Memphis entrepreneur Bill Townsend launches College Rover, a college-search website

A Memphis-area investor has launched a website with the hopes of simplifying the college search process.

Bill Townsend came up with the idea for College Rover during his daughter’s college search in 2020. He grew frustrated with how much time was spent looking for information on schools and putting together spreadsheets — rather than deciding which school was best.

“Why should anybody have to spend their time collecting all this data?” Townsend said. “They need to spend their time evaluating. I started out with the concept of putting together a program of maybe 200 or 300 colleges, but what I quickly realized was that was completely unfair to the larger college universe.”

Townsend’s site launched with metrics on 2,100 U.S. nonprofit and public colleges that have more than 400 students. The data is mostly pulled from the U.S. Department of Education and then simplified to allow for easier browsing and comparison, according to Townsend.

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