Oregon State U Announces Financial Aid Plan

Oregon State University recently announced that, starting in the Fall of 2008, the University will enable 10 percent of the Oregonian students to attend OSU free of charge. The Bridge to Success Program will pool federal resources with funds from the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Campaign for OSU and redirected institutional monies to cover all tuition and fee costs for 1,500 in-state students. Additional funds will cover books and supplies for half of those students. Awards will be based on financial need and students’ ability to show satisfactory progress toward completion of degrees, including taking 15 credits each term. Participating students must also be eligible for both Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant awards.

Rochester Inst. of Tech. Sustainability Center Receives $2M Donation

The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) Golisano Institute for Sustainability recently received a $2 million donation from Xerox Corporation to further the research of new sustainable technologies. As a new founding partner of the institute, Xerox will spread the $2 million over five years. RIT launched the Golisano Institute for Sustainability in 2007.

U Wisconsin – La Crosse Students Approve Green Fee

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse students recently approved a $5 per semester renewable energy and energy efficiency fee with 89 percent of students voting. After being passed by the Student Senate, a referendum was created for the Student Association election ballot. The Student Sustainability Fund will go towards installing solar hot water heaters and LED lighting, and investing in wind power.

4 KY Campuses Partner to Stimulate Green State Energy Policy

Berea College, Centre College, University of Kentucky, and University of Louisville recently partnered to form "Energizing Kentucky," an initiative that encourages Kentucky to focus on a 'coherent and integrated' energy policy. The program will assist policy formation by bringing together state and national energy experts to discuss the economic, educational, and environmental opportunities and challenges presented by the world's current energy situation. Three conferences will be offered to address the i

EPA Announces P3 Winners from Sustainable Design Expo

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition winners. This year's winners include students from Drexel University (PA), Loyola University Chicago (IL), the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Davis, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Iowa. The national competition, sponsored by the EPA's Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources, and be economically competitive. Each P3 award winner receives funding up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and implement them in the field or move them to the marketplace. The P3 Award competition was held at the EPA's fourth annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., where over 40 Exhibitors and over 50 P3 teams demonstrated their sustainable designs and new products for green buildings, innovative alternative energy technologies, strategies for rainwater collection and purification, and more.

U Kentucky Trustees Reject Student Approved Green Fee

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees recently rejected a student approved green fee for the second time. A $6 - $8 green fee, approved by 67 percent of the students in 2006 to support renewable energy on campus, was voted on in 2007 and failed to pass. This year, although the proposed fee increase was reduced to 50-cents, the green fee was again rejected. The Board felt that the proposal did not specify in sufficient detail how the money would be spent. Students rejected this argument, claiming that the fee would be spent on renewable energy.

UNC Launches Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School has launched a business accelerator to speed the growth of firms with environmental and social objectives. The Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship will connect entrepreneurs to a range of sustainability resources with the aim of accelerating their growth and impact. Now in a pilot phase, BASE will work with seven early-stage Triangle-based sustainable businesses. The entrepreneurs will receive mentoring by BASE advisory board members; participate in networking events, training and workshops; get access to funding opportunities, service providers and the BASE resource network; and join a network of innovative sustainable entrepreneurs. The pilot phase of BASE will run through September 2008, when it will enter its full-scale phase, which will include a physical incubator with space for up to 10 businesses. Participants will benefit from access to faculty and students for consulting projects and internships; business support services, such as quarterly progress review sessions; and networking and learning opportunities.

U New Hampshire Students Win Intl Environmental Design Contest

A team of University of New Hampshire business and engineering students recently won first place at the 2008 International Environmental Design Contest held at New Mexico State University. This year’s design tasks were based on real-world environmental challenges, focusing on technologies to tackle renewable energy innovation, sustainable building design, and water issues. The 14 member team, Retrolutions, developed the project EARTH (Education, Awareness, Reduction, Technology, and Holistic Approach), an integrated plan to retrofit a building in Phoenix. They conducted energy and water audits, and suggested reducing the demand of energy and water through education and awareness of the building’s occupants as well as by employing existing technologies. They also designed three technologies that could be implemented to minimize the buildings energy and water demands: a grey water recycling system, a solar concentrating energy production system, and a compressed air enhanced evaporative cooling system. Retrolutions has been invited to present their project at the Environmental Protection Agency Science Forum in May 2008.

