Our History • Our Inspiration • Our College Database • Legal Mumbo Jumbo
Our core philosophy: CollegeTimes promotes critical thinking, moral conviction, and curiosity in a world overrun by corruption and corporatization. Join us in resisting the anti-intellectualism of the postmodern age (and the ultimate dumbing-down of higher education and society), as we connect readers with independent research and intriguing stories that inspire the search for truth, wherever it may be.
History of CollegeTimes
CollegeTimes is run by a small team of designers and writers. Initially launched in 2008 as two projects – CollegeTimes.us and RateMyCollege.us – the projects soon merged into a greater content portal targeting the Millenial generation. The site hosts student reviews of colleges from around the world, along with content aimed primarily at the North American “college” audience including students, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and beyond – especially those who fall into the 18-34 year-old age group. Our main goal is to stimulate thought and honesty in a world overcome by consumerism, legal threats, and interchangeable parts, while organizing valuable information that assists our readers in career planning and other important life decisions. Recently, we’ve also shifted to include a sharper focus on business entrepreneurism and personal finance tips.
CollegeTimes Inspiration & Common Themes
- “First make them laugh, and then make them think.” – Unknown
- “Universitas” – the early spirit of the modern university (quickly disappearing)
- “Apokalypsis” – a philosophical idea rooted in Greek regarding human revelation
- “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” – Einstein
Our team is inspired by these historical figures: Plato, Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, R. Buckminster Fuller, Winston Churchill
Organizing Our College Database
Transparency • Accreditation • Responsiveness • Closed Down • Legal Threats
CollegeTimes hosts the largest directory of colleges and universities on the internet. We accomplish this by organizing not only the institutions that are currently known about on public databases, but by actively seeking out new schools on a daily basis from a variety of sources. Many colleges around the world have sister campuses, or specialty campuses, that are not easily discoverable; there is also the problem of campus names being cataloged (in various languages), which often requires translation and/or transliteration. By leveraging multiple tools, consultants, and lots of determination, the CollegeTimes website now surpasses all other higher education databases around the world. (Yes, really! Every piece of data in our college database is 100% manually researched and verified by our team of editors. We do not pull data from the IPEDS database, or any other public or private API, as we do not “trust” any 3rd party data providers.)
CollegeTimes hosts 100% raw and uncensored college reviews by students and alumni from around the world who have attended these colleges and universities. Every school has student feedback along with a detailed profile including campus statistics, photos, contact information, and other useful information. Formerly known as RateMyCollege, our online database hosts the largest collection of colleges and universities on the internet with a primary focus on the United States and Canada. – CollegeTimes tagline
CollegeTimes relies on some core guidelines when organizing and marking up the thousands of colleges in our directory. Over the years, our team has experimented with various ‘labels’ on certain institution profiles. Currently, we use the following:
An editorial opinion, with no specific factual claims. We label certain institutions ‘Lacks Transparency’ when our team feels that the institution is not being forthright about certain key facts or figures. Specifically, if the institution does not readily provide a local phone number, physical address or email address, it will be marked with this label. Additionally, if an institution advertises a founding year that does not accurately portray when their current physical campus or brand/organization was started, it will be marked with this label. If their homepage does not readily explain their accreditation or lack of accreditation, it will be marked with this label. If an institution calls itself a ‘university’ or otherwise that does not seem to accurately portray what type of institution it is, or if they seem to be hiding an affiliation with a certain religion or cultural sect, it will be marked with this label. If the institution does not readily provide accurate photography of its physical location on its homepage or social media pages, it will be marked with this label (for example, only providing stock photos of ‘happy’ students but nothing more). If the institution is part of a “franchise” (multi-location brand) yet does not maintain separate contact details, physical offices, and digital presences for each campus location, it will be marked with this label. If an institution does not readily provide key figures such as enrollment, acceptance rate, 6-year graduation rate, endowment (or lack of it), tuition or boarding fees, it will be marked with this label. If an institution does not maintain social media profiles that would be expected in their given industry or location – i.e. avoiding consumer feedback – it will be marked with this label. Lastly, if an institution’s campus or location is not clearly marked with signage declaring the school’s presence, or if the institution shares a large property (i.e. office building) with an overwhelming amount of other unmarked/irrelevant tenants, it will be marked with this label.
