The Namecheap University nc.me Initiative

Free .me websites for college students and educators

For almost 20 years, Namecheap has been dedicated to making the internet accessible and affordable. In 2014, after years of championing this mission, leaders within the company came upon a unique opportunity to help spread innovation and creativity to the business leaders of tomorrow. This discovery led to the Namecheap University initiative, a program that has now helped more than 200,000 students by offering free domain names paired with complimentary website tools.

Through this initiative, anyone with an active .edu email address is eligible to receive a bundle of resources. This includes access to GitHub Pages, Exposure Pro, and a .me website at no charge for one full year. Students, educators, and administrators can use these tools to create online resumes, publish their research, or participate in coding competitions.

Students and educators can still claim their free domain by visiting nc.me. While the initiative was originally designed to support individuals in higher education, the offering has also become a core part of the syllabus in several high school and college tech programs. Namecheap has incorporated the nc.me program into popular technology events and hackathons, giving participants access to domains and a selection of free web building resources.

In addition to the nc.me initiative, Namecheap also supports higher education programs like New York On Tech, who provide digital training to underrepresented high school students in the NYC area. The program helps students prepare for both academic and professional success, by offering real-world experience and creating connections with technology industry experts.

Last year, Namecheap conducted a series of several student workshops with New York On Tech. These seminars focused on teaching the basics of domains, web hosting, data security, online privacy, and digital freedom rights. Namecheap provided all students attending with a free domain, web hosting package and SSL certificate — all the necessary resources for the students to create their first websites and share it with the world.

The Namecheap University nc.me Initiative was also instrumental during the recent MedHacks event at Johns Hopkins University. Known as the world's premier medical hackathon, students were challenged to develop ideas for innovative new apps related to the medical industry. Namecheap was an official sponsor, providing every team with free .app or .me domains. More than 800 medical and science students were involved, working to find solutions to a variety of modern health concerns.

The 2018 Namecheap Innovation Award winner went to Patrick I/O. This app uses the Muse Headband to gauge EEG waves within the brain and determine changes upon audio simulation in deaf patients. Using these measurements, cochlear implant providers can provide calibrations and adjustments to customers with far greater accuracy.

While registering for a free .me domain, students have the option to choose between bundles from GitHub and Exposure. GitHub Pages makes it easy to create a site for important projects. Pages are hosted within the user's GitHub repository, and a library of how-tos are available for beginners. Alternately, students may choose a free year of Exposure Pro, a platform designed to help users share beautiful photo stories. Portfolios created using Exposure Pro help students report progress on scientific research or creative projects, for example.

Not only is the nc.me offer available for just about every student and educator in the United States, but it is also available for select schools and universities in England, Canada, and Australia. A full list of current institutions is accessible on the nc.me website. Students and teachers associated with schools not listed may also send a request to be added. In addition to a free .me domain name for 12 months, eligible participants are given discounts to register names with several other popular domain extensions, including .website, .tech, .io, and .com.


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