A sense of self-sufficiency and sustainable community pervades many aspects of life at College of...A sense of self-sufficiency and sustainable community pervades many aspects of life at College of the Atlantic, with students playing instrumental roles across campus, including clearing paths and shoveling snow in the heart of winter.

“Higher education is an essential driver of a more sustainable future, both locally and globally,” said COA president Darron Collins ’92. “Our students, staff, and faculty are passionate about making positive change through teaching, learning, knowledge creation and creative enterprise — and it’s our responsibility and honor to provide the platform to make that happen.”

The Princeton Review chose the 413 schools it profiles in the guide based on a survey the company conducted in 2018–19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The guide can be found online at princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The COA Amos Eno Greenhouse, along with the college's two organic farms, provide students wit...The COA Amos Eno Greenhouse, along with the college's two organic farms, provide students with experiential learning opportunities in botany, agriculture, livestock, and more. Credit: Yoi Ashida ’20“We salute — and strongly recommend — College of the Atlantic to the many environmentally minded students who want to study and live at a green college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief.

In the “Campus Life” section of its profile on College of the Atlantic, The Princeton Review cites COA’s Energy Framework, which lays out steps for becoming a fossil fuel-free campus by 2030, and highlights that implementation involves students through experiential, interdisciplinary classes and student-led projects to inspire and educate students to conceive of and implement similar work at larger scales in the world.

“Already, COA classes have researched, sited, and installed solar panels and a wind turbine on campus. These add to the college’s baseline renewables and environmentally sound building practices,” The Review states. The Review also features COA’s food systems, two organic farms, composting and discarded resource efforts, and sustainability in the curriculum.

Most COA courses are taught with a "learn by doing" approach, using fieldwork and exper...Most COA courses are taught with a "learn by doing" approach, using fieldwork and experiential processes to fully immerse students in the subject matter, such as shorefront surveying work in Dr. Sean Todd's Intro. to Oceanography course.College applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues, Franek said. Among the 11,900 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2019 College Hopes & Worries Survey, 64% said that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school. The full survey report is downloadable at princetonreview.com.

The profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges provide information about admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body demographics. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools, with details on such matters as the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

As co-founders of Maine Youth for Climate Justice, College of the Atlantic students have been ins...As co-founders of Maine Youth for Climate Justice, College of the Atlantic students have been instrumental in organizing local and statewide climate action events, such as this rally on the Bar Harbor Village Green. Credit: Julia Houédé ’23The Princeton Review tallied the ranking of Top 50 Green Colleges list based on data from its institutional survey of administrators at the colleges for its Green Rating and its surveys of students attending the colleges. Ten data points from the institutional survey were factored into the assessment. Data from the student survey included student ratings of three factors: the influence of sustainability issues on their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

Bicycling to and from the College of the Atlantic campus can be a popular choice even on MaineBicycling to and from the College of the Atlantic campus can be a popular choice even on Maine's cold winter days. COA also has an ecar sharing program for student use, with several campus charging stations. Credit: Yoi Ashida ’20College of the Atlantic believes that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is to enabling students to actively shape the future. COA is a leader in experiential learning and environmental stewardship, and is the Princeton Review’s #1 Green College 2016-2019. Every COA student designs their own major in human ecology—which integrates knowledge from across academic disciplines and seeks to understand and improve the relationships between humans and their natural, built, and social environments—and sets their own path toward a degree. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members was founded in 1969 and offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees. Learn more at coa.edu.

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school–bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House.