Green Ribbon Schools: How to Apply

Green Ribbon Schools Logo - Color

The United States Department of Education (USDE) looks to nominating authorities in each state throughout the nation to recommend schools, districts, and institutions of higher education as potential recipients for the Green Ribbon award. In South Carolina, DHEC serves as the nominating authority, with support and cooperation from the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE). Schools, districts, and institutions of higher education should submit their applications to DHEC, who will then review all applications and make recommendations to the USDE. The USDE will evaluate the nominees, and award the Green Ribbon to schools which have exhibited outstanding effort and achievement in each of the three Green Ribbon Pillars:

  1. Reduce Environmental Impacts and Costs.
  2. Improve Health and Wellness.
  3. Provide Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education.

Timeline for 2021 Award Cycle: 

  • 10/30/2020 - Rough draft of application due to DHEC.
  • 11/27/2020 - DHEC will return the rough draft with comments and suggestions if applicable. 
  • 1/1/2021 - Final draft of application due to DHEC. 
  • 1/15/2021 - Deadline for DHEC to send the finalized application to SCDE/SCCHE for review and signatures. 
  • 2/1/2021 - Tentative deadline for final application submission to USDE. 

Interested parties should utilize the South Carolina Green Ribbon application template, as well as the sample Dutch Fork Elementary School application listed below.

If you represent a school, district, or institution of higher education and are interested in learning more about the application and evaluation process, please email Amy Curran at or call (803) 898-1644.