UMF named ‘Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College’ by Best Choice Schools

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FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington has been named a Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College by Best Choice Schools, an online educational resource.

The site recognizes schools that feature “unique structures or lifestyle characteristics that make them leaders in sustainability,” while also costing less than the average of what one would expect to spend on a year of college.

“UMF is proud to be focused on providing an affordable quality education that also gives our students the skills, encouragement and opportunities to have a positive impact on our environment,” Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president, said.

In selecting UMF as one of the top 50 out of 300 universities that made the list, Best Choice cited the college’s year-round, strong commitment to staying green and eco-friendly. It noted UMF’s recent installation of 80 geothermal wells that it plans to use to heat more than 50,000 square feet of campus facilities, a move that will save upwards of 30,000 gallons of fuel oil annually.

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The Best Choice ranking also pointed to UMF’s Sustainable Campus Coalition, a group of students, faculty, staff and community members who initiate projects each year encouraging sustainability.

The Sustainable Campus Coalition is dedicated to making environmental stewardship at UMF a priority, and was instrumental in UMF being honored by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 for energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gases and long-term energy costs and being an inspiration in making a clean-energy campus a reality.

Schools that made the Best Choice Schools list had an estimated net price of under $25,000 per year, according to the net price calculator provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

In addition, UMF has received a number of accolades this year, earning it a continued national reputation for excellence and affordability. It was named:

* A Best College by U.S. News & World Report, garnering the No. 5 spot as a Public Regional College in the North;

* A Best Bang for the Buck college by Washington Monthly touting its affordability; and

* A Top 100 School by Educate to Career selecting UMF as one of the top 100 schools that did the best job improving the earnings and attainment of quality employment of its students.

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