How to Buy an EDU Domain

December 3, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Easy answer on this one: You can’t. You cannot buy a .edu domain name. Unless, of course, you happen to be a four-year postsecondary U.S. institution that is Institutionally Accredited. For your educational institution to become Institutionally Accredited, by the way, your organization is to be given this status by an agency registered on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies. Your organization must also be physically located within or legally organized in the United States of America or at the very least legally and officially recognized by a US State or Federal Agency.

Unless you have, or can obtain, all of the above the chances of getting one of these is basically zero. The rules and terms for eligibility are, in the terms of the United States Department of Commerce, strictly enforced. Apparently they just don’t have a sense of humor about this stuff at all.

Brief .edu Domain History

The .edu domain name is one of the oldest Top Level Domains on the Internet. As part of the original set of seven (the others, .net, .org, .gov, .mil and .com) the .edu extension was created in the mid-1980’s and intended for higher education institutions. Some of the first organizations to register a .edu were UCLA, Berkeley and Purdue University. While there was some lose running of the extension in the 1990’s, apparently a few “got away,” the domain has remained almost entirely exclusive to educational institutions.

Who cares?

Why is the .edu domain such a big deal? Well, there are two reasons anyone outside of the educational environment cares about this extension.

For one there just are not that many of these things in use. Currently less than 10,000 are in play compared to hundreds of millions domains. The fewer there are, and the harder they are to get, the higher the interest level. Also those in the non-accredited educational world tend to get a put off when they are not allowed one of these so it gets some minor press once in a while

The second point has to do with search engine optimization. Because the .edu domain is so tightly controlled within the education system, and there are relatively few of them out there, back links from an edu website are considered the “Holy Grail” for SEO’s. Many involved in search optimization feel that major search engines consider these types of links more important and hold greater weight than all other types of back links. Now, most search engine companies will contest this theory of course, however that does nothing to keep webmasters from trying to obtain what they feel is the best of the best of all back links.

Take away

Sorry to disappoint on this one but a .edu domain is just not in the cards.

Bill focuses on videos and lessons aimed at how to make a website. By taking the mystery out of website and blog creation, WordPress, SEO and social media Bill helps those with personal blogs and small business websites get the most from their online efforts. For free How-To videos and information visit to get started!

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