Google Apps for Education - Common Questions

Here is a list of commonly asked questions about Google Apps for Education. For additional information, please go to the Google Apps for Education website.

General Information

What is Google Apps for Education?

Google is currently offering schools a hosted solution for their email, calendar, and chat through Google Apps for Education, our integrated communication and collaboration solution. Additionally, you can complement the core suite to meet your users' needs, with access to dozens more Google applications.

Core Google Apps for Education suite is described in detail on our Education products page.

Why Google Apps? What other schools are using Google Apps for Education?

See a list of some of the schools using Google Apps.

How much is Google Apps for Education?

Google Apps for Education is free. We plan to keep the core offering of Google Apps for Education free. This includes user accounts for future incoming students. As you may know, Google was founded by a research project at Stanford University, and this is just one way we can give back to the educational community.

To see the available features included in Google Apps for Education, please see the Google Apps for Education homepage.

For more information, you can review our Terms of Service.

Will there be advertisements with Google Apps?

For all EDU domains ads are turned off in Google Apps for Education services and K-12 Google Apps for Education users will not see ads when they use Google Search signed in to their Apps for Education accounts.

What kind of scanning/indexing of user data is done on Google Apps for Education accounts?

Google Apps for Education services do not collect or use student data for advertising purposes or create ads profiles.

Gmail for consumers and Google Apps for Education users runs on the same infrastructure, which helps us deliver high performance, reliability and security to all of our users. However, Google Apps is a separate offering that provides additional security, administrative and archiving controls for education, business, and government customers.

Like many email providers, we do scanning in Gmail to keep our customers secure and to improve their product experience. In Gmail for Google Apps for Education, this includes virus and spam protection, spell check, relevant search results and features like Priority Inbox and auto-detection of calendar events. Scanning to provide product features is done on all incoming emails and is 100% automated. We do NOT scan Google Apps for Education emails for advertising purposes.

Additionally, we do not collect or use any information stored in Apps for Education users' Google Drive or Docs (or Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms) for any advertising purposes.

Is my organization compliant with FERPA and the US/EU Safe Harbor agreement if we use Google Apps for Education?

We comply with FERPA and the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement. Google Apps for Education complies with FERPA and our commitment to do so is included in our agreements. Google is registered with the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement, which helps ensure that our data protection compliance meets European Union standards for educational institutions.

Can Google Apps for Education be used in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998?

Ensuring the safety of student data is important to us. We contractually require Google Apps for Education schools to get the parental consents that COPPA calls for to use our services, and our services can be used in compliance with COPPA.

How much storage do users get with Google Apps for Education?

Each user has unlimited storage for Google Drive, Gmail, and Picasa Web Albums. (If you have 4 or fewer users in your organization, each user gets 1 TB of storage.)

What is the uptime for the Google Apps services?

With Google Apps for Education, GMail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Drive, and Google Sites are guaranteed to be available at least 99.9% of the time, ensuring that users have access when they need it. The Google Apps team is committed to providing your school with the best level of service. For more information, please see the Google Apps Service Level Agreement.

What's the difference between Google Apps for Education and Google Apps for Work?

Here is a comparison chart of Google Apps for Education vs. Google Apps for Work:

  Google Apps for Education Google Apps for Work
Cost Free! fee per user
Google Sites 100GB 10Gb + 500Mb per # of paid users
Storage for Google Drive, Gmail, and Picasa Web Albums unlimited 30 GB
Google Vault Also free! add-on fee per user or included with upgrade to Google Apps Unlimited
How secure is Google Apps?

Two of the most common questions regarding Google in general, and Google Apps specifically, are security and privacy. We take both topics very seriously and truly believe that our offerings are a great option for customers on both fronts.

Our business is built on our users' trust: trust in our ability to properly secure their data and our commitment to respect the privacy of the information they place in our systems by not giving that information to others or using it inappropriately.

We have an additional FAQ page regarding Security and Privacy where you can find more information.

Are non-profit organizations eligible for Google Apps for Education?

Accredited US 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are eligible for Google Apps for Education. Learn more about Google Apps for non-profits.

Signing Up

How do I sign up for Google Apps for Education?

If you'd like to sign up for Google Apps for Education, please visit the sign-up page to register.

