Traffic around our college hometown of Manhattan has begun to pick up, and that can only mean one thing: Students are heading back to school. The return of the collegiate academic year brings waves of students moving to temporary addresses. But, where does that leave their mail?

Sure, it may seem like a silly question in the midst of everything else going on, but – if they don’t take proper action – students can be left without access to mailed checks, bills, care packages from home, and other important items.

How can students ensure that they still receive their mail and packages while they are away for school? There are two simple options through the United States Postal Service (USPS) which ensures mail will follow students wherever they go:

1. Premium Forwarding Service

With Premium Forwarding Service, USPS will hold your mail, package it, and ship it to you via Priority Mail on a weekly basis. This temporary service can be used for any period of time, from two weeks up to one year.

Students can enroll for Premium Forwarding Service at their local post office or online at

Details include:

  • The fee for this service is $18.65 per week.
  • Mail packaged every Wednesday
  • Mail packages arrive within 1-3 business days, depending on distance

2. Change of address

The USPS website also offers simple and convenient change of address forms. Using these forms, students can set up either a temporary change of address for shorter timeframes or a permanent change if they are not returning home. With a temporary change of address, students can have their mail delivered to their new residence for up to one year; however, they will need to renew the service after six months.

Details include:

  • One-time charge of $1.05 to a credit card to verify identity
  • Temporary changes can be for as little as 15 days
  • Mail will be sent piece-by-piece to the new address

There you have it: two simple options to ensure you will still receive your mail while away at school

Actually, to be honest, there is another option: Have your parents pick up your mail and visit them regularly to collect it. (It’s not that painful. We promise.)

Whether you are moving across town or across the country, don’t forget to make sure your mail follows you to school… or wherever you may be going!