The 2016 Princeton Review Guide to 361 Colleges, published Oct. 4, features Kent State University as a Green College.

“It is a recognition of the advancement we have made with regard to sustainability; we have been working toward sustainability for years,” says Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager for Kent State. “We have made progress in so many areas, and that has gotten us on the list.”

Kent State is recognized for its focus on environmentally friendly transportation. The Kent Campus has a free bus system, Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA), and the Flashfleet bike sharing system. Kent State is working to be a bicycle-friendly campus while trying to make alternative transportation options available to everyone on campus.

Knowles has submitted data to The Princeton Review since the green college list started in 2010, but this is the first year Kent State’s score has met the threshold to make the list.

Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review, says in a statement that colleges on this list are strongly recommended for environmentally minded students seeking to live at green colleges. He noted there is a growing interest among college-bound students to attend green colleges.

“The Princeton Review has a variety of criteria and works with the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in higher education,” Knowles says. “The Princeton Review takes certain credits from STARS and asks schools to submit data.”

The schools on the list were chosen based on the “Green Rating” scores (60-99). A total of 640 college administrators were surveyed in summer 2016 to report on the schools’ sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges list.

“We continue to move forward in being environmentally responsible,” Knowles says. “For example, we have another phase of our energy efficiency retrofits that is just getting underway; when the retrofit is complete, Kent State will have reduced energy use by over 20 percent.”

Knowles takes pride in Kent State being on the Green College list. It is an accomplishment showing Kent State demonstrates sustainability to students from all areas of the university.

“I chose this career path because it is something I am passionate about,” Knowles says. “The opportunity to incorporate sustainability in higher education is really unique and powerful.”

Guide readers can find highlights on each school, including use of renewable energy, recycling or conservation programs. The list can be accessed from the free, 160-page guide, downloadable at

For more information about Kent State’s sustainability program, visit

POSTED: Monday, February 13, 2017 12:24 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 08:51 PM