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Customer Support Ruling


Classroom Rate Publications
Updated March 2001

PS-278 (707.10.4.2)

This Customer Support Ruling discusses the factors used to determine if a publication qualifies for classroom rates.

Under the provisions of Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 707.10.4.2, the Periodicals Classroom rates apply only to educational, religious, or scientific publications designed for use in school classrooms or religious instruction classes.  Indicators of Classroom rate publications include:

  • Copies of the publication are purchased in bulk for distribution in the classroom.

  • Copies are purchased through schools.

  • The publication is used in classrooms by teachers and students.  A teacher’s syllabus may be published in addition to the student’s copy.

  • Publications are marketed to teachers and through schools.  The promotional material illustrates and informs how the publication is designed for use in classrooms.

  • Entries in periodical directories support that the publication is produced for use in classrooms (e.g., Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory, Gale Directory of Publications, The Working Press of the Nation).

  • Mailed copies are sent to the school’s address (as opposed to copies sent to individuals at their residences).

  • Publications have lower subscription rates than other commercial publications and carry little or no advertising.

  • Terms for subscriptions to the publication correspond to the academic calendar of schools.

The strongest factor in determining whether a publication qualifies for the Classroom rate is evidence that the publication is specifically designed for use in classrooms and copies are sold and distributed to students.  Thus, evidence showing that all subscriptions are purchased by or through schools for use in classrooms would be a strong indicator that the publication qualifies for the Classroom rate.

On the other hand, publications purchased for use in classrooms and also sold to individual subscribers outside the classroom, would not necessarily qualify for the Classroom rate.  The publisher must establish the publication is specifically designed for use in classrooms.  This could be substantiated by providing both of the following:

  • Promotional materials that outline design features or editorial policy which demonstrates the publication is specifically designed for use in classrooms, through entries in periodical directories as explained previously, or by other information.

  • Additional evidence showing that the primary distribution (more than 50%) of the publication is to subscribers for use in classrooms (e.g., copies are purchased in bulk through schools for distribution in the classroom).

Publications with less than 50% distribution to subscribers for use in classrooms and which fail to provide evidence that they are specifically designed for use in classrooms would not qualify for the Periodicals Classroom rates.

Sherry Suggs
Mailing Standards
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436