Wondering how to get a .edu domain? That’s understandable. Having a .edu domain can add a distinct level of professionalism and academia to your digital presence. But how do you go about securing one for yourself? In this article, we will answer what a .edu domain is, why you should consider one, who can apply for it, and what the application process looks like.

Saying this already gives away that there is indeed an application process and it is not as straightforward as registering for example a .com domain. However, it is not as daunting as it might initially seem; a .edu domain is perfectly attainable with the right information and guidance. Let us simplify this journey for you and answer some FAQs.

What Is a .edu Domain?

You may have seen .edu appended to the web address of your university or another educational institution. And yes, a .edu domain extension is used primarily by American higher education institutions. Think of it as a digital badge, a clear indicator of the website’s purpose. But .edu is not just for show, oh no! The .edu domain extension is significantly more than just a fancy TLD (top-level domain).

The .edu domain holds a certain prestige due to its stringent eligibility requirements by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Only postsecondary institutions accredited by an agency on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies, can register a .edu domain. The criteria are incredibly strict, and the institutions are regularly verified to maintain this standard. 

That means on the other side that when you see a .edu extension, you can trust that you’re dealing with a dependable educational institution committed to maintaining high standards. This built-in authenticity is why .edu domains are so sought after in the education sector. So, the next time you spot a .edu in your browser’s address bar, take a moment to appreciate the credibility it carries!

Fun fact: .edu was actually among the first generic top-level domains introduced together with .com for commercial entities, .edu for educational purposes, .gov for the government, .mil for the military, .org for non-profit organizations, and .net for internet service providers. But if you want to know more about the history of domain names, read our article on the topic.

Why Should You Consider Registering a .edu Domain?

Getting your hands on a .edu domain could be an essential move for your educational institution or training center. One of the biggest benefits revolves around reputation. It builds trust and credibility among your students, their parents, as well as potential faculty, staff, and researchers. This credibility transmits you’re offering a legitimate educational service that respects strict educational standards. 

Also, .edu email addresses often qualify for generous discounts with numerous providers, thus fostering technological advancement in your institution and reducing overhead costs. You see? It’s not just about a domain; it’s about joining an elite league of educational platforms.

In conclusion, registering a .edu domain can be seen as an investment in your institution’s online presence. 

Who Can Apply For a .edu Domain?

The .edu domain name is as exclusive as they come, it is reserved primarily for accredited post-secondary institutions located in the United States. These include US-based community colleges, universities, and various vocational schools.

The association overseeing this domain also occasionally approves applications from recognised foreign institutions. Foreign institutions have to be accepted as a university by their home country and additionally be recognised by the United Nations or equivalent accrediting bodies. These institutions must offer at least post-secondary level teaching. 

Note: Non-profit organizations can register for a .edu domain if most of their members are educational institutions like colleges and universities. In addition, at least 75 percent of these members must also currently eligible for a .edu domain themselves.

For more eligibility information, visit educause.edu. EDUCAUSE a higher education information technology association and the only registrar for .edu domain names since October 2001.

And in case you don’t qualify for a .edu domain, here are some other gTLD suggestions that will elevate your online learning space.

What Does the Application Process Look Like?

Let’s break down the application process step by step so you’re in the know before you go.

First, check your eligibility. If you nodded your head throughout the previous paragraph, there’s a good chance you meet the eligibility criteria to register your own .edu domain:

  1. You are a US-based postsecondary educational institution.
  2. You have institutional accreditation from an institutional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

If you’re eligible, your first step is to see if your preferred domain name is available. Use a domain search to find out. Just make sure your chosen name represents your institution or organisation and isn’t too generic or broad. 

If your preferred .edu domain is available, you can put it in your cart and start the application process. Create an account and fill in your personal information and details about the accreditation of your institution. Agree to the customer service agreement and complete your order by making a payment.

Good to know: Your .edu domain will come at a cost of $77.00/ year per domain name.

Once you’ve sent off your application, the EDUCAUSE team will have a look at it. They’ll be checking your eligibility and if all your information is correct. You will receive an email on whether or not your application has been accepted. Bear in mind this can take some time (usually 4-6 weeks) and your domain name won’t go live until your application has been sorted out.


We hope you now know how to get a .edu domain and you a good understanding of all aspects related to .edu domain name registration. After all, it’s not just any domain you’re going after, but a powerful representation of education and credibility.

Even if you’re ineligible to apply for a .edu domain directly, there are other ways you can demonstrate your commitment to education. Be it getting a different domain name reflecting your offer or partnering with other institutions to gain credibility. Keep exploring your options. We wish you all the best in your journey & happy registering!

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