So I’m starting to plot a new story line, but I’m a little apprehensive about a few things. Since the primary setting is a university, can I use one of my dream universities as the setting? I mean, it isn’t illegal to do that, right?
I don’t see how setting your story in a real-life existing university could be illegal. I’ve read many published fiction books that take place at, say, Brown University.
Does this answer your question? Not sure if I misunderstood your issue.
The only concern with using real locations (or brands) is be careful what you say about it - if it could be considered libel. If it’s just a setting, No problem, but if you imply that it’s corrupt or offers bad education, you might meet trouble.