U Vermont Offers Full Tuition to Pell Grant Recipients

The University of Vermont recently announced that beginning with the 2008 entering fall class, the university will offer grants and scholarships covering all tuition and fees to Vermont undergraduates eligible for Federal Pell Grants. The program will be implemented over the next four years to cover all Pell-eligible Vermont undergraduates attending UVM. When fully implemented, the new initiative will represent an approximately $750,000 investment.

21 North Carolina Campuses Awarded State Energy Efficiency Grants

15 University of North Carolina campuses and six community colleges were recently awarded the state's first Energy Efficiency Reserve Fund grants to implement power-saving projects. The governor made the announcement at the 5th Annual North Carolina Sustainable Energy Conference. The grants are administered by the State Energy Office.

Central Piedmont CC Establishes Center for Sustainability

Central Piedmont Community College (NC) has established a Center for Sustainability to respond to the need for sustainability training. The Center will offer courses, workshops, and seminars, and plans to collaborate with various agencies to accomplish its goals. The Center for Sustainability aims to increase community awareness of the importance of living and working in an ecologically responsible manner, to conduct continuing education training and seminars for the general public which focus on teaching people how to live in an environmentally friendly manner, and to increase the presence and perspective of environmental sustainability into CPCC curriculum programs.

Johns Hopkins Invests in Faculty Diversity

Johns Hopkins University (MD) will provide at least $5 million over the next five years in matching funds for departments seeking to improve faculty diversity, which will include hiring and retaining outstanding women and underrepresented minority scholars. The Mosaic Initiative, as the pilot program will be called, will be funded initially at a minimum of $1 million per year, to be increased as the project generates external support.

Purdue U Launches Student Aid Campaign

Purdue University (IN) recently announced that it is starting a $304 million fundraising campaign for student scholarships. The programs being funded include Purdue Promise, which will provide scholarships to students whose families make less than $40,000 per year; the Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program, which will provide for students whose families make $40,000 to $70,000 per year and qualify for little or no state and federal aid; Presidential and Trustee Scholarships, which will be awarded to the highest-achieving students in an effort to recruit and retain them at Purdue, and more. All programs are expected to start in fall 2009.

U New Hampshire Launches Sustainability Blog

The University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability recently launched a new blog, entitled "Discover(ing) Sustainability." The goal of the blog is to share UNH's commitment to being a sustainable learning community while helping readers discover how sustainability connects us all. Currently authored by several University Office of Sustainability and communications staff at UNH, Discover(ing) Sustainability will seek voices from around the university, including students, researchers, and administrator

AASHE Releases Draft of Campus Sustainability Rating System

AASHE has released the next draft of its rating system for sustainability in higher education called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System). The release of STARS version 0.5 opens a public comment period that will last until May 9, 2008. STARS is designed to: help gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, from governance and operations to academics and community engagement; enable meaningful comparisons across institutions as well as benchmarking within institutions; create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community. Over 90 colleges and universities are pilot testing STARS. They will provide feedback to AASHE throughout 2008 and inform the development of STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009.

Suffolk U Wins City of Boston Green Business Award

Suffolk University (MA) was recently selected as the recipient of the City of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino Green Business Award. The award recognizes businesses located in the city of Boston that demonstrate extraordinary environmental practices in the areas of water conservation, wastewater management, solid waste reduction, alternative transit, energy conservation, on-site renewable energy production, and the purchase of renewable energy credits. Suffolk was named the winner of the category for Academic, Cultural, and Healthcare Institutions.

U Connecticut 5K Race Benefits Campus Green Fund

The University of Connecticut recently held the third annual EcoHusky5000, a 5 kilometer race that benefits UConn's Green Campus Fund. Students and the public paid $5 and $15 respectively to enter the race, and Willimantic Waste Paper Co. promised to make a matching donation of up to $2,000. The event also served to collect old sneakers to donate to EcoHusky's sneaker recycling project. All participants received free water bottles made out of recycled materials.

U.S. Colleges Receive Energy Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants to Morrisville State College (NY), Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Rend Lake College (IL), Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Columbia Gorge Community College (OR), and Navarro College (TX) for projects such as creating a renewable energy training center and other programs that are intended to serve as a workforce and economic development catalysts in each region. The grant initiative is designed to improve the ability of colleges to provide their regions’ workers with the skills needed to enter growing industries in their hometowns.

3 University Leaders Testify in Senate to Limit GHG Emissions

University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, University of Minnesota at Morris Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson, and Yale University (CT) President Richard C. Levin recently testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing, "Examining Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at U.S. Colleges and Universities." Each university leader discussed the important role of colleges and universities in battling climate change and the necessity for the federal gove

AASHE Staff Blog about the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conf.

The 2008 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference was held last week at the University of Maryland. AASHE staff members were on hand to blog about the majority of the sessions. Topics include campus sustainability rating systems, why your campus needs an office of sustainability, channeling student power, vision planning for campus sustainability and more. The Chronicle of Higher Ed and the National Wildlife Federation also blogged about the conference.

CSU President Calls for Increased Sustainability Research

Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley recently published an article in Inside Higher Ed that discusses the leadership role higher education institutions need to take in advancing sustainability research and solutions. He argues that research universities have an obligation and an opportunity to use their resources to educate green collar workers and create ground-breaking climate change solutions. Penley believes that universities should focus less on installing greener goods and creating climate change awareness, and focus more on preparing students for the up and coming green economy, advancing green research, and inputting new technologies into the free market. Once this research enters the marketplace, he says, it can create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health and living conditions worldwide, and stimulate the economy.

Johns Hopkins U Approves Funding for Green Initiatives

Johns Hopkins University (MD) recently approved the Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program, a program created to provide a way for students, faculty, and staff to secure funding for green projects on campus. JHU plans to form a committee of campus members that will review project proposals based on compliance to certain criteria, which have yet to be finalized. Once a project is approved, it will be handed off to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration where funds will be allocated. SHIP is not a revolving loan fund, and the money does not come from a predetermined fund; instead, money will be taken from excess funds, which will be determined on a case by case basis.

Oberlin College Announces New Financial Aid Initiative

Oberlin College (OH) recently announced the Oberlin Access Initiative, which promises to eliminate the annual loan requirements for those members of the incoming class of 2012 who are eligible to receive federally funded Pell Grants. In addition, the new policy will extend to all current, Pell-eligible students returning to Oberlin next fall.

San Diego State U Students Vote for Green Fee

San Diego State University (CA) Students recently voted to increase the current mandatory Student Body Association Fee to fund, among other initiatives, new green program and facility upgrades. 64.6 percent of students voted for a $20 increase per semester. 8.66 percent of the total student body voted.

Clinton Global Initiative U Receives $500,000 Grant from Wal-Mart

The Clinton Global Initiative University program recently received a $500,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Through a selection process by CGI U, the grant will be awarded to students or universities whose commitments integrate principles of sustainability. A total of $350,000 will go to two universities, and the remaining $150,000 will be granted to thirty-five students and student groups. The awards will be made in August 2008 to students and universities who have made demonstrable progress on their commitments.

Harvard Law School Launches New Public Service Initiative

Harvard University (MA) Law School recently announced that it will pay the third year of tuition for all future students who commit to work for a nonprofit organization or the government for five years following graduation. Students interested in participating in the initiative must demonstrate a commitment to public service during their time in law school. Students will earn eligibility credits by engaging in public service activities such as summer internships and relevant clinical programs, and once the student makes the commitment, they will receive a grant totaling the cost of their third year tuition. The program is scheduled to start this fall for incoming students; currently enrolled students will receive partial benefit. Officials say that the Harvard Public Service Initiative is the first of its kind in legal education.

Harvard Med., Claremont McKenna & Lafayette Expand Financial Aid

Harvard University (MA) Medical School recently announced that it will reduce the cost of a four year medical education by up to $50,000 for families with incomes of $120,000 or less. The new plan will eliminate before-tax retirement savings from the family income calculation. Likewise, Claremont McKenna College (CA) has announced that it will eliminate student loans from financial aid packages for all current and entering students effective fall 2008. The student loans will be replaced by grants. Lafayette College (PA) also recently announced that, starting in the fall of 2008, it will eliminate loans in need-based financial aid packages awarded to students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less and whose financial assets are typical of families with this annual income level. Beginning in the fall of 2009, Lafayette will limit loans to $2,500 per year for need-based financial-aid packages awarded to students from families whose incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000 and whose financial assets are typical of families with this annual income level. The new policy will apply to both new and returning Lafayette students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Indiana U Increases Wages for Union Workers

The Indiana University Board of Trustees recently voted to increase union employee pay by 3.5 percent starting in the fall of 2008 as an effort to pay these workers a living wage. Employees who fall under a collective bargaining agreement will likely get a 3.5 percent increase, but the unions have a right to negotiate how that pool increase is distributed.

St. Ambrose U To Launch Campus-wide Recycling Program

St. Ambrose University (IA) recently announced its plans to launch a campus-wide recycling program in the fall of 2008. The initiative was made possible by $20,000 from the University and a $32,000 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority. The money will be used to purchase recycling bins and a baler for waste generated by dining services.

Willamette U Housing to be Gender Neutral

Willamette University (OR) recently announced that, starting in the fall of 2008, it will offer gender neutral housing that will allow men and women to room together. The initiative is designed to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students who may not be comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same sex. Participation will be voluntary and students outside of the LGBT community will be permitted to participate. Parents will not be informed when a student chooses to live in gender neutral housing. The pilot program is not intended for romantically involved straight or gay couples; the University retains the right to deny requests from couples.

Carleton College Announces New Access Scholarship Program

Carleton College (MN) recently announced its new Access Scholarship program aimed at reducing or eliminating student loans for students from a family with an annual income of $75,000 or less, starting with the 2008-09 school year. The plan calls for a $4,000 scholarship for students from families making less than $40,000 annually, a $3,000 scholarship for students from families with annual incomes of $40,001-$60,000, and a $2,000 scholarship for students from families with yearly incomes of $60,001-$75,000.

Columbia U Expands Financial Aid

Columbia University (NY) recently announced that students from families with incomes below $60,000 attending Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science will no longer be expected to borrow or contribute any of their income or assets to tuition, room, board and other fees beginning in fall 2008. At the same time, Columbia will eliminate loans for all new and continuing students in the College and SEAS who are eligible for financial aid, regardless of family income, and replace them with University grants. Additionally, all aid recipients will be invited to apply for exemptions from summer and academic-year work expectations when they engage in community service or accept unpaid research or internship commitments.

Drew U to Offer Environmental Studies and Sustainability Major

Drew University (NJ) recently received a $950,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an innovative academic major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. The grant money will support two additional faculty members, new interdisciplinary courses, and a program of student internships and research experiences. Drew faculty members are working now to design the new major, which will incorporate internship experiences and coursework that is interdisciplinary and project-oriented. If approved by the College of Liberal Arts faculty this spring, it will be made available to students in the fall of 2008.

Lehigh U Enhances Financial Aid

Lehigh University (PA) recently announced its new plan to increase financial aid. As long as students are eligible for financial aid, the University plans to eliminate loans for students whose family’s calculated annual income is less than $50,000 and plans to limit loans to a maximum of $3,000 per year for students whose family’s calculated annual income is between $50,000 and $75,000. Additionally, work-study awards for students who are included in the loan elimination and reduction initiatives will be increased by 25 percent to $2,200 per year, thus offsetting the need for loans. Additional funds are also being made available to enroll a larger number of eligible, international students with demonstrated financial need.

MIT Announces New Financial Aid Program

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its financial aid program for the 2008-2009 academic year. Under the new plan, families earning less than $75,000 per year will have all tuition covered and will not be expected to take out loans to cover expenses beyond tuition. MIT will also no longer consider home equity for families with total annual income below $100,000 and typical assets. In addition to the financial aid plan, the Institute will also reduce the work-study expectation for all financial aid recipients by 10 percent.

Students from Maryland Universities Design Mobile Teaching Labs

The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently donated four dirty emissions transit buses to Biodiesel University, a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Maryland dedicated to providing hands-on renewable energy experiences and to inspiring students to pursue careers in science and technology. The four buses will be recycled into mobile teaching laboratories and will travel to schools, colleges, and public events in the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. Students from regional colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art, have been designing the mobile labs and their contents since late 2006 as part of a multi-institutional collaboration. The labs will educate visitors on the sustainability issues of food versus fuel, the carbon cycle, unintended economic consequences, pollution, and land and water use. Each lab will include a hands-on feedstock section, where visitors learn about dozens of renewable sources for biodiesel and compare the benefits and tradeoffs of each one.

USA Today Covers Increasing Student Awareness of Global Warming

USA Today recently published an article on the increasing number of students who are concerned about the effects of global warming. More and more students are participating in national events, such as Focus the Nation and Powershift, and creating their own campus initiatives aimed at reducing global warming and increasing knowledge about the problem.

Vassar College Expands Financial Aid Program

Vassar College (NY) recently announced that it will eliminate loans from the financial aid packages of students with calculated family incomes of up to $60,000. The college will replace those loans with additional Vassar scholarship grants. The policy will take place in the fall of 2008. The College will also return to a need-blind admissions policy, with admissions decisions being made without regard to the student's ability to pay.

Duke Bans Future Investments With Sudan-Linked Companies

The Duke University (NC) Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution that prohibits Duke from making future direct investment in companies engaged in business with the government of Sudan. The resolution, in protest against that government’s human rights violations in the war-torn region of Darfur, covers the $8.2 billion in endowment and assets of Duke University that is invested by the Duke Management Corporation. The policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the United States government lifts sanctions against Sudan.

Green Chemistry Bill Introduced into Congress

5 U.S. Senators recently introduced the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008 into Congress. The bi-partisan legislation would leverage federal green chemistry initiatives in an effort to advance research and development at universities and at federal agencies. The Act would create an inter-agency working group lead by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, and in coordination with the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to advance green chemistry research. The bill also provides grant funding for private sector and academic projects for environmentally friendly chemicals.

Oregon State U Increases Financial Transparency

Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on Oregon State University's new online budget reporting system. This new system allows students, faculty, and staff connected with the University to view budgeted allowances, actual expenditures, and available balances for income, salaries and wages, other payroll expenses, and other expenses for each department. Additionally, campus members can view the invoices of each completed purchase. The name of the employee associated with the transaction is not shown in the database. The data are updated each night.

U Maryland Receives Grant for Endowed Sustainability Professor

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently received a $750,000 challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. This gift will establish the Center’s first endowed chair, a professorship in Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, which will research ecosystem restoration in the face of growth and climate change.

U Maryland to Establish Green Real Estate Development Institute

The University of Maryland's real estate development program, which has a broad-based approach to sustainability, has received a $3 million gift that will help establish the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in UM's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The Institute will be the academic home for the school's two year-old Masters in Real Estate Development, giving the program a solid financial foundation, creating a new track with an even greater focus on sustainable development, expanding its leadership training, and extending the program's public outreach and international presence.

U New Hampshire Receives Top Lean and Green Award

The University of New Hampshire has received New Hampshire Magazine's Lean and Green Overall Judges Award, which recognizes the school's extensive sustainable practices. The campus's cogeneration plant and initiatives such as the reuse of purified landfill gas to power the Durham campus and transitioning its public transit system to alternative fuels help to win the award.

Brown U Enhances Financial Aid

Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.

Lake Land College Receives 2 Renewable Energy Grants

Lake Land College (IL) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to help determine what type of wind turbine would fit the needs of the college. The college also plans to install solar hot water heaters, natural lighting via skylights with reflective lenses, and prairie grasses into the landscaping. The projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2008. The College also recently received a $45,000 grant that enabled it to complete the installation of a geothermal system in the Student Fitness Center, which is now heated and cooled entirely with geothermal energy. The geothermal grant was provided by GeoAlliance as part of a $1 million program to further the proliferation of geothermal technology. The wind turbine grant was provided by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Princeton U Helps Fund Town Bus Service

Princeton University (NJ) has agreed to cover the costs of the new community jitney bus service until Princeton Borough receives its permanent vehicle and funding from New Jersey Transit at the end of the year. The jitney bus service will be free to riders and will run Monday through Friday during peak commuting hours. The service also has a direct connection with the newly modified University shuttle routes.

Warner Pacific C Lowers Tuition

Warner Pacific College (OR) recently announced that, starting fall 2008, tuition and fees for incoming traditional undergraduate students will be 23 percent lower than the 2007 – 2008 school year. The move is intended to improve student access.

Washington U St. Louis Eliminates Student Loans

Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has announced that it will eliminate need-based loans as part of its undergraduate financial aid awards to students from low- and middle-income families. Beginning in fall 2008, both entering freshmen and returning full-time undergraduate day-school students with parental incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to take out need-based loans and will instead receive grants from the University that will not have to be repaid. Families with parental income somewhat higher than $60,000 also may receive additional student loan relief based on demonstrated need and their financial circumstances. The additional grant aid will be funded by the increase in spending from scholarship and unrestricted endowments in the university's four schools with undergraduate programs, as well as from unrestricted university resources.

Whitman C to Establish $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund

Whitman College (WA) recently announced its plan to establish a $100,000 revolving loan fund for sustainability initiatives. The fund will be launched during the 2008 – 2009 school year and will correspond with a call for proposals from students, faculty and staff. Half of the money will come from Whitman's life cycle program, which is mainly for building maintenance. The additional $50,000 will come from year-end surpluses. The College also plans to hire a current student or recent graduate as Sustainability Coordinator for the campus.