USF Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review®.

The education services company features USF in its just-published free resource, The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition. Released on October 22, the guide can be accessed at

“The University of St. Francis is pleased to be included in the Princeton Review’s 2019 Guide to Green Colleges. This marks the first time that USF has been included in this listing, which serves as a nice reflection of our efforts to increase sustainability projects and awareness on our campuses,” said Janine Hicks, USF Sustainability Coordinator.

USF has organized formal sustainability efforts for close to 20 years. These efforts have resulted in the installation of water filling stations in campus buildings, the organization of recycling programs, the implementation of energy efficient lighting in various areas of campus, the creation of beehives and monarch butterfly sanctuaries, and elimination of general plastic straw usage. Last year, USF earned a grant from the Illinois American Water Environmental Grant Program to purchase rain barrels and soaker hoses for its community garden. This year, students are being given water timers as a reminder to limit water use when showering, which supports the City of Joliet as it continues to investigate options for its future water supply. To keep up with USF’s latest sustainability efforts, follow them on Facebook at

“We salute—and strongly recommend—the University of St. Francis 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.

Franek noted that college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. 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

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 school 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.

The Princeton Review first published its annual guide to green colleges in 2010. The company is also known for its dozens of categories of college rankings in its annual books, The Best 385 Colleges and Best Value Colleges.

How Schools Were Chosen for the Guide

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on Green Rating scores the company tallied (on a scale of 60 to 99) for 689 colleges in summer 2019 using data from its 2018–19 survey of administrators at the colleges. The survey asked administrators to report on their schools’ sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. More than 25 data points were analyzed for the Green Rating score. Colleges with Green Rating scores of 80 or higher made it into this guide. The Green Rating scores appear in the profiles of the schools on and in the 2020 editions of The Princeton Review books, The Complete Book of Colleges and The Best 385 Colleges (published in summer 2019). More information about The Princeton Review’s Green Rating methodology and its Green Honor Roll (a list of schools that received the highest possible rating score, 99) is at

How the Guide’s Top 50 Green Colleges Ranking List Was Tallied

The Princeton Review tallied this ranking 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.

About The Princeton Review

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. Its brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 17.5 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev and Instagram @theprincetonreview.

About USF

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

# # #

Higher Education Group Including USF Named a Finalist in Sustainability Awards Program

Joliet, Ill. – The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced recently that a group of three community colleges and three universities in the Will County region, including the University of St. Francis (USF), Governors State University, Joliet Junior College, Lewis University, Moraine Valley Community College, Prairie State College, has been named a finalist for the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Awards for the group’s Growing Sustainable Communities Together Through Leadership in Higher Education project. 

Winners will be announced mid-September and recognized during the opening ceremony at the AASHE Conference & Expo in Spokane, Wash. on Oct. 27. Finalists’ entries will be judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.

“To be named a finalist for the AASHE award is a tremendous honor. It highlights the work of the South Metropolitan Regional Higher Education Consortium’s Sustainability Committee, leading the way to work together with our communities to be equipped to solve sustainability challenges now and for the future,” said Janine Hicks, Sustainability Coordinator at USF.

As a program under the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (SMHEC), various member regions were established to engage their communities in becoming more sustainable. Principle objectives include:

  1. Fostering cross-community collaboration
  2. Providing a vehicle for building upon existing initiatives
  3. Supporting innovative and effective projects
  4. Facilitating the sharing of resources
  5. Promoting successes, build excitement, and catalyze collaboration

To date, the Will County Region group’s project has generated a mailing list comprised of over 1,000 subscribed members, two large-scale sustainability conferences and the creation of two formal networks that have been launched to expand sustainability efforts in the communities within SMHEC’s boundaries. In addition, the group has established a goal to have Will County be the first county to have a 100 percent GRC adoption rate (15 of 38 communities have adopted to date).

“The higher education sustainability community continues to stay focused on work that contributes toward a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world. This is most evident through the entries received for the AASHE Sustainability Awards,” said Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “I am happy that we can recognize the innovation and leadership demonstrated by this year’s finalists.”

To learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Awards programs, please visit


AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit You may also follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

# # #