Mail Classes and Types


Material Mailable at First Class Rates

The following items may be mailed only as First Class or Express Mail:

  • Handwritten or typewritten material (this does not include material produced by a computer.)
  • Personal Correspondence
  • Bills and statements of accounts

Examples of First Class Mail:

  • Notebook or blank books containing written or typewritten entries, stenographic or shorthand notes.
  • Blank printed forms filled out in writing, such as notices, certificates and checks.
  • Printed price lists containing written figures changing individual items.
  • Invitations to meetings or other events.
  • Printed material such as receipts, orders, printed letters, and greeting cards bearing signatures for personal communication.


Privately printed cards (size limitations: .007-.0095" thick; not larger than 4-1/4"x 6", not smaller than 3-1/2"x 5" and rectangular) go First Class at postcard rate.

If you wish to use postcards that do not meet the size and thickness requirements, they must be posted at the First Class letter rate.


The following is considered Standard A Mail (previously bulk):

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

Each piece of Standard mail must be less than 16 ounces. Reduced rates are available for mailing of 200 or more pieces. Call Mail Services for information.

Library Rate

Items being mailed to or from a non-profit organization for exchange only (not to be sold) may qualify for the Library Rate. No permit is required for this class of mail.

The following items may be mailed at the Library Rate:

  • Books consisting wholly of reading matter, scholarly bibliographies, and reading matter with incidental black spaces for notations, containing no advertising other than incidental announcements of books.
  • Printed music in bounded or sheet form.
  • Bound volumes of academic thesis in typewritten or duplicated form.
  • Periodicals, either bound or unbound.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Other library materials in printed, duplicated, photographic, or unpublished manuscript form.
  • Museum materials, specimens, collections, teaching aids, printed matter, and interpretive materials intended to inform or further the educational work and interest of museums and herbariums. Packages to be mailed at this rate must bear the identifications statement "Library Rate" conspicuously on the address side. Each package must show in the address or return address the names of the school, college, university, public library, museum or organization with which it associates.


Most items are mailable to foreign countries; however, there are weight and size restrictions. It is important that mailers contact Mail Services to determine the proper classification and documentation required.

If customs regulations are not followed and documentation is not exact, the item will be impounded by customs until the addressee makes arrangements for clearance and the payment of whatever duties required for the release of the item.

The last line of any foreign address should be the country name spelled out in capital letters in English.


There are two types of envelopes that can be enclosed in a mailing.

1. Business Reply Envelopes

If you know that the rate of your return will be low, the BRM envelope is your choice. This service enables mailers to receive First Class mail by paying postage only on the envelopes which are returned. We guarantee payment of the appropriate First Class postage plus a handling charge to USPS per piece. BRM envelopes can be obtained from the University Storeroom. You will have to type / stamp your department name / # on them for sortation and chargeback purposes.

2. Prepaid Meter Reply Mail

Meter Reply envelopes are the most cost efficient method when the reply rate will be high. Meter Reply Mail does not have a service charge but the postage is prepaid. These envelopes are ordered from the University Storeroom. The envelopes are then brought to the Mail Services Office to have postage placed on them. Type / stamp your department name / # on them.


The Mail Services Department utilizes the presort program for qualified First Class letter mail. We have contracted the services of a Mailing House to get this discount.

First Class Presort Highlights and Requirements:

  • Under 2 ounce weight.
  • Only certain fonts are acceptable
    • Courier 10 or 12 pt
    • Courier New 10 or 12 pt
    • Prestige Plain 10 or 12 pt
    • Pica Plain 12 pt
    • Corporate Mono Plain 10 pt
  • All mail must contain a zip code.
  • Postage must be paid by meter stamp. Stamped mail does not qualify.
  • Address should be all capital letters with no punctuations.