A few others in the rankings biz have rated colleges by how "green" they are this year. We didn't, and some might be wondering why. I talked to Bob Morse, our director of data research, who told me why green rankings weren't in the cards for us this year but will be in the near future.
"I think green rankings are important," said Morse. "Some colleges may be taking [environmental issues] more seriously than society, and some colleges are taking it more seriously than others. There's a population of students that care about going to a school that is more environmentally friendly, and that's only going to increase."
We didn't do any green rankings this year because our rankings are complicated, and we want to make sure any ranking is done well.
"The problem is coming up with metrics and a way to measure and compare how green a school is. We'd need time to produce something credible," said Morse. The Princeton Review partnered with EcoAmerica to do its rankings, and Morse said that U.S. News would consider a similar arrangement.
"We'd have to educate ourselves on the different aspects of how to evaluate an institution by how green it is, and there are a lot of different factors," Morse said. "If we had a partner, it could start quickly . . . they could help us develop a systematic approach and data points."
So, you may see U.S. News ranking green colleges for 2010.