Services & Rates Manual
MAIL CLASSES AND RATES for mailing and shipping services. For answers to many classification and rate questions visit the United States Postal Services website at


Rates, classifications, mailing requirements, zip codes, and a broad variety of information is kept current for you.

Campus Post Office

A full-service post office is located in the Annex Building (facing the Stadium). Service hours are 8 a. m. through 4 p. m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed on weekends, federal holidays, and university holidays and winter recess. The office accepts cash, personal checks, university checks, and credit cards.

Services provided include all first-class, priority, parcel, accountable and international letters and flats. Stamps in all denominations and shipping materials are available for purchase for personal or departmental use.  Special services forms for registered, certified, and customs needs are available on request.  Contact our staff at ext. 2538.

First Class Mail

First class mail must be used for handwritten or personal correspondence (this includes all correspondence related to insurance, credit cards, investment or legal documents, invoices, checks and statements of account). This type of mail is sealed against postal inspection.

First Class Mail Rates - single piece rates

First ounce Letter size mail *


Each additional oz or fraction

$0.24/oz up to 3.5 oz.

First ounce Flat size mail ** $1.16
Each additional oz. or fraction $0.24/oz. up to 13 oz.
First ounce Parcel *** $4.50 and up
Each additional oz. or fraction $.24

Standard Postcard ****



* Letters:  (min. dimension: 5"L, 3-1/2"H, 0.007"W;  max. dimension: 11-1/2" L, 6-1/8" H, 1/4" W, max. weight 3.5 oz.).  Letter size mail over 3.5 ounces, see flat-size prices.

** Flats: (min. dimension: 11-1/2" L, 6-1/8" H, 1/4" W; max. dimension: 15" L, 12"H, 3/4" W)

*** Packages:  Length + girth cannot exceed 108 inches (Parcel Post cannot exceed 130 inches)

**** Postcards: (min. dimension: 5" L, 3-1/2" H, 0.007"W; max. dimension: 6"L, 4-1/4" H, 0.016" W)

The United States Postal Service does not guarantee a specific time of delivery for first class mail. Letter size mail destined within 100 miles of Houston normally receives one to two day service.

Express Mail, now called Priority Mail Express as of 7/28/13, provides overnight service for letters, business documents, and parcels. This method provides tracking using a unique shipping number. This method can be used for assured delivery domestically and internationally when private couriers will not deliver to that address. Contact the Campus Post Office (ext. 2538) for mailing supplies.  (delivery by 3 p. m. the following day to most locations) (Post Office to Addressee Service).  For rates go to www.usps.com


  • Flat-Rate Envelope - $26.95 (12 1/2 x 9 1/2)  (up to 70 lbs. regardless of weight or destination)  
  • Legal size Flat Rate Envelope - $27.10 (up to 70 lbs. regardless of weight or destination) 
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope: $27.50
  • For Sunday/holiday delivery, add $12.50

DOMESTIC Priority Mail (as of 7/28/13 now has day-specfic service with estimated transit times of either 1-Day, 2-Day, or 3-Day based on the distance between the origin and destination ZIP codes.) is a quick method to send packages economically within the United States. The shipments are now trackable; enhanced USPS Tracking (formerly Delivery Confirmation) is now included automatically at no additional cost.  $50 insurance automatically included without additional charge for loss, damage, and missing merchandise.  First Class Maill automatically becomes Priority Mail if it is 13 oz. or more, up to a maximum weight of 70 pounds.  Free Flat Rate envelopes and boxes are available at a flat price to any U.S. destination regardless of the actual weight and destination.The following flat rate envelopes and boxes are available:

            Priority Flat-Rate Envelope (12 1/2 x 9 1/2) $8.95

            Padded Flat Rate Envelope - $9.65

           Legal Flat Rate Envelope - $9.25

 SMALL Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box - $9.45

 MEDIUM Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxe - $16.10

 LARGE Priority Mail  Flat-Rate Box - $21.50 (domestic addresses)

 LARGE Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box - $20.00 (APO/FPO/DPO destination addresses)

  • Delivery standards are day-specific service (as of 7/28/13) with estimated transit times of either 1-Day, 2-Day, or 3-Day based on the distance between the origin and destination ZIP Codes. 
  • $50 insuance is included for Domestic Priority Mail for loss, damage, and missing merchandise.
  • Priority Mail packages that exceed 1 cubic foot and are addressed to Zones 5-8 are charged based on the actual weight or the dimensional weight, whichever is greater.  
  • Parcels addressed for delivery to zones 1-4 (including local) that weigh less than 20 pounds but measure more than 84 inches in combined length and girth (but not more than 108 inches) are charged the applicable price for a 20-pound parcel (balloon price).


