Northern New England has made a strong showing in the Princeton Review's 2014 guide to "green colleges," with 18 colleges and universities receiving recognition.
Vermont has six colleges that received the green ranking. Two of them, Middlebury College and Green Mountain College, earned the highest possible score. Maine has seven green colleges, including the College of the Atlantic, which also received the highest score. New Hampshire has five green colleges.
As a region, the three states have the highest number of green campuses per capita in the country, according to the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.
The annual guide, based on surveys of four-year colleges, was produced by the Princeton Review in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. Schools can receive a green ranking if they demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus buildings, activities and career preparation, according to the Princeton Review guide.
The survey found that what's good for the environment is also good for recruitment.
All told, 61 percent of high school students surveyed said information about an institution's green commitment would influence their decision on whether to attend, according to the guide.
"It's not just that the students were asking for it, but the prospective students were demanding it," said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC in Washington, D.C.
The northern New England colleges making the list were Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, College of the Atlantic, Unity College, University of Maine and University of Maine at Farmington, all in Maine; Dartmouth College, Keene State College, Southern New Hampshire University and the University of New Hampshire, all in New Hampshire; and Bennington College, Champlain College, Green Mountain College, Middlebury College, Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont, all in Vermont.