What are Sun Grant Colleges?

The Sun Grant brings together top science, agriculture, and engineering technologies at the institutions

Flickr user: BrunoAmaru

The United States Congress passed the Sun Grant Research Initiative Act of 2003 in an effort to pair land-grant universities with national laboratories and other groups to work towards creating a more sustainable country with domestically produced energy. The Sun Grant Centers are the land-grant university representatives for their regions of the United States. The project brings together top science, agriculture, and engineering technologies at the institutions, enabling students to be part of these revolutions through research and development. The following schools are all Sun Grant Centers, working with a variety of land grant schools from nearby states.

Pennsylvania State University – Northeastern Center

  • Penn State University has campuses in University Park, PA and State College, PA. Penn State has over 160 majors for students to choose from and is also a member of the Big Ten Conference. The school mascot is a Nittany Lion, and their school colors are blue and white.
  • Consisting of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia

South Dakota State University – North-Central Center

  • South Dakota State University is located in Brookings, South Dakota. The university also boasts their homecoming weekend as Hobo Days, celebrating the over 100-year long tradition of dressing up as hobos and bums to psych out the opposing team.
  • Consisting of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming
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The University of Tennessee at Knoxville – Southeastern Center

  • The University of Tennessee at Knoxville was established in 1794, making the school over 220 years old. The university also has over 450 student organizations to join, including over 20 sororities and 30 fraternities.
  • Consisting of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

Oklahoma State University – South-Central Center

  • Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University has 26 residence halls for students to live in. The school produced so many Truman scholars, it was recognized as a Truman Honor Institution.
  • Consisting of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Oregon State University – Western Center

  • Corvallis, Oregon is home to this university where they offer over 900 online courses for students to enroll in. The school mascot is Benny the beaver.
  • Consisting of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington

The Sun Grant Initiative also pairs with three federal agencies of the United States. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to figure out how to produce better biomass feedstock production that is sustainable. In doing this, the USDA also makes a point to steer clear from competing with food production. The Department of Energy (DOE) looks at evaluating bioenergy feedstock options. There is also a Regional Feedstock Partnership Program, which conducts and utilizes research on the hurdles of developing consistent biomass feedstocks. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) also works with the Sun Grant Initiative to develop new bio-based transportation fuels.

Are you interested in researching and developing renewable energy? In that case, consider going to one of the previously mentioned schools! You can check out the information we have on programs available at each university–and your acceptance odds if you use our free college match tool!

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