Systems and Procedures
A Division of The Corporate Controller's Office

Procedure BS2008 - University Park Mailing Services

Auxiliary & Business Services

Policy Steward facilitating procedure: Associate Vice President for Auxiliary & Business Services

Table of Contents:


All outgoing official U.S. Mail (first class or bulk) and inter-office campus mail at the University Park Campus is processed through Mailing/Addressing/Delivery Services (hereafter referred to as "Mailing Services"). All services offered through Mailing Services are for official University material only and not for personal use.

Upon receipt of mail from the various user departments, Mailing Services seals all envelopes (as necessary) and imprints the correct postage on each piece of mail. Mailing methods are determined by information provided on the mail cards submitted. If opting to use a special service, such as Certified Mail, Insured Mail, or International Mail, the appropriate paperwork needs to accompany the mail card and/or be attached to the mail piece to ensure proper handling. They should also be consulted for various mailing options involving U.S. Mail if insurance, Certified Mail, or Delivery Confirmation are required (inter-office campus mail is not covered by these options).

U.S. Mail and UPS charges are billed directly to the appropriate budget provided on the mail meter slip or the UPS Shipment form. If no budget information is provided, the mail is returned to the department and billing information is requested. These charges are accumulated for the month from the mail cards attached to each parcel or batch of mail processed. Monthly charges can be verified by each department by referring to their Budget Report in the Integrated Business Information System (IBIS). Mailing Services handles all billings, adjustments, errors, and questions regarding U.S. Mail, UPS, and loss claims. Any questions regarding these charges are to be referred directly to the Mailing Services billing department. This procedure documents the procedures for handling of US single piece and bulk mail, packages, addressing, and campus mail delivery services.



Users can log on to Mailing Services website to complete the mail form for US Mail, packages, and International Mail.

To generate a request will require the user to authenticate with their PSU ID and access ID. The process will require the user to provide a valid budget for the postage cost. If multiple pieces of mail are to be charged to different budgets a meter slip with each budget and type of service, (US mail, package, International, etc.) will have to be completed. Within each category the user will have the ability to identify special handling such as priority, express etc. After completing the form it will need to be printed and banded together with the mail.

To enable accurate and efficient processing of packages and mail, departments must arrange all outgoing mail with the address facing in the same direction, and with the mail (or parcels) grouped by each type and budgets and banded with the appropriate mail meter slip. Envelopes should have a return address on the envelope to be mailed which should be a university address (not a personal residential address).

To get the best postal rates, all International Mail including Canada and Mexico requires an International Mail Meter slip to be completed.

Customers can request insurance for their outgoing mail and packages. Insured items are usually parcels but in the case where a letter or non-parcel form of mail is to be insured, the same form should be used. The declared dollar value of the shipment must be entered on the Metered Mail Card or the UPS form (as applicable) for the mail services to calculate appropriate insurance costs. Certain classes of mail come with limited insurance coverage as part of the postage.

The mail should be left in the mailroom of the building (located in each building or in a nearby building) and placed in the trays provided for that purpose. Mail Services will generally not pick up at individual offices. For large bulk mailings please contact mailing services for a special pick up.


"Live" Postage

Authorized "live" postage consists of stamps or post cards to be used only as follows:

  1. To enable instructors not located at University Park to mail lessons to students.
  2. To permit departments to provide mail services in areas not accessible to University Park.
  3. For special mailings where the use of metered mail is not feasible or large mailings where stamps are desired (see "Stamp Affixing Service," below).

All Live Postage Requests must be reviewed by the Department's Financial Officer or authorized designee who will determine if the use of live postage is valid.

Authorized live postage is obtained by sending a completed Live Postage Request to Mailing Services. The phone number of the user department must be included on the front of the card, along with a brief statement of the intended use on the back of the card. This statement must be signed by the Budget Administrator of the department requesting the postage, and the Financial Officer or authorized designee for that department. Live postage is not to be purchased with petty cash, Special Request for Check or the Penn State Purchasing Card, but is paid by direct billing to the applicable budget.

Mailing Services will order the stamps from the Post Office after receiving the live postage request from the department. A few days must be allowed for the Post Office to process the order and return the stamps to Mailing Services.

Mailing Services will notify the user department when the stamps are ready to be picked up, at which time the person designated on the Live Postage Request or their representative can pick up the stamps. A formal PSU ID will be required to pick up live postage. The postage amount will be direct billed to the departmental budget at the end of the month.

Pre-metered Postage

Departments may have envelopes "pre-metered" with postage, not to exceed 100 envelopes at any one given time. Groups of envelopes to be pre-metered must be forwarded to Mailing Services with mail slip similar to first class mail. The envelopes to be pre-metered should be addressed to come back to an official University address before pre-metering. The envelopes will be pre-metered and returned to the department by Mailing Services.

Business Reply Mail

Business Reply mail enables a department to have first class mail returned to the department by the recipients of a departmental mailing. The department pays postage only on the mail which is returned from the original distribution. Business Reply Mail Envelopes or Cards are available for order from Multimedia and Print Center by calling 814-865-7544, or online.