Once you've signed up Google Apps for Education, you can activate your services by verifying domain ownership. For an overview of the set up process and step by step instructions, visit

You can sign up yourself with the above information or contact sales for additional information. You can contact the sales team at

If you need help setting up your account, Google Apps offers partners that can assist you with your deployment. You can contact partners at our Enterprise Solutions Marketplace.

We also recommend going to Google Apps for Education: Domain Best Practices to get an overview of deploying Google Apps.

How do I upgrade my account to Google Apps for Education?

To qualify for free Google Apps for Education, we require that organizations meet either of the following criteria:

  • K-12 or higher educational institution, non-profit, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body
  • U.S. non-profit organization with current 501(c)(3) status and fewer than 3,000 users.

Note: U.S. non-profit organizations with more than 3,000 users qualify for Google Apps for Work at a 40% discount - sign up here.

Student/alumni/parent groups, religious organizations, home schools or government bodies that are not registered as 501(c)(3) do not qualify for Google Apps for Education.

If you are an alumni association, church school, or research lab associated with an accredited school, this qualifies for Google Apps for Education. The easiest way is to sign up under a school's domain.

We're working to expand the availability of Google Apps for Education to international nonprofits, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, international nonprofits are welcome to sign up for Google Apps for Work, available in many languages worldwide.

If you are an educational institution and you think you qualify, please contact us to upgrade your domain. If you are a nonprofit organization, you can follow these instructions to sign up.

Is Google Apps for Education available in Myanmar [Burma]?

Yes, Google Apps for Education is available to educational institutions in Myanmar. If you'd like to sign up, see Google Apps for Education.

Some important information for accounts based in Myanmar.

  • You must sign up for Google Apps for Education using an existing domain that you own. Domains cannot be purchased through the sign-up process.
  • After you sign up, you have access to a 30-day free trial of Google Apps for Work while your organization qualifications are under review. If your account is not approved for Google Apps for Education, your account cannot be upgraded to Google Apps for Work. The account will be suspended after the 30 day period, and you will need to move any email or data created during this period to a Google consumer service (such as Gmail) or another service.

Deploying Google Apps

How long does it take to implement Google Apps?

On average, it takes 6 weeks to deploy Google Apps.

Can existing email data be migrated to Google Apps?

Yes, We provide a range of email migration options to allow you to migrate your old email to Google Apps as described in Email migration options.

Can my school's existing authentication system to integrate with Google Apps?

Yes, Google Apps offers the Single Sign-on API that uses SAML 2.0 to integrate with your authentication system. Google Apps also offers an extensive code library for your reference while setting this up. For details about the SSO API, see SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) Service for Google Apps.

How many accounts can I get with Google Apps? Do I have to delete inactive users?

The number of users you can have on Google Apps for Education is practically limitless (as long as you aren't generating spam). You can request more user accounts via the Admin console interface. In addition to that, we do not require you to delete inactive users.

Note: For instructions on requesting additional accounts, see Request more user accounts.

How do I monitor/filter/archive data with Google Apps for Education?

Google Apps for Education gives schools the ability to filter, monitor or archive mail using our Google Message Security Solutions.

Learn more about security solutions.

Alternatively you could choose to implement your own filtering, monitoring or archiving solution using an email gateway. This gateway allows your school to route all mail into and out of our system through your network. This gives you the ability to filter, monitor, and archive in any way you see fit.

We have developed a guide on how to implement a Mail Gateway.

We have a number of partners who can offer this service if you do not want to implement it yourself. Learn more about the partners.

How do I train faculty and students how to use Google Apps?

We offer many resources such as online presentations and Help Centers to help you train your users to use Google Apps. To access this information, please visit the Google Apps Learning Center. If you need additional training, our partners also offer this service. More details can be found at the Enterprise Solutions Marketplace.

What happens if I have a problem?

The Google Apps Administrator Help Center is a great resource to troubleshoot any problems that you have. If you cannot find the answer online, we offer phone support and priority email for Google Apps for Education customers.

Google Apps offers phone support for Google Apps for Education customers for issues that pertain to a service that is unusable. We define 'unusable' as a Google server error that prevents one or more users from accessing a Google Apps online service. Hours of operation are Sunday 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time until Friday 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. All other issues will be efficiently supported via email.

More information about how to access support.