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Go Green-starting with your college choice

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As we look at past generations of college students it is fairly easy to identify what their top priorities were. For some these priorities included civil rights, protesting war, and even getting a fair piece of the corporate pie. Priorities have changed quite a bit, and this generation is vastly more educated and concerned about social and environmental issues.

With this awareness comes responsibility. Many college students have incorporated environmental and social awareness into other parts of their lives, but not yet into their choice of college. To those students, I ask “why not?” and “why not now?” Let’s be honest …as students we vote with our money, not only when it comes to what food or products to purchase on campus, but also when it comes to what campus to attend.

The Princeton Review Guide people have capitalized on this new global awareness and published their first Guide to 286 Green Colleges in order to aid students who are trying to make socially conscious choices when it comes to their college attendance.

In the review, which can be downloaded for free, qualities such as solar panels, percentage of budget spent on local/organic food, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, recycling and conservation programs, and institutions’ overall commitment to fostering an environmentally-responsible campus are reviewed.

The Princeton Review assigned scores to more than 700 schools based on a rating system of their own design. All indications are that students put these “green scores” to good use – Princeton Review reports that 64 percent of the 12,000 college applicants and parents who participated in their recent “College Hopes and Worries Survey” said that having this information would impact their decision to apply or attend the school.

When choosing what college you will spend your money, time, and talents at, take your personal priorities into account, and make sure that the college you attend aligns with those vales and priorities. Happy hunting!

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