How many total points are available in STARS?

The total points available depends on each institution’s context and which credits are applicable to it. Certain credits (e.g., Biodiversity and Water Use) have a range of points available depending on the characteristics of the institution. In addition, many credits may be marked as Not Applicable by certain institutions, which will reduce the number of total points available (i.e., the denominator used in scoring). If you mark a credit as Not Pursuing, you will earn zero points, but those points will still count towards the number of total points available.

To calculate the denominator used for your institution, the simplest solution would be to make a copy of the appropriate credit checklist, update the available points column based on your specific situation, and then to tally it up to find your total.

The table below summarizes the minimum overall score required for each STARS rating:









Keep in mind that points in the Innovation & Leadership (IN) section do not count toward the total points available. They are bonus points added to your overall percentage-based, score. Here’s an example of how that works:

  • Model Community College earned 90 points out of a total of 180 points available (total points available for your institutions will likely be different). Based on this, the percentage of available points earned is 50 (90/180).
  • Model Community College also claimed 2 Innovation & Leadership points, which are added to the percentage of points earned.
  • Therefore, their overall STARS score would be 52 (50 + 2), making them eligible for a Silver rating.

Learn more about scoring.

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