them to report on their school's sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were weighted in the assessment. Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. Most of the schools (375) in this edition are in the U.S. Thirteen are in Canada. One is in Egypt. Information about Princeton Review's Green Rating and its Green Honor Roll saluting schools that received the highest possible rating score, 99, is at Note: The Princeton Review does not publish the schools' Green Rating scores in this guide. The scores can be found in the profiles of the schools on and in the 2018 edition of The Princeton Review books, The Complete Book of Colleges, and The Best 382 Colleges, published in August 2017.

How the Top 50 Green Colleges List Was Done

The Princeton Review developed the ranking list using data from its institutional survey for its Green Rating and its surveys of students attending the colleges. Ten data points from the institutional survey were factored into the assessment. Data from the student survey included student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

The Princeton Review first published this guide in 2010. It remains the only free, annually updated guide to green colleges. The company is also known for its dozens of categories of college rankings in its annual books, The Best 382 Colleges and Colleges That Pay You Back.

About The Princeton Review

Every year, The Princeton Review 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 New York, NY. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev.


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    Note To Editors

    Reporters can view the list of 375 Green Colleges broken out by location (country/state/school) and alphabetically by school:

    To interview Robert Franek or David Soto about The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, please contact