Business Reply Mail is received daily at Mailing Services. Business Reply Mail is charged to the department at the first class postage rate plus an additional business Reply Mail surcharge, assessed by the Post Office, per piece of mail received.

Stamp Affixing Service

Departments may have Mailing Services affix postage stamps to large mailings for a fee. This would be done in the case of a department wanting postage stamps instead of postage meter indicia on envelopes.

Stamp affixing requests are handled by Addressing Services by contacting them at 814-865-7544.

BULK MAILINGS (First Class, Presort First Class, and Non-Profit)

Addressing Services offers services for a fee to verify, prepare, address, and mail bulk mailings. Bulk mailings refer to mailing similar material to a large pool of addresses. The most economical method to mail is using the University Non-Profit Permit.

To qualify for non-profit discounts, mailings must weigh at least 50 pounds, or contain at least 200 pieces. The individual pieces may be personalized; however, no other variances in the mailing address can be accepted.

Mailings that are sent out by departments on campus must be for official University business in order to qualify for the Penn State non-profit rate. Mailings sent out for University related associations will be accommodated if the association has a non-profit permit of their own, or if special authorization is requested and approved by the U.S. Postal Service. Special authorization can be obtained with proper USPS forms. Departments may contact Mailing Services for assistance.

When designing the piece to be mailed using the non-profit rate, there are several items to be kept in mind. There must be a return address for all nonprofit mail consisting of the following information:

Department Name (as listed in the faculty/staff directory)
The Pennsylvania State University
Room Number and Building Name
City, State, and Zip Code

The use of names, telephone numbers, conference titles, association names, etc., will not be permitted in the return address. It is also necessary in such mailings to state that any necessary payments involving a conference or seminar must be made payable to The Pennsylvania State University and not to an association name, conference title, or person's name involved with the program. The Postal Service will be using these two items as a guideline in determining the validity of a non-profit mailing for Penn State. The non-profit indicia, shown below, must also be printed in the upper right hand corner of the pieces being mailed:


Non-profit mail takes the longest time in transit as it is the last mail processed at every step in the mail stream; therefore, for materials that require some urgency or at peak times (holidays) non-profit mail may not meet your needs (check with your customer service representative).

Another discounted mail option available is Presort First Class. The mail processed using this permit travels just like regular first class mail but is discounted from the full first class rate. It requires a minimum of 500 pieces. Similar to non-profit mail, mail sent presort first class requires an appropriate indicia and an outgoing address.

All bulk mail has to be prepared using United States Postal Service (USPS) authorized forms and software and requires the sender to verify addresses and prepare the mail for shipment in a particular order and sequence. Customer wishing to use this service should contact Mailing Services. Generally, the customer will have to provide a data file or a spreadsheet with the name and address information to enable processing.

All University bulk mail services have to be routed through MPC even if the material is being printed externally. The customer service representative will work with the department and the external vendor to make arrangements to properly prepare the material to enable addressing services to process the mailing or identify alternative when required.

Postage and the cost to prepare the bulk mailing will be directly billed to the department under a specific job number assigned to each mailing. Online mail meter slips are not required for bulk mailings.

Ordering Mail Supplies

Mailing supplies can be ordered by calling or emailing Mailing Services. Supplies are furnished free of charge. Once received, the order will be filled and supplies delivered to the user department.


The Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that procedures pertaining to the accountability and safeguarding of all cash receipts, cash funds, and other assets are established and followed in accordance with approved University policies and procedures. Regular audits relating to advances, cash, travel, equipment accountability, and other expenditures provide a means to protect University assets. The Financial Officer is responsible for working with Internal Audit when audits are being performed in the administrative area.


Record retention must be managed in accordance with Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management , and records schedules approved by the Records Management Advisory Committee, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the President. These retention requirements are the University's retention criteria, either derived or based upon federal, state, and local statute or regulations, industry standards, and business needs. Retention beyond recommended time periods require justifiable reasons and warrant review by the Records Management Officer or designee. All documents must be maintained in such a manner so as to provide ease of access for review, and to provide a suitable audit trail for all transactions.

Upon expiration of a stated period of time, documents must be discarded and/or destroyed, unless permission is granted by Records Management Officer or designee to retain the records. Archival records created more than 20 years prior to the current date must be reviewed before destruction. Units should also contact the University Archivist before discarding any document which may be of permanent or historical value to the University. To safeguard the privacy of individuals, documents that contain salary information, personally identifiable information (PII), or student records must also be shredded. See Policy AD53 - Privacy Policy and AD22 - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for additional information regarding privacy and the protection of an individual's personal information. For documents that must be shredded, departments may arrange for Blue Bag service by contacting the Blue/White Shredding Program of the Office of Physical Plant. Exceptions to the practice are as follows:

Additional questions may be directed to the University Archivist or the Records Management Officer.


No associated exhibits


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this procedure, please contact the Director of Mailing Services.


Procedure Status:

Date Approved: 8/6/2015

Most recent changes:

Revision History (and effective dates:)