Boston College is doing something no other college that I know of is doing, and I think it’s incredibly smart and efficient for their student body. Boston College is doing away with their university email accounts and instead are offering students email forwarding service so that all university emails will be directed to their current email accounts.

I know I’m not the only one that thinks university email accounts are stupid. They are often unreliable, stupid-looking (in format and in user interface), and incredibly inconvenient to check when you’ve already got an active email address you use.

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.

Instead of a standard college e-mail account, next year’s freshmen will be offered an e-mail-forwarding service that will pass along messages to whatever personal e-mail account a student specifies, said Mary C. Corcoran, associate vice president for user and support services at the college. A student named John Smith might be given the address johnsmith@bc.edu, for instance, but the address will simply pass any incoming mail along to Mr. Smith’s Google mailbox, or to his Microsoft Hotmail, or to any other account the student might already have. The college currently runs such a forwarding service for alumni.

I would love it if more universities follow the same footsteps. University emails are just so stupid, especially when there’s virtually no advantage to using them over other email services.