College Given E-Mail Addresses

There has been discussion at our institution about disbanded the practice of giving students e-mail addresses with the college domain.  Some of the reasons motivating the discussion stem from the difficulty in maintaining these various accounts as we are a 2 year college, students come and go quite frequently.  Also, in all reality, students are having their college e-mail address forward to Gmail or something other web-based e-mail service that offers significantly more storage space and functionality.

Unfortunately, some in our student services department are being difficult and insisting that students need and are using college given e-mail addresses.  So this project is on hold.  I wonder if/when college services will get on-board with the web 2.0 era and realize that college e-mail addresses are under-utilized and a waste of resources to maintain.

The only downside I can see in disbanding the practice of giving student college e-mail addresses is some companies they apply to may block free e-mail services. Also, a college e-mail address may provide some credibility.  I do think that both of these concerns will become irrelevant as Gmail and other web-based e-mail services continue to gain acceptance and credibility.

I would fully support disbanding college e-mail addresses in support for Gmail or similar services for students.

How does your institution handle the issue of college e-mail addresses?  Do you provide a college e-mail address or encourage the use of a free web-base service?

  • http://www.twitter.com/devinmason Devin

    While I agree it is unfortunate the lack of space you get with a college email account, they are valuable for a number of different reasons:
    1. Schools need a non-changing contact for billing, academic reporting, emergency notification services, etc.
    2. From a marketing standpoint, it gives students an added value in applying for jobs, as it gives them stature.

    3. It allows access to certain networks that only .edu addresses can access. For example a Facebook network for your school can only be accessed with the schools email address.
    4. Offering alumni their email address is an added perk for marketing as well as it has the potential to keep them engaged in the campus community.