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FIRE's Spotlight Database

FIRE’s Spotlight Database rates policies that regulate student expression at 486 colleges and universities. Public institutions bound by the First Amendment and private schools that promise free speech rights are rated as “green light,” “yellow light,” or “red light” institutions based on the extent to which they restrict free speech. “Warning” schools are private institutions that clearly prioritize other values above free speech.

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FIRE Spotlight Speech Code Rating Colors

As each college's Spotlight rating is based on written policies, it does not take other institutional actions into account. This does not preclude FIRE from taking action in defense of student and faculty rights. You can find more information about specific incidents of censorship and violations of due process on each school’s entry.

If the school you are looking for is not included in the database, you can request more information about its speech codes by filling out this form.

Explore FIRE's Spotlight Ratings

Spotlight on Speech Codes 2023

For the first time in 15 years, the percentage of schools earning an overall red light rating increased. Of the 486 schools included in FIRE’s Spotlight database, 94 earn an overall “red light” rating for maintaining policies that clearly and substantially restrict free speech.

View 2023 Spotlight Report

Spotlight on speech codes 2023