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Appalachian named one of Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges: 2016 Edition

By University Communications

BOONE, N.C.—Appalachian State University is one of 361 colleges and universities across the nation included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges: 2016 Edition.

This is the seventh year the guide has been released, saluting the nation’s most environmentally responsible green colleges. Appalachian has been included each time.

On notification of Appalachian’s inclusion in the guide, Chancellor Sheri N. Everts said: “Our leadership in sustainability is known nationally and is a consideration in every decision we make regarding curriculum, growth, community engagement and stewardship. More than half of our students say they chose Appalachian because of our commitment to sustainability.”

“We are very excited about being included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for the seventh time,” said Dr. Lee F. Ball Jr., director of the Office of Sustainability at Appalachian. “We are proud of this honor and will continue to educate and inform our community around all areas of sustainability: ecology, economy and social equity.”

The guide profiles and ranks institutions that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

Based on a 2015-16 survey of 640 colleges, it reflects administrators’ responses to numerous questions about sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. “Green Rating” scores were assigned each school on a scale ranging from 60 (lowest) to 99 (highest). Schools with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into the guide. Appalachian received a score of 97.

Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges.

“Among more than 10,000 teens and parents who participated in our 2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61 percent told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college,” he said. (A complete report on that survey is at

Ball said that 53 percent of Appalachian’s incoming students indicated sustainability influenced their decision to attend.

Appalachian’s profile in the green guide includes these points of pride:

  • A teaching fellow who examines how sustainability can be integrated further into academic programs
  • The hosting of the annual Appalachian Energy Summit, in which campus leaders across the state convene to share best practices
  • Free mass transit, plus car sharing and ridesharing
  • Compost from a state-of-the-art composting facility that is used in campus landscaping and on the 369-acre agroecology teaching and research farm
  • More than 70 percent of departments offering sustainability-related and focused courses, totaling more than 20 percent of all courses offered
  • Graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustainable development and appropriate technology
  • 17 renewable energy installations, including the state’s largest operable wind turbine
  • More than 40 sustainability-friendly clubs
  • Nearly 50 percent of faculty engaged in sustainability-related research
  • Appalachian’s participation in Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, where it placed ninth out of 100 participants.

In addition to Appalachian, other North Carolina schools included in the guide are Catawba College, Duke University, Elon University, Guilford College, N.C. State University, UNC Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, Wake Forest University, Warren Wilson College and Western Carolina University.

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges: 2016 Edition is available for download at

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.