Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions are listed below. Please do not hesitate to contact Mail Services if you have any questions that are not addressed here.

  1. How do I determine the shipping cost and transit time?
  2. Does Mail Services process personal mail?
  3. What do I need to do to send out a large mailing?
  4. How do I stop receiving junk mail?
  5. How do I update my address in the Ph Directory?
  6. Why do I need to use the zip + 4 and mail codes?
  7. How is mail addressed to on-campus students handled?
  8. How do I include chargeback information in my outbound USPS mail?

1. How do I determine the shipping cost and transit time?

Call Evanston Mail Services at 1-7227 or Chicago Mail Services at 3-8131. Please have the following information available:

  • Package weight
  • Package content
  • Destination
  • Required arrival time
  • Package value
  • Tracking and/or insurance requirements

2. Does Mail Services process personal mail?

Please refrain from having personal mail or packages sent to you at the University.

As stated in the Employee Handbook "Employees may not use the campus mail system for receiving or sending personal mail. The purpose of campus mail service is to support the necessary communications of University business only. It also may not be used for purposes of organizations or activities not sanctioned by the University or for political purpose.

This includes magazines and catalogs that could be received at home or listed under "Junk Mail." We receive a tremendous amount of personal mail, which delays the processing of other University mail, and occupies the recipient's time and resources.

3. What do I need to do to send out a large mailing?

Mail Services can help ensure your mailing program is cost-effective, efficient, timely, and acceptable by the mail carrier. Advance notice is required to effectively handle and process large or specialized mailings, so please contact us when you are in the planning stage.

Advance notice is needed to ensure that the following items are available:

  • Appropriate size and quantity of enclosures (envelopes and/or corrugated boxes)
  • Mail center personnel
  • Equipment to process the mailing
  • Sufficient postage on deposit

If your department is preparing a large mailing, please allow Mail Services to pick up the mailing in portions as it is completed, rather than holding the entire mailing until it is complete. Portions of a mailing can be picked up on regular mail routes, while a special truck often has to be sent to pick up a large mailing that was held. If the entire mailing needs to go out on the same day, call Mail Services to request that all the portions are held until the complete mailing is received.

4. How do I stop receiving junk mail?

If you receive unsolicited catalogs or other pieces of "junk" mail, you can have your name removed from mailing lists. The Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Services (MPS) allows people to "opt out" of national mailing lists.

Once you register, MPS will add your name and address to a "do-not-mail" list that is updated quarterly. All Direct Marketing Association members must purge their prospect lists of the individuals who have registered with MPS each quarter. However, MPS will not guarantee that all "mailers" will remove your name from their list. Find out more at: www.the-dma.org.

Mail Services strongly recommends that you use this service to reduce "junk" mail that comes into the University. Any reduction in "junk" mail volume will improve delivery of important mail.

5. How do I update my address in the Ph Directory?

As soon as a department learns of its new location and mailing address, it should send a note or memo to Mail Services and Human Resources, and every person should change their respective address online at https://directory.northwestern.edu/edit. If you are on the Chicago campus, you should also notify the Tarry Dock of your new address by calling 312-503-8500.

6. Why do I need to use the ZIP + 4 and mail codes?

The benefits of using ZIP + 4 and mail codes include:

  • Reducing the amount of misdirected mail
  • Expediting processing and delivery of mail

7. How is mail addressed to on-campus students handled?

The United States Postal Service delivers U.S. mail to dorms and Greek houses, provided the address on the mail piece has the full street address.

If the mail piece contains only the dorm name or Greek house name, it is delivered with the rest of the University mail to Mail Services. Mail Services will deliver that mail to the dorm as specified by the Undergraduate Life office or Greek house.

8. How do I include chargeback information in my outbound USPS mail?

The preferred method is to use a bar code label as well as a Request for Mail Services form. Click here for more information and helpful diagrams.