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Should College Students Change Their Mailing Addresses?

Freedom is a significant symbol of college, but with more freedom comes added responsibility.  Big questions come up when students head out for university, like changing their mailing addresses. Should you change your address or keep your same address?

College students should change their mailing address while living on campus for delivery of bills and ordered products. This is especially true if attending college out of state or in another country.

The rest of this article will discuss this topic in-depth, in addition to some related subjects like:

  • How to change your address for college.
  • Whether or not a dorm counts as a permanent address.
  • If you should even use your dorm as an address.  
Change mailing address for college?

Reasons Why You Should Change Your Address in College

An accurate and reliable mailing address is essential for all adults to stay up-to-date on various correspondence like bills, university documents, and more. There are benefits to changing your mailing address once you’re attending university. 

You Stay Current In Essential Matters

The most significant benefit is having your mail delivered regularly, which will help you stay current in all the essential things in your life. For example, if you get regular bank statements, bills, or other correspondence, you’ll want to have it delivered as efficiently and quickly as possible.

If you have regular correspondence like what’s listed above, you wouldn’t want to risk missing a bill payment deadline or information about your school’s financial aid or other regulations by not changing your address.

You’re Attending College Out Of State

Another reason to change your address in college is if you’re attending school far away from home, like out of somewhere out of state. For example, if you’re going to school in a location far away from your parent’s house, it would make more sense to change your address so that you can get all of your mail promptly.  

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Change Your Mailing Address

However, changing your address doesn’t always make sense for all students. Sometimes it’s more convenient to leave your mailing address the same as your parents’. There are only two reasons why you might not want to change your mailing address:

  • You go to school close to home.
  • Your mail is mostly digital.

Let’s look at these reasons more in detail.

You Go To School Close To Home

If you’re going to your local university or community college close to home, and plan on making frequent trips back to your folks, at the very least, to do your laundry, then you’re probably safe to leave the address the same. Or if you stay at home and commute to school, then you don’t need to change your address.

Your Mail Is Mostly Digital

Another reason not to change your address is if you’ve already enrolled in mostly digital correspondence and e-letters. 

For example, if you usually don’t get much mail besides the junk ads and credit card applications everyone gets, you may not need to change your address, especially if you can count on your parents to give you a call if you ever do get something important in the mailbox.    

Changing Your Address for College

Most colleges and universities advise students to change their addresses when they go to school. Their primary reason for giving this advice is to have current and accurate contact information for you if they have to send out essential documents.  

The documents your university sends to you are often related to your financial aid package or tuition payments. Therefore, you must stay on top of these types of correspondences to avoid becoming delinquent on any loans or missing critical information.  

For this reason, maybe you’ve decided to change your mailing address while you’re attending university, but perhaps you’re not sure where to start. Luckily, most universities and colleges have some information or guidance around this topic, so if you’re not sure, you can ask.

How To Change Your Address

Changing an address is a straightforward process, and it starts at your local post office. You can either go into your post office or file a change of address online with USPS. From there, you’ll fill out a change of address form and then sign and submit it (source).

The change of address form will also give you the option to create a temporary address change in case you plan on going home for the summer term or don’t plan on attending school for very long.  

To change your address, you have to have a valid email address if you do it online, in addition to a valid credit or debit card, because it’ll cost about $2 to file the change (source).

Is Your College Dorm Your Permanent Address?

College is full of changes. Change of scenery, routines, and often a change of addresses. But do you have to list your college dorm as your “permanent” address?

Your college dorm is not your permanent address, and you’re not considered a resident of your college’s city unless you live on campus or live in the college’s city year-round. However, if you only reside on campus partially during the year, your permanent address is considered your home address.  

If you think about it, this makes sense. 

If you only live on campus for the fall and spring semesters but stay at home on holidays, summer break, and end of term, you’re not a permanent resident. For legal reasons, you should list your home address, where you spend most of the year, as your permanent address (source).

See Should You Live on Campus or at Home? How To Decide

Should You Use Your Dorm Address?

Decisions, decisions – college is full of them. For example, if you’re living in your dorm and want to order something from Amazon and have it delivered to you, do you use your permanent address or your dorm address?

You should use your dorm address if you want to order items for prompt delivery or if someone wants or needs to send you written correspondence. Or, if you order take-out, you’ll need your dorm address.

However, using a dorm address isn’t always necessary or convenient for all students. 

If you decide that you need to use your dorm address, remember to include your residence hall name, room or mailbox number, and residency hall’s address.


College is an exciting time for most students, and it’s filled with possibilities, challenges, and questions. For example, if you’re wondering whether or not to change your mailing address while you’re at school, consider the location of your school as it pertains to your home address.

If you’re going to school far away or plan on living there year-round, you’ll likely want to change your mailing address. But, if college is down the street from your parents’ house, or you’re only staying in the dorms during the school year, you may not find it convenient to change your mailing address. 

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