International Products and Pricing   A FOREVER stamp for international mail is now available.

International mail products were realigned in 2012 to make them clear-cut and easy to use.  The changes introduced the familiar and trusted USPS domestic product names - First-Class Mail®, Priority Mail®, and Express Mail® service - into the international product portfolio for retail customers.  Shaped-based pricing is introduced with separate prices for letters, large envelopes (flats) and packages (small packets).  This change aligns the price structure with the domestic First-Class Mail structure implemented May 2007.  The weight limit for letters will be 3.5 ounces, and the weight limit for large envelopes and packages remains 64 ounces. 

The nonmachinable surcharge of 24 cents applies to all letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces (the same as domestic First-Class Mail letters).  The total number of country price groups expanded to nine - aligning the First-Class Mail International price groups with the price groups for Priority Mail International and Express Mail International.

Priority Mail Express International  (formerly Global Express Mail)  provides reliable, 3-5 buiness day delivery to more than 190 countries with money-back delivery guarantee to select destinations. Tracking is available.   Specific average-days-for-delivery information to major destinatiaons is available via URL: http://www.usps.com/ as well as Post Offices. 

  • Flat Rate Envelopes (max wt. 4 lbs.) prices are based on zones 1-8 and start at $47.95

Priority Mail International (formerly Airmail Parcel Post, Economy Parcel Post, Global Priority Mail)  - available to more than 190 countries, 6-10 business day delivery and the same flat-rate packaging options as domestic Priority Mail Service. Maximum weight is 70 lbs.

Flat Rate Envelope ( 15" x 9 1/2") with a maximum weight of 4 lbs $29.95 (Canada only)

Small Flat Rate  boxes (max. wt. 4 lbs.) $30.70 (Canada only)

Med. Flat Rate boxes (max. wt. 20 lbs.) $56.80(Canada only)

Large Flat Rate boxes (max. wt. 20 lbs.) $73.80 (Canada only)

Flat Flat envelope and boxes to countries in zones 2-8 vary in pricing.  

First-Class Mail International (formerly Airmail Letter Post, Economy Letter Post)  This service provides a reliable and econmical means of sending correspondence (e.g. letters and postcs), documents, and lightweight merchandise weighing up to 4 pounds.  Extra services, such as Registered Mail and Return Receipt, may be added on a country-specific basis. 

         Letters up to 1 ounce  - $1.40;  

         Postcards - $1.40 to all countries

         Large Envelopes - $2.60 first ounce to all countries (each additional ounce 24 cents).  Prices vary to Canada, Mexico and zones 2-9.

Contact the campus Post Office (ext. 2538) for additional information and mailing supplies for Priority Mail and Express Mail and Flat Rate envelopes and boxes.



Presorted First Class Domestic Mail (DEPARTMENTAL MAIL ONLY)

Letter mail, up to 3.5 oz., sent from the campus is processed as Presorted First Class mail. This process applies an Intelligent Mail (IMb) barcode to each piece and identifies recipients having a change of address registered with the United States Postal Service. The process of adding the barcoding and correcting addresses expedites the mail through the USPS distribution stream, frequently reducing several days in delivery. 

On January 22, 2012, USPS introduced new value for automation and presort first-class letter mail.  This does not affect your personal mail which still requires retail postage pricing currently $0.60

Domestic Flat-size mail and includes letter mail over 3.5 oz.   This mail is processed in the most economical manner by Delivery Services staff. In most cases it is sent as First-Class mail.

This mail can be sent as bound printed matter if the contents include a bound piece, defined as a permanently bound (stapled, spiral, glued) item. The piece is sent at parcel rate and takes approximately 3 days longer than First- Class mail. Maxiumum weight limit is 15 pounds.

All mail with an address change is returned to the department with the coding of COA and a different address on it. To resend such mail, place it in a fresh envelope directed to the new address and place it into the campus system with your departmental mail card to be metered .

International Mail

International mail is handled through an authorized USPS international consolidator. Letters are sent as International Priority Airmail (IPA). Flats are sent as International Surface Air Lift (ISAL). These pieces carry fixed US postage plus a poundage rate based on destination. The mail is airlifted to the destination country, deposited into that country's mail system, and handled as priority mail to its destination. All countries participate in the International Postal Services union, and this procedure is part of its service. This method should be used for mail directed to Latin America and developing Pacific Rim countries, as well as strife-torn countries.

