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What is the best single word or sentence that represents both U.S colleges and universities?

MostafaKhaled010MostafaKhaled010 1 replies3 threads New Member
I am going to apply to different US Colleges and universities and I want to take 1 recommendation from each recommender to send it to all the colleges and universities I am going to apply at. What is the word that I can use in the recommendation that will be valid to represent both colleges and universities?
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Replies to: What is the best single word or sentence that represents both U.S colleges and universities?

  • skieuropeskieurope 41044 replies7690 threads Super Moderator
    edited July 13
    A. You're overthinking this.

    B. Your teachers will be just fine without you telling them what words to use .

    But "college" generally works. After all, universities are made up of colleges. "Institutions" also works, but can sound a bit stilted if used more than once or twice.
    edited July 13
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  • MostafaKhaled010MostafaKhaled010 1 replies3 threads New Member
    Are you sure that the universities in the US are made of colleges. The definition of "college" is different from one country to another that's why I have confusion about that
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9985 replies386 threads Senior Member
    In the US, colleges and universities are used interchangeably.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 41044 replies7690 threads Super Moderator
    edited July 13
    Are you sure that the universities in the US are made of colleges. The definition of "college" is different from one country to another that's why I have confusion about that

    I won't say that it is 100% the case, but it is in general. Harvard, as an example, consists of Harvard College (for undergrads) as well as Harvard Med, Harvard Law etc The US definition of "college" is tertiary education.

    In the US, one asks where you went to college, not where you went to uni. The question is acceptable regardless if you attended an institution that is a university.
    edited July 13
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10376 replies72 threads Senior Member
    "Competitive"

    @Eyeore beat me to "expensive"
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  • MWolfMWolf 2750 replies14 threads Senior Member
    In the US, colleges and universities are used interchangeably.

    James Thurber, writing about his university days at OSU (in 1916 or so), mentioned a student in one of his classes who was asked what his colleges was, to which the student proudly replied "Ohio State University!"...
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83802 replies743 threads Senior Member
    In the US, "college" in an educational context commonly means any post-high-school school that grants associates and/or bachelor's degrees (including those called "universities"), although it can also mean a division within a "university" or a residential living arrangement. "University" is most commonly used to refer to those which also have post-bachelor's-degree graduate or professional programs.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2442 replies39 threads Senior Member
    edited July 16
    All of the pedantic definitions above don't matter to a recommendation letter. "Your teachers will be just fine without you telling them what words to use ." is correct.
    MWolf wrote: »
    James Thurber, writing about his university days at OSU (in 1916 or so), mentioned a student in one of his classes who was asked what his colleges was, to which the student proudly replied "Ohio State University!"...

    Shame on him for missing "The..."
    edited July 16
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  • tkoparenttkoparent 472 replies10 threads Member
    You've received a lot of tongue-in-check advice here, but I understand why you're asking this. As @skieurope explained, in the US, "college" would be the generic term for undergraduate institutions, including those have "University" in their name, so your teachers can safely use the word "college".
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