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How to Find a Green College

There are plenty of questions to ask when searching for a college. Now, many prospective students are adding one more to the list: How green is the school?

Green colleges aren't just for students who hope to land a job in the environmental sector after graduation. As students (and parents) come to expect a certain quality of life that includes plenty of natural light, clean air, a multitude of transportation options and local and organic food, a school's eco-cred becomes an increasingly important factor in selecting the right college.

Let's take a look at what makes a college green and share some tips to help you find the right green college for you -- or your kids.

Rating the Green Schools

Finding a green college is a lot easier than it sounds, thanks at least in part to the folks at the Princeton Review and Sustainable Endowments Institute.

To determine a school's greenness, the Princeton Review rates four-year colleges on the health and sustainability of on-campus life, the schools' efforts to prepare students for green jobs and create environmentally responsible citizens as well as their policies regarding clean energy and the environment.

Based on these criteria, 11 schools earned spots on the Princeton Review's Green Rating Honor Roll. The schools include state universities such as Arizona State University at Tempe, private colleges like Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and Ivy League campuses like Harvard and Yale. Each of these schools received a 99, the highest possible score on the evaluation. The Honor Roll also recognizes College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, for its carbon-neutral campus, Emory University in Atlanta for its alternatively fueled shuttle fleet and the University of New Hampshire for its organic dairy farm education and research center.

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