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Articles / Applying to College / What is an .edu Email address and How Do I Get One?

What is an .edu Email address and How Do I Get One?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Aug. 31, 2017

Question: What is an “.edu email address"? I just tried to sign up at a Web site but was told that I couldn't do it without an .edu email.

When students enroll in college, the vast majority are given a new email address that includes the college name and the “.edu" suffix." I see from your “Ask the Dean" query form that you're currently a high school senior with a Gmail account. Many college students continue to use their old accounts, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc., for personal mail but will use the .edu account for the mountains of official email that they receive from various college administrators, programs, professors, etc.


Some Web sites ---especially the very popular Amazon Prime---provide special discounts to college students, but they require an .edu address as a means of verification. However, Amazon does extend Prime privileges to those who are taking even one college class. See https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000896051

If you do a search for “.edu email," you'll find that there are a number of outfits promising you an .edu address even if you're not enrolled anywhere. “The Dean" doesn't know how legit these sites are (they certainly don't SOUND legit), but you can do a little exploring if you're careful. Just be wary about providing personal data when you don't know where it's going. The Dean is a big chicken and thus doesn't believe that any coupons, BOGO deals, or promises of finding true love are worth the risk of sending information to a potentially unscrupulous site.

So I think your best bet is to wait until next year, and then you'll get your own .edu address along with the benefits that come with it.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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