College of the Atlantic is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation, according to The Princeton Review’s new “Top 50 Green Colleges” ranking. COA came in #8 on the new national ranking, which was released April 16th. COA is also featured in the newly published 2015 edition of The Princeton Review Guide to 353 Green Colleges.

College of the Atlantic gained national attention for its environmental initiatives when it was one of the first colleges to divest its investments from fossil fuels in 2013, and more recently for the course, ‘Islands: Energy, Economy, and Community’, which brought students and Maine island residents to study at the Energy Academy on Samsø Island in Denmark. The initiative was featured in the New York Times in January.

“COA is honored to receive this recognition,” says President Darron Collins, an alumnus from 1992. “Exploring the complexities of and working toward solutions for world issues is throughout the culture and the curriculum at College of the Atlantic. We see our educational approach, our choices, and our practices as means toward enhancing environmental stewardship.”

In 2014, the college hired Anna Demeo to serve as Director of Energy Education and Management. Demeo, who has her PhD in Engineering in the Natural Sciences, teaches classes on sustainable energy and works with students to develop initiatives on the campus and in surrounding communities.

“Students at COA tend to be mindful of their impact on the earth as well as driven to create change that will foster a more sustainable environment,” said Demeo. “Through COA’s educational program students have done numerous hands-on renewable energy projects including installing solar arrays on campus and at COA’s organic farms, installing a wind turbine, building a small electric vehicle, and championing three solar, electric vehicle charging stations on school property. This kind of hands-on, interdisciplinary student learning is at the heart of the college’s sustainability work.”

The Princeton Review Guide to 353 Green Colleges was published on April 16, a few days before Earth Day. The free, 218-page guide can be downloaded at Schools for this sixth annual edition of the “green guide” were chosen based on data from a 2014 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The Princeton Reviews surveys of college students were also used to tally the ranking list.

The Princeton Review’s Robert Franek, Senior VP-Publisher noted the growing interest the company has seen among college-bound students in green colleges. “Among nearly 10,000 teens who participated in our 2015 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 61% told us that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the college,” said Franek. “We strongly recommend College of the Atlantic and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally-minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges.”

College of the Atlantic has also been ranked in several other national Princeton Review Top 20 rankings including #3 “Professors Get High Marks,” #11 “Their Students Love These Colleges,” #14 “Best Quality of Life,” #15 “Most Accessible Professors,” and #9 “Best Campus Food.”

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit