How do I share data with Sierra and The Princeton Review?

The process for sharing data with third parties has changed significantly from previous years. In particular, snapshots are no longer being used to share data. Please read these instructions carefully to ensure your institution is included.

UPDATE: January 25, 2018. Please note that, based on feedback from AASHE members, Sierra has extended its submission deadline for new STARS reports from March 2 to March 30, 2018. This change will provide institutions planning to submit for a new rating extra time to do so. Existing Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum STARS reports dated March 2, 2015 or later are still eligible; re-submission is not required. The Princeton Review's submission deadline for new reports remains March 2, 2018. Updated information and additional instructions are provided below.

Since 2012, AASHE has collaborated with
Sierra and The Princeton Review to allow colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada to use the STARS Reporting Tool to share their sustainability data for potential inclusion in Sierra's Cool Schools ranking and The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges.

To have your institution’s data shared with either organization, your institution must:

1. Review data sharing preferences and adjust as needed

Participation in data sharing is on an opt-in basis. Review your institution’s settings by navigating to the Share Data tab in the My Summary section of the Reporting Tool. To opt-in, click on the “Who am I sharing with?” tab, select the box next to the appropriate organization(s), and click the "Save" button.

AND

2. Have submitted a valid STARS report that meets each organization’s requirements.

If your institution has opted in to data sharing and has a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum STARS report that was submitted on March 2, 2015 or later, your data will be shared as described below and you don’t need to take any further action.

Sierra’s requirements

Sierra’s revised ranking methodology is based on re-weighting STARS subcategory scores (Curriculum, Public Engagement, Energy, Investment & Finance, and so on). This means that all applicable STARS credits will count towards your institution’s Cool Schools ranking. Sierra will accept data from institutions with a valid STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum rating. Unscored reports that have the STARS Reporter designation and reports are more than three years old will not be considered for the Cool Schools ranking.

New reports that are submitted for a STARS rating on or before March 30, 2018 will be shared with Sierra in early May pending successful completion of the collaborative review and revision process and subsequent publication on the STARS website. Reports that remain in review and revision mode on May 30 will not be considered by Sierra.

As in previous years, Sierra is also requesting completion of one additional question regarding fossil fuel investment. The supplemental investment question may be completed here.

If you have any questions about reporting to Sierra, please contact cool.schools@sierraclub.org.

The Princeton Review's requirements

The Princeton Review’s scoring methodology is based on data from a subset of STARS credits. The Princeton Review will accept data from institutions with a valid STARS report of any type (i.e., a report submitted within the three years prior to the March 2, 2018 with a Reporter designation, a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating, or a provisional rating that is still in review and revision mode). STARS reports that are more than three years old will not be considered for the Guide to Green Colleges.

Because The Princeton Review accepts data with a Reporter designation, an institution can be considered for inclusion in the Guide to Green Colleges at no cost by participating in STARS using the free basic access option. If you choose to share data as a Reporter, note that you only need to complete the credits requested by The Princeton Review. Alternatively, data can be submitted directly through The Princeton Review’s own Review Data Set Form F: Student Life. The Princeton Review distributes this form annually to a designated data contact at each institution.

If you have any questions about reporting to The Princeton Review, including about the identity of the designated data contact for your institution, please contact surveysupport@review.com.

What Do I Need To Do To Be included?

Scenario 1. Institution has a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum STARS report that was submitted on March 2, 2015 or later:

The Princeton Review

Sierra Cool Schools

Opt-in


1. Opt-in

2. Complete Sierra's supplemental questions about fossil fuel investment.

Scenario 2. Institution has a rated STARS report that was submitted on March 2, 2015 or later, but wishes to update its data:

The Princeton Review

Sierra Cool Schools

  1. Opt-in

  2. Submit a new STARS report (for a rating or as a Reporter)

    OR complete the Princeton Review’s own form by March 2, 2018

  1. Opt-in

  2. Submit for a new STARS rating by March 30, 2018

  3. Complete Sierra's supplemental questions about fossil fuel investment.

  4. Finalize revisions by May 30, 2018

Scenario 3. Institution has an unscored (STARS Reporter) report submitted March 2, 2015 or later:

The Princeton Review

Sierra Cool Schools

Opt-in

  1. Opt-in

  2. Submit for a STARS rating by March 30, 2018

  3. Complete Sierra's supplemental questions about fossil fuel investment.
  4. Finalize revisions by May 30, 2018

Scenario 4. No STARS report has been submitted March 2, 2015 or later:

The Princeton Review

Sierra Cool Schools

  1. Opt-in

  2. Submit a STARS report (for a rating or as an STARS Reporter)

    OR complete the Princeton Review’s ’s own form by March 2, 2018

  1. Opt-in

  2. Submit for a STARS rating by March 30, 2018

  3. Complete Sierra's supplemental questions about fossil fuel investment.

  4. Finalize revisions by May 30, 2018

How Your Data is Shared

Opting into data sharing or submitting a STARS report does not automatically transmit data to Sierra or The Princeton Review. AASHE shares data with each organization as follows:

Sierra’s Cool Schools ranking

Once both the March 30 submission deadline and the May 30 deadline for completing the collaborative review and revision process have passed, AASHE will generate an export in Excel format that includes the data and subcategory scores published in each participating institution’s most recent eligible STARS report. The export will then be shared with Sierra electronically.

The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges

Once the March 2 deadline has passed, AASHE will generate an export in Excel format that includes the data requested by The Princeton Review from each participating institution’s most recent eligible STARS report. The export will then be shared with The Princeton Review electronically.

How Your Data is Used

Sierra and The Princeton Review each use their own scoring methodologies to inform their rankings, as described below. AASHE provides data to these organizations as a service to STARS participants who wish to be included in their publications, but we do not necessarily endorse their rankings or their methodologies. We do regularly provide feedback to Sierra and The Princeton Review and advocate for changes to address member concerns; we welcome comments or suggestions at stars@aashe.org.

Sierra’s Cool Schools ranking

The 2018 Cool Schools ranking will be based on a reweighting of the scores institutions earn in each subcategory of STARS. As a result, all applicable STARS credits will count towards your institution’s Cool Schools ranking. Further, because Sierra’s ranking is based on STARS scores rather than the raw data, respondents can be confident that responses that earn the most points in STARS will also translate to the best position in the Cool School rankings.

The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges

The Princeton Review’s Green Rating is derived from:

  • Institutional data about sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs collected from a subset of STARS credits (listed here) or via a survey (Data Set Form F: Student Life) it distributes independently.

  • Student perception data from surveys of students attending each institution. This includes student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced 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.

As with other rankings published by The Princeton Review, the exact methodology for determining an institution’s Green Rating is proprietary.

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