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EDUCAUSE Announces Expansion of Eligibility for .edu Internet Names to Nationally Accredited Institutions

February 11, 2003—EDUCAUSE, the association for information technology in higher education, which manages the .edu Internet domain, and the U.S. Department of Commerce have announced that, effective mid-April 2003, eligibility for .edu names will be extended to postsecondary institutions that are institutionally accredited by agencies on the U.S. Department of Education's list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies.

This list includes both "Regional Institutional Accrediting Agencies" and "National Institutional and Specialized Accrediting Bodies." Not all agencies on the Department of Education's list accredit institutions; some accredit only programs. The list of agencies that accredit eligible institutions can be found on the .edu Web site.

Until this change takes effect, the .edu domain is restricted to postsecondary degree-granting institutions that are accredited by one of the six U.S. regional accrediting agencies. The policy change was approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to a recommendation by the .edu Policy Board following a review of suggestions received through a comment forum on the .edu Web site.

According to EDUCAUSE Vice President Mark Luker, "This expansion will allow a broad segment of postsecondary education providers to benefit from the immediate recognition of the '.edu' tag on an Internet address."

The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded management of the .edu domain to EDUCAUSE in October 2001 in a five-year cooperative agreement. By prior authorization, upon assuming this responsibility, EDUCAUSE opened the .edu domain to accredited U.S. community colleges and institutions that award two-year degrees, which previously had been excluded. The current policy change extends .edu eligibility to nationally accredited postsecondary institutions, which provide specialized training in health services, education, technology, and other professions.

EDUCAUSE expects to open the application process to newly eligible institutions on April 15, 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. Current .edu domain name holders will not be affected by the new policy.

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

Peter DeBlois
Director of Communication Services


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