List of colloquial names for universities and colleges in the United States

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Because of the large number of universities and colleges in the United States, and in some cases because of their lengthy formal names, it is common to abbreviate their names in everyday usage. Most simply, the type of institution, such as “University” or “College,” in the name may be dropped, or some component of the name abbreviated, such as “Tech” in place of “Institute of Technology” or “Technological University.”

The same nickname may apply to multiple institutions, especially in different regions, e.g. “SC” is claimed by both the University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina. The abbreviation may be non-obvious, e.g. “KU” is the University of Kansas and not “UK,” which is commonly the University of Kentucky. In some cases, the nickname may be better known, e.g. “West Point” rather than the United States Military Academy. This list of colloquial names for universities and colleges in the United States provides a lexicon of such names.

This list includes only alternative names for institutions, and not nicknames for their campuses, athletic teams, or personalities. Thus, it specifically excludes mascots and athletic team names, for which see List of U.S. college team nicknames and List of U.S. college mascots.

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