Should You Use a U-Box When Moving to College?

The average yearly cost to attend a college or university in the US is $35,551. Needless to say, pinching pennies wherever possible is imperative.

In the past, most families moved kids off to college using pickup trucks and station wagons. Nowadays, U-Haul’s U-Box and Collegeboxes programs are convenient and cost-effective alternatives for moving and storage.

Should you choose Collegeboxes for your college move? In this post, we’ll break down how it works, how much it costs, and what you should know before using it.

Collegeboxes program at a glance

Best for College Students
Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 3.95 / 5
Check prices (800) 468-4285

93% of users select this mover

At A Glance
  • Most locations nationwide
  • Store at your residence or a U-Haul location
  • Available for both local and long distance moves
  • One month of storage included
read our full review
Check prices (800) 468-4285

93% of users select this mover

Collegeboxes is a division of U-Haul that utilizes U-Haul’s trucks, U-Box containers, and storage facilities to provide seamless moving and storage options for college students. Service is available at hundreds of colleges across the country.

It’s an especially good fit for students who are shipping or storing things like bikes, dressers, and moderate amounts of household goods that can be packed into boxes. Collegeboxes provides standardized shipping boxes, tapes, and other supplies. Students fill the boxes on their own.

Once everything is packed, the boxes and other items are picked up either by FedEx or Collegeboxes movers. Small shipments like these typically only fill a portion of a U-Box container. In fact, one truck can often accommodate 40 or more student’s items. As a result, Collegeboxes moves are priced per box.

Collegeboxes movers will then either store your items in climate-controlled storage units close to campus, or deliver the items to the desired destination (like back home). Aside from doing your own packing and unpacking, it’s basically a full-service move!

While Collegeboxes is a convenient option for students who just have a few items, students who are shipping or storing more than just a few items (including furniture) may find renting a complete U-Box container — or a moving container from a competitor like PODS or U-Pack — to be a more effective solution. Take a look at our deep dive into U-Pack vs. U-Haul U-Box to see how the company measures up.

Collegeboxes local storage, pick up, and delivery pricing

Here’s a quick breakdown of Collegeboxes prices. Prices may vary based on the distance and size of your shipment. However, the flat rate includes pickup, short-term storage and delivery:

  • In-state rate per box: $35-$50
  • Regional rate per box: $50-$80
  • Coast-to-Coast rate per box: $65-$90
  • Heavy box fee: $25 per box
  • Additional fees apply for late cancellations, missed payments, or if you aren’t there at the scheduled pickup/delivery time

In addition, long-term storage rates per academic term (4 months) are typically between $40 and $68 per piece for boxes, luggage, trunks, and plastic bins, and between $72 and $100 for larger items like appliances, furniture, and bicycles.

Collegeboxes supply kits come in handy

Collegeboxes Supply Kits come with everything students need to get started for under $40. You’ll have plenty of supplies to pack up your stuff before you need to move out of your old place.

Each Collegeboxes Supply Kit comes with:

  • 5 double-walled boxes (24”x16”x18”)
  • 1 bonus shipping box (36”x24”x7”)
  • A roll of packing tape and marker
  • 5 plastic zip ties
  • 10 label pouches

If you won’t be moving any furniture, these packing supplies could easily be enough to fit all your personal dorm room belongings.

Collegeboxes insurance options

Collegeboxes offers free $100 insurance per box for both shipping and storage. However, for higher-value items, you can purchase additional valuation insurance coverage.

Monthly Rate Coverage level
$12 $1,000
$18 $5,000
$25 $10,000
$32 $15,000
$40 $20,000

Before making a decision, make sure to ask exactly what this additional insurance does and doesn’t cover. This added insurance is recommended if the value of the items in a box is more than the $100 free coverage included in your move.


Want to know more about U-Box? Check out our U-Box review where you’ll learn more about the pros, cons, and costs of the service.

Learn More

Convenient Collegeboxes services

Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of services Collegeboxes provides to college students. Keep in mind that these are different from the services available with a standard U-Box rental, which is generally used for shipping a full container’s worth of items from one residence to another.

1. Ship your items from home to school

With this option, students can ship household goods from their residence (or their parents’ house) before moving to college for the first time or after a summer break.

Transit time and price depend on the distance and other factors, but U-Box can receive and hold items and deliver them when students arrive on campus. With the ship to school service, you’ll sign up and order your packing supplies. Collegeboxes will deliver supplies to you, after which you’ll pack everything yourself. Once everything is packed, FedEx will pick them up.

Your boxes will then be stored at a local U-Haul facility until you’re ready to move into your dorm room. Collegeboxes will deliver your items to your dorm on your move-in day.

2. Summer moving and storage

This is a great choice for students who need to vacate their apartment or dorm during the summer. When you use Collegeboxes for summer storage, you don’t pay for a complete self-storage unit. Instead, you pay a “term” (or 4-month) rate for each individual item.