International parcels are processed through the USPS directly. Each piece must bear customs forms if the package weighs 16 oz or more, regardless of contents. CUSTOMS FORM ARE NOW REQUIRED TO BE GENERATED ONLINE AND PRINTED OUT.  ATTACH TO YOUR PACKAGE WITH THE DEPARTMENTAL MAILING CARD.  GO TO WWW.USPS.COM TO GENERATE THE CUSTOMS FORM

Standard Mail

Standard Mail includes all large-volume mailings with 200 identical pieces and no personal correspondence. See section on Bulk Mailings for further information.



Standard Post (formerly: Parcel Post)

This service should be used for parcels to domestic addresses. Parcels may be dropped into any collection box with appropriate postage affixed if the weight is under 13 oz. All packages weighing 13 oz or more MUST be presented to a postal clerk for packaging inspection and identity stamping. If such a package is placed in a collection box, it will be returned to the sender. ALL PARCELS MAY BE PLACED IN THE CAMPUS MAIL AND THE APPROPRIATE PROCEDURES WILL BE FOLLOWED.

Approximate Delivery Schedule
Distance Delivery Time
100 Miles 3-4 Days
150 Miles 5 Days
300 Miles 6 Days
600 Miles 7 Days
1000 Miles 8 Days
1400 Miles 9 Days
1800 Miles 10 Days
Over 1800 Miles 11 Days

Parcels can weigh up to 70 pounds.  Parcels can measure up to 108 inches in combined lenght and girth.  Anything over 70 pounds or it exceedes 108 inches in combined length and girth, must pay oversized rates.  To compute Standard Post rates, go to Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com and click on "Retail/Single Piece" under Rate Claculators in the left frame.  For zone charts click on "Zone Charts" in the left frame.

Two or more items may be mailed as a single piece if they are of the same shape and form and do not exceed the limitations when securely fastened together.  

Parcels can be mailed as Standard Post, Media Mail or Library Mail.

Bound Printed Matter can only be used for departmental mail.



Delivery Service maintains U.S. Postal Service Firm Mailing Books that include details on each item that is sent through campus mail as insured, certified, or registered mail.

Registered Mail

Registered mail should be used for the protection of monies, critical documents, jewelry, and other items of value. This service is available for domestic and international mail.

The shipper is required by law to declare the full value of each item presented for registration.

  • Negotiable items - Full value
  • Non-negotiable items - No value or replacement cost
  • Money - Full value
  • Jewelry, gems and precious metals - Market value or cost
  • Merchandise - Market value or cost

The USPS provides indemnity of up to $25,000 in the event of loss or damage for an additional fee. Should the value of items exceed $25,000, contact the Campus Post Office.  The following fees are in addition to postage.

Certified Mail

Certified mail should be used for mailing important documents, notices and first class items of no monetary value. This is a domestic service only. Return receipts for Registered and Certified mail must have a department and mail stop number to assure they are returned to the originating department. 

Extra Services
Certificate of Mailing $1.65
Certified Mail $3.75
USPS Tracking (formerly Delivery Confirmation) Priority Mail FREE

USPS Tracking - First-Class Mail (parcels only) - Retail

Registered Mail Fee $13.75 on up (depending on declared value) in addition to postage
Return Receipt* IN CONJUCTION WITH ANOTHER EXTRA SERVICE $2.75 (to whom, when and address)
Return Receipt* (receive electronically) $1.85 (requested at time of mailing)
Return Receipt for Merchandise  $ (requested at time of mailing)
Signature Confirmation First-Class Mail (parcels only) (retail) $3.05 retail; $2.90 electronic
Signature Confirmation Priority Mail (retail) $3.05 retail; $2.90 electronic
Signature Confirmation Standard Post (parcels only) (retail) $2.90
Signature Confirmation Package Services (Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter) $3.05 retail; $2.90 electronic
Signature Confirmation Parcel Select (customer generated electronic label)


*(in conjuction with another service)


Insured mail provides indemnity coverage for First Class, Parcel Post, and Priority Mail. Maximum coverage is $5,000. The mail pieces have the same delivery schedule as Priority Mail. Delivery Services maintains United States Postal Service Firm Mailing Books that include details on each item sent as registered, certified, or insured and processed through Delivery Services' normal procedures.

Insured Mail Rates
Up to $50 $2.45
$50.01 to $100 $3.15
$100.01 to $200 $3.85
$200.01 to $300


per each addt. $100 (up to $5,000 max liability)                 $1.55