If you do a simple search about how exactly to get .edu domains linking back to your website, you will find 2 really common techniques - participate in an event organized by the university or comment spam the hell out of all .edu websites you lay your hands on.
Both techniques will help you to get lots of educational domains linking back to your website. However, for many of us participating in an event organized by a college is something pretty impossible. In addition to that, doing only comment spam can be quite risky, especially if you are not getting really good links to your website.
Now you probably wonder - Is there another way to get .edu links and not risk a penalty from Google (or have to travel 10000 miles to get them). The answer is yes and here is how it works.
Fiirst you need to find .edu blogs containing information relevant to your website's topic and also support trackbacks. To achieve that, you need nothing more than the Google custom queries. Here are some example ones to use:
site:.edu inurl:keyword + "trackback"
site:.edu intitle:keyword + "trackback"
Now that you have all queries set, it is time to harvest some relevant blog posts containing trackback URLs. For best results, make sure you choose only those that are highly relevant to your website's topic. Once you make a good list with blogs accepting trackbacks, make a separate sheet and store all of them in it.
Once you identify all blogs containing your main keyword, it is time to uncover the 2 main linking scenarious you can pull.
The first one will require you to write a post relevant to your main keyword. You can either publish it on your website (this is required for best results) or post it on other website related with yours (commonly reffered to as satelite websites). Once you write your post, select 5-10 related links from your list and simply link back to them. Since there is a chance that trackbacks are disabled, using this technique you are likely to acquire 1-3 .edu backlinks to your page.
The second scenario will require you to examine your whole website and pull different keywords for each one of its pages. That way, you will be able to identify relevant .edu blogs for all existing content you have. You can now only imagine how many .edu backlinks you will get using this, just a little hint between 100 and 300 (if you have 100 pages on your website).
Both techniques will help you to improve the backlink profile of your website and also allow you to compete with a lot more authorative websites such as Wikipedia. However, keep in mind that most of the links that you will get from the trackbacks have rel=nofollow. If anyopne have other ways of getting .edu links, beside those mentioned above, please share them in the comments.