Here are the top 20 green colleges as listed in the tenth Guide to Green Colleges. Out of almost 700 schools it surveyed 413 colleges were selected and profiled for the 2019 edition. Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief, explains that schools are selected based on their “exemplary commitments to sustainability”. According to a 2020 survey, a solid majority (64%) of college applicants and their parents are interested in environmental and sustainability issues.
These rankings provide information about a college’s commitment to the environment that can make it easier to choose a school.
The guide assesses the schools’ academic offerings and initiatives, campus policies and practices, and green-career preparation for students. They rankings are based on a comparative assessment of 25 data points that include renewable energy, recycling and conservation programs, availability of environmental studies, and career guidance for green jobs.
The data was compiled based on administrator reports about their schools’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs as well as student surveys. The latter assesses the influence of sustainability issues on student education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.
All of these schools have a sustainability officer and almost all of them offer sustainability-focused undergraduate major or degree programs. With the exception of 16 colleges in Canada, 1 in Egypt, and 1 in Greece all of the schools are located in the U.S.
For the fourth year in a row The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME, earned the top spot. The school was founded in 1969 to focus on on the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2007, it became the first carbon-neutral college in the U.S. It has since committed to becoming a fossil fuel-free campus by 2030. Here is a list of the the top 20 schools contained in the guide:
- College of the Atlantic Bar Harbor, ME • 332 Full-Time Enrollment
- State University of New York–College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Featured, State University of New York–College of Environmental Science and Forestry Syracuse, NY • 1,861 Full-Time Enrollment
- Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA • 2,133 Full-Time Enrollment
- University of Vermont, Featured University of Vermont, Burlington, VT • 11,443 Full-Time Enrollment
- St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD • 1,491 Full-Time Enrollment
- Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA • 1,406 Full-Time Enrollment
- Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME • 1,828 Full-Time Enrollment
- Colby College, Waterville, ME • 2,003 Full-Time Enrollment
- Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO • 26,559 Full-Time Enrollment
- Stanford University, Stanford, CA • 6,996 Full-Time Enrollment
- American University, Washington, DC • 8,527 Full-Time Enrollment
- Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA • 27,811 Full-Time Enrollment
- Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA • 1,005 Full-Time Enrollment
- University of California–Berkeley, Berkeley, CA • 31,780 Full-Time Enrollment
- Bates College, Lewiston, ME • 1,820 Full-Time Enrollment
- Northland College, Ashland, WI • 609 Full-Time Enrollment
- North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC • 25,973 Full-Time Enrollment
- Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT • 3,018 Full-Time Enrollment
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI • 39,176 Full-Time Enrollment
- University of California – Merced, Merced, CA • 8,151 Full-Time Enrollment
Click here to see the alphabetical full list of colleges in the guide.