Southern Oregon University (SOU) is one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com). The education services company known for its test prep programs and college rankings, ratings and guidebooks, profiles SOU in the fourth annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.”
The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted in 2012 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges. The Company analyzed data from the survey about the schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability. (Notes follow on how schools were chosen.)
Published April 16, a few days before the April 22 celebration of Earth Day, the 215-page guide is the only free comprehensive resource of its kind: it can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.
The 322 schools profiled in the guide feature essential information for applicants – facts and stats on school demographics, admission, financial aid – plus write-ups on the schools’ specific sustainability initiatives. A “Green Facts” sidebar reports on a wide range of topics from the 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 SOU, The Princeton Review highlights SOU’s Climate Action Plan that promises a carbon-neutral campus by 2050. In order to help achieve this goal, SOU students initiated a Green Energy Fee, which allows SOU to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset 100 percent of its electricity consumption and carbon use as well as 100 percent of its natural gas consumption, says the Review.
“I’m so proud of SOU’s achievements in sustainability and environmental stewardship,” says SOU President Mary Cullinan. “I’m one of the original signers of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Our students are so passionate about sustainable practices. Now, with their help, SOU has become the first university in the nation to offset 100 percent of its water use by replenishing a critically dewatered stream that supports fish and wildlife in the Klamath Basin.”
Said Robert Franek, Senior VP/Publisher, The Princeton Review, “We are truly pleased to recommend SOU along with all of the fine schools in this book to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally-responsible choices and practices.”
Franek noted his Company’s recent survey findings indicating significant interest among college applicants in attending “green” colleges. “Among 9,955 college applicants who participated in our 2013 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ 62 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,” he said.
The Princeton Review created its “Guide to 322 Green Colleges” in partnership with the Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org) at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)), with generous support from United Technologies Corp. (www.utc.com), founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.
Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, commented, “Selecting a four-year college is a big choice. When we learned that the majority of prospective college students factor a school’s commitment to sustainability into their selection criteria, we wanted to ensure we were providing the best information. We’re thrilled to team up with The Princeton Review for the fourth year to offer a guide to help make our future college students’ choices a little easier.”
How Schools Were Chosen for the Book
The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a survey it conducted of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada in 2012 to tally its “Green Ratings” (scores from 60 to 99) it reports in school profiles in its annual college guidebooks and website. The survey asked administrators more than 50 questions about their institution’s sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. The Company reported Green Ratings for 806 institutions in summer 2012. The 322 schools in this guide received scores of 83 or above in that assessment. (Note: The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this guide 1 to 322, nor does it include their Green Rating scores in the book’s school profiles.) Information about The Princeton Review’s Green Rating methodology and its “Green Honor Roll” saluting 21 schools that received Green Ratings of 99 is at www.princetonreview.com/green.aspx
About Southern Oregon University
As the public liberal arts university of the West, Southern Oregon University focuses on student learning, accessibility, and civic engagement that enriches both the community and bioregion. The university is recognized for fostering intellectual creativity, for quality and innovation in its connected learning programs, and for the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.
About The Princeton Review
Founded in 1981, The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) is a privately held education services company headquartered in Framingham, MA. The Company has long been a leader in helping students achieve their education and career goals through its test preparation services, tutoring and admissions resources, online courses, and more than 150 print and digital books published by Random House, Inc. The Princeton Review delivers its programs via a network of more than 5,000 teachers and tutors in the U.S.A., Canada, and international franchises. The Company also partners with schools and guidance counselors worldwide to provide students with college readiness, test preparation and career planning services.
About the U.S. Green Building Council
USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org, explore the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From kindergarten to college and beyond, the Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, ambassadors, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work and play. For more information, visit centerforgreenschools.org, follow us on Twitter at @mygreenschools, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/centerforgreenschools.
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