Applicant Full Legal Name
limited liability company
Articles of Organization, State of Illinois, Office of the Secretary of State
Applied for gTLD
Mission/Purpose of Domain Extension
The Sponsoring Organization, Scholarships.com, has been offering information about and tools for finding scholarships since 1999 and is keen to expand its services to include offering a gTLD that will aid not only students, parents and educators, but also those who would benefit from declaring the... Read more
The Sponsoring Organization, Scholarships.com, has been offering information about and tools for finding scholarships since 1999 and is keen to expand its services to include offering a gTLD that will aid not only students, parents and educators, but also those who would benefit from declaring the content of their website with a descriptive gTLD, ".scholarships". Additionally, we have worked with several organizations to promote the adoption of digital applications for all organizations offering scholarships, as there are still many who employ a much more traditional, more difficult and time-consuming process. We have made allowances for this project since hearing about the opportunity and deciding to pursue it over a year ago, recognizing the opportunity to offer domains to the aforementioned scholarship providers. We feel that even those already offering their services and applications in a digital, web-based format would benefit from having a descriptive, industry-specific TLD.
Scholarships.com, LLC owns two federal trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the marks SCHOLARSHIPS.COM (Reg. No. 4,072,252) and SCHOLARSHIPS.COM and Design (Reg. No. 4,024,381) in International Class 35, in connection with displaying advertisements for others; online advertising and marketing services; placing advertisements for others; and providing space at a website for the advertisement of the goods and services of others. In addition, Scholarships.com, LLC currently owns a trademark registration in Benelux for the mark SCHOLARSHIPS (Reg. No. 912850) in connection with providing information services. Further, Scholarships.com, LLC owns domain name registrations for, and provides websites accessible via, the domain names scholarships.com, scholarship.com and scholarships.eu. Accordingly, Scholarships.com considers its intellectual property to be among its most valuable assets.
Over the last 13 years, Scholarships.com has established and fostered relationships with millions of students and parents, not to mention thousands of high schools, colleges, philanthropic foundations, community foundations, etc., all based on scholarships and their availability, publication and promotion. Our relationships with all of the aforementioned continue to grow, both in breadth and depth and, consequently, we have a very informed, fundamental understanding and expectation of this gTLD and its potential. Currently, we list the scholarships for scholarship providers of all kinds and ensure their information is current, constantly reviewing their listings as well as involving them in the process, encouraging them to update their information regularly so that we may continue to provide our site's visitors with the most current, accurate information available on the internet. It would be a natural next step for us to register 2nd level domains to them and assist them in their implementation. We feel we know better than anyone the potential scope of this endeavor and are prepared to further the cause, making our proposed gTLD not just a reality but a wildly successful one. Those who register second level domains will benefit from the simplicity and exclusivity of the ".scholarships" domain, the eponymous repository for information relating to their scholarship program.
We understand the importance of this undertaking and the responsibility we would have, were we to be granted this gTLD and accept the responsibility not only to ICANN and the internet community, but also and perhaps even more importantly, to those registering 2nd level domains with us. As the registrant of the 2nd level domain "Scholarships.com" for nearly 13 years and holder of trademarks as well as service marks both in the US and Europe, we understand what is at stake for us and for the entire internet community. While we plan to further the efforts to promote and utilize this new gTLD, our primary concern is proper architecture and stability.
Our initial approach to the registration process would be to announce the availability of .scholarships 2nd level domains via our established network with the likelihood of employing several other, more large-scale methods to follow. We would consider the startup costs of the entire process an expenditure, basically, and endeavor to make the registration of 2nd levels accessible with the hope but not the requirement of one day covering the costs of operation and potentially earning a profit further down the road, perhaps becoming cash flow positive by our third or fourth year of operation. Our primary goal would be to make the gTLD accessible to those in the scholarship field. Over the next several years, we feel we will be able to register thousands of 2nd level domains, perhaps more. Afilias, whom we have contracted to run the backend operations would be consulted with regard to rules, policies and best practices to ensure proper handling of all 2nd level applications.×
i. .scholarships is to be an Internet extension specifically for the scholarship industry. Unlike some of the most common and more general top levels such as .com, .net and .org, .scholarships will be the definitive domain for those offering scholarships and information about scholarships. The... Read more
i. .scholarships is to be an Internet extension specifically for the scholarship industry. Unlike some of the most common and more general top levels such as .com, .net and .org, .scholarships will be the definitive domain for those offering scholarships and information about scholarships. The .scholarships domain is reserved for companies, organizations, associations, government agencies, and individuals in scholarship-related fields. As such, there would be many benefits to using .scholarships domain. .scholarships names would also generate great search engine results. The descriptive nature of the gTLD will benefit those with 2nd level domains under the gTLD and visitors to their websites as well, as it serves to further inform the user session and innately clarify the nature of the information and/or services available on the site. Businesses that register .scholarships domain names would be instantly seen by Internet users as recognized scholarship sites. This serves the industry as well, since .scholarships enables the trade to confidently conduct business with other .scholarships domain name holders that they may not know while informing Internet users at large of its legitimacy as well.
