Ursinus College is among 332 of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review, which has released its fifth annual edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges.
The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges profiles 330 U.S. institutions of higher education and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on surveys that measure commitment to the environment and to sustainability. Using data that covered more than 25 fields, The Princeton Review tallied its “Green Ratings” for 832 schools. The 332 schools in this guide received scores of 83 or above in that assessment.
Created in partnership with the Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org) at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the guidebook was released a few days before the April 22 celebration of Earth Day. The 216-page guide is free and can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.
The guide was created, according to Rob Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, because of a burgeoning interest in sustainability among college applicants. The Princeton Review’s recent survey findings indicated significant interest among college applicants in attending “green” colleges, he said.
The school profiles offer information for applicants such as facts and statistics on school demographics, admission, financial aid, plus write-ups on the schools’ sustainability initiatives. A “Green Facts” sidebar reports on topics such as a school’s use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.
In the guide’s profile on Ursinus College, The Princeton Review says the four-year independent college has made “important strides in campus practices like recycling and waste-diversion, and ecofriendly food purchasing. . . . Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects and are sustained by student volunteers,” such as the organic farm, a constructed wetland ecosystem and an on-campus bike sharing program. Students interested in green careers receive customized guidance and support from the Career and Professional Development Office. The guide also notes that Ursinus students “in the environmental studies program (which offers both a major and a minor) are encouraged to seek out fellowships and project funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Environmental Policy Foundation, and have the opportunity to join with their professors in individually-mentored projects.”
Many of the programs mentioned in The Princeton Review are programs of the Office of Sustainability, which is responsible for the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan, a newly formed Sustainability Committee, and much of the student leadership on campus.
“Ursinus has made great strides toward becoming a more sustainable community,” said Shannon Spencer, Campus Sustainability Planner. “One of the strengths that we have on campus is how much collaboration we have between departments and offices across the campus. Our new sustainability committee is the next step toward integrating sustainable actions on campus with day to day operations. It is a very exciting time to be at Ursinus College.”