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What will happen? Not enough postage on LOR envelopes

paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Posts: 13,328Super Moderator Senior Member
edited January 2007 in Parents Forum
All of his teacher recommendation letters went out on deadline but in 9x11"envelopes with just one postage stamp, that we dutifully provided each teacher. Maybe one of them noticed and added postage but I'm too embarassed now to ask. Return address was our school's guidance office, and I've heard nothing from them so far. I'll call on Monday.

It was my fault but I'm too worn down to get upset about it. I only learned about it today when mailing something else in same sized envelope.

Does anyone know how the post office and colleges will handle these?

1. Return to sender (in which case we'll re-send in a larger envelope, with all the old postmarks in place, so colleges will see it was on deadline originally)

2. Colleges pay the extra postage due


Does anyone think this mistake is "dealbreaker" and he should get onto the phone about it with colleges? I don't but I want to hear if I'm being too blase.

MANY THANKS. Can't believe I did this...but I did.
Post edited by paying3tuitions on

Replies to: What will happen? Not enough postage on LOR envelopes

  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster Posts: 2,015Registered User Senior Member
    So you're saying that each one had a 39 cent stamp?

    If that's the case, yes, that's not enough postage. I would predict that some of the envelopes will be delivered properly to the college, and some will be returned to your son's school.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Colleges know that teachers and schools have a lot to do and sometimes the material drifts in. I think if anything is missing, the college will contact you in a few weeks.
  • 2dsdad2dsdad Posts: 297Registered User Junior Member
    My daughter sent out a bunch of Christmas cards that were an odd size, about 5+ inches square. Two were returned today stamped Insufficient Postage for Irregular Size or something similar. The rest went through. Go figure.
  • ChedvaChedva Posts: 19,460Super Moderator Senior Member
    My d's teacher recommendations were all mailed out in 9x11 envelopes with 39 cent stamps. They were maximum of 4 pages (2 for the form & 2 tops for the letter) plus a postcard addressed to us for the schools to drop in the mail so we'd know they got it. They all went through.

    Why wouldn't 39 cents be enough?
  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster Posts: 2,015Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^ The size of the envelope is taken into account. 39 cents postage isn't enough for a 9-by-11 envelope. You have to at least put a 63-cent stamp on it. It's great that yours all went through!
  • ChedvaChedva Posts: 19,460Super Moderator Senior Member
    OK, thanks. I misunderstood - we didn't use the big envelopes; we used business sized ones, and they went right through.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Posts: 13,328Super Moderator Senior Member
    That's the problem; I gave 3 teachers 8 stamped, addressed envelopes; chose big flat ones thinking "that'll look nice," then thought, "It's only going to be a page or two" so popped on one 39-cent stamp each. That was a month ago.
    Yesterday, mailing out another w-page document in the same large-size envelope with 39cents of postage on it, the postal clerk said "not enough postage." Then I replayed the tape in my head and realized all the teachers probably popped in those underfunded envelopes last week.
    So I know the postage was wrong; I'm only wondering if it'll pass through and arrive "postage due" to the college (great way to start out...) or be returned to the high school (so I have to re-send post-deadline).
  • ohio_momohio_mom Posts: 4,045Registered User Senior Member
    Colleges understand that teacher rec's are not entirely under the control of the student. If your student is able to check credentials on-line, you'll be able to tell if they arrived. If not, a call to the admissions office (by your kid) would not be out of line. Give a bit of time for processing, though - it takes a while for everything to good sorted.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom Posts: 13,158- Senior Member
    I told my D to put on 3 stamps for each big enevelope, at a minimum, worrying about $1.00 in the grand scheme of things and wondering if it was enough jsut not worth the stress...we probably overstamped, but to me, it was better then thinking about than big envelope coming back...she asked, but isn't that too much, I said no, so what if we waste a bit of change....

    so to all students, throw on an extra stamp or two,,,isn't it worth it?

    sorry, but my guess is the envelope with come back
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom Posts: 13,158- Senior Member
    If I were you, I would warn teachers, get new envelopes ready and give them so If they come back, they can turn right around put stuff in new envelopes and send asap...it might be worth spending a bit and expressing them if they come back pretty late, or just having school resend on Monday, with the assumption, they will be returned...you could include a note saying exactly what happened..
  • simbasimba Posts: 6,092Registered User Senior Member
    CGM: That is what we did it too. We also put a stamped self addressed post card for colleges to mail it back to us and ALL came. That is how we tracked the status.
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    Here's the link to find out how much postage:
    http://postcalc.usps.gov/

    The reason some letters come back and others don't is (at least the way my mailman explained it to me) the delivering postal worker gets to make the call. If it comes through the post office machinery triggering oversize or overweight, then it is stamped "postage due". The mailcarrier responsible for delivering it can ask for the postage due from the person he delivers it to, or he can pay it himself. Some places - including a lot of businesses, utilities, etc, have an automatic rejection of postage due letters. (You sometimes see in the corner of some bills "please attach sufficient postage; mail will not be delivered otherwise" or something similar.)

    My mailcarrier leaves me a small envelope in my mailbox with the amount due written on it. (He must be trusting, because he also leaves the piece that has insufficient postage.)

    College mail that gets through with low postage either got past the postal controls, or the colleges have paid the postage due. (I doubt the mailcarrier would be willing to take up the slack in those cases.)

    I think your kid should call each admissions office and ask if his application is complete. You'll find out that way if the letter arrived. (If it didn't come through because of insufficient postage, it was never delivered, so the school has no way of knowing who's it was!)
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Posts: 1,245Registered User Senior Member
    I had several of these to mail for my son and brought them to the post office where they were weighed - they were different amounts but generally about $.60.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom Posts: 13,158- Senior Member
    think about it...waiting in line, driving, parking, taking time, for 60cents

    better just over stamp....when we are looking at 100,000 possible cost, we are talking .0006percent

    i understand that for some, change can make a difference and can add up, but sometimes when we are going for the big prize, you have to invest a few extra cents

    I think we put at least three stamps on every big envelope and 2 on regular sized ones
  • fpfanfpfan Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
    I work at a rather large school system. When we have mail to be posted, we send it through the district office, and they add the postage. Hopefully, your school caught the deficiency and added the correct postage.
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