As far as service levels are concerned, our initial implementation would include registration itself and technical support for those who need assistance with any technical aspects of registering a second-level domain that might require our assistance.
Reputation would be built-in to the domain in the same way other descriptive, exclusive gTLDs exemplify. There would be a requirement to the registrant of the 2nd level domain and subsequent understanding by the public that .scholarships websites are to be used only for scholarship related content/services.
ii. It is clear there's a market for certain domain names, particularly those naming a particular type of organization or industry. We feel this qualified gTLD will prove informative and benefit the world of scholarship providers as well as seekers, offering not just specificity, but also security to all those involved. This would be built-in to the ".scholarships" gTLD. Certainly, there would be thousands, perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands of prospective clients for such domain names.
iii. From the user's perspective our goals are based in technical efficiency and security as well as ease and comfort of use. To address the former, we have retained the services of a company specializing in registry services and DNS to ensure that all technical aspects of the gTLD are professionally and efficiently addressed. The latter is built-in to the gTLD.
iv. As is detailed elsewhere in this document, in a more technological language and structure, the registration policies we would employ would very closely follow those which have proven successful to this point in ICANN and registry history. Quite simply, we intend to run a registry that will open domains for 2nd level registration by appropriate, eligible applicants. As is also detailed elsewhere in this document, only those qualified by criteria laid-out in the technical registration section of this application would be able to register 2nd level domains. What this basically means is that we would reserve the right to deny registration to those not qualifying for registration based upon a set of rules and requirements against which all applications would need to be compared. To that end, we would refer to those successfully created and managed in the past and consult with professionals in the field to ensure that best practices are employed.
v. As per the New gTLD Registry Agreement, we will make domain contact data (and other fields) freely and publicly available via a WHOIS server. This default set of fields includes the mandatory publication of registrant data. Our Registry-Registrar Agreement will require that registrants consent to this publication.
We shall notify each of our registrars regarding the purposes for which data about any identified or identifiable natural person ("Personal Data") submitted to the Registry Operator by such registrar is collected and used, and the intended recipients (or categories of recipients) of such Personal Data (the data in question is essentially the registrant and contact data required to be published in the WHOIS). We will require each registrar to obtain the consent of each registrant in the TLD for the collection and use of such Personal Data. The policies will be posted publicly on our TLD web site. As the registry operator, we shall not use or authorize the use of Personal Data in any way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrars.
Our privacy and data use policies are as follows:
- As registry operator, we do not plan on selling bulk WHOIS data. We will not sell contact data in any way. We will not allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail, telephone, or facsimile of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations;
- We may use registration data in the aggregate for marketing purposes;
- DNS query data will never be sold in a way that is personally identifiable, and;
- We may from time to time use the demographic data collected for statistical analysis, provided that this analysis will not disclose individual Personal Data and provided that such use is compatible with the notice provided to registrars regarding the purpose and procedures for such use.
As the registry operator we shall take significant steps to protect Personal Data collected from registrars from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration, or destruction. In our responses to Question 30 ("Security Policy") and Question 38 ("Escrow") we detail the security policies and procedures we will use to protect the registry system and the data contained therein from unauthorized access and loss.
Please see our response to Question 26 ("WHOIS") regarding "searchable WHOIS" and rate-limiting. That section contains details about how we will limit the mining of WHOIS data by spammers and other parties who abuse access to the WHOIS.
In order to acquire and maintain accreditation for our TLD, we will require registrars to adhere to certain information technology policies designed to help protect registrant data. These will include standards for access to the registry system and password management protocols. Our response to Question 30, "Security Policy" provides details of implementation.
