Washington D.C., 11 Feb 2003
Eligibility for .edu Internet addresses will be expanded to include more postsecondary institutions than are currently eligible, EDUCAUSE and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced today. EDUCAUSE, the association for information technology in higher education that manages the .edu Internet domain, anticipates that the change will become effective around mid-April 2003. Current .edu domain name holders will not be affected by the new policy.
Until now, the .edu domain has been restricted to postsecondary degree-granting institutions accredited by one of the six U.S. regional accrediting agencies. After the expansion takes effect, also eligible will be those that are institutionally accredited by agencies on the U.S. Department of Education's (www.ed.gov) list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies.
A list of agencies granting the accreditations that will be eligible for .edu addresses may be found on the EDUCAUSE Web site (www.educause.edu). The list includes both "Regional Institutional Accrediting Agencies" and "National Institutional and Specialized Accrediting Bodies." Not all agencies on the Department of Education list meet the criteria of being an institutional accrediting body, because some agencies accredit only programs and not institutions.
The policy change was approved by the Commerce Department and came in response to a recommendation by the EDUCAUSE Policy Board for .edu, following a review of suggestions received during a public comment period. The comments are posted on the .edu Web site.
The Commerce Department awarded management of the .edu domain to EDUCAUSE in October 2001 under the terms of a five-year cooperative agreement. By prior authorization, immediately upon assuming this responsibility, EDUCAUSE opened the .edu domain to accredited U.S. community colleges and institutions that award two-year degrees that previously had been ineligible. The current policy change extends .edu eligibility to nationally accredited postsecondary institutions providing specialized training in health services, education, and technology as well as other professions and vocations.
Following creation of a new database of eligible institutions, EDUCAUSE expects to launch an initial application period in the spring of 2003. Newly eligible institutions may not apply before that date. Until then, the current domain name protocols and associated policies will be in effect as described on the .edu Web site.