United States Postal Service


The following are classified as non-mailable and will be returned by the post office:

  • Envelopes and Cards that are less than:
    • 3-2/3" in height, or
    • 5" in length, or
    • 007" in thickness (thickness of a post card)
  • Window envelopes with enclosures stapled to prevent slippage of the address from window view. If the address does not properly fit the window, use an envelope without a window.

Regular Available Classes of Mail

Listed below, with a brief description, are the most used available classes of mail.  If you have any questions regarding your mail, contact the Mail Center for further information.

First Class Mail

Any mailable matter may be mailed as First Class Mail. The following examples are considered First Class matter and must carry postage at First Class rates:

  1. Matter wholly or partially handwritten or typewritten
  2. Matter sealed against postal inspection
  3. Blank printed forms filled out in writing, including canceled or uncanceled checks.

Priority Mail

All First Class mail described above which is between 10 ounces and 70 pounds is considered priority mail and, at the option of the mailer for an additional charge, any mail weighing 10 ounces or less. There is a flat rate for up to two pounds. The two or three day promised service by the post office for Priority Mail has been discontinued.

Standard Mail A

The following is considered Standard Mail:

  • Circulars  
  • Catalogs
  • Booklets
  • Newsletters
  • Merchandise
  • Product Samples
  • Photographs
  • Printed Matter

Each piece of individual Standard Mail must be less than 16 ounces. Anything heavier must be mailed as Standard Mail B or Priority Mail.  Standard Mail A cannot be personalized and any signatures must not be originals.

The standards for the overall size for single piece Third Class mail weighing one ounce or less are the same as for a First Class envelope.

Standard Mail B

The following is considered Standard Mail B:

  • Packages or Parcels
  • Computer Media
  • Library Materials
  • Books
  • Bound Printed Matter 
  • Films
  • Sound Recordings    
  • Video Tapes

Special Services

Certified Mail

Certified Mail provides you with a mailing receipt and the record of delivery is maintained at the recipients post office for two years. Certified Mail service is available only for First Class Mail. No insurance coverage is provided. A numbered label and completed receipt must be affixed.

Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested

Same as above, except that for a high additional fee a return receipt will be provided to you with proof of delivery.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless you must have a return receipt on file, you should not pay the additional fee. A receipt for certified mail can be requested from the recipient’s post office through the Mail Center within two years, if needed.

Registered Mail

The registered mail system is designed to provide added protection for valuable mail. Postal insurance may be purchased to cover articles valued up to $25,000. Registered mail is the most secure mail the Postal Service offers. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor registered articles from the point of acceptance to delivery. Return receipt and restricted delivery services are available for additional fees. However this may delay delivery by 24-48 hours.

Registered mail should also be used for delivery to a foreign country, if return receipt is required.

Insured Mail

You can obtain payment for domestic mail that has been lost, rifled, or damaged, by having it insured. The maximum value is $600. Contact the Mail Center for information on available mail classes and rates.

Expedited Mail via USPS

Express Mail is a fast delivery service available from the USPS. It reaches all major markets in the U.S. and 84 foreign countries including P.O. Box addresses.

Express Mail provides for shipment of letters, documents and other mailable items. You may mail up to 70 pounds. Address labels are available in the mailroom, but please be sure to indicate your department above the account number when completing your label.

Courtesy Reply Mail

You may have reply envelopes preprinted with your departmental name. The right hand corner indicates that sender must affix the proper postage.  On courtesy business reply mail, the university is not assuming the cost for the postage when the piece is mailed back.

Prepaid Business Reply Mail

The university maintains a business reply mailing permit with the post office. When using the business reply permit, pieces must be preprinted with required barcoding, facing identification mark, and ZIP + 4. Currently, we have three different setups. They include: letter size return, postcard size return, and oversized postcard return. If you do not use the proper setup, your return mail will not be processed.

Please check with the Manager, extension 3191, before printing these permits. Postage is charged to your department monthly and only for pieces that are returned. Remember, there is a surcharge for each piece returned so the university is paying regular postage plus an additional fee for post office handling.

Non-profit Bulk Mail

The university maintains a non-profit bulk permit with the post office. Mailings of 200 or more identically printed pieces, or a minimum of 50 pounds for heavier material, can be sent at a very economical bulk nonprofit rate. These mailings must comply with detailed postal regulations concerning the permit use and printing, number and weight of mailing pieces, presorting, bundling, and sacking. Due to the extended delivery time, bulk mailing must be planned well in advance.

The university Mail Center processes bulk mailing from beginning to end. (See Mail Center Services section for further information.)

International Mail

You can mail letters and packages to almost any country in the world by using international mail service from the U.S. Postal Service. United States possessions and territories do not require international postage. The university currently uses an outside vendor to process international mail via Fed Ex at a significant reduction in cost.

Reminder: Please separate your international mail when sending to the Mail Center