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ASU named one of nation's best, 'greenest' schools

light rail
August 21, 2012

The Princeton Review has listed Arizona State University as one of “the best 377 colleges” in the United States and one of the best western colleges in its 2013 just-released guide.

For the fourth consecutive year, ASU was named as one of the nation’s “greenest universities.” The university also was ranked 71st for “best quality of life.”

The Princeton Review selects the colleges and universities featured in its guide primarily based on its high opinion of their academics. Its staff also monitors colleges continuously and annually collects data on schools, meets with or talks to hundreds of college administrators, and considers feedback about colleges from students, parents and educators. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the book.

Students say ASU’s “greatest strength is the great depth of its faculty and wealth of opportunities offered to students.” Many students says they chose ASU because it “offers a huge range of classes and majors at a reasonable cost,” and the university provides “the best of both worlds: a large research university and an honors program tailored for individual needs.”

The Princeton Review named 21 colleges to its "2013 Green Rating Honor Roll" – a list of colleges that received the highest possible score (99) in its Green Rating tallies this year.

Among those also named to the list are California Institute of Technology; College of the Atlantic; Columbia University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Harvard College, Northeastern University; San Francisco State University; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of South Carolina; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin; and Vanderbilt University.

Criteria for The Princeton Review's Green Rating cover three areas:

• whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable,

• how well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges,

• the school's overall commitment to environmental issues.

The institutional survey for the rating included questions on energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation, as well as academic offerings and action plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Princeton Review developed its Green Rating with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental organization, in 2007-2008.

ASU was noted for, among other things, having the largest collection of energy-producing solar panels at a public university; its School of Sustainability, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees; its numerous LEED award-winning buildings; and its financial support of bus and light rail passes for students and employees.

"Each of our 377 best colleges offers outstanding academics," says Robert Franek, the book's author and Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher. "We don't rank them 1 to 377, because they differ widely in their program offerings and campus culture, and that is their strength. Our goal is not to crown one college 'best' overall, but to help applicants find and get in to the college best for them."