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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 several more Google services.

The 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 who use 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 offering 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, visit the Google Apps for Education homepage.

For more information, 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 don't see ads when they use Google Search and are signed in to their Apps for Education accounts.

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

Google Apps for Education services don't collect or use student data for advertising purposes or to 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, work, 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.

Can Google Apps for Education be used in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

Yes. Google Apps for Education core services comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and our commitment to do so is included in our agreements. 

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

Yes. We contractually require that schools using Google Apps for Education get the parental consent required by COPPA. Our services can be used in compliance with COPPA as long as a school has parental consent. 

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

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

What is the uptime for 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 100 GB 10 GB + 500 MB per number of paid users
Storage for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos Unlimited 30 GB
Google Vault Also free! $5 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.

For more information, see Your security and privacy in the Help Center and our Privacy Policy.

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

Here is a comparison chart of Google Apps for Education and Google Apps for Nonprofits:

  Google Apps for Education Google Apps for Nonprofits
Eligibility K–12 or higher nonprofit educational institution, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body 501(c)3 or international equivalent
Cost Free
(includes Classroom)
(doesn’t include Classroom)
Google Drive Free, unlimited storage Unavailable to Admins
Users can purchase at full price via Wallet
Google Vault Free, unlimited storage $5 add-on fee per user per year (minimum 100 licenses)
Availability World-wide Only in certain countries
Are non-profit organizations eligible for Google Apps for Education?

Non-profit organizations can only apply for Google Apps for Nonprofits. For more information, visit the Google for Nonprofits website.

Signing up

How do I sign up for Google Apps for Education?

To sign up for Google Apps for Education, visit the sign-up page. You can sign up yourself or contact the Sales team for additional information.

Once you've signed up Google Apps for Education, you can activate your services by verifying domain ownership. 

If you need help setting up your account or additional information:

Who qualifies for Google Apps for Education?

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

  • K–12 or higher nonprofit educational institution, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body

Who else can sign up for Google Apps for Education?

If you are a 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.

Who doesn't qualify for Google Apps for Education?

  • Student, alumni, or parent groups
  • Religious organizations
  • Home schools
  • Government bodies 
Is Google Apps for Education available in Myanmar [Burma]?

Yes, Google Apps for Education is available to educational institutions in Myanmar. To sign up, see Get started with Google Apps for Education.

Important: 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 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’ll 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 deploy 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.

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

Yes, Google Apps offers the SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) Service for Google Apps to integrate with your authentication system. Google Apps also offers an extensive code library for your reference while setting this up. 

How many accounts can I get with Google Apps? Do I need 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 Education accounts via the Admin console interface. In addition to that, we don't require you to delete inactive users.

How do I monitor, filter, or archive mail with Google Apps for Education?

Google Apps for Education gives schools the ability to filter, monitor or archive mail using the advanced settings for Gmail.

Alternatively, you can implement your own monitoring, filtering, 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 and affords you the ability to monitor, filter, and archive in any way you see fit. Learn how to configure an inbound mail gateway.

If you don’t want to configure it yourself, we have a number of Marketplace partners who can offer this service. 

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

We offer many resources, such as Help Centers and online presentations in our Google Apps Learning Center, to help you train your users to use Google Apps. If you need additional training, visit our partners at the Enterprise Solutions Marketplace

What happens if I have a problem?

The Google Apps Help Center is a great resource to troubleshoot any problems. If you cannot find the answer online, 24/7 phone, email, and chat support is available with your Google Apps for Education account.

Note: Chat support is only available in English. If you're an administrator, sign in to your account and click Contact UsLearn more.

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