NEW YORK — For the second year, students headed to college can select where to go to school based on the question: how green is it?
Longtime test-prep company the Princeton Review worked with the U.S. Green Building Council to release the second annual edition of a free guidebook that recognizes the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges.
The Princeton Review's “Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition” profiles 308 higher-education institutions in the United States and three in Canada that demonstrat notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
The guide features school profiles with application, admission, financial aid and student enrollment information. Green highlights show the school’s environmental and sustainability initiatives and sidebars report statistics and facts on the school's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs, and the availability of environmental studies programs and green jobs career guidance.
The book also features a glossary of more than 40 green terms and 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.
"College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues," said Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing at he Princeton Review. “Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' nearly seven out of 10 told us that having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school."
The guidebook also has an introductory section discussing sustainability issues and advice on living green on campus. A final section "Stories from Campus," reports on ways 10 schools in the book chosen by USGBC are creatively addressing sustainability issues on their campuses in curriculum, transportation, student involvement and other areas.
The Princeton Review chose the 311 schools based on a survey it conducted in 2010 of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada to tally its annual "Green Rating" scores.
The survey asked administrators more than 50 questions about their institution's sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.
The schools are not ranked hierarchically, and the scores are not made public, according to the company.
The free guidebook can be downloaded at: