The University of Maine has been named one of the Top 50 Green Colleges in the nation by Princeton Review, part of the sixth annual guide to the most environmentally responsible higher education institutions in the country.

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives and activities. The profiles in the guide give college applicants information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, as well as student body facts and stats.

UMaine and the College of the Atlantic were the two institutions in Maine to make the top 50.

UMaine was already one of Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges — rated by students on factors ranging from financial aid to on-campus dining, and ranked as one of the best 226 in the Northeast — considered “academically outstanding and well worth consideration” by students in their colleges searches.

“We are proud to have made the Green Colleges cut for the sixth consecutive year,” says UMaine Sustainability Coordinator Dan Dixon. “Our top 50 ranking highlights the ongoing dedication to sustainability that is shared by UMaine’s students, faculty, staff and administrators.”

Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges is a new ranking this year. Leading the list was Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. UMaine, with a rating of 98 out of 99 possible points, was ranked 26th between Columbia University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

In the free green guide, institutional profiles include “green facts,” such as use of renewable energy, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs, availability of transportation alternatives and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

Princeton Review cited UMaine’s innovative “Blue Bikes” program and its free public transportation system as particularly notable initiatives. In addition, the university operates a campuswide single-stream recycling program and composts over 400,000 pounds of pre- and post-consumer food waste from campus dining facilities annually. By using the compost to grow greens in campus hoop houses, UMaine is effectively going from plate to plant and back to plate. Motivated students can join one of the many sustainability-focused groups such as The Green Team, which promotes sustainability on and around campus.

The Princeton Review chose the colleges based on “Green Rating” scores (from 60 to 99) that the company tallied in summer 2014 for 861 colleges using data from its 2013–14 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 83 or higher made it into this guide. Most of the schools (347) in this edition are in the U.S. Five 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 princetonreview.com/green-guide.


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