Berea College continues to turn the bluegrass state “green” and is getting national accolades for doing so. In rankings focused on 50 of America’s “greenest” and most-affordable universities released by Best Choice Schools, Berea College was ranked Number One.
The “50 Great Affordable Eco-Friendly Colleges” cited in the article are recognized leaders in energy conservation and sustainability, and all charge tuition fees less than $25,000 per year. Students at Berea pay no tuition; the College promises to cover those expenses for every admitted student.
Sources cited in the article indicate “moderate” tuition fees for full-time degree programs in the U.S. currently amount to $22,826 per year. Berea College made the top spot for being the most affordable environmentally-friendly school since tuition expenses are covered and students are responsible for just the cost of room, board and books, which runs only $6,000. The most expensive school cited was Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, which averages $23,991.
Reese Brady, editor of Best Choice Schools says, “More than 300 environmentally-conscious schools were considered for the article, but only the  most affordable colleges and universities made the final grade.” The Best Choice Schools educational website helps individuals find degree programs with great reputations and value for the money.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, the greening of America’s campuses has become a national obsession, and the trend makes good business sense. Initiatives on college campuses to conserve water and paper, reduce energy consumption and recycle waste are helping schools cut operating costs and encourage healthier communities. The 50 schools chosen for the article have all been formally recognized for superior levels of sustainability and commitment to the green movement, including a number of prestigious and noteworthy environmental awards. Besides Berea College, only one other Kentucky school was included. The University of Louisville was ranked 38. A list of the “50 Great Affordable Eco-Friendly Colleges” is available now on BestChoiceSchools.com at this URL: http://www.bestchoiceschools.com/50-great-affordable-eco-friendly-colleges/.
From its founding in 1855, Berea College has been committed to “plain living.” Today, that commitment is lived out in Berea’s classrooms, campus, farm and forest. Berea was the first in Kentucky to have a LEED-certified building, the first to build and operate and Ecovillage, and recently completed construction of a “deep green” student residence hall, the most ecologically-sound building of its type in the U.S., and perhaps the world.
Berea, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor, and service. Berea charges no tuition, admitting only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. All students must work 10 hours weekly for the College, earning money for books, room and board.
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