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

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

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.