How Do Deliveries Work in College Dorms?

A college student picking up and receiving parcel.

One demographic that gets overlooked in the world of eCommerce and deliveries is college students.

Most companies fail to see the value of providing good service for this huge group. This is such an oversight since college students order more things online than most groups.

In one study, 91% of college students have completed an online purchase within the year. You also need to consider the fact that parents send their college kids packages all the time.

And yet, college dorm deliveries don’t have a standard operating procedure you can refer to.

Why is that?

Well, the answer is simple, and one that is obvious.


Most colleges do not allow deliveries inside college dorms. All items must go through a central location inside the campus (mailroom, apartment office, dorm admin office, etc.). This is to avoid people going in and out of the campus easily.

Some colleges allow for food deliveries, though. But these colleges are very few and far in between. You have to talk to the admin to find out which ones are allowed and which ones are not.

Where Do I Get My Mails and Packages?

A female college student picking up her parcel from the school's central pickup location.

All three major shipping carriers will ship directly to your school.

However, it will almost always be sent to a central pickup location. You would need to go to that hub on your campus to pick up your packages.

Shipping companies send out notifications when your packages have been delivered. Just pick them up when you have received your delivery notification.

Some Helpful Tips for College Campus Deliveries

Below are some extremely helpful tips for making the most out of your college campus deliveries.

The Format of the Address Is Important

To ensure you will get your packages and mails, they must be addressed properly using the correct format.

College campuses will have the format printed in their handbook. Definitely check that out if you want to ensure your deliveries come through.

Here’s a good example of a college address format – click here.

No Mail Forwarding

After you move out from your college dorm, don’t expect your mails or packages to be forwarded to your new or permanent address.

Any items that were intended for a non-resident (or a student who just moved out) will be returned to the sender.

This isn’t the standard across universities, but a huge majority of them do it this way.

Change Your Default Shipping Address Before Moving Out

A courier service delivery guy sitting inside a delivery van, reading the address of the next shipping location.

Even if you’re just moving out for the summer, you should definitely consider changing your mailing address to your current one. 

You do this to avoid the ‘return to sender’ issue that I just talked about earlier.

Notify Your Friends and Families

Again, this is done to avoid the return to sender issue.

Perhaps you have a grandma who’s been sending you letters consistently. Then, it’s good practice to tell them you’ve moved out of the dorm to avoid their letters getting bounced around.

Some Pizza Places Can Do Deliveries Inside the Dorm Room

A pizza delivery guy from the local pizza joint handing a box of pizza to a college dorm resident.

Take note that this is more of an exception to the rule. Some college dorm associations allow for the local pizza joint to deliver inside college dorms.

To know which ones are allowed, you can call and ask all the nearest pizza places in your college. Some pizza places have built a rapport with the college association to allow for room-specific deliveries.

It Won’t Hurt to Ask Your Admin

College dorm admins will have their own rules pertaining to deliveries and packages. Ask to get a copy of these rules and read them thoroughly.

They’ve been operating for a long time. They sure would have an answer to any of your questions regarding deliverables on their rulebook.

College Students Get Huge Discounts

College students get tons of discount opportunities from many companies. If you have a big purchase on your cart, I’d definitely recommend holding off on that until you get your student ID.

Most software companies do this, especially with productivity tools like Microsoft Suite, Adobe Essentials, Spotify, Amazon, and many more.

Companies like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond also offer all kinds of discounts for dorm essentials. It’s a good way to save money so you can have more money for books and other college things, like pizza, for instance. 

Flower and Special Food Deliveries

A delivery guy holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a bear plushie in the other.

Maybe you’ve managed to find romance in college and want to send in some flowers or cupcakes.

The good news is this is possible in most colleges. The bad news is you need to coordinate with your central hub to pick the items without hassle.

Colleges do not allow person-to-person deliveries. And with flowers or food items having an expiration date, you need to devise a delivery strategy to avoid spoilage.

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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