As seniors in high school begin completing the slow steady march towards graduation, for many a final hurdle remains. Those who did not make an early decision are faced with the dilemma on where to earn their degree. Cost, location and areas of study have always played a major role in deciding where to end up, but a new study from The Princeton Review has shown that green initiatives are now playing a more significant role for students than ever before.
In its survey of 8,200 students the Princeton Review found that 69 percent considered a college’s commitment to environmental issues contributed to their decision to apply to or attend the school. This is up slightly from 64 percent in 2008. As the deadline draws near for students to make a decision on where to attend, schools must be aware that prospective students are more aware than ever about actual green practices, and not just green speak.
What schools do to set themselves apart will decide the size of their incoming class, and possibly decide the immediate future of a school’s budget. Fortunately, as students have increased their awareness on green initiatives, schools have as well. The Princeton Review highlighted 311 schools whose green practices set them apart. A few notable schools:
- 75 percent of Auburn University’s food budget is spent on local and organic food
- Bowdoin College in Maine has 100 percent of its energy provided by renewable sources
- South Carolina’s first solar powered site is on Coastal Carolina University’s campus
- 99 percent of Green Mountain College’s Vermont campus is maintained organically
The guide is filled with methods that have propelled the schools to signatories with the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), The ACUPCC is a high-visibility effort to address global climate disruption undertaken by a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations, and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.
As the focus shifts towards saving green, in the environmental sense, guides such as these will play a much bigger role not only for students but for other schools to learn and progress their initiatives making going green at the university brighten our future.