Mailing 101

Standard Mail

Standard Mail is most often used for newsletters, catalogs, and printed matter that does not contain personal correspondence.

Standard Mail rates are considerably lower than First Class Mail rates, but certain requirements must be met to mail at Standard rates:

  • Quantity of at least 200 pieces or 50 total pounds (identical in size and weight)
  • Cannot be handwritten or typewritten
  • Cannot contain personal correspondence (ex. bills, statements, receipts)
  • Must be prepared according to specific USPS regulations, and submitted to the Post Office for approval

There are two size categories for Standard Mail - letter and non-letter. Please see the Mail Design page for more detailed information on sizes.

Standard Mail being sent to the greater metropolitan area will generally be delivered within 5 business days, and delivery to the coasts can take up to ten business days.

Nonprofit Standard Mail is a category of mail within Standard Mail reserved for organizations registered as nonprofit with the USPS. Nonprofit Standard Mail is offered at a greater discount that Standard Mail. See Nonprofit Status below for more information.

Additional discounts may apply for mailings prepared as automated and/or Full Service as well.

Mailing Permits

Standard Mail postage is most often paid for from a permit account. A postal permit links back to a funded postage account, and requires both an application fee and an annual fee to maintain. This permit means you have 'permission to mail' commercial mail from the post office in which the fees were paid.

The University of Minnesota has a postal permit that is available for use by University departments. All mail sent on the University's permit is the responsibility of Addressing & Mailing Services, so it is strongly suggested that University permit-paid mailings be prepared by Addressing & Mailing Services.

If you decide to do a University permit-paid mailing with a mailer other than Addressing & Mailing Services, you MUST contact us prior to the mailing being done. We are unable to guarantee that postage will be available for use without being notified of the mailing in advance.

The USPS prefers that University units use the currently registered permit, but if a unit wishes to have their own permit, they can make arrangements to do so. More information about applying for a mailing permit can be found on the USPS website.

University of Minnesota Nonprofit Status

The University is registered with the USPS as a nonprofit organization. This allows University departments to receive even greater discounts on qualified mailings with nonprofit standard rates. The USPS recognizes any department listed in the official University of Minnesota online directory as having nonprofit status. You must include University of Minnesota in the return address on your outgoing mail piece and the return address must match the address listed for your department in the online directory.

There are sometimes issues with nonprofit status verification when mailing with an external printer/mailer. Utilizing Addressing & Mailing Services ensures that there will be no issues with nonprofit status verification as we have an on-site postal clerk to verify and approve mailings.