An editorial opinion of accreditation quality. There are many different accreditation bodies and organizations around the world, although most of the academic community considers the accreditation groups based in the United States to be most prestigious. Depending on the type of institution, there are multiple accreditations that our team believes they should possess to be considered sufficiently and well accredited. For example, a small American liberal arts “college” should probably have regional accreditation in the United States. However, a business school (no matter the country) should possess AACSB accreditation to be considered sufficiently accredited, as this is an international but US-based accreditation body that readily works with any established business schools. The same goes for medical schools, law schools, technical schools, and beyond… any specific niche or industry, especially that may result in occupational licenses, typically should possess industry-specific accreditation to be considered high quality. Some confusion can arise when talking about accreditation because a very large campus e.g. university might contain several different colleges or schools, each of which should be judged by a different standard of accreditation. Typically, we do not list each college separately if they exist together under the same university campus umbrella. However, we will still consider that parent campus as a whole when issuing our opinion on accreditation. For example, perhaps their campus holds regional accreditation, but their business school or computer science department lacks AACSB or ABET accreditation. If these programs are a primary focus of that campus, we will consider the parent campus to have insufficient accreditation. But if their computer science or business program are very minor compared to the rest of the campus departments, we will likely still consider the campus to be sufficiently accredited because they are marketing themselves to consumers as a more generic campus. Each case is different, and we largely consider the history, transparency, and marketing/advertising of each institution before offering our editorial opinion, with the ultimate goal being protecting and warning consumers and students.
Despite the large size our of database, our team makes an effort to contact every institution at least once every few years. Depending on the (lack of) response from each campus, we label the institution either ‘Returned Our Information Request’ or ‘Ignored Our Information Request’ respectively. These information requests are sent via email to the addresses publicized on a school’s website homepage or social media profiles. (Within these emails, we request basic information that any student or consumer might normally request – photos, acceptance figures, and so forth.) In some cases, our team will opt to reach out via social media to certain institutions, especially via Twitter. If no viable contact method is found, the ‘Ignored Our Information Request’ label may be applied.
If an institution has permanently closed or been forced to close down at a certain location, we will use the label ‘Permanently Closed’ on such listings. However, if an institution has simply moved to a new location nearby, we will update the listing with the new location’s contact information in order to provide clarity to our users. In general, we prefer to avoid using the ‘Permanently Closed’ label unless an institution does in fact maintain multiple campus locations that are not easily confused with the “shut down” location. In certain cases, our team may post an ‘Editor’s Note’ explaining the unique situation.
This flag is used to reveal that a certain campus has repeatedly committed fraud in at least one of several ways. The most common example is that a campus has repeatedly posted fake reviews on our website in order to improve their rating or reputation, which is illegal in the United States and considered a form of consumer fraud. Other examples might include recruiting fraud, such as lying to students about accreditation, career placement, or other misleading promises and statements, or any other instance of misrepresenting the facts in regard to a campus to a student, potential student, graduate, or the general public. We only use this flag after our team has noticed repeated and purposeful instances of fraud. More information is available by emailing our staff for the specific instances regarding any given campus.
Lawsuits (Legal Threats Against Free Speech)
There are certain institutions who tend to receive quite a few negative student reviews on our website. Most of these schools are for-profit scam colleges that lack proper accreditation and who are solely in the “business” of higher education for reasons of profit (i.e. low quality career “training” programs). Because CollegeTimes does not accept bribes like other consumer review websites such as Yelp, College Prowler, etc, and because these negative student reviews often cost these poorly-reputed schools millions of dollars in lost revenue, these institutions often resort to making legal threats against CollegeTimes and our business partners. We aim to shed light on this foul practice, and will label any institution ‘Sued Or Threatened To Sue CollegeTimes’ that threatens us.
If your institution is considering threatening our team, please read below.
Additional Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Based on past lawsuit threats, we feel the need to clarify the following information. CollegeTimes considers both the compound word “CollegeTimes” and the common nick name “College Times” to be non-exclusive trademarks of its website, as the words are common in the English language and surely exist in many contexts around the world. However, we fully consider our logo, web design, content, structure, branding, etc. to be our original work with all international rights reserved, and that is how we license this website. Other parties may in NO WAY copy or duplicate the aforementioned items without written permission from our team. Likewise, CollegeTimes aims to respect other legitimate copyright and trademark holders – if we have improperly used one of your photos, web scripts, or other protected work please let us know.
In addition, please don’t bother sending us threatening emails if your institution is receiving negative user reviews on our college database section. Such reviews are left by 3rd-party students and visitors to our website, and are fully protected under the free speech clause of the U.S. Constitution and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Filing SLAPP lawsuits against web hosts and other entities is a shameful attempt at harassing and intimidating your way to censorship – and valuing profits over morality – and such practices will be aggressively exposed by our team via the web.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
The only exception our team makes in regard to taking down certain user reviews is that any review found to be making unsubstationated claims of felony (serious) crimes such as assault will be immediately removed, in accordance with our Terms Of Service. If such reviews are posted, we have in the past and will continue to work with law enforcement officials who request our cooperation in their related investigations.