Why You Should Never Work for University Primetime

Have you been looking for an internship or writing job? Have you been recruited to write articles by the college website University Prime, with the promise of being paid for every single thing of yours that they publish on the site? 

I remember when I was a junior in college looking for an internship. University Primtime sounded like a dream come true. That was, until I realized I was being scammed. 

If you or someone you know is thinking of writing for University Primetime, don’t be fooled. Stop and run in the other direction for the following reasons:

Difficult Hiring Process

In order to get the job with UP, I had to to extensive work on “trial articles” and get past several cuts just to be a part of a program that I wound up quitting. The guys running the site left several threatening messages in the Facebook group that we would be “cut” if we did not start our trial articles by a certain date. I was once removed from the group because I contacted one of the guys in charge by email instead of Facebook.

Of course, I’m totally fine with trial articles and testing out writers to see who is dedicated and the best fit for the site, but I’m not a fan of using threats to get writers to write, which brings me on to my next point:

Unprofessionalism

The site was (and probably still is) run by three young guys. I dealt with two of the three, who were pretty nice at first, but turned sour after a month or so. One continually messaged me on Facebook about sharing content in college groups, which caused me to join and spam over 100 groups, which led to a lot of unhappy incoming freshmen. 

He would even text me if I didn’t respond on Facebook, saying things like, “Hey, I need you to share this article right now, K? I’m sending you links you need to share this on.” He would expect me to drop whatever I was doing and literally share that article right then, to 100 groups.

A Lack for Safety

This one may just be a fluke, but I do defiantly believe that University Primetime doesn’t really want to promote safety more than underage drinking and heavy amounts of weed. Yes, they did publish other articles of mine that had nothing to do with partying, but one of my few articles that was not published (I only had 3 unpublished ones in 3 months) was entitled “20 Ways to Stay Safe on a Night Out.”

I did a lot of research for this article and was extremely disappointed when it was not published. I figured that it might have not been “cool enough” for the site. But I don’t want to flat out say that they don’t care about the safety college students. I’m just saying that the article I wrote about safety for their site was not published for some reason.

Inappropriate Content

While I did leave mainly for the next issue, a big part of me also left because I didn’t want to be associated with the content on the site any longer. One article that I was given to share in 95 Facebook groups was titled, “Study Shows that People Who do Drugs Have More Sex and Get Better Grades.” Other articles included foods to eat while drunk and the best movies to watch during 4/20.

I have no problem with people who do those kinds of things, but that’s just not who I am personally. When they said the site was about “relatable college content” I didn’t think it would be 90% about partying and 10% everything else. Because all college students know, there is a LOT more to college than just going out.

Fake Pay

This was the whole entire reason that I quit working for UP: I was only paid for 2 out of 8 articles that were published on the site. I begged to be paid the other $60 (we were paid $10 per published article, which was a little over $8 after taxes). The runners of the site were claiming that I “never sent them an email” and that “only published articles get paid”. Which they all were. These conditions were listed in a contract that I signed. 

I feel like I was just getting used for free content, and I guess other writers did too, since our Facebook group dropped over time from 115 to 18 members.

Overall Shadiness

Something seemed off about the site, but for some reason I decided to go through with the process because it seemed like a great opportunity. The guys who run the site just seemed downright shady. One of them, who I really need to unfriend on Facebook, has recently been spamming his feed with posts about girls getting a free trip to Vegas with all bottles included if they message him.

I hope this list sheds some light on what comes across as a cool college website and an easy way to make money. Based on my experience, University Primetime is a total scam and I have no intention of ever working for them again. If you hear that they are hiring or see and advertisement form them on Internships.com like I did, keep scrolling!

9 Comments

  1. Hi Jess!
    We recently got in contact with the Washington Post about potentially breaking a HUGE story on the dirty nefarious activities University Primetime and their partners Roomsurf and OneClass engage in. HerCampus.com http://www.hercampus.com/news/app-exploiting-college-women and TheDirty.com https://thedirty.com/gossip/manhattan/jason-olephant-from-university-primetime-is-a-dirty-slimeball/ have both recently published articles putting University Primetime on blast about a sexual harassment scandal. Several victims have already spoken to reporters and you’re more than welcome to give your two cent about your experience with University Primetime. Feel free to get in contact with us (thestudentstribune3@gmail.com) if that’s something you’d be interested in! Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

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  2. Hey Jess!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with University Primetime. I think it’s pretty garbage too and I think everyone has come to that understanding at this point. The content is low quality in general and the actually subject matter is also – as you pointed out – inappropriate and driven by bad values.

    If you’re still looking to join a quality publication, I’m the founder of a site called Admit Hero. We produce content that helps high school students navigate the college admissions process by highlighting really impressive students. You can learn more about us at http://www.admithero.com or check out our content program at http://www.admithero.com/intern. Unfortunately, it’s unpaid but we focus on providing a really high-quality program for our writers.

    Thanks again for shedding some light on University Primetime’s truth. I would say the same for SororityLyfe and a few other publications. They might even all be run by the same group of people.

    Best,
    Faique
    http://www.admithero.com

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  3. Hello Jess,
    While we respect and appreciate your opinion, I would like to take this opportunity to present some facts in response to your claims. University Primetime pays all writers who follow the guidelines that are presented and agreed to upfront. If you did not follow these guidelines, you cannot logically expect to be paid. There are very few publications who pay as well as UP for UGC, so your “$8 after tax” argument lacks legs. How long would it take you to write 10 articles in a day? Is that better or worse than working an 8 hour shift at walmart? How much $ have you made on this blog? The point being, UP is fighting to create an opportunity for college students to make money doing something they love.

    Regarding the content on the site, it is generated by college students and thus representative of the student body across the US. If you take issue with the content, you take issue with your fellow students, not University Primetime. The hiring process for UP is difficult by design in an effort to filter out the folks who will not follow protocol and not produce quality content.

    Again, you are entitled to your opinions and we respect your voice but every story has 2 sides. Best of luck in the future and sorry UP wasn’t a good fit for you.

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  4. Hello Ms. Forte,

    I’m a first year journalism major who is currently researching University Primetime. If you have the time, I’d love to interview you about your time working there.

    Thank you for your time,

    Parker

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  5. I’ve seen people spam that junk site a lot, and I’m shocked to learn they only pay their writers $10 an article when they make way more than that off the ad revenue. I’ve made sure not to click on their stupid articles because I don’t want to give them a dime of ad revenue. I’m tired of seeing non-affiliates post their spam on college pages.

    Liked by 1 person

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