Policies

Please be aware of the following Columbia University Mail Services policies.

Columbia University issues a mailbox number to undergraduate residents of Columbia Housing only. A student retains the same mailbox number for the duration of his or her residence in Columbia Housing, unless s/he takes a voluntary leave of absence, withdraws from classes, or moves off-campus. In these cases, a mailbox assignment is cancelled. For more information on mail forwarding policy, visit the Forwarding Mail page.

Students are not permitted to accept mail on behalf of relatives or guests; a mailbox number at the Student Mail Center is for the sole usage of the student to which it is assigned. Incoming mail for non-Columbia students is returned to the sender. 

Students departing on a University-approved program of study abroad who intend to return to Columbia Housing can request to reserve their mailbox assignment for up to two semesters by completing a Mailbox Assignment Extension Request

Absent an approved Mailbox Assignment Extension Request, the mailbox assignments of students studying abroad are cancelled upon check-out of Columbia Housing and a new mailbox is assigned upon return.

Due to storage limitations and sanitation considerations, oversized parcels and deliveries containing perishables are held for up to 7 business days, after which oversized parcels are returned to the sender and packages containing perishables are discarded.

All other parcels are kept for up to 14 business days. If not collected within 7 business days, a second email is sent to the student notifying him or her that the package is scheduled for return in 7 days. Due to storage limitations, packages cannot be held any longer than prescribed. 

Incorrectly addressed, unsolicited mass mailings are returned to the sender. Other incorrectly addressed mail (non-mass mailing) is a low priority for processing. This mail can take up to several days to process.

Columbia University student groups and affiliated schools, departments, and offices can request flyers to be placed in student mailboxes for a fee.

Outside organizations may request a mailbox stuffing if it is in connection with the activity of a student group, affiliated school, department, or office. Nonprofit community organizations, public and civic organizations, political organizations, and governmental organizations should first consult with the University’s Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs as a campus contact to arrange a request. Requests from outside organizations that do not meet these criteria will be denied. Fees to be applied upon approval.

Items cannot be larger than 3 inches wide, 5 inches high, 15 inches deep.

All content subject to review before mailbox stuffing. To get the process started, complete our Mailbox Stuffing Request Form.