College Air compiled its chart using data collected from radio stations specializing in underground or college rock music. The final listing of sources, dated October 9, 2003, included forty-three American college and community stations, three Canadian stations, and five Internet broadcasters.
The first College Air chart was a top 10 list dated January 21, 2002. It expanded to twenty positions on June 17, 2002, and to thirty positions on September 22, 2003. Beginning with the chart dated August 15, 2004, College Air began substituting data collected and provided by Media Guide for its own data, and the chart was reduced to twenty-five positions. This was further reduced to twenty positions on January 23, 2005, and remained so until the final published chart on March 6 of that same year.
The College Air Weekly Countdown was a one-hour syndicated radio show, featuring the top ten songs as listed on the weekly chart. The hour was fleshed out with “deeper” tracks from top albums, up-and-coming tracks (“bubblers”) by other artists, hit songs from other college-radio specialty formats, such as worldbeat, electronica, AAA and underground hip hop, adventurous rock music from other parts of the world, and classic college radio hits. The first show, reflecting the chart dated April 1, 2002, was intended for airplay during the week of April 15 to 21. There were a total of fifteen shows produced, the final show airing the week of July 27 to August 2, 2002. At its peak, the show aired on fifteen college and community radio stations across the United States and Canada.
While College Air was active, it also offered three album reviews, one concert review and one artist interview.
The stated goal of the College Air projects was to "...[bring] visibility and respect to the American college radio world, [its] stations, labels, and especially artists." The chart and show were the work of Freddy Gier, a former announcer at KUOR-FM and KCBX, and a contributing writer to the All Music Guide. At the time of the chart's debut, there was no other song-based chart for the college-radio format.
- "College Air list of contributing stations". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "College Air chart archive". Archived from the original on 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "College Air countdown show playlists". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "College Air list of countdown affiliates". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- "College Air reviews". Archived from the original on 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- The Top Ten Project