We will allow the use of proxy and privacy services, which can protect the personal data of registrants from spammers and other parties that mine zone files and WHOIS data. We are aware that there are parties who may use privacy services to protect their free speech rights, or to avoid religious or political persecution.ʺ
Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.
Having been in the scholarship industry for as long as we have, there exists a network over which we would be able to publicize the availability and accessibility of this new gTLD. For the initial release, there may be some need for explanation of the benefits of securing a 2nd level domain name with us. Through email, direct mail and telecommunications - possibly even a series of webinars or published videos on the topic - we are confident in our ability to successfully disseminate this information.×
Operational Rules and Cost Benefits
i. In the event multiple entities express an interest in a 2nd level domain the domain would be awarded on a first-come/first-served basis. ii. The pricing will be quite basic, really. The intention is really to make gTLDs available to those offering scholarships and providing information and/or... Read more
i. In the event multiple entities express an interest in a 2nd level domain the domain would be awarded on a first-come/first-served basis.
ii. The pricing will be quite basic, really. The intention is really to make gTLDs available to those offering scholarships and providing information and/or services about scholarships. We would naturally attempt to cover the expenses associated with doing so, all the while accepting that the endeavor may well result in a net loss of funds for Scholarships.com, at least initially. That said, the pricing will take into consideration the fact that there is a fairly limited audience and therefore fewer clients over which to distribute the costs. Pricing will, however, be low enough ($100 annually) so as not to be prohibitive to clients such as community foundations and small, philanthropic scholarship providers with smaller endowments and/or fundraising capabilities. Bulk pricing will be available.
iii. Scholarships.com would notify those who have registered a second level domain of any price increases well in advance of such a change. Also, with regard to any notification of an action required by the registrant, such as renewal, and also for any automatic renewals, we would have a notification system in place to ensure registrants are apprised of the status of their domain(s).
iv. Though it would be difficult to police, every effort would be made to ensure that all sites with the ".scholarships" gTLD are functioning websites befitting the descriptive ".scholarships" gTLD. Those using their domain to drive traffic to splash pages full of ads would not be welcome to do so in this space.×
Is this a Community-based TLD?
Is this a Geographic-based TLD?
Protection of Geographic Names
We will protect names with national or geographic significance by reserving the country and territory names at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD, as per the requirements in the New TLD Registry Agreement (Specification 5, paragraph 5). We will employ a series of rules to... Read more
We will protect names with national or geographic significance by reserving the country and territory names at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD, as per the requirements in the New TLD Registry Agreement (Specification 5, paragraph 5).
We will employ a series of rules to translate the geographical names required to be reserved by Specification 5, paragraph 5 to a form consistent with the ʺhost namesʺ format used in domain names.
Considering the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) advice "Principles regarding new gTLDs", these domains will be blocked, at no cost to governments, public authorities, or IGOs, before the TLD is introduced (Sunrise), so that no parties may apply for them. We will publish a list of these names before Sunrise, so our registrars and their prospective applicants can be aware that these names are reserved.
We will define a procedure so that governments can request the above reserved domain(s) if they would like to take possession of them. This procedure will be based on existing methodology developed for the release of country names in the .INFO TLD. For example, we will require a written request from the country's GAC representative, or a written request from the country's relevant Ministry or Department. We will allow the designated beneficiary (the Registrant) to register the name, with an accredited Afilias Registrar, possibly using an authorization number transmitted directly to the designated beneficiary in the country concerned.
As defined by Specification 5, paragraph 5, such geographic domains may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the applicable government(s). Registry operator will work with respective GAC representatives of the country's relevant Ministry of Department to obtain their release of the names to the Registry Operator.
If internationalized domains names (IDNs) are introduced in the TLD in the future, we will also reserve the IDN versions of the country names in the relevant script(s) before IDNs become available to the public. If we find it advisable and practical, we will confer with relevant language authorities so that we can reserve the IDN domains properly along with their variants.
Regarding GAC advice regarding second-level domains not specified via Specification 5, paragraph 5: All domains awarded to registrants are subject to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute
Resolution Policy (UDRP), and to any properly-situated court proceeding. We will ensure appropriate procedures to allow governments, public authorities or IGO's to challenge abuses of names with national or geographic significance at the second level. In its registry-registrar agreement, and flowing down to registrar-registrant agreements, the registry operator will institute a provision to suspend domains names in the event of a dispute. We may exercise that right in the case of a dispute over a geographic name.×