I bet that this decision will have a rich set of unintended consequences.
Many students don’t even want a college e-mail address these days because they already have well-established digital identities before they arrive on campus. That’s the conclusion that officials at Boston College came to in a recent review of their online services. So the college recently decided to stop offering full e-mail accounts to incoming students starting next fall.
Yes, people have multiple existing digital identities. Immersion in a 4-year college experience is certainly deserving of another… It’s a specific context deserving of a specific identity.
At a minimum, BC should be leery of having communication to students depending on how well free-email-du-jour.com is run. And a .edu address has many features related to the recipient’s assumptions around the context and sender.
I predict regret.