an agricultural college.
a small, relatively unknown rural college.
Origin of cow college
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
An agricultural college; any small, relatively unknown rural college. For example, He's never published a paper, but he might do all right in some cow college. This term uses cow in the somewhat pejorative sense of “provincial.” [c. 1910]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.