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Title: .edu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Generic top-level domain, .org, .mil, .net, .info
Collection: 1985 Introductions, Educational Organizations Based in the United States, Sponsored Top-Level Domains
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Introduced 1985
TLD type Sponsored top-level domain[1]
Status Active
Registry Educause (operated by VeriSign)
Intended use Educational institutions
Structure Registrations at second level permitted
Documents RFC 920; RFC 1591
Website edu Home Page

The domain name edu is a sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. Since 2001, new registrants to the domain have been required to be United States-affiliated institutions of higher education, though before then non-U.S.-affiliated—and even non-educational institutions—registered, with some retaining their registrations to the present.


  • History 1
  • Eligibility 2
  • Grandfathered uses 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The .edu domain was implemented in April 1985 as a generic top-level domains.[2][3] Six universities were the initial registrants that month.[2]

Until 2001,

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ "Delegation Record for .EDU". Root Zone Database.  
  2. ^ a b Rooksby, Jacob H. (2015). "Defining Domain: Higher Education's Battles for Cyberspace".   at p. 869
  3. ^ a b ".edu General FAQ". Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Cooper, Kenneth J. (November 28, 2000). "Community colleges want use of dot-edu Web names".  
  5. ^ a b "EDUCAUSE Announces Expansion of Eligibility for .edu Internet Names to Nationally Accredited Institutions". February 11, 2003. 
  6. ^ a b ".edu Internet Domain to Continue Under EDUCAUSE Management". March 28, 2006. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ Cooper, A. &  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ a b Gnatek, Tim (March 29, 2006). "Taking the Rough-and-Tumble Approach to Science". New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ Lamb, Marguerite (April–May 1999). "A Long-Distance Diploma". Mother Earth News. p. 3. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Average Counts of .EDU Domains by Status and Month". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d "FAQs on Eligibility for the .edu Domain". Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  13. ^ "FAQs on Current Holders of Names in the .edu Domain". Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ ".edu Policy Information". Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Mehus, Doug (October 9, 2003). "EDUCAUSE Prepares Mass Purge of .EDU Domains". CircleID. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Accuracy of Whois Data for .edu". Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Diploma Mills and Accreditation – Diploma Mills".  


See also

The U.S. Department of Education notes that some "suspect" or "illegitimate" educational institutions continue to use .edu addresses that were registered before the stringent eligibility criteria were adopted in 2001.[17]

In 2003, Educause undertook an initiative to purge the .edu registry of domain names that were not accurately registered by removing names whose registrants did not respond to requests that they log in to the registry and review their whois entries.[15][16] Through this effort, Educause expected to eliminate a number of domains that did not appear to qualify for registration in the .edu domain, such as,, and[15] Since 2006, Educause has been authorized to implement measures to prevent .edu domain name owners from transferring their domain names to other entities. These measures, together with the imposition of registration fees, were intended to reduce the number of inactive or ineligible .edu domain names.[6]

Domains that were already registered in the .edu domain as of October 29, 2001, were grandfathered into the system. Holders of such domain names can retain their .edu domain names without regard to the current eligibility criteria.[12][14]

Grandfathered uses

[13] Each eligible institution is limited to registering one .edu domain name, but institutions may also use names in other top-level domains.[12] Since October 29, 2001, only postsecondary institutions and organizations that are


Between 2004 and 2011, the number of registered names in domain .edu remained relatively constant, with more than 7,000 but fewer than 8,000 names registered at any given time.[11]

In 2001, the .edu domain was restricted to U.S.-accredited postsecondary educational institutions.[3] Subsequent changes expanded its use beyond four-year institutions, allowing registrations by accredited community colleges as well as by university systems, community college districts, and similar entities.[5]

Enforcement of the restrictions in the 1990s was not entirely effective. The webmaster for the Exploratorium, a San Francisco science museum, recalled in 2006 that the museum obtained its .edu domain name at a time in the early 1990s "when there were about 600 websites and only one for a museum."[9] The museum's Internet registrar allowed it to sidestep the then-extant domain-naming rules by using the .edu extension in spite of not being an academic institution and by using a name with more than 12 characters.[9] Some community colleges were reported to have registered .edu names after 1993.[4] In 1999 an article in Mother Earth News quoted an authority on distance education as saying, "Anyone who has the necessary $70 can register an .edu domain name and use it to archive any type of enterprise on the Internet."[10]

The .edu domain was originally intended for educational institutions anywhere in the world. However, most of the institutions that obtained .edu registrations were in the United States, while non-U.S. educational institutions typically used country-level domains.[7] In 1993, a decision attributed to Jon Postel limited new registrations in the .edu domain to four-year postsecondary educational institutions.[4][8] This prevented new .edu registrations by community colleges and other institutions offering less than four years of postsecondary schooling.[4]

[6] The agreement with Educause was extended for an additional five-year period in 2006; at that time Educause was authorized to begin charging a yearly administrative fee to registrants.[5]

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