Students can have their dorm room belongings picked up on campus and stored locally if they’ll be moving back for the new semester, sent back home, or even a mix of both! You print labels to tell movers where you want each item to go.

For items that will be kept in storage, Collegeboxes student storage operates similarly to self-storage, because you can access and pick up your belongings at any time. Or, you can have Collegeboxes deliver your items to your dorm room when you’re ready to move back in.

3. International shipping for students studying abroad

Study abroad programs can provide an unforgettable experience for wanderlusty students interested in immersing themselves in another culture.

On the downside, standard international shipping rates can be prohibitively expensive.

However, Collegeboxes can help with its more affordable international shipping services. Starting at $295 per box, this can be a great way to ship items you absolutely need for your study abroad experience.

For the items you won’t be taking with you, Collegeboxes can also store items while you’re out of the country, or ship them to your parents’ home in the United States.

4. Direct domestic shipping

With U-Box, students can have boxes and furniture moved domestically via FedEx any time of the year. With this shipping service, Collegeboxes will pick up your boxes and luggage and ship them directly to your final destination (be it college or home) without any time in storage.

Direct shipping can be especially helpful for students who will be attending school far from home — no need to worry about hauling everything in a trailer yourself! You could even time your flight plans so you arrive on the same day as your shipment.

U-Box portable moving containers for larger college moves

While Collegeboxes is a convenient option for smaller college moves, per-box pricing can get expensive if you have a lot of items. For larger moves, a full-scale U-Box can do the trick.

U-Box containers measure 95” long, 56” wide, and 83.5” high for an interior volume of about 257 cubic feet. Each can generally hold the contents of 1 to 1 ½ moderately furnished rooms, including furniture and boxes.

U-Box containers can be reserved online in just a few minutes after creating an account and entering important information like:

  • The number of containers you need
  • Pick up and drop off addresses
  • Desired insurance

Initial container drop-off is made at the residence you’re vacating, after which you’ll have three days to load it.

Each U-Box comes with a free lock, and if the container gets loaded in one or two days instead of three, you can let the company know that it’s ready using your Collegeboxes account. After your container has been picked up, U-Box will store it at a climate-controlled facility for storage or deliver it to a safe area near your dorm.

Once you’ve unloaded it, let them know it’s empty and they’ll schedule pick up.

Other container storage options

Company Quote Rating Price
U-Pack U-Pack Logo Check prices
starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5
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PODS PODS Check prices
starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5
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1-800-Pack-Rat Check prices
starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5
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Like the sound of U-Box, but want other options? You’re in luck. There are several other moving container companies that can help you with your move if it involves a lot of boxes or large furniture items.

These companies are a good choice if you are moving out of college to a new town for your first job or if you’re moving from one college to another and want to store your things over the summer. Here are some U-Box competitors to consider.

U-Pack Relocube

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 5 / 5

89% of users select this mover

U-Pack offers 7-foot Relocube containers that are perfect for storing a few things during a college move. In general, you’ll have three business days to load and unload your items and you can choose short-term if you’re just storing things for summer or long-term storage if you’re heading abroad. Check out our review on U-Pack and what to expect in terms of U-Pack Relocube pricing.


Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.8 / 5

89% of users select this mover

Offering the best nationwide coverage, PODS makes it easy to move to any college, even if it’s a rural community college off the beaten path. They offer three different container sizes including 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot containers.You can store the container on-site at your parent’s home or at a PODS storage facility where you can access your things during normal business hours. Learn more about PODS in this review and how much PODS costs.


Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.45 / 5

89% of users select this mover

1-800-Pack-Rat includes 30 days of storage with each move. That makes it a great choice for students who want to take their time unpacking. Some of their facilities are climate-controlled in case you’re moving items that shouldn’t be exposed to high temperatures or humidity.

Zippy Shell

Price dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign dollar sign
moveBuddha logo iconrating starstarstarstarstar 4.2 / 5

89% of users select this mover

Zippy Shell offers two container sizes (10-foot and 15-foot), and are street legal. That makes them a perfect solution if you’re moving to an urban college and need to park it on the street for a bit. They offer a more limited service area (available ein 28 states), but partner with 1-800-Pack-Rat for moves in other areas.


The verdict

All in all, U-Box and Collegeboxes offer a number of services that can be a good fit for many college students.

In fact, both are definitely worth considering for students who are storing items or having them delivered locally. Collegeboxes is better suited for small moves, while U-Box is the better choice if you’ll be shipping a full room worth of items (including furniture).

For residence-to-residence long-distance container moves, however, we suggest getting quotes from some of the other best moving container companies as well.

If you want to learn more for as you plan your college move, it’s a good idea to check out Collegeboxes’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or to contact them directly at –

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