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Mail & Package Services FAQ

All items sent to students residing on the Northwestern campus must be completely and correctly addressed with

The recipient’s complete name as listed in the Housing Portal, and the recipient’s complete, and correct  address as listed in the Northwestern Mail & Package Center site.  

Here are examples of what your address should look like:  


John Doe  

2303 Sheridan-Room #  

2420 Campus Drive  

Evanston, IL 60201  


Jane Doe  

1871 Orrington Room #  

1927 Orrington Avenue  

Evanston, IL 60201  

On Campus Mail Deliveries 

Mail Services receives, sorts, and delivers U.S. Postal Mail and packages to on-campus university housing Monday through Friday three days per week during university business hours. Mailbox locations can be identified at this Mail & Package page or at the Housing Portal. 

Items to be returned to sender include

Items arriving by private carrier (UPS, FEDEX, DHL, Amazon, etc.) addressed to recipient names not listed in the Housing file including Faculty/ Staff/ former residents.   

Expired items not collected within the 60-day holding time or private carrier items.  

Prohibited Items, which have not received a response within 14 days of receiving (and recipient notification).  

Please note that if you need an item held longer than beyond the stated times above, please email the MPC and we will hold it longer, if it is reasonable for us to do so.  

Items delivered to the wrong MPC

Items arriving at the incorrect MPC Location will be relocated approximately once a week during the academic year. The MPC location will notify the recipient of the actual location if the recipient requests to pick up the item prior it being relocated.  

Reasons for these types of delays are typically caused by carrier error, something that the MPCs try to address as the deliveries occur but can be difficult to prevent when large volumes of deliveries occur. Additionally, using incorrect or outdated address information can also cause this issue to occur.  

I can't open my mailbox

Opening your mailbox can be confusing. This video walks you through the process for opening your mailbox. 

Here are some other key points to remember:
  • Check the Housing Portal for your mailbox location and combination for the lock
  • Remember to turn the dial to the left first (many combo locks spin to the right)
  • If you are still having difficulty, check with your MPC - we are here to help!

Mail Forwarding  - What is the process?

  • Mail Forwarding Process:
    • First-Class Mail and USPS Packages: These will be forwarded for up to 1 year to the current address on file in CAESAR. 
    • Private Carrier Packages (Amazon, UPS, FedEx, etc.): These will be returned to the sender. 
    • USPS Packages or First-Class Mail beyond 1 year will also be returned. 
      • It’s recommended that you complete a mail-forwarding request with the USPS. 
    • If you’re a student, any mail not collected by the end of the academic year will be sent to the home/forwarding address on file in CAESAR. 
    • If no valid forwarding address is in CAESAR, the mail will be returned to the sender. 
  • Additional Steps: 
    • Update your forwarding address with the University to ensure they have your current information. 
    • Remember to update your mailing address with third parties: 
      • Businesses from which you order goods. 
      • Banks. 
      • Magazine providers. 

Missorted Mail 

Please bring any missorted mail to the nearest MPC. You may also provide feedback via the MPC Feedback Forms. 

Returns/ Unclaimed Packages 

If a student fails to retrieve their item(s) during the quarter, it will become eligible for return/forwarding at the end of the semester. Your package will be held for 60 days at the end of the semester. At the end of the 60 days, it will be returned/forwarded   

*Please note that this will go into effect during Spring Quarter 2024.*  

Abandoned Packages

If a package is unable to be returned to the sender, the package will be considered abandoned property after 60 days and discarded.

Food Delivery 

Northwestern Mail & Package Center is not responsible for food deliveries from Amazon Fresh, Grub Hub, Walmart, or Door Dash. Food deliveries should be coordinated through each driver to the designated location at your Residence Hall. 

Prohibited Items

An email will be sent to the recipient if an item is flagged as Prohibited.  

If a student responds to the email providing more information or seeking clarification on the policy within 14 Days of Receipt, staff will pull the item from the outgoing mail shelf and set it aside, so it is not immediately returned. The MPC Manager will then alert the Assistant Director for Community Standards and Operations.   

If the student receives approval to retrieve the item, they will show the email from the Resident Director to staff at the MPC and the package will be released for delivery.  

More information about Prohibited Items please refer to the Student Handbook, Page 62.  

Package Lockers located at the MPC at Kemper Hall 

The MPC has one bank of Package Lockers in the lobby of Kemper Hall.  Access to Locker bank may be limited to the MPC Hours, unless you are a resident of Kemper Hall. If your package was sent to the Locker bank, you will be notified via Pitney Bowes email, with instructions, a pickup code and/or QR Code. If you wish to sign up for a Beta Test to use the lockers, you may do so by clicking on this link. 

Amazon One-Time Passwords 

For certain shipments, Amazon may require a One-Time Password. For these shipments, we recommend you email the MPC with the tracking number and password information so the MPC’s can accept and process the shipment. If you received a one-time password from Amazon, we recommend you email the MPC with the tracking number and one-time password code so that we can accept and process the package. 

Any additional questions, you may contact the MPC via email.