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The Rise and Fall of the University E-Mail

It's a proud moment for some, getting that school-sanctioned .edu-suffixed e-mail address. That pride, however, has become a diminishing return as years go by and more students enter college with addresses they've had forever and grown quite attached to. What's a college to do? According to one article, a trend among colleges lately is to outsource school e-mail addresses, one step away from phasing them out altogether. While it may seem sad, it's a move that is making sense both logically and fiscally.

Schools, for the most part, aren't able to keep up with the speed of innovation on the web anyway, and the fact that many college-run email systems have fallen far behind the innovation curve has driven a lot of students to just forward their school email to a commercial account anyway.

Given the cost pressures that schools are under right now, the choice for these colleges is to either spend a lot of money on providing costly email systems that most students hardly ever look at, or to outsource them to a commercial vendor, or even to Google, which will happily offer these services for free.

Some schools, such as University of Nevada at Reno, have already announced their relinquishing of fresh e-mail addresses. More schools, it's reported, will likely keep them but merely use them to forward e-mails to students' existing accounts -- a good means of compromise between a school identity and the simple fact that students these days are logging on far before their